There’s No Such Thing as a Woman Who Has Never In Some Way Been Sexually Abused
When I use the term sexual abuse I mean any unwanted sexual gesture or comment that is either consciously or unconsciously meant to demean or objectify the other for one’s own pleasure. This definition can also be applied to the men who are coming forth to report their sexual abuse. Men talking about their experience is important and necessary. But here is the difference:
There are men who have been sexually abused.
There are men who have NOT been sexually abused.
There are NO women who have NOT been sexually abused.
Sexual Abuse Has Been Society’s Norm for a Long Time
I’m currently doing research on Paris in 1955 for my next book in my Juliana Series. I was thrilled to find a book called, “There’s No Place Like Paris,” that was actually published in 1955, the same year my characters go there! Such luck to find a book written from the perspective of an American seeing Paris in the fifties. It has charming tips like how to get your ticket for the Metro and how to manage your francs. It is filled with wonderful odd details that will help me to create a real fifties Paris for my novel, the kind of stuff that doesn’t get recorded in the history books. Here’s something else that doesn’t usually get recorded in history texts. Read the following quote by Helene McLean, the American author of “There’s No Place Like Paris.”
“And if you’re a lady with a lovely derriere, it may occasionally be pinched or patted by a stranger who really means no offense at all.
This gesture is merely a sign of aesthetic appreciation, and if you get wildly indignant, he’ll be surprised.” (p.31)
The idea that a stranger could freely touch your rear-end with no consequences, is becoming, I hope, abhorrent to us today. However, for decades, women have been told that men touching them in whatever way they chose or saying things they would not say to their wives was normal. Remember for most of history women had no power. They didn’t get to spew an opposing view point about being an object to this man. And as often happens people who are victimized begin to identify with the victimizer (Stockholm Syndrome).
I think it’s significant that the author is a woman and an American and sees no problem with what she’s written. Stockholm Syndrome was rampant in the fifties. Sexual abuse has been a world-wide norm for a long time. It’s good to be here to witness women beginning to break through it to create a new cultural norm.