In my recent life I’ve come to know more about “boundaries” and “consent”. I’ve read Brene’ Brown’s books and it has helped me realize how messed up this country is, and moreover the world when it comes to “taking liberties”.
For sure the majority of women are taught at a very young age that boundaries are not what we have when it comes to men. Many men for sure are taught they have certain liberties because of their gender.
I can vividly remember that my Dad had boundaries with us girls and we had boundaries when it came to wearing certain things around the house.
However, I also can vividly remember being told my uncles were just being boys when we were told to take down our panties and pee in front of them. I can remember my Mom saying “that’s just boys”.
I can remember when my grandfather put his hands on our shoulders or legs it didn’t feel good, neither did how he kissed us in the mouth. That was also seen as acceptable. I had mixed messages.
Boundaries are just not the norm in society. Consent is often not given and we are taught to make ourselves a target. Certain behaviors are seen as “hidden consent” and the cycle continues.
No boundaries mean consent in the minds of many men. If a woman doesn’t say no and even if she does, it means they want it anyway. There is a no win in many cases.
For me personally, I couldn’t get NO! out of my mouth. I had to force myself. I wasn’t taught to say no.
Especially to someone older, that I had been told I should respect. Don’t and stop both mean NO! When will we teach and enforce rights to say no at any point of any interaction regardless of gender?
After hearing about the issue in Ireland recently where wearing a thong meant you wanted it, considered automatic consent, I was outraged. It sickens me that we are still carrying around the beliefs that women are responsible for men’s actions.
I see we still haven’t come very far in the evolution of women’s rights to their bodies and their desire for sex.
I wonder at times raising two daughters what is it going to take? How many centuries will pass before we teach boundaries and consent?
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