A few weeks after I was sexually harassed and physically assaulted in Las Vegas, #metoo began trending. I hesitated to jump aboard the bandwagon of women who were using #metoo as a way to speak up about harassment. Although I was still recovering from the concussion I incurred during the brutal offense in Vegas, something within me felt that the #metoo trend would actually feed the very energy it was aimed at dissipating.
I watched silently as many male friends blasted social media platforms with calls to action, “Men need to take responsibility! What’s going on out there, MEN?”
On September 19, 2017, my bum was grabbed by a stranger on the Las Vegas strip. I retaliated by pushing him off of me and slapping him in the face. He retaliated by punching me in the face and knocking me unconscious. When I awoke, I sobbed. These were not tears of victimhood, they were tears of compassion. Only one who is removed from the experience of love and empathy has the capacity to harm another person. I cried tears for my aggressor. I am sorry for violating my personal code of ethics which includes non-violence. This experience taught me so much.
As #metoo grew in popularity, I watched friends make national news appearances and preach about how men need to take responsibility for respecting the rights of women.
How can people take responsibility for something that they lack the emotional and psychological capacity to understand and empathize with?
I watched as men and women debated about right and wrong on national news. I cringed as I felt thousands of viewers forming opinions and strengthening judgments as they moved further away from solutions and love.
Let us move away from opinions and stick with facts.
The fact is women objectify men all the time. This has become so acceptable that Hollywood portrays this in movies right along with the objectification of women. People spend money to be entertained by this stuff, calling it humor.
The fact is many women gain a sense of confidence and self-worth when men or other women think they look sexy. I see pre-teens trying to look the part of celebrity peers who have been commercialized into sexy images. I was once a part of this culture. I needed to be noticed in order to feel pretty and important.
We have all lusted after another human body, sometimes fantasizing about what it would be like to touch and taste the skin of another. Some of us have the emotional capacity to understand and respect the boundaries of others, and would never touch without asking.
Others do not, and there is nothing we can do to undo the scars and programming which have made them that way. Perhaps legal recourse can help us find a sense of justice and protection, but at the end of the day men and women are wired for sexuality, and controlled by their subconscious programs.
Sexuality is an #everyonetoo issue.
How can we approach this topic without separating men from women?
How can we address the deeper issues at hand?
If we want to have less violators of boundaries in the world, then what kind of energy do we need to channel into the world?
What kind of message are you sending to the world when you judge men as being irresponsible and disrespectful of women?
Have you never been disrespected by a woman? Do you know women who have disrespected men?
Can we quit making this an “us” vs. “them” battle? While women’s right activists may believe they are paving the way to equality and justice, maybe we should take a step back.
The act of violating someone is born from the mentality and belief in separation. One person gains a sense of power and pleasure by taking energy from another person. One person believes he/she can do this because he/she is more powerful.
By standing at the pulpit and pontificating about sexual inequality, aren’t we giving sexual inequality more power? Aren’t we feeding the separatist mentality? Isn’t the separatist mentality the root of the problem? So then aren’t we feeding the problem?
So how do we germinate solutions?
Remember that all humans were once innocent children. Their experiences shaped their mental and emotional perspectives and crystallized their capacity for empathy, respect, compassion, and understanding of boundaries. Mothers, fathers, and other men and women around these children all played a role in this development. Men didn’t grow up to be offenders without some influential women in their lives. The same goes for female offenders and influential men during their formative years.
Who can you have authentic interaction with to discuss things like boundaries and sexuality? Can you have these conversations by means of inquiry and discovery rather than projecting judgments and needing to prove a point?
Can we quit seeing men and women as separate and begin to understand that we are all just humans with psycho-emotional programs which stem from our childhood and past experiences?
Can we begin engaging in healthful ways about our personal perspectives?
One person’s safe zone is another person’s off-limits zone. Conversations may help us all understand one another better so that this understanding can take precedence over our natural and sexual tendencies.
Can you volunteer some time with children who need some extra love? You may be the only person in their lives who can demonstrate safety, boundaries, respect, and empathy… Imagine how many lives that could impact!
Can we cultivate sexual safety with an #everyonetoo approach?
#metoo #everyonetoo #sexuality #genderequality #sexualassault