I have tried staying silent, acting as if I didn’t hear them (although of course, they know that I did). I have tried the subtlety of sad or annoyed head shakes, the more emboldened “That makes me uncomfortable”, I admit I’ve even escalated to showing one particular finger. Today, when my body was objectified and suggested to be put on this man’s own leash as Sophie and I briskly walked past, I tried yet another tactic - simply a grimacing, “Not cool, man”. Vulgar yells and curses on me and my boyfriend’s relationship followed.
It has taken me decades to love and connect with my body. To not hate, hide, and push it away. Decades of appreciating its abilities and characteristics, wearing what feels good and makes me feel enlivened over hiding every curvature and feature under layers and layers - even in stifling hot summers. Only to have this progress shoved backward every time Sophie and I take a walk down the street. Streets where I’ve rebounded back to long coats and clothing that hides as much of my body as possible, my face carrying a stern “don’t fuck with me” as I try to enjoy the break away from my computer screen and the company of my happy pup. Still, my body - my being - is attacked.
I have lived in nearly every form of community around the world. I have slept with a knife and pepper spray in each hand, and I have slept completely open between earth and stars. I have never been in a place that does not harbor objectification. I have researched case studies of women opting to stop and educate such commentators that their words are in fact a form of abuse. Others have played into the harassment in hopes of making the abuser uncomfortable by beating them at their own game. Some say we need to just stay silent and keep walking. Some say we need to speak up. I’ve been analyzing these methods since I was 8 years old.
My conclusion: none of those methods will resolve this global problem. We must dig into the root - the men who have been brought up to fear life-giving Feminine power and thus forcefully bury it down deep enough for the woman to forget she ever was divine.
We are deep into the Age of Aquarius, the Year of the Rooster, year 2017 and not 1817. Voices are rising, female energy is unshackling, Truth is being remembered. Some men honestly believe their words are complimentary. Some honestly believe it makes them appear more masculine around their pack. Some don’t associate any thought, they just do as they’ve seen their elders do. It is time to prune the roots. Every child decides how life is best navigated for safety and success based on what they witness. Boys need to see that honoring female spirit grows their own divinity in return. Girls need to see that their bodies do not have to be hidden because men will otherwise act dangerously or be unable to appropriately process their own arousal.
Enough is enough. Life will not continue if we continue to push another down. By lifting others, we too rise. Silence is not the answer, nor is outburst. It’s time to pick up our shovels, compassion in one hand and resilience in the other, and start digging.