Excuse you: How you can change rape culture today

by Eman Fendi

It is the Year of the Woman.

In anything, in everything, now is the time to take the volume on your voice and amplify for the world to hear. You are not alone in the trauma, misogyny, power trips, pay cuts, sexual assault and all the unnecessary drama that come with being a woman. Sparks of political movements and revolutions are being seen globally in every country and whether you consider yourself a part of it or not, you are.

If it affects the woman next to you, it affects you; we are all connected one way or another and the idea of an empowering future with equality for all cannot happen without YOU. The biggest change you can start with:  your language. Not in cussing, but more in how you articulate your response towards others. Language is everything and has the power as well as the influence to change the tone in our political climate. We all blame society, but news flash, we are society.

The next time you hear a victim of sexual assault vent about her traumatic, forced episode with a rapist, your only response should be, ‘how can I support you?’ or ‘you have my unconditional love and support, I believe you’. There is no need to ask the question about what happened unless they vent on their own to you.

Rape Culture 101

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You are not taking down the police report nor are you in court for it; what happened is irrelevant compared to the damage that has been done to the victim. Support and love are everything in such a sensitive space; be the support. Be the love.

Moreover, don’t you dare ask a woman what she’s wear or where she is going ‘in that’.

Repeat after me: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR A MAN’S INABILITY TO CONTROL HIMSELF.

The idea that women should suppress their form of expression through wardrobe or travel due to a man’s inability to control himself, let alone be held accountable for it, is not her responsibility. This all comes from bad language; ‘men are this, women are that’, NO. Learn to view others as pure individuals; their decision is a reflection of them and them only.

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When a man makes an executive decision to violate a woman, HOLD THAT MAN ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS BEHAVIOR. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘when someone shows you their true colors, believe them the first time.’ This applies to everyone, regardless of their gender.

Having said that, the next time a woman is dressed in a manner that might not align with your personal beliefs or morals, remind yourself that it’s not your business. More importantly, allow her to be her. Liberation does not lie in wearing a bikini or wearing a burka, liberation lies in the choice. The same way you want a choice in who you are and what you do, make sure you are applying it to every. single. human around you.

The beautiful part about all this is how women are finding the courage in them to come forward and say things they could have never, ever said before. It’s such a beautiful thing to find the heroin you realize that your story is so important. There is no reason to underestimate yourself, who you are, your journey, where you are going and the value you bring to the table.

Repeat after me: I WILL NOT QUESTION MY VALUE.

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Good. Now that you acknowledge that, go take over the world babe.

Resources: Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

 

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