When I was on my way to work this morning I was expecting that I might post something about how sad I am to hear that Robin Williams has lost his long battle with the Black Dog of Depression and ended his own life, because it is very, very sad, and he is / was a hero of mine, and much of what he put out into the World gave me and millions of others a great deal of pleasure…
And then I saw this:
and while Robin’s death is sad and it has upset me, this piece – while courageous and articulate and absolutely needing to be written both for the writer and the rest of us as readers – has really made me sad.
If you are triggered by rape / sexual assault, please use caution whether or not you follow the link and read. The writer paints an utterly horrible picture of personal betrayal and entitlement that makes my skin crawl, and I am a man who has never experienced sexual assault, so I can’t even imagine what it might be like to read this…
Even so, while reading it has really made me sad and angry and sad, if for no other reason than it gives another human, personal voice to an all too common story that despite my wish to be an ally to women I often push from my mind, it has reaffirmed my belief that all of us, men and women alike, need to challenge not only this kind of heinous behaviour, but the culture that enables it.
Women who choose to dress provocatively are not “asking for it”.
Women should not have to navigate covert or overt lechery just to work in their chosen field.
Women are there for themselves not for anyone else, and they are the equal of men, morally, ethically and legally – anything less is a gigantic failure of understanding by anyone who makes it.
Women who choose to make choices to have many sexual partners are not sluts, nor does it make them “fair game” – consent is EVERYTHING.
There is no reality under which any kind of rape is acceptable; rape is evil.
(P.S. please use caution with the comments on the article. Many of them are heartfelt, thoughtful and supportive, but there are examples of idiocy in there too.)