What is normal? There are so many things that society has deemed as normal that we should not be okay with. Rape and sexual misconduct have become okay. There has been a whole movement of #metoo but there are so many people both men and women who still believe that it is a norm in our society. When this movement began, I spoke to a girlfriend about it and reminded her of the experiences we had in college. We both were raped and experienced unwanted sexual advances almost daily. Her response to me was “oh girl, it happens everywhere, its not a big deal”. I spoke to another girlfriend and she explained to me her story of being violently raped and the school we were at dismissed her claims and even made her feel like it was her fault. Why didn’t she speak up? Were the pressure of society too much? Why didn’t I speak up? Why have we still not spoken of these things freely, free from guilt and shame?
All my life, I was told not to have sex. Then when I started having sex, I explored it in an unhealthy way. Society taught me about sex and what I should consider normal. I thought I was the sexiest girl because I had so many men who “wanted” me. I thought it was cool to have sexual advances towards me. To be touched and groped by men I didn’t know. I thought it was normal to be in the club and a man feel up my thigh. Self- respect and self-worth NEVER came to my mind. I just wanted to be desired. What’s it called? Sex-appeal? Even when I woke up to a man putting me on top of him and not stopping when I clearly said “no”, did my frame of mind of what was acceptable change. It’s not that being promiscuous lead to my rape. Just because you carry yourself in certain manner, doesn’t mean you deserve to be taken advantage of. But this is what our society says to women, you deserved it. It’s your fault. Just like that we let things like being raped go and never address that damage it causes.
What will we teach young women to prevent things like this from happening to them? What conversations are we having to teach the value of a woman? Are we telling our daughters that it is not okay for a man to touch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable or is it not that serious? Are we having honest conversations with each other about our sexual pains?
I want you to know, you are valuable. I want to talk about the things that are just not okay. Thing that we have held in for too long and caused this demonization of sex. The key a healthy relationship with sexuality, is to know that you are worthy enough to do whatever it takes to heal from the things that have hurt you. We can talk about sex in a healthy way. We can educate ourselves. We can have tough conversations.
Please share your thoughts. Let’s start the conversation.