I’m stepping forward to shine a little light on the problems of our culture and society today in regards to boys, men and perpetrators. I will be the first to apologize for saying all of that in one sentence, since I know women can be perpetrators, too. I am too well acquainted with growing up in the city where the atmosphere was highly sexualized. This is not going to be a story of my victimhood, I’m quite over that!
In elementary school, I recall being chased in the girl’s bathroom (should have been a safe place) by some boys who ran in after me and each held me and humped me! I recall the whistles and cat calls from boys, teenagers and men. I was molested and raped while growing up. I don’t want to bring it all to mind, but I will tell you it wasn’t just one guy! It doesn’t help to demonize them all, but at the same time, society needs to look at how many have been complicit in this behavior by looking the other way, sweeping it under the rug, pretending it didn’t happen or making up excuses why a male would treat a female in such a disgusting and disrespectful manner.
Everyone knows they have been somewhere they shouldn’t have been and have seen things they wish they hadn’t seen. We all know the worst of humanity and seen men do despicable things to women and vice versa. What do we do? Do we lock them all up? Castrate them? Put them on an island away from the rest of the world? Do we forever punish someone for some stupid misspent youthful lusts? Hmmmmm. My proposal is quite simple, we create a safe space, a sacred place for men, women, and children to come forward with their confessions and speaking their truths.
I imagine a place where the men will come forward and say, #Idid, “I did rape a woman.” “I did have my way with her.” “I did molest a girl.” “I did treat her like an object. “ “I chased girls in the bathroom and humped them.” “I participated in gang rape.” “I was out of control.” “I threatened her.” “I held my hand over her mouth.” “I got her drunk or drugged her so she wouldn’t fight me.” What if every guy who ever did it, came forward and not only that but humbled themselves and actually apologized? What if every girl or woman who experienced this, said, “Yes, and I knew it happened to my friend, but I didn’t say anything.” What if we all stopped pretending like we don’t know about this???
What if we created a society where it’s safe to be a woman and not live in fear of this happening to us? What would happen to our collective consciousness? What if everyone talked about how someone they know and love was molested or raped and said how it made them feel to know there are people in the world who do this with no regard for human life or dignity?
I’m quite over the world being silent about this. I’m over the victim blaming and shaming. I’m over the pretending these things aren’t happening. I’m over the demonizing a person who admits they did a terrible thing in a moment of weakness or foolishness or selfishness. Should they be held accountable? Absolutely!! However, there needs to be a measure of compassion and forgiveness when someone willingly confesses to defiling another person. We as a society need to rethink how we treat our girls, boys, women and men especially in regards to sexual behavior. We need to consider the world we have created and how we can make it a better and safer place to live for all, and future generations.
My heart goes out to all the girls, boys, women and men who have ever been violated and humiliated by sexual violence. My heart also goes out to those men and women who want to step forward and confess, who want to shine a light on this behavior, who want to heal it, who want to heal themselves, who want to heal society and set themselves free.