The Pussies You Pass Through.
As scary as it may seem, Donald Trump is exactly what we need right now. His words and his actions are helping to reveal the underbelly of society.
He is bringing racism, rape culture, sexism, misogyny and so many other hugely important issues to the light, and I hope they can be healed. For all the progress we’ve made as a society, he represents the dying breed of patriarchy rearing its ugly head as it’s on the way out.
My stories are no different from other women and girls, and there are many who have it far worse than I do, but what I’ve come to realize in all of this is that our husbands, boyfriends, brothers, uncles, sons — all the men in our lives — don’t really know, and couldn’t possibly understand, just what we have had to — and continue to — go through as women.
They have no idea of the assaults, the stares, the gropes, the inappropriateness that we endure on a daily basis. They don’t know how it feels to be thought of as less than. To have our ideas so easily dismissed. To be viewed as weak. To be talked down to. They don’t know how this makes our skin crawl. How it makes us feel uncomfortable in our very own bodies. They don’t know, mostly because we don’t share it.
So, I encourage any man who might be reading this to ask. Ask the women (and young girls) who you are closest to, the ones you love and care about, ask them about their experiences. It puts it into perspective for you. It makes it real for you. And maybe that will help, because we need you right now. We need you to help create this shift in our culture. We need you to help raise our young men and our boys the right way.
We need you to lead the way to stop this, because for most of us women, we’ve learned that it’s safer to keep our mouths shut. It’s safer to let it go. It’s safer to keep walking. It’s safer to pretend it didn’t happen. It’s safer not to report it.
It all starts at a very young age. I can recall, early in my life, being overpowered and held down on the playground. Being grabbed, pushed and shoved. Being trapped at the top of a play structure in absolute fear of the two boys who kept me there. I remember being trapped in a bathroom with a boy who wouldn’t let me leave even as I was crying for my mother.
This behavior is often disregarded, and we’re told that it probably means they like us. Yes, boys who physically exert their power over us are the ones who like us.
As I got a little older, I can recall my ass being slapped as I walked down the hallway in school. I’ve had a boy come up behind me and grab my breasts like the infamous Janet Jackson album cover. I’ve had the strings of my bathing suit be pulled at so that they came undone in front of my peers.
At the age of maybe 11 or 12, I can recall innocently walking down the beach, and having grown men make lewd comments to me, far before my young mind even understood why. Only knowing that it made me feel very uncomfortable for those men to be commenting on my prepubescent body.
I remember being at a pool party in 8th grade, and a boy’s father openly and overtly commenting on girls’ bodies. 14-year-old girls. And most of the people there laughed it off, simply saying he was harmless.
I was somewhat of a late bloomer. The summer between my freshman and sophomore year in High School, I went up quite a few bra sizes. I came back that year much more well-endowed than when I left, and I saw the extreme change in the way I was treated by both boys and men. Yes, that included some of my male teachers. Boys who had zero interest in me the year before were suddenly taking notice.
And the increase in attention only made me feel that much uglier on the inside because I knew it was not me that they were interested in, rather the newly developed body I was trapped inside.
I’ve been inappropriately tickled and hugged by a family friend who later turned out to be a molester and pedophile. I’ve had numerous male coworkers, supervisors, managers stare directly at my chest before even making eye contact with me to ask a question or discuss a work-related issue. I’ve had guys take No or Stop as a cue to just try harder.
I’ve been followed down the street by an entire group of guys for longer than was comfortable, following me in and out of stores, endlessly commenting on my body and asking for my number. I’ve been chased down the street and grabbed by a homeless man. I’ve been scared for my physical safety countless times, especially in large crowds, concerts or parties because of the words and actions of drunk guys.
These are just a fraction of the things that I can remember, I also have memories that my mind won’t allow me to access. Memories that run much deeper than what can be expressed here.
The trauma and fear of being a woman is etched in the very cells of my being. It has been passed down to me from all those who came before me and had to endure so much worse. You see, it’s in my DNA. It’s part of my lineage and ancestry and it is very fucking real.
I know that the men in our lives can’t possibly fathom how this makes us feel. How vulnerable it is to be a woman. To this day I can’t walk down the street without being stared at. And it’s frightening because it’s a very thin line between staring and taking action. At any moment, I could be easily overpowered by a man.
How am I to know the difference between a man who stares at my body when I walk past, and a man who decides he wants to take my body as I walk past or maybe just grab me by the pussy?
This is the reality that we, as women, live every single day. And this is just a small piece of my story, and trust me, we all have them. This is why we need our men to stand with us. To rise to the role that they’ve been given as our protectors. To respect and revere women as the incredible creators of life.
These pussies that are so easily disregarded, objectified, used and abused are the same ones that you pass through to come into this world.
I’ll say that again for emphasis:
These pussies that are so easily disregarded, objectified, used and abused are the same ones that you pass through to come into this world and take your very first breath.
Stand beside us and stand up for us, not only when we are present, but more importantly, when we are not. Imagine the collective and generational healing that could occur if we all banded together to say: No more. This is not okay. We do not accept this.
Feminism is not a dirty word, and I hope you all are starting to see just how much it is actually needed.
Hera Bosley is the creative soul behind Mindful Euphoria, a place where she shares her thoughts and insights about spirituality and living a more mindful life. Her mission is to use her gifts as a healer and energy worker to inspire others to connect with their intuition and tap into their soul’s divine purpose.