A Civilized Conversation with Chelsea Handler

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Which side are you on?

I’m scared.

Scared of the world we live in and the current climate with respect to sexual violence against women. This past year has impacted survivors in ways I’ll never be able to convey.

We are proud of ourselves for speaking up, for taking our voices back. Proud to know that because of women like us, Harvey Weinstein, will never hurt another soul or be able to abuse his power.

And he learned what happens in the dark will always come to light

In the next breath I’m sad and devastatingly broken. I say this because there are women that continue to support Donald Trump despite knowing how much of a sexual predator he is. Knowing his misogynistic views on women, his absurd views on equality yet willing to turn a blind eye. It hurts me to know this. It hurts me to know that some of our sisters are so delusional they’ll believe anything a man feeds them. The man was caught saying he grabbed women by the pussy, what more do you need?

I’ll never understand how a woman can rip another woman apart. In this day and age it’s so important to show women and children that if we stick together, nothing can stop us. Women face discrimination and harassment on a regular basis why would you want to be part of the problem?

If you’re not the oppressed, you’re the oppressor full stop.

How do we stop this? How do we as women move forward when even our sisters are trying to hold us back? Its a shame, really, because us women are fighting for all of you. For your rights. For your equality. We don’t care whether you believe us or not we just want to know that nobody has to suffer through what we did.

When women support other women, beautiful things happen. When women stay silent, they’re part of the problem. If you sit by while a man harasses a woman, if you shit all over a woman in front of a man, what do you think it does? It shows them that it’s okay. That we are willing to accept this. With Donald Trump in office men are more aggressive than ever. Now that men have witnessed a sexual predator climb to the highest office in power men speak and attack more openly. They no longer hide their disdain towards woman. They’ve been shown that it doesn’t matter if you commit sexual violence and it’s making men step out in ways they may never have before because they were waiting for a push.

In a world currently divided, I hope you’re on the right side. I hope you speak up for injustice and I hope you believe in your sisters as we’re doing this for all of you.

What steps do you take to avoid sexual assault?

Social researcher Jackson Katz asked hundreds of men what steps they took on a daily basis to avoid sexual assault.

Katz states:

“At first there’s a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. Then the silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally a young guy will raise his hand and say ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states ‘Nothing, I don’t think about it.’”

The column on the right is what women answer.

Misconception

I’m drawing a line in the sand. If you don’t support women, get the fuck off my page.

This morning I came across a video of Donald Trump speaking to the people of Mississippi that still has me shaking in anger. After Dr. Ford finished her testimony, President Donald Trump, stated Dr Ford had a very compelling testimony. The man then proceeded to turn around and make a mockery of her testimony while speaking to the people of Mississippi. Laughing with the crowd at the very words Dr Ford said.

As someone who recently had to stand and face her attacker while speaking to the events of a night I never want to remember but will never forget I am broken. I’m broken for Dr Ford, women and our nation as a whole.

The strength it takes to speak up, to sit across from the man who raped you, to be traumatized and victimized again and again just to speak up for what is right is gut wrenching. Nobody should have to sit through baseless “suggestions” from opposing council that you wanted to have sex with your attacker, that you wanted the attention or that you in fact convinced him to have sex with you. But we do. We do this because we don’t want anyone to ever endure what we have. Because we want that man to realize what happens in the dark will be brought to light. Because we’re letting men know that if they hurt us, there will be repercussions.

And for the women who support these men, the women who defend them? Shame on you. Shame on you for standing up for a monster. Shame on you for victimizing the victim. Shame on you for not looking at cold hard facts because you so desperately want to believe you son, husband, father or boyfriend isn’t capable of something like this. I’m disappointed in you not only as a woman but a human being.

Now I want to speak to the biggest misconception surrounding all of this:

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE ISN’T CONVICTED DOES NOT MEAN THEY DID NOT COMMIT THE CRIME.

The system is broken. The odds are never in a victims favour despite being the victim because the government would prefer to let one rapist go than convict one innocent party. And for anyone who wants to argue that victims lie and these men are innocent I have some cold hard facts for you:

“Research for the Home Office suggests that only 4% of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false. Studies carried out in Europe and in the US indicate rates of between 2% and 6%.”

So why do we speak up? What’s the point? Why allow someone to berate us and tell us what their client is paying them to say didn’t happen? Why do we put ourselves through a year of waiting just to go to trial? Because we have to. Because we’re tired of this and the only way this changes is if we keep talking. The more we speak, the less our voice shakes.

Trials rarely fall in the victims favour but you know what? That man will think fucking twice before assaulting another woman.

I found my voice, I won’t lose it.