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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blame

I was at a school, talking to a principal the other day. He mentioned that he was having some problems with some inappropriate sexual behaviors on the part of his students, and was struggling with how to deal with it. He said, "I keep telling these young ladies, they need to watch themselves. They are all flirtative (his word) and lead these boys on. Then there are hormones involved, and you get a bad situation. These girls need to learn how to draw some boundaries!"

I choked back my first response, which was to grab the nearest clue by four and whap him upside the head with it. SERIOUSLY??? These girls, because they flirt, deserve unwelcomed fondling and being told that they are "owned" by these boys? Holy victim blaming! If these girls are supposed to be held responsible for their behaviors, why the hell aren't the boys? Don't they have equal responsibility for their behaviors? Or are they to be excused because "they can't control their hormones?" (Not saying that the girls "deserved" this, because I sure as hell don't believe that...just pointing out the obvious misogyny.) I don't think that this particular man realized how insulting he was being to these boys!

I guess this will not be the only time in my professional dealings that I will have to deal with a man, however well intentioned, who is trying to control a female's sexuality. He probably did not even realize that he was expressing such internalized misogyny. I just hope that it will get easier to deal with as time goes on. I am still shaking mad about this. It has been said before, but it definitely bears repeating: The only way to not be sexually assaulted/raped/molested/harassed, etc., is to avoid being in the same place at the same time as a rapist/sexual assaulter/molester, etc. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT A WOMAN OR MAN DOES OR DOES NOT DO!!!!

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