I had a dream last night that a man who I had offended beat me to near death with a phallic trophy. I woke up and had to remind myself that it wasn’t real. I am so lucky this was just a dream, because this dream that I had is a reality for thousands, probably millions, of women throughout the world.
Women over the past few weeks, in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting transgressions, have lived and relived the horrors of men. The coat of insignificance and imminent danger have been keeping me cold as I read yet another New York Times article. Through all of the bravery the “lesser sex” has shown over the past week, and I am more frightened than ever.
I do not wish to rehash my moments of sexual horror on a website for all to see, mostly because I am a private person when it comes to these matters, but because I, like most women, have used levity to deal with an issue crushing an entire gender. This issue, for those perusing Breitbart this last week, is sexual assault and sexual harassment toward women. I laugh, and make these moments absurd in some way or another, but when you are trapped with someone exposing themselves to you, or trying to touch you, or trying to rape you, dealing with the atrocity that just occurred is the farthest thing from your mind. The man you report it to, says it happens all the time. You go about your day. We don’t speak up in those instances because we are scared. Scared that our bodies are going to be dismantled from the outside, rather than the in. If our body bears no scars, people may never know what we have been through.
I, like many women, have spent my life trying to trust men. Leaning into relationships only so far, as to not get hurt. It is hard to trust someone you fear so deeply. As we grow older we encounter more difficulties, more distrust with those we hope to grow old with. I often say to myself, my life would be so much easier if it wasn’t for X. When we solve for X we usually find the root of the equation is the patriarchal society that we are conditioned within.
It is difficult for me to chant the rally cry of the women who came before me, because as of late we have seen what is behind the veil (though most of us knew what was behind there). I am sickened and disheartened that people that I know, still think so little of women. Trusting women, and the strength of female relationships are the only reasons I am still breathing. I am sick of it, I am done, and I refuse to be bullied for being a woman.
To men, I hope that the current “witch hunt” alleged by your brother Woody Allen, isn’t too much for you. I hope that one day you don’t have to visit the graves of your brothers who died for because of their sex, the way we have for centuries. I hope you realize that the pain of the reality you created is barely a fraction of what we carry with us everyday. That every unwanted touch, every skirted glance, every “smile more”, is another ton we have to carry with us everyday. We are getting stronger, while you are getting weaker.