Viva logo

I Do Not Consent

by Marissa Luna ☽❁ 2 years ago in body
Report Story

Speak out against sexual harassment

It’s not ok~

To the women of my generation. To all who came before and all who come after, it’s not ok. I am ashamed to say that we have been raised in a world where we have been told “ this is how it is, get used to it” and conditioned to just accept it. Ashamed that young men are being brought up in a culture that teaches them to sexualize and treat women like they aren’t anything but a pretty play toy, eye candy to devour, trash to throw away when they’re done. So I am here to say enough. It’s not ok. It needs to stop. It ends with us.

Excuses~

Sexual Harassment: a form of gender discrimination that involves unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

How many times must a girl say no in order to be taken seriously? Why should she have to ask to be left alone in the first place?

My co-workers annoying voice still stings my ears, “He does that to everybody.” In that moment after telling her what had happened to me, I just wanted to shake her and scream: “You idiot you are part of the problem!” But instead, I silenced my internal cries of injustice and let her think what she wanted. “It’s not her fault she thinks this way and you can’t force anyone to come to realizations they need to discover for themselves” I thought. Still I was angry. I was allowed to be. Unbeknownst to her as she had uttered those dismissive words she had committed what I considered to be the ultimate slap in the face: making excuses for why the unacceptable behavior should be allowed and accepted. Not only that, but it felt like a betrayal that another female would act with such indifference. I had confided in her what had happened to upset me to my core and she had shrugged it off like it wasn’t a real issue. Maybe it would’ve been had it happened to her.

Unwanted~

Working where I do there is a certain amount of inappropriate behavior to be expected. Without going into too much detail, I work at a psychiatric hospital trying to rehabilitate patients who either aren’t on their meds and can’t function in society, or patients that come from the jail and have charges they need to be competent to stand trial for. This job a lot of the time can be dangerous and it can put you in situations you don’t necessarily want to be in. It’s my job to know the patients, their behaviors, to be aware of what is around me at all times, it’s high stress. The particular day this incident happened was like any other day on the floor. I was doing my rounds when a competent patient began to follow me around making comments about my body. I asked him to stop and told him he wasn’t allowed to follow me on my rounds. He went away for the time being. Later that same day I was standing outside of the office door talking to the charge staff when he came up behind me and again made inappropriate comments about my body. I whirled around, said I’d had enough and the next comment he made would be an infraction, which meant he’d lose any special privileges he had for the day. Did that stop him? No. I said No, all day long for an entire shift to this one man, who was not mentally ill or confused, who knew better. Multiple staff asked him to stop and still he kept on saying “you can’t bring something like that up in here and expect me not to try.” This was not the only time it happened. Every shift from that point on he said or did something that caused me to ask him to stop. The day came when I couldn’t even go into work without dreading walking in, hearing his voice and immediately feeling like I needed a shower. Finally when I was absolutely sure he was well aware of what he was doing, I went and talked to my supervisor. I let her know this particular client had been targeting me each time I worked that building and because of previous trauma resulting from type of behavior, (this was not the first incident I’d experienced sexual assault or harassment), I could not be trusted not to say anything that would cause me to lose my job. She told me she wished more people knew what their triggers were and was proud that I’d come to her. She also told me I did not have to work anywhere I felt threatened or uncomfortable and that she would work with me in any way I needed to resolve the issue. We came up with a solution to help me right then and I have been safe ever since.

Don’t stop~

However for some, it’s not that easy or simple to get the help they need. Some encounter bosses with the same dismissive unsympathetic attitudes as the coworker I mentioned before. What then? Can you imagine after days, weeks, months of being sexually harassed, going to ask for help and being met with “ Oh he does that to everyone.” That’s why I am here. Because I realize some are afraid to speak up and be met with hate or blatant apathy. If something happens to you, say something. Speak up. If your boss doesn’t hear you, tell everyone you know, document everything and take it above their head. Don’t stop until you get the help you need. We need to violently shout this message until it shakes the Earth and dismantles all the victim shaming, blaming, dismissive, apathetic and insensitive behaviors. We need to raise sons who refuse to continue a culture that hurts women. And most importantly, we as women need to stand up for and support our fellow women in this fight because no one deserves to feel unsafe in their workplace, in their home or in their own skin.

I Do Not Consent~

I did my makeup today and I do not consent

I got a new hairdo and I do not consent

I went to work in scrubs and I do not consent

I smiled at you and I do not consent

I said good morning and I do not consent

I am a friendly person and I do not consent

You think I might be easy and I do not consent

You whistle at me and I do not consent

You ask me for my number and I do not consent

You offer to buy me a drink and I do not consent

You take me on a date and I do not consent

You see me everyday and I do not consent

You’ve been to my house before and I do not consent

We’re stopped at a red light and I do not consent

You try to dance with me and I do not consent

I remind you of someone you used to date and I do not consent

You spill a cheesy pick up line and I do not consent

You try to grab at me and I do not consent

You think that I am beautiful and I do not consent

I have told you I do not consent and it means I don’t consent. Unless I say I do.

The above is a random list of situations and reasons that girls are sexually harassed or abused in daily. There are many more than what I’ve listed, which I find deeply disturbing and disheartening. I know I am just one person but my hope is that maybe my words will be enough to bring comfort to anyone reading and spark much needed change.

body

About the author

Marissa Luna ☽❁

*Celestial Creatress

*Heartspace Healer

*Maker of Magic

*Weaver of Words

~May you find inspiration, encouragement, safe haven and soul resonance here~

Follow me on insta: @musingsofamoonflower

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.