Lena, 24, Brazilian. I'm a biologist with a huge wanderlust. My biggest aspiration is to live (being it only a few months or many years) in at least 10 countries before I die (3 down, 7 to go). My worldview changes as I wander through it.
Let's Talk About Consent
This piece is my view on #consent. It is the first of a series of essays breaking down the poem "My Truth" to address in depth the social problems I refer to in that poem. If you haven't read it yet, please do. It'll give you context for this piece. Thanks :)
Maybe you know me personally Maybe you’ve never seen me before Or even know that I exist Maybe you are wondering why the hell
We Need to Face Uncomfortable Truths
Dear Male Reader, I have a question for you: Why do you hate me? Sometimes I feel like everyone hates me because they keep saying it was my fault. My fault for having decided to go out alone, or my fault for the length of the skirt I decided to wear, or even my fault for that one too many drinks I had. The blame is even worse if what happened to me was done by my intimate partner (being him a boyfriend or a husband). That's due to this weird "common sense" understanding that if I agreed to be in a relationship with that man, I automatically deserve everything that comes out of it, after all, it was my choice. Please, I can't understand, why do you hate me? Why am I to blame if it I wasn't the one to perpetrate the assault? Just stop and reflect for a moment, how can it be my choice to be sexually violated? My choices regarding personal fashion, alcohol consumption habits, and social circles are not synonymous with choosing to be harassed. No one ever put that power in my hands. But you male reader, like to put the fault on my shoulders when the ugly truth is that the only choice that mattered on the occasion of the violence I suffered was that of the man who did it. He was the only one who chose when and how would he abuse me. And I'm sorry to say it male reader, but you are the one who gave him that power. Because you as a part of our current social structure constantly reinforce that I, as a woman, am the frail sex but contradictorily you lash out with so much judgment when I am weak and vulnerable. Isn't that exactly how you want me to be? The damsel in distress is the role that is forced upon me. You must understand that even though it's very entertaining to play as the male hero in a video game going on a quest to save the princess, this brings the exact opposite of safety to real women. Because malicious men take advantage of our vulnerability, being it emotional or physical, to say an extremely invasive and inconvenient comment about our bodies, to grab our butts at a party, to decoy us of a cab ride home once we're tipsy, to shove us into a dark corner, to force us into unwanted sexual acts in our own homes. And they feel like they have the authority to do all these dreadful things because our pop culture is unceasingly putting us in a role of utmost submission. We DID NOT choose for such things to happen to us! So I ask you: why has the word "molested" become synonymous to "dirty"? Why is it me that has to live in shame with the label "raped" stamped on my forehead, when no one even mentions my aggressor? Moreover, why do you never allow me to speak about it? You need to stop taking away my voice because sexual violence is a very real social problem. I guarantee it has happened to someone close to you, dear male reader, maybe to a friend, a work colleague, a sister, cousin or aunt, maybe even to your own mother or wife, but you don't know about it because this woman lives mortified in the shame that you put on her, to the point that she doesn't dare speak up about what happened to her.