The real danger in not standing up for yourself
I have a hard time forgiving people who don’t stand up for themselves, but only because they often try stop others from doing it too.
A few years ago, my partner was touched inappropriately by a faculty member at Goddard College where he was pursuing his MFA. As often happens in cases of sexual harassment, the community turned against the victim, victimizing him further and even villainizing him to preserve a sense of everything being okay with their institution. (Read a full account of David’s experiences here.)
Before this happened, I had had experiences with violation of my person—I’d been touched in ways I didn’t want to be touched by perverts in movie theaters, by creeps on public transportation, and once even by a man I was seeing. But I had never witnessed up-close an institution allowing and, to some degree, encouraging harassment. Having been through this with David has made me acutely aware of how peer pressure is not just an adolescent issue, and it has taught me that shutting up is not an option.