Brilliant words, Miss Charlotte Franklin.
I agree with much of what you say here, because it has been my personal experience that letting humiliation and shame over things that others have done TO me dictate how I felt about myself, and more importantly, how I deserved to be treated by men, resulted in a sort of constancy that went on long term; if I allowed someone who hurt me to cause me the type of shame that told me I deserved to be hurt, then I would continue to be hurt until I believed I deserved better.
I do believe this phenomenon is a real thing, because I believe that predators can sense prey, and that is what I was.
So I see the value in realizing that how others treat me is a reflection of them, not of me.
But, at the same time, I believe that some men do dumb shit and when they are taught to behave better, they internalize those lessons and they become better. But some men could care less about those lessons. Those men aren’t going to care if it bothers me or not. The threat of consequences may be their only deterrent. Until recently, the great majority of predatory men did not really even have to consider consequences, so unlikely were the chances they were going to suffer any. But then someone stood up, and then someone else, and then another…and the men who think we’re just dumb whores out to ruin their lives and believe they are just taking what they are entitled to might now for the first time actually have something to fear, whether or not they give a shit about what they have done to us. Because by and large, this type of man DEFINITELY cares about himself (and often, only about himself), so a threat to his reputation, or freedoms, may be the only deterrent that will ever work on him.
I feel like YES! We women need to get right with ourselves and put the responsibility of the acts on the proper parties, while still taking responsibility for our own well being in the face of harassment and worse…this is an personal process; shifting the locus of control from external to internal.
But we definitely should not stop speaking up when these situations arise.We have done “grin and bear it” to death.