minor SA

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Blueberry

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minor SA
« on: September 14, 2018, 12:40:58 AM »
I was lying in bed reading a novella, set in 1830's rural Britain, but written recently. I couldn't keep going reading a children's book, but a much darker adult book, yes.

Maybe it was time for the realisations?? An uneducated but bright farm girl is sent to the manse in the village to help the sickly wife of the vicar. Eventually the vicar starts touching the girl's legs and putting an arm around her. She hates that but allows it to happen. It goes further....

Me too. I've been touched repeatedly over the years since I was about 18, often just a hand on my leg or an arm around me. I freeze and allow it to happen with excuses in my head like "the man just means it in a friendly way" or "it doesn't mean anything". In my case, I'm lucky, it never has gone any further. One time possibly because a young woman my age told me in no uncertain terms to be careful, to avoid a particular man, so I did. Yet I still allow it to happen. I still freeze and scrunch myself up in my clothes, but I don't say anything.

How did I get in this state? Partly it's that "rude" thing I grew up with. Saying "No" was rude, especially saying "No" to an older person. Partly it was probably the indifference at home. What I'm remembering particularly with this novella is: me needing to get a signature from a college professor and just the atmosphere in the room. I was across the table from him so he wasn't even touching me but he was enjoying his power over me, keeping me in there for about an hour. The status difference, power difference and the male exploiting that. When I mentioned it at home, that the prof had held me in there for an hour, enF jocularily remarked "What? He held you on his lap?" As if there's no other way to hold somebody in a room. I think M was in the background, she didn't say anything. I may have said "Noooo." to enF but I didn't try to explain. There wouldn't have been a point.

Affirmative action was new back then. F, M, B1 - they all raged against it. I was actually against it too, I believed a lot of what I heard from FOO all the time. I never would have even imagined getting help at college for myself, like going to the Women's Rights at Student Union. Idk if it was called Women's Rights, but there was certainly somewhere like that. Anyway, I'm sure I could have got the right to speak to another prof with the right to counsel students on the next courses to take. In this case instead I dropped out of the second subject I was majoring in and majored in only one. Because I couldn't deal with the atmosphere in the prof's room. Because I didn't know how to get help. Because "feminism" was a bad word at home (I still lived with FOO) and getting help as a female was wrong somehow.

Had I got in 'real trouble' like this poor unfortunate farm girl, FOO would have asked me how on earth I could have been so dumb as to get pregnant.

M, F, B1 they all claimed back then to be feminists, they probably still do claim that. They missed teaching me to protect and stand up for myself and not allow SA to happen. 

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Blueberry

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 12:44:06 AM »
I notice now that just with my Subject title, I'm minimising it all. I guess I'm being mindful noticing.

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Three Roses

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 02:08:35 AM »
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In this case instead I dropped out of the second subject I was majoring in and majored in only one. Because I couldn't deal with the atmosphere in the prof's room. Because I didn't know how to get help. Because "feminism" was a bad word at home (I still lived with FOO) and getting help as a female was wrong somehow.

No words, but I have a  :hug: for you if you want it.

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Blueberry

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 02:06:51 PM »
Thank you 3Roses.  :hug:

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sanmagic7

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 12:16:25 PM »
i've been in those types of situations myself, one even with my mom.  fear of upsetting the apple cart, disturbing the power structure which would result in a possible detriment for me.  in the case of my mother, i let her do it cuz it seemed important for her, so i denied my own feelings about it.

i do believe, blueberry, that we were taught well and often how to not stand up for ourselves, not have boundaries, and allow 'minor' violations (to say nothing of major ones of all kinds of abuse) to go on, over and over.  i think it's a measure of the health we've recovered for ourselves to be able to see these things now in retrospect for what they were and are.

it's just all a shame we weren't taught what we needed to know, weren't believed and supported at the time.  the one good thing for all of us is that the fog is beginning to lift and we're able to see more clearly now.  right there with you, sweetie.   love and hugs all the way.

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Kizzie

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 05:02:47 PM »
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They missed teaching me to protect and stand up for myself


And the "why" of this is so important as San touches on in her response.  Those who use their power in this way don't want us to be able to stand up for ourselves because of what's going on with them, what they need from us.  We are required to sacrifice ourselves for them.  (This came up in my EMDR session on Thurs - my parents taught me dire things would happen if I stood up for myself and they often did.) 

Great to see that you're figuring things out BB, it really is a measure of your progress imo  :applause:   

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Blueberry

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 05:36:52 PM »
  Those who use their power in this way don't want us to be able to stand up for ourselves because of what's going on with them, what they need from us.  We are required to sacrifice ourselves for them.  (This came up in my EMDR session on Thurs - my parents taught me dire things would happen if I stood up for myself and they often did.) 

 :yeahthat: Thanks for finding words for me, Kizzie. It was especially B1 who taught me that in the past with physical abuse. Now almost all the adults in FOO are doing it since they just don't want me to individuate, become a real adult with ideas, wishes and the ability to articulate and even enforce these.

Sorry you have a past like that too Kizzie :hug: but it's great to hear how EMDR is moving you forwards :thumbup: :)

  Great to see that you're figuring things out BB, it really is a measure of your progress imo  :applause:

Thank you  :)

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Elphanigh

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 04:56:58 PM »
Thank you for touching on this Blueberry. First this is such huge progress to be recognizing it, and even more to realize the title was minimizing so making an effort to watch this. I think we all minimize these things. Kizzie and San have such great words for the reasons why, so  :yeahthat:

Sending hugs if you want them  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2018, 05:57:50 PM »
Thanks for your response Elpha,  :hug: :hug: are great!

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LilyITV

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 02:29:56 PM »
Such an important post.  I have also been in situations where a man has put an arm around me and been a little too touchy-feely in general.  It's always an uncomfortable feeling, but I think it is drilled into us as women not to stand up for ourselves.  Honestly, I still don't have it in me to speak up for myself when it comes to these "minor" violations. 

And yes, I do think this kind of touching is something that we minimize as women.  Men don't touch other men in this way.  Could you imagine what a macho-type of guy would do if another man tried to put his arm around his shoulders, stroked his back, hugged, kissed cheek, etc.--all "minor" violations women are supposed to accept with a smile?

Although it is not the same thing as rape or other forms of sexual assault, it's kind of a slippery slope kind of thing I guess.  I have never been in a situation like the farm girl in that novella, but I could definitely see myself reacting in just the same way once the touching got to be more and more sinister. 

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Deep Blue

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Re: minor SA
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 02:52:15 PM »
I agree!

Last week I had a colleague drunk texting me and said how I need to hangout with him more and he could start to “dig me”.   Uh no! I have a husband!

I have a coworker that always gives me unwanted hugs and kisses.  He is scruffy and I don’t like the feel of his kisses on my cheek.  He calls me sis.  I don’t reciprocate that talk with him.

I have had people blow off a disagreement with another woman and call it a cat fight! Grrrrr double standards are upsetting to me.  I also notice that I have 20 people in my department.  Only 3 are women and yet we are the only ones ever assigned to teach psychology or sociology.  Sexism much???