If society has forced a reaction out of people that is driven to a point of the loudest of voices being heard, there needs to be change.
If we’re dismissive of the voices, we cannot change; because we’re failing to understand the problem.
Being dismissive is we’re not even trying to understand the problem.
When we fail to even try to understand, we cannot solve a problem that needs to be confronted.
Nearing the end of 2018 — a lot has changed, voices have gained momentum — voices of courage, these voices need to heard and understood.
It’s easy, to say the least — to call someone “Crazy”.
It’s difficult to try and “Understand”.
What has caused such a loud reaction, what is so wrong with our society that has driven people to resort to extreme reaction — it’s because their voices have been suppressed for too long, and something must change; we must make an attempt to understand these voices.
For far too long I’ve lived in a bubble of my own beliefs, only now am I realising — How could I possibly understand “Sexual Harassment” when I’ve never been subjected to it?
How can I, as a man, understand and form an opinion of the problems of the opposite gender.
I must seek to understand, be patient — and listen.
For these voices, if not heard — will shatter our very sense of direction.
The direction needs to heard towards positive change.
I call myself a “Feminist”, but really I’ve never even bothered trying to understand the deeper roots of what I’m standing up for.
I call myself a supporter of the “#MeToo” movement, even though I have barely done anything to help the cause.
I’m a failure, if I’m not doing anything about it.
I need to evaluate behaviour, to understand why it’s difficult for women to “speak-out”, why it’s difficult for women to say “No”, or why women wait to finally speak about their experience.
It’s dismissive, and it’s wrong — because I’m not understanding the problem well enough.
I promised myself, I’ll change that.
And so my journey began, I started reaching out to people — In hopes to understand matters that I do not.
I began my journey in earliest of stages, the upbringing.
What I realised was this,
If a young boy pulls on a young girl’s pony tail, and the young girl complains — the teacher responds “That’s just shows he likes you…”
Which evolves later in life to a behaviour where that young boy grows up and thinks “Slapping a girl on her arse” is a way of expressing his “Love” for her.
It’s wrong, it’s dismissive, and it’s early conditioning that this sort of behaviour is “Acceptable”.
What the young boy should be taught is this, “It’s not okay to pull on her pony tail, it’s bullying. You must respect her private space and know your limits”.
I hate being “Tickled”, I absolutely hate it — to the point that I actually break my usual calm demeanour and curse, I hate cursing.
Except, nobody ever asks — “What’s so wrong about tickling you?”
Rather it’s seen as a playful joke, a form of expressing oneself — I don’t agree.
If something is making me uncomfortable, I let people know.
Except young girls are taught to accept that behaviour — and young men are rewarded for it.
It’s disgusting, and it needs to change.
I need to change, we need to establish boundaries of what is and isn’t appropriate.
If this sort of behaviour is accepted from a young age, then how do you we accept these young men to grow up and respect women?
The second part of my journey was to understand why women do not speak about being sexually assault when it happens,
This is what I came to learn.
A man assaults a women, he thinks it’s fun and games.
The survivor is left in shock.
She doesn’t know who to talk to.
She’s led to believe she’ll be ridiculed, if she did speak out.
She’s forced to accept it because, society will discard her.
What an absolute disgrace it is that we allow this behaviour to continue, rather than being supportive and helping survivors.
One of the people I spoke to, a survivor herself, explained to me the assault she suffered at the hands of her husband; Her Husband?
Yes, her Husband.
Marriage isn’t any different from being in a relationship without a contract.
Except when married, men come to believe they have contractual power now; they can do what they want to their wives.
Society breeds this behaviour, often encourages it.
A man is hailed as a “hero”, if he tells his wife to “Shut her mouth”.
A man is called a “coward”, if he listens to his wife.
Rape is accepted within a marriage, how disgusting is that?
Because men feels marriage allows them sexual power over their wife; it doesn’t.
It needs to change.
Why do women not speak out?
Because it’s not easy, nobody listens — and it’s stigmatised.
When they do speak out, we as men call them “crazy” “liars” “sluts”.
I’m ashamed of such behaviour.
Why can’t we just listen, allow these women a safe place to speak out.
The mental trauma of having to live with the experience has an impact, so no doubt it’s easy to call someone “crazy”; who wants to understand someone that’s crazy.
I’m “crazy”, I’ve been labeled crazy on multiple occasions.
Only later in life did I realise I wasn’t crazy, the people were just afraid of what I might say — it was unsettling.
Truth is unsettling.
Hence, I implore people — to LISTEN.
Try to UNDERSTAND.
These voices deserve justice.
These voices deserve more than just a “pat on the back”.
These voices cannot be suppressed.
We’re not cowards if we stand up for what’s right, we’re nothing but supporters.
We’re no heroes; we’re just volunteers.
The real heroes are the voices that are finally speaking out.
Our duty is to support these voices and bring change.
Change, so that for once we can step aside — and let the true heroes be heard.
…for change can only come if we seek to understand.