Here’s the thing…
As long as we are on this earth, there will always be sexual deviants. There will alway be an uncle or cousin or brother that will try to get in to your pants or feel you up.
If you are lucky, you won’t have a “family member” do this. Yet… more often than not, most woman (and yes, many men) can unfortunately say this has happened to them.
Growing up, I now know that this was the experience that many of my friends had. No one ever talked about it. It seems to be the consensus that if we don’t talk about it, it will go away.
In university, I remember that night I told my roommate and girlfriends that it happened to me. Then someone else in the room said it happened to them. Most of us did not tell anyone… until we were older, much older.
Mine was a family friend of my dad’s. A dirty man. A doctor. A husband and father. My sewing machine wasn’t working… so he was going to look at it. My room was right by the living room where everyone was. His wife was there, in the kitchen with my mom. His daughter, a babe was sitting on my lap.
He told me that he couldn’t see the eye of the needle, could I thread it. Next thing I know, his hands are under my shirt. He was feeling my breasts, that were still developing. I remember feeling the hairs on my head stand up. What that heck was he doing? Why? What do I do?
My mom called out for me. Never have I been so glad for kitchen work. The rest of the visit was a blur. How come I felt dirty? How come I felt ashamed? Bastard.
Here’s the funny thing… that really isn’t so funny. My girlfriend had a very similar experience. That bad man ended up being her mother-in-law’s brother. Her mother-in-law is in absolute denial. No one talks about it. Everyone pretends…
Why is it so hard for us to hold these bad people accountable? Why do we put people on pedestals? The mother-in-law can’t imagine her brother doing something so dirty. Or maybe she can’t imagine standing up to this filthy human being.
The ones that end up being ostracized is my girlfriend and her family, since they refuse to every be in his company.
Is that weird? Is that weird that this mother-in-law is so little a person to take a stand? Yah, I would say so. This woman is not one that I would respect.
It makes me mad that my girlfriend and family are on the outs while the company is there. I really have tried to be understanding but I don’t get it. I have tried to put myself in her place… if it was my beloved brother… and my daugher-in-law came and told me that he touched her… what would I do?
Well, first of all, let’s not belittle that it was simply inappropriate touching. It was wrong. Obviously, or why else wouldn’t he sit there and grope her in front of his wife? If this was my brother, I would confront him. I would slap him up side his head. I would not listen to denial. I would tell him to apologize. I would make sure that my daughter-in-law was always first. My brother would not be invited if it was something that made her uncomfortable.
OK… this makes me mad. See, my girlfriend and family will be excluded from a family event because no one is willing to stand up.
I hate that we just pretend that these things don’t happen. How are we going to teach our children to stand up… to report wrong… if we don’t empower them to do so. I really hope that I, my generation of parents, can and will take a stand to correct a wrong doing.
I pray that my boys are never violated in any way. I pray that they grow up to be good men, that respect women and children. I pray that they have the courage if ever needed to face evil rather than run away from it.
I pray for those women that deal with the memories of being betrayed. It sucks. I wonder when we are going to stop protecting those bad people because it could be embarrassing.