Today’s post is incredibly fitting given the civil rights issues surrounding women today. Society has created an environment where women are suppressed, and only the strongest can fight their way to the top. Many men at the top have firmly established their masculinity in the suppression of women, and they program this into people at all levels using marketing, the media, cartoons, movies, newspaper articles, fashion, and yes, even schools. Even women are infected with this horrible programming, and they try to overtake other women. Starting at the age of 2, little girls underwear are scratchy, thin, uncomfortable and usually are trimmed with lace versus little boy underwear which often provide significantly more coverage, are made of thicker material, and don’t have scratchy lace. From there, it all goes downhill.
So, in order to understand this story, I need to take you back to my early 20s. I was a very different person than I am today. I wasn’t engaged, I wasn’t married, I didn’t have children, I didn’t have a career or any kind of serious profession, I hadn’t finished college, I didn’t know that women were allowed to have boundaries on their bodies, and the internet wasn’t what it was today. There was no Facebook, Twitter, and smartphones were a twinkle in someone’s eye. Growing up in a rape culture environment where I was groomed from early childhood that I wasn’t allowed to have boundaries on my own body created a young adult that thought my whole worth was in my sexual desirability. From the age of 5 uncles would hold me down, one in particular used to put my head right between his legs and fart until I was vomiting, and no one stepped in to stop him and save me. I was a kid who got spankings and soap in my mouth for disobeying, reinforcing that adults were allowed to hit me when they didn’t like what I was doing. When I heard about sexual assaults in town, my family members would immediately blame the woman and say things like, “well, I heard she runs around,” or another line was, “well, look how she dresses.” These were things I specifically heard in response to a woman being attacked at the Holiday gas station. Although the attacker had a past criminal history and he admitted he did it, people I loved and trusted still blamed the victim. When I was brave enough to tell people about my own sexual assault, I was accused of lying, and then I was heckled through email, text, and disgusting, harassing voicemail messages – from family.
There was a popular website that my boyfriend used to frequent because of its random and funny content. Once a year they would have this internet boob contest. Basically, women would submit their pictures, they were judged by people on the website, and the winners would get cash and prizes. I loved the way my body looked, and I realized that I had pretty amazing breasts using current societal standards, so I had him take pictures of me, and they were uploaded for submission. I won first place in the contest that year by a pretty wide margin. I got some cash and prizes out of the deal, and then I went on my way through life.
For the record, I’m not ashamed of these pictures. I’m proud of them. They are a beautiful snapshot in time illustrating my life at a certain point. I loved the way my body looked then in the same way that I love the way it looks now. These pictures are a reminder of who I used to be, and they are absolutely part of my life journey.
…and now let’s jump to today…
This morning I woke up to a text message sent by a woman named Michelle that lives in Florida. Not so ironically, I made a post on Facebook about my frustration with people who are cyber bullies, and I used an example from Michelle in the post. Whenever Michelle is angry at me she likes to throw out threats. She has told me that I deserved to be raped. She regularly calls me an idiot, a liar, tells me I spew shit out of my mouth, and if she doesn’t like my factual responses, she tells me to “just go suck some dicks in a parking lot.” This morning she sent me a text message that says, “P.S. (Name of sister’s ex boyfriend) has all your nude photos from the internet on his tablet.” I didn’t respond (because I was sleeping), so she continued with, “Do u realize that (ex-boyfriend) has those photos of you on his Ipad? The nudes, you posted on the internet?? Wants to make 1,000 copies, and circulate. At your local stores? Office… now do you see.” These texts were part of an overall blackmail attempt. She wanted me to take her abuse and shut up about it, or she’ll unleash my sister’s ex-boyfriend with my nude photos. Whatever.
Here’s what I learned from these texts:
- If Michelle is telling the truth, my sister showed her boyfriend how to find these nude pictures. Believe me when I say you have to really search and know exactly what you’re looking for to find them. I would consider it strange if my sister would want her boyfriend to see these pictures, but whatever. Different strokes for different folks, right?
- The fact that Michelle knows about these is because my sister is using her friends to try and shame me as a deflection and diversion technique to take the spotlight off of her.
- Michelle is programmed with rape culture, and she actively uses it in a predatory way as a weird negotiation technique to get me to do what she says/be on her side.
- Michelle is attempting to assassinate the character of my sister’s ex-boyfriend because she doesn’t want him talking to me about current events in my family’s life.
- Although Michelle is accountable for her own actions, she has been manipulated to contact me with this information because the person hiding behind Michelle doesn’t want to admit that she’s directly related to these text messages.
- The United States could probably include Michelle as part of a torture protocol, and it would be significantly more effective than the programs they have now.
- Cyber bullying is an epidemic problem, and people like Michelle are so full of stress, fear, anxiety, and pain that they try to make others feel as low as they do. This is also called “leveling.”
In some conversations with Michelle, I have reminded her that she doesn’t need to scream at me over the phone. She usually apologizes and just admits that she’s angry, and I tell her that her anger is her own, I’m not responsible for her feelings of anger, and she needs to work on redirecting it to the place it came from. I also remind her that the lowest common denominator to her severe stress is the person who’s sending her to harass me. Michelle allows herself to be USED as a phone and keyboard gangster – a full fledged cyber harasser.
I’m sure many of you have experienced people just like Michelle. They come to try and break your natural state of happiness and bliss by trying to create chaos. They gain power by destabilizing their victims, and that temporarily makes them feel better about their own problems without actually addressing or fixing their problems. Besides the fact that blackmail is illegal, this whole slut shaming and rape culture stuff has to stop. Trying to use photos someone took 15 years ago to illustrate who we are today is exceptionally short sighted. We grow and change dramatically between our early 20s to late 30s. The best response to blackmail is complete transparency and honesty, because it shows predators that there’s nothing they can do to block out our sunshine. As the information age continues to evolve, I believe we’re moving into an age of transparency. The webs of lies that people spin will be dissolved, so if you don’t do your work, you’ll be left with a some really bad feelings and sensations.
Here’s my advice (and believe me when I say, I take my own medicine):
Do your work. Clean out your closets. Wash your dirty laundry. Hang it all out to dry. Be authentically who you are and have been. Own it. Take responsibility for it.
…and ultimately, accept who you have been, who you are today, and get excited for who you hope to become tomorrow.
With all my love,
The Guru Girl