Article by Summer Thompkins, Copyright 2018
HOW BEING PASSIVE IS HURTING OUR WOMEN!
When I was asked to write an article I was nervous, as at least 300 topics flew through my head as to what I would like to speak about. They all had a common theme however: sex work, femininity, and being a woman in today’s society. The last thing I wanted to do was restate articles, news headers, feminine agendas, and statistics. Instead I wanted to tell a story.
In my first year of college my English class read a story titled, “Lucky”. It was a truth telling, from the victims perspective, of her journey from being raped violently in college to what ensues thereafter (the healing, the information processing, police reports, etc.). In the beginning an officer tells her after she’s just been severely assaulted that she is ‘lucky’ she wasn’t killed, as the girl who was victimized earlier that year in the same exact location, had in fact been murdered. This was pointed out in class by the teacher as a focus point. She brought up the heinous idea that anyone in that situation could be considered lucky. That then opened my mind and my eyes to something that happens all too often in sex work, as a feminist, and as a woman in general, esp. when dealing with assault. We are made to feel that we are fortunate, lucky even, no matter what trauma, abuse, or inhumane treatment we are put through because we are so often quieted by the fact “it could have been worse.”
The Women’s March was an incredible historical gathering, but how often did you hear about “other women having it worse” in other countries, as a means to downplay those who did come out to support the march’s efforts? From a large scale to micro-aggressions, women everyday are made to feel guilty for their valid discontent. If your daughter, mother, sister, or wife told you someone today hurt her, would you tell her “People get hurt everyday! Relax honey.”
The passive approach towards these issues, and towards women/womxn* in general are becoming more dangerous. Women who go to authorities with concerns are met with disbelief, and all too often murdered thereafter by those they were reporting. Sexual assault in the entertainment industry has been called out louder than ever these past few years, and yet a celebrity who has been involved in multiple cases of sexual assault is President of these United States.
The solution starts at the root. There is never something too little or too large that you can do to help. One of the most important things we are missing as a society is: accountability. There is a weak backbone in the bodies of most when it comes to seeing a multitude of issues take place around us. Silence is often louder than words. Those who do not correct their fellow peers when they are: racist, sexist, or outwardly offensive are contributing to the problem. The police officer, by telling the victim she was “lucky” was contributing to the problem. By downplaying these traumas and tragedies we are allowing them to continue. By laughing it off, and saying “it was just a “joke” after calling a woman a “bitch/hoe/slut” you are contributing to the problem. It will not be until we take women seriously, and all of the passive, aggressive, and disrespectful narratives they are painted under, that we can move forward in women’s rights.
About The Author: Summer Thompkins is from Philadelphia, a 21 year old model, writer, feminist, and new contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To access additional articles by Summer Thompkins, click here: http://tonyward.com/2018/03/11/summer-thompkins-men-joke/