Why I’m Not Okay With “Locker Room” Talk

Okay, everyone, let’s get one thing out of the way before you read this: if you are planning on commenting on this post about Donald Trump saving this nation and how Hillary Clinton should be behind bars, stop reading now and for the love of God, please don’t comment.

If you follow me on social media, then you know that I definitely would consider myself a liberal, I was a huge Bernie Sanders supporter, and now I’m very obviously voting for Hillary Clinton. My vote was decided before this 11 year old video was released. My vote was decided before Trump’s running mate and “fellow” Republicans began pulling support from him. So, let’s just take politics out of this entire scenario and talk about “locker room” talk.

Maybe it’s because I’m a girl and I’ve never been in a men’s locker room to hear what “someone” is saying is apparently quite common. However, I can tell you that I know plenty of guys who play(ed) sports and even they have announced (and/or told me) that these types of things are NOT said in locker rooms. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some pretty vulgar things said, but the ideal of forcing oneself upon a female is NEVER discussed.

I guess my definition of “locker room” talk is guys saying things like, “Oh, she has a nice rack,” or “Dang, she’s hot.” I just never would’ve thought that something like, “…oh, I’d grab her by the p****,” would be something that guys would talk about. Maybe I’m wrong, but forcing one’s self upon a female is not something that most people would brag about.

For those of you who are going to want to chime in on the comments section and say, “Oh, boys will by boys. They don’t actually mean that,” YOU are part of the problem. We live in a society where a simple “no” from a girl isn’t enough for a male to quit his advances. A girl saying, “I have a boyfriend” is taken more seriously than a girl simply denying a man’s advance. We live in a world where objectifying women isn’t looked down upon because it’s become NORMAL is this society. How sad is that? I don’t go a single day without hearing some sexist comment said about another woman, but I don’t even react. Most women don’t. We live in a world where women are “equal,” but don’t have the same basic rights as men.

Did you know that women still make 80 cents to every man’s dollar? Did you know that women only make up for 4.2% of CEO positions in the United States? Did you know that women only make up about 20% of Congress? And sadly, women are 4x more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence than men.

Let me rephrase and repeat if you didn’t understand the first time: Every 1 in 4 women will experience sexual assault at some point in their lives. Think about that. Your sisters, mothers, grandmothers, wives, friends; some of them will more than likely face unwanted sexual contact (if they haven’t already).

So, no, Donald Trump. I don’t accept your apology. I don’t accept the fact that what you said is just “locker room” talk. I refuse to let you throw away that comment like it’s nothing. The fact that you think that your statement is socially acceptable in a locker room is just as disgusting as you saying it an office. And let me also point out that YOU WERE NOT IN A LOCKER ROOM. You were in a public place, surrounded by people and cameras, about to be taped about your appearance on a soap opera. What went through your mind that day when you decided bragging about trying to force yourself upon a woman was okay?

I refuse to let women (and people ) continue to think that it’s okay to make derogatory statements about women simply because it’s normal and you know that women won’t do anything about it.  That’s where this ends. I am standing up. I refuse to let my gender define me. I will not stand for people talking down to me simply because I’m a female.

I cannot support someone who condones objectifying women in a disgusting way. I cannot support someone who thinks that it’s okay to say things solely because he’s a man. And can I just say:

THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USING DIRTY WORDS AND GLORIFYING NONCONSENSUAL SEXUAL CONTACT.

I am done being treated like an object. I am over “boys being boys.” But most of all, I’m tired of rape being the center of jokes. I’m tired of girls accepting unwanted advances in fear of what men might do.

How about we destroy the idea that men should respect women because we are “their” daughters, mothers, and sisters. How about we reinforce the idea that men should just respect women.

Women are people, too.

 

DISCLAIMER: I do not think that all men force themselves upon women. I also recognize that men do have discriminatory things said about them AND that they are victims of sexual assault as well. This article is not meant to be a political stance against Donald Trump, it is meant to focus solely on this latest “mishap.”

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To My Grandparents

Some of my earliest memories I have are learning to ride a bike. I wasn’t able to learn at home because my only riding space was a gravel driveway that intimidated me way too much. So, one of the many weekends I spent in Springfield with you, I brought my bike along. All I can remember is riding in circles around the cul-de-sac with one of you behind me because I was too scared of you letting go. Then I was finally released, and I rode right into a dumpster. Now, maybe I’m exaggerating about running straight into it, but I know there was a dumpster involved and I ended up on the ground. Despite my best efforts to never again get on a bike, you encouraged me to get back on, and I learned how to ride that bike. It may not seem like much, but that moment has stuck with me throughout my entire life.

My life has been a rollercoaster to say the least, but the one constant in it all was you guys. From the countless tearful calls I made to you at late hours of the night, to the innumerable pep talks you gave me over the phone, all you guys have ever done is support me. Throughout middle school, every time I received a report card, you guys somehow knew, and called me after school to read off my grades. You guys never ceased to make sure I felt loved and that I knew that someone was proud of me. In high school, no matter what I was going through, whether it was boy drama, friend drama, or literally anything else, you were always there to lend an ear. If I got a bad grade, you were the ones I called because I knew that there was nothing that I could do to make you any less proud of me, and honestly, without that support, I’m not sure I would be the person I am today.

Two summers ago, when you took me to tour Mizzou, and I told you immediately that that was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life, and you told me that we would make it happen. And now, here we are, I’m a freshman at Mizzou! And I most definitely couldn’t have done it without you.

Pop Bob,

Thank you for being my dad. Thank you for stepping up when no one else wanted to. Thank you for being the most rational and loving person I know. When I was freaking out or just needed someone to talk to, you were the first person I wanted to call. You’ve never ceased to amaze me in how hardworking you are and you’ve never doubted me for a second, even when there was no reason for you to believe in me. I have no idea where I’d be if you weren’t in my life, but all I can say is thank you.

Nana,

I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve always been a Nana’s girl. From the time I was an infant, you’ve been the one that was able to calm me down, your home was the place I wanted to go and never wanted to leave. Thank you for the ungodly amount of time you’ve spent trying to make me the best version of me I can be. Thank you for being so proud of me and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You are who I strive to be when I “grow up.” I can’t imagine being as good as you, but I’m definitely going to try.

To the both of you,

Thank you for the hours you’ve spent listening to me talk about nothing (God knows I could talk to a brick wall if I wanted to). Thank you for letting me travel with you; those vacations are still the best memories I have. Thank you for making me the person that I am today. Without your guidance, I never would’ve believed that I could succeed as much as you always thought I could. Thank you for bringing me in. Thank you for making a place for me within your home. Thank you for making your home, my home, too.

You two are the greatest people I know. You’ve made me laugh and cry, made me mad, but also made me the happiest that I’ve ever been. You’ve believed in me. Fought for me. But most importantly, you’ve loved me. And that definitely couldn’t have been an easy task. You will forever be “my people” (Grey’s reference, in case you didn’t get it), and I can only hope that I become half the person that you guys are.

Love you so so much,

Stinky K. Bada Binky (Aka Stink)

Chapter 13: Life After High School

About 3 months ago to the day, I experienced the most amazing day of my life (as did many other 18 year olds): high school graduation. As liberating and great as that day felt, now the time has come where we’re all either moved into our college dorms, or we’re about to. We’ve been uprooted from the comfort of our parents’ homes and hometown familiarity and put into a cramped dorm room in a town that we’re not so familiar with.

That’s why I’ve created this blog. We went through 12 grades of school in our hometown, 12 chapters of our life. And now we’re moving onto a new chapter, chapter 13, our new lives as college students and adults.

This experience can be a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve gone from being incredibly homesick to feeling absolutely free in a matter of minutes since I moved into my dorm on Sunday. Moving away from the comfort of home and friends is the hardest thing that an 18 year old high school student can go through.

Writing is my outlet. This is a place where I can talk about the confusion, sadness, and excitement of officially being an adult and officially being a college student.

Follow my blog. Follow me as I journey through the 13th chapter of my life.