If you haven't heard of the Brock Allen Turner rape case, Google "Stanford Rape Victim Letter" and be prepared to be very very angry. If you have heard of this case, on top of all the high profile rape cases of the last several years, you will understand the inspiration for the following.
I have a daughter. Currently she is six-years-old. She is my only child. The only child I will ever have from my body. She is my light and love and life. She is the person who taught me what love is. She is the reason I left my husband and have worked so fucking hard to make myself a healthier, happier, more complete human. She is outgoing and brave and fast. She is annoying and intrusive and doesn't respect anyone's privacy but her own. She can talk non-stop, or not at all. She has ADHD and impulse control issues. She is going to be taller than I am, soon.
She is being picked on at school by a boy in her class.
If anyone tells me, or her, that any boy teases, pushes, pokes, pinches, harasses, annoys, bothers, verbally denigrates or otherwise hurts my little girl, is doing it because "he likes her"... I will get violent.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that's the very first step toward the culture that allows a convicted rapist to be sentenced to THREE MONTHS of jail IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY because his life shouldn't be too harshly affected by his "mistake."
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that is the beginning of the lifetime of conditioning that men receive that tells them if they want something, they get it.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that "boys will be boys" is why rape victims are asked "What were you doing? What were you wearing? Why were you out alone? Why did you drink alcohol? Do you have sex? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have sex with your boyfriend? Do you cheat?" And on and on and on...
That attitude is why rape victims are victimized over and over and over.
That attitude is why rape is vastly under reported.
Men and boys are not the default, the desired, the primo members of society. They share this planet with women and girls. They are responsible for their actions in the world and to the people around them. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. They are not gods. They need to know that if they want something, and they can not have it, it is not theirs for the taking. INCLUDING PEOPLE! Women and girls are not put on this earth to satisfy the desires of men and boys. We are here together. We are in this together.
Ever hear the phrase "fake it 'til you make it?" How about the concept of acting something until it becomes natural? Like faking confidence for public speaking until it becomes easy?
Men... Especially those men who have this idea that they are allowed access to anything their greedy little hearts desire... WE ARE IN THIS WORLD TOGETHER. Fucking act like it. Act like you understand that women have autonomy. Act like you respect those around you to have their own lives, their own desires, their own accountability. Act like if there is an incapacitated human being, you will protect that person from harm, even if there is a part of you that is horny and frustrated. Act like the hero that person needs. Act like this until you feel it. Act like this until you believe it. Act like this until it is TRUE.
Do not "act out."
I'm Kirsten. Some things you could label me with; tattooed, geek, mama, animal lover, weirdo, nerd, writer, movie and TV addict, lazy, ambitious, insomniac, feminist, LGBTQ+.