I've started this post off with about 17 different opening lines so far, but none of them have been able to get across my deep seated frustration at what I see happening to victims of sexual harassment and assault. Frankly, frustration is probably too mild of a term. Seething anger may be a more apt description of how I feel. All too often, even when the victims are believed, they are still blamed for what happened to them. They are told they shouldn't have put themselves in that situation, they should have dressed differently, they should have had less to drink, they simply misunderstood, or a myriad of other bullshit excuses, designed to shift the blame onto the victim, instead of the perpetrator. How about we start holding those who can't keep their hands to themselves, responsible for their own behavior? Let's stop making excuses. Stop saying boys will be boys, as if rape and harassment are inherent to being a man. Stop saying it's locker room talk. Quit gaslighting victims. Why do we place so much of the responsibility and the guilt onto those who were exploited and hurt, all the while doing everything we can to protect the one responsible for the damage?
I could split this post off into several different tangents, including how when the victim is man, we treat them even worse, but I won't, because it all comes down to the same thing. We need to stop acting like the victim is responsible for bringing down these powerful men, and women, and start blaming the perpetrators themselves for ending their own careers.
We need to do better.
We have to do better.