Everyone who cannot understand why these kind of stories won’t go away, I have a question for you. Have you ever been physically groped by a random stranger without your permission? Have you been cat-called in the street? Have you had someone mentally manipulate you in order to get what they want? Have you been pressured into something you didn’t want to do?
How many other questions have I got that prove there’s a problem everywhere?
No, you’re not that person. It’s okay, I know. Except, worryingly, so many people have the potential to be just that. After yesterday’s revelation that the UK’s most prolific serial rapist is gay, there are questions to be asked about how we go about the business of relationships in the 21st Century. It’s not just sexual either: if someone pisses you off, just how nuclear will you go in order to cause them as much damage as possible?
The opposite of course is probably more dangerous: those who can’t talk about abuse, as it destroys them from the inside out. After a week of exercise as a means by which people might part with cash to help others talk about their mental health issues, there’s the understanding we all have a phenomenally long way to go. It doesn’t help matters, of course, when you have rich white twats trying to cheat the system from the top down.
The missing factor in all of this, undoubtedly, is respect. Those who feel that influence, power or simply ego allows them to take what they want, without consequence, have existed in history since that bloke in the cave stole that other guy’s favourite club. It might have been a woman, but let’s face facts, more likely to be a guy. Sorry, men, but this is your world, and as long as it remains that way, lots of stuff stays shit.
I know lots of you don’t like the term feminism. That’s hugely obvious wherever I go on Social media. That one guy whose music taste I dismissed, the bloke who got upset when I couldn’t do proper grammar, the pedants and the blinkered who only see their world as mattering. You know them. You see them every damn day. The problem is, blocking and reporting that isn’t solving the problem. It’s ignoring it.
NOTHING gets solved if we all politely look the other way.
At some point, somebody has to stand up and make the difference. All of the victims of Reynhard Sinaga. Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. Without these people, prepared to expose their lives to public scrutiny, nothing ever changes. If you want the change, all that crap about becoming it actually does work. No, really, IT DOES. I can speak from personal experience. Stuff improves, at a cost. You have to accept the consequences.
That’s the kicker, this is never easy, or stress free. If all you really care about in life is no pain or drama, really, you are doing it wrong. These things happen regardless, the key difference when you dictate at least some of the terms is the potential good it can do you long-term. It’s why getting fit really is as difficult and stressful as it can undoubtedly be, but the benefits… honestly, they beat everything.
You have to trust yourself to take a leap in the dark.