Welcome, my child
I’m glad you came to play
The big bad wolf is muzzled
I couldn’t make him go away
There’s a nice, playful, dr. Seuss related prompt up today. I’m still processing the conversations I’ve had and read about sexual harassment and assault, sparked by the #metoo hashtag. So I’m feeling anything but playful.
Yesterday I did a lot of thinking around definitions of harassement, and when I personally consider something harassment or brush it of – and if that makes sense.
Today the concept of ‘victim’ is on my mind, because I’ve seen so many women say “I don’t feel like a victim”. For me, feeling a victim is feeling powerless. Something I want to avoid as much as I can. So it was easy to think there’s no #metoo for me: I’ve never felt a victim, so nothing happened. I realise it’s the other way around. I’ve had to deal with male behaviour that was out of line, uncalled for, etc. I didn’t feel a victim, but it was wrong all the same.
I do think I told my parents about the anonymous guy who flashed me when I was a teenager. There’s a funny word for it in Dutch: potloodventer (pencil peddler). It wasn’t funny, it was intimidating and it made me feel less safe.
I don’t think I ever told them rumours about my fourth grade teacher at the age of ten. Girls talked about that he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He never touched me, but I remember slapping him in the face with my upper arm, because his head popped up over my shoulder when I was drawing, sitting down at my school desk.
Yesterday, my brain tried to come up with excuses: maybe he was short sighted and that’s why his face was there? It wasn’t until I tried to picture my son’s teachers (one male, one female) THAT close to his body, uninvited, unexpectedly, that I could CLEARLY see that his face wasn’t supposed to be in a position where I had the possibility (and felt right) in slapping him with my upper arm. Personal space. My personal space.
There are so many thoughts going through my head that I find it hard to be articulate. I’ll just take this subject one day at a time. And take a break when I need one.