If you mention the names ‘Brett Kavanaugh’ or ‘Christine Blasey-Ford’, you’re sure to begin some type of discussion. Whether that discussion is a positive one or negative is a whole different ball game. I still can’t scroll through my Facebook feed without reading the (very heated) opinions of people – and while I’m not complaining, because I think the ability to express ourselves is great – it’s the one-sidedness that really gets under my skin. Conversations turn into arguments – arguments about Democrats versus Republicans, Liberals versus Conservatives, Men versus Women, etc. And these conversations aren’t even constructive half the time! They venture into that downward spiral that results in name-calling, belittling, and an all-out shit-show that encapsulates the Facebook world.
With the #metoo movement has come the downfall of some pretty massive careers – Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey, to name a few. It has helped many of those who have been sexually assaulted come forward about their experiences and expose those who have assaulted them; not only women, but men also. I was sexually assaulted over 10 years ago by someone I trusted and his best friend. I was also blackout drunk. I don’t remember anything prior to waking up while it was happening. And no, I never reported it, and I won’t. Because personally, I’m over it. I’m worth more. I’ve got so much more to live for than harboring resentment over people that mean nothing to me. So, while forgiveness is a choice and not everyone chooses it, it was my choice and that’s the route I chose to take. With that being said, I do support those who choose to report their attackers.
As a mother of all boys, I can also see where the fear of false accusations is coming from. As we see careers being destroyed and people being accused in the public spotlight due to word-of-mouth, I absolutely do worry about the future of my sons. What if, when they’re older, they piss off a girlfriend and she claims he assaulted her, even if he didn’t? What if, once they’re married, his wife files for divorce (let’s hope this never happens) and in an effort to make him look bad in court, she claims he raped her throughout their marriage? What happens then?
I don’t have the answer to any of these questions. But here is what I can say as a parent:
When it comes to raising our children, let’s raise them to respect everyone. Raise them around kindness in your homes. They watch the way you and your significant other speak to each other, and that’s what they will mimic. If they see your partner treating you like their maid, they will grow up to do the same thing. Serve each other. Love on each other continually. Forgive easily and often. Also, teach them not to place themselves in precarious situations. Let them know that no matter what, it’s ALWAYS okay to call you to come get them. Not every family is the same, but with peer pressure and the times changing, different kids will do different things. Make sure your kids are prepared and know how to be safe. Equally as important, let them know they can trust you, because if they can’t, they’ll stay in those situations.
In closing, we also need to stop poking fun at those coming forward. Sexual assault isn’t funny, no matter how long ago it was. It takes an incredible amount of strength and courage to admit that something like this has happened to you. Remember, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all…