The #metoo ‘movement’ is upsetting me so I turned away from news and Facebook. I have difficulty with the negative reactions from ‘everybody’ to women sharing their painful stories. There is a (not so) funny thing to sexual abuse; in my life every man seems to take this heroic stance against it saying things like “If that happened to my girlfriend/daughter I would kill him/cut his balls off and feed them back to him blabalbabla.” But in reality these are the same guys who say things like:
“Now we’ve gotten this far I’m not gonna stop.”
“You want this as bad as I do, I just know it.”
“He meant that as a compliment, not an insult, you can’t go around being offended all the time somebody you don’t know squeezes your ass?! I mean, what would life look like?!”
“If you don’t want the attention you should not have looked at him in the first place.”
“See how she walks, she is asking for it.”
“So why did you go kissing with him anyway?”
“Well, you knew him, it is not like you did not know him and he grabbed you from the streets.”
In one case it was actually a person who stood by laughing when one of his friends pushed his fingers in my vagina. I was 12, it was not wanted, it hurt. I was scared, trembling, fighting in the water. The lifeguard whom I told later spit out: “Go away you, with your, dirty words”.
In my life that is more reality than the killing and cutting off balls. When later in life I told boyfriends, they worry about themselves, about them having picked ‘damaged goods’. The did not worry about me. They just wanted to know, if not know, when I would be ready for sex. To that I got responses about the wrong choice of men. There should be a third hashtag, one that says:
This Friday I had a meeting with a guy from another factory which happens to bake cakes. Opposite the street a blond woman with a short skirt, red high heels tried to open a front door of a office building. She was carrying a box which looked like a cake box and then suddenly tilted it over. We both gasped and then started laughing; ‘Guess there was no cake in that box after all.” He continued: “She works there with 5 guys, only women in the building and she dresses like that.”
“What does that mean to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you comment on her dressing like she does, but what conclusions do you, as a man draw from what you see?”
I was just really curious, specifically because I could not ‘find’ the woman ‘feelingwise’ – it was like she had dressed up a doll and she was the doll. I felt a big, big disconnect between possible dressing ‘signals’ and behaviour of the woman. So I was wondering how he perceived it – as a man. Come to think of it: wearing 12cm high heels to the office is strange even in the Netherlands but it was Friday so maybe she had an after work party.
“Well, I am wondering if she is looking for something.”
“Something like a relationship or approval for her looks?”
“Yeah, I mean, she is drawing attention to herself. Well, obviously she could be wearing that just because she likes it and it makes her feel good…” (This man has been trained well with politically correct answers, ghegheghe….)
“What bothers me in this whole ‘look what she is wearing’ discussion in this world is the following: For men to be sexy to women they just have to be strong and impressive and make themself seen with decisive, manly behaviour. Whenever you see a man behaving strong and impressive, there is NO-ONE, LITERALLY NO ONE judging him for being too sexual. Have you, in your life, ever told toughest guy of the group to tone down because he is ‘asking for it?’
“Gheghe, no…..” (laughing at the idea)
“The biological AND cultural idea behind women is that they are supposed to be beautiful. That is engrained in our culture. It is what women, girls, babies, well, no matter what gender, everybody grows up with. And the second one women does whatever she grew up with, for whatever reason there is this judgement about her sexuality. First:it is not for anybody to judge. Just. Not. And specifically not if we are not prepared to hold men to the same standards. What is it in this world that we judge a women by their sexuality first and foremost. As in; always and everywhere. And then that it is normal and ok?!
“Eh, yeah, eh, true… hmmm….” (looking surprised at the novelty of the idea)
Secondly: it is often not HER sexuality you are judging, it is your, my, our response to her sexuality which gets voiced. Like religious man who need a woman to cover herself up totally, because otherwise she is a “whore and leading men on, needs to be raped to show her her place.” (not my opinion btw). That is not about the woman, that is about the man who can not take responsibility for his own sexuality.”
“But you and I judging her dress like that actually is the same projection of our thoughts on her. Not saying there is no truth in it what we think, there could be, don’t know. But I do not think it is up to anybody to judge women like this, to hold them to different standards than we do men and thirdly: it says nothing about her, but all about what WE THINK OF her.
“I never thought about it like that.”
“Nope. It took me a while to figure this out. But I think it is important to realise.”
“Yeah.” (surprised but content)
I am happy that I quit, be it in a obliged, sort of struggling way. I have been visiting my GP every week for ‘check back’ and I think I am out of the suicide danger zone again. So I guess that is good. When down I don’t want help anymore. So I don’t really tell people. I don’t care anymore. Just don’t want to be trouble. Again.
Now I am here where I am I can not imagine that I can turn so dark. It seems to be a different world. Not that I am basking in light right now but, well, I am sort of, hesitatingly willing to give life another try. Which, I am very well aware, is a luxury position towards Life and can and possibly will offend anybody out there who is facing illness or accident or any other unwanted life threatening situation. 😦
Life wants to live, so when the environmental issues change the seeds will grow again. What I did this time around is to realise that and remember what my mom said: Next to having cancer and being sad about that, I can be happy. The one does not rule the other one out.
Guessing the homeopathic stuff has done its work too. First time I took it I was in heaven for a brief moment and then went up and down like an emotional roller coaster. Second time the good moments started to reappear. Third time I realised that I had not thought of killing myself the whole day. Guess that is progress and now I could even have the above conversation with this guy and not have any alterations in my blood pressure.
I still do not have any energy to actually take care of myself and that is difficult when trying to face this darkness. Work is effing tough. Not sure if I can hold on to this job when the contract ends. I am doing everything to get stuff done, which includes organising myself more and better and changing perceptions etc. But in the end it keeps on coming down to one point: if 20-30 people without management are not going to follow the rules my boss and I have set I am out of a job. I have very little influence on the crowd because I am not in the chain of command and I am not allowed to be there. Sometimes I am, but then bossman takes it back. So recipe for disaster and destruction of energy. Boundaries are good but haha, not my greatest asset. 😀
What would a woman who loves herself do? She would put on socks because her feet are freezing, painful and blue.
Why is it soooo difficult to take care of me? ‘Because you are worth it’ springs to mind. I do not think I am worth it. Not sure how that thought got there. Guess somewhere I drew the conclusion that I am not worth it. I can’t give what I don’t have. Same goes for parents. I guess my insisting on care from my mom confronted her with her own limited energy and lack of self-care. #Shetoo.
I salute my possibility to end a post which at least somewhere had a positive ring to it on a low note.:-D Sigh.
Ok, one more thing, I just searched the internet for ‘why is self-care so difficult’ Found a nice one which runs along with the work stress:
Tim Kreider puts his finger on the problem, writing in a 2012 New York Times blog that “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy…”
Another blog stays things about shame. I guess I am actually healing because I just looked that up! Yay!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
I have turned on the heater, it was 15 degrees in the house so no wonder I was cold.
Thank you for reading, thank you for sticking with me during these times.
I am happy that I quit! That what comes after is not easy, I guess it is the darkness I preferred to drink away. When I read back I notice that I still shift emotions like I’m in an emotional roller coaster. Looking at it from the outside it is really strange. I don’t want to do the work I have to do to get myself sorted out. I feel I have already done so much and it is not fair and…. very often not rewarding because things just hurt a lot. As in ‘just hurt’ the whole day. Like I am missing the outer layer of skin all over and specifically on my heart.
Wishing you a nice Sunday/evening/day/new week.