I know this post will be one of my most controversial posts I’ll ever compose but, hear me out before you automatically turn the other cheek. After all, I do enjoy debate and hearing other people’s opinions on hot topics!
Before I joined the military, my aunt and I had a very heated argument about my decision to enlist. It wasn’t about the fact that I was enlisting, it was the fact that I’d be entering a male-dominant world, and she was concerned about my safety. I already knew what type of domain I was stepping into, and I knew that I could also take care of myself in those types of situations… And, unfortunately, yes, those situations have happened to me. I’m not immune to sexual harassment and I’m not special to avoid those situations. I’d like to say that I’ve left those situations “unscathed” in a way, and I prefer not thinking about them, but its campaigns like #MeToo that remind me of the situations and how very wrong we’re approaching it.
The massive “witch hunt” that’s circulating Hollywood right now is no different than what occurred in the Air Force in 2012, when a lot of former trainees came forward with sexual assault allegations against their training instructors. Then it transformed into a wider issue, spanning all over the Air Force. Now, I’m not discounting everyone’s story because I understand that initially coming forward can be scary – you get a lot of doubt stuck in your head that maybe you’re exaggerating things, maybe people won’t believe you. Its unfortunate that those who have real and valid claims are overshadowed by people who are more open and probably not speaking the whole truth… and the actual truth behind their claim is to get some type of recognition, beit positive or negative. It doesn’t really matter at that point, it’s attention; however, in no way am I discrediting anyone’s story or situation, but I feel that they should be treated in a more private manner.
Maybe I feel this way because I’m somewhat of a private person myself, but I’m more than willing to share my experiences on a personal level if you asked me. I hate attending sexual assault prevention classes or the like, mostly because there is, at least, one individual who opens up like a canary; sometimes, they don’t even need prompting to begin sharing their story. Can you call it bravery when someone is completely open about sharing something so private in open forum? For me, the answer is no. Yes, we all like to share some sort of experience to make ourselves relatable, but in this day and age, I just feel like people need validation – that its almost cool to be the victim of any sort.
IF we are empowering people to stand up and speak out against their assaulters, shouldn’t we empower people to every prevent this from happening? Again, I get it, we’re not always able to protect ourselves from the unknown. Hell, I know that considering that it happened to me twice already… but we should probably slow our applause when someone is so open and detailed when it comes to remembering their experience. Give them the tools to be successful, and I’m sure we can protect ourselves.
Another thing about how we’re treating sexual assault in this day and age is that we’re empowering the victim and shunning the perpetrator but, what if the victim is not telling the truth? What if the stories, the accusations were false? At that point, when everything’s said and done, it doesn’t matter if the accused did or didn’t commit any offenses. Their name has already been dragged in mud and there’s no coming back to that. We should also be more selective in how we go about pressing charges against the accused instead of lighting them up ASAP.
I’m truly sorry if this happens to offend someone, but like I said earlier, I am willing to discuss/debate on my point of views. How are you feelings about how we’re treating sexual assault cases?