Over 300 women have come forward to report decades of abuse by Larry Nassar. How is this possible? The fact that these women have various economic, religious and racial backgrounds tells us it is not about circumstances, but a deeper belief we all have as to our roles as females in this world.
The #MeToo movement is not about some bad men finally facing justice. It’s about the conditioning and behavior we’re taught is acceptable as males and females.
I recently read a conversation a woman relayed between her and her teenage nephew. He was telling her about this girl he really liked and that he had asked her out and she said no. “You know what you do now?” she asked. He responded, “I know, I know. Keep trying. Don’t give up.”
She vehemently replied, “NO! You leave her alone! She’s not interested!”
In overt and covert ways, males are taught that we are their sexual prey that must be conquered and…we as females internalize it.
Females are taught from a young age to accept abuse as the way males show affection (Billy keeps pulling my hair! It’s because he likes you, honey!) and to disregard our own feelings and discomfort.
We are trained to doubt our own feelings about what we’re experiencing from such an early age that when our internal compass goes off we don’t react, we become paralyzed and question our own distress.
This is really the question women should be asking. What is it we’re taught about our role in this world that leads us to doubt our own experience and stifle our voices in order to be appeasing and not cause trouble?
Pretending it’s about a few sick men and that when they see justice we’ll be safe again is a dangerous illusion.
Only when we begin to question the validity of the beliefs we’ve internalized regarding our roles as females will we get to the bottom of this and change the world for all of us.
That’s really what’s at stake here.