One time I met this boy.
We no longer speak,
but for a while he was all I spoke to.
I don't want to get too personal but it's safe to say we dated and he wasn't very nice.
I dated a mean boy.
Shocking? Of course.
But we all have to learn somewhere along the line of life what we do and what we don't want.
I didn't want him.
Or anyone ever like him.
for lack of a better nickname and to add some dose of humor to this post,
we'll call this boy from here on out
For any of us who have ever dated, befriended or worked with mean people their constant criticisms on ourselves can leave a pretty nasty scar.
I still work on those scars.
I rub a good dose of mental Mederma on them everyday and make it a point to heal for myself. Because I love myself.
One particular issue that was constantly brought up by Lord Voldemort was the idea that I "asked" for all the attention I was given.
If I were to complain about some creeper and their lingering eye,
Lord Voldemort would respond with
"well look at what you're wearing".
Instead of blaming the creeper for a lack of self control,
he would blame me.
I started to believe it.
I started wearing baggy clothes to hide my curves,
beanies to hide my face,
I even started slouching.
I am NOT a sloucher!
I changed as much as I could about my appearance so I wouldn't have to deal with the punishment I received.
But it never worked.
This idea that Lord Voldemort and his minions had never held truth.
I STILL received the "ch ch ch's",
the glaring eyes that can burn holes through a woman's dress.
I could have been wearing a Nun's outfit and STILL would have had to deal with inappropriate behavior.
Because it wasn't a matter of what I wore.
It never was.
It's deeper than that.
It's a matter of society allowing behavior like that to happen.
Allowing us to think it's our fault and that we should be quiet whenever that behaviour occurs.
"It's just gonna get worse if you say anything"
But how will we ever know if we've never even been given the chance to say something?
I don't want to be quiet anymore.
And I can't be punishing myself because some people can't handle that.
Some people can't handle my huge smile, my loud voice, my curves, my opinions, my confidence.
But screw them.
They're just gonna have to deal with it.
Because I can no longer hide and I don't feel like I should have to.
We've all heard the motto's:
"She asked for it".
"She got what she deserved".
The idea that what a woman wears is what brings her the negative attention
that some people believe she so rightfully deserved.
I call bullshit.
No one person deserves to be disrespected.
And no one person should be forced to swallow disrespect.
On my birthday in 1989 a 22-year old girl was raped at knife-point.
The defendant was acquitted of rape because the jurors believed by the clothes the young girl was wearing that "she asked for it"
According to the U.S Department of Justice
somewhere in America a woman is raped every 2 minutes.
I've never been raped.
like every woman,
I know what it's like to look in the mirror and feel beautiful
and then take an extra breathe to prepare myself for the harassment I might receive for doing so that day.
It's time to speak up.
It's time to stop punishing ourselves.
It's time to stand up to the Lord Voldemort's of the world and step out of hiding.
On the day I finally got the courage to leave Lord Voldemort I was wearing a beautiful floral dress.
Very reminiscent to something Maria would have worn in West Side Story.
He said to me:
"Why are you wearing that? Can't you just put some jeans on or something? People are going to stare"
"Because I feel beautiful.
And fuck them if they can't handle it".
(Then I might have said something along the lines of "fuck you" and
Expelliarmus-ed his ass out of my life.
But these are little details.)
We all know the infamous "Girl Just Wanna Have Fun" song by Cindi Lauper.
In the beginning of the second verse she has this one line that pretty much brings me to tears everytime I hear it.....
"Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world.
I want to be the one to walk in the sun".
That sounds about right.
To stay informed and aware of the rape crisis in our world please visit the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Website HERE