Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared her recent experience on Instagram at the U.S. Capital on Jan 6, 2021 that was incited by the Trump mob. As many may find triggering to watch, and hear her personal traumatic experience. It’s the awakening of what needed to be seen.
As AOC shared that week, her eyes watered and voice shook. If you have ever experienced being violated in some way, these feelings were all too familiar.
There’s something bigger happening here. The reality that we’ve reached a point in an era where the abuse that women are facing, is being normalized in our society.
The warnings AOC received before the attack, the mental forethought scenario that women constantly face, and the people who see it, know about it and do nothing.
It’s a reason why feminism has become so controversial, when we are constantly finding new ways to over power the thought that was created that the concept that women are less than.
Hearing “I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” sounds like a sentence we’ve heard before, but some won’t connect as much and if you haven’t personally experienced it.
It’s a reason why the topic of Latina violence is an even bigger issue, and the issue expands that Latina women and successful is as hard to swallow as men accepting that not all Latina women want to be a housewife.
White men have more access to be successful, and it is because they can get up everyday and take on the day without having to consider what women are constantly challenged with, what we have been programmed with our entire lives.
” Be careful.”
“Watch your surroundings.”
“Make sure you’re not being followed. “
“Do you have pepper spray?”
“Have your keys out when you’re walking to your car.”
“Take off your heels, wear tennis shoes when you walk to your car at night in case you need to run for safety.”
“Share your location with me. ”
“Text me that you made it home safely.”
So, while we’re self protecting on a daily basis, we’re being told if you get assaulted, abused or forbid raped, “Be quiet and get over it.” But also, “why didn’t you bring it up sooner ?”
The tension we accept, the tension we learn to function around. Abuse is normalized, when things should be as big of a deal as they sound.
Women don’t need to be protected. We just need the accessibility of waking up everyday and not having to second guess, is this a promotion that I deserve? Or is he just hitting on me.
When MeToo came out, people were angry. Not more angry at the abusers but angry as ‘why were victims talking about it now ?’ Every time abusive behavior is accepted in our society, there will always be more men like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Nic Cage, Shia Lebouf, Marilyn Manson, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and disgraced president Donald J. Trump.
We need to divert out attention to the trauma on how assault affects us, and how it delays our progress. And how Latina women deserve so much more. There needs to be a new practice of teaching men how to treat and respect women. Rather than teaching women how to behave a certain way in order to avoid being assaulted, attacked or raped. The mentality that predators can take what they want, when they want, regardless of permission is unacceptable.
We need accountability, we need social change, we need culture change, we need safety.
Jessica Velle reports on entertainment, politics, social media and stories relevant to the Latinx community. She can be reached at Jessica@reel360.com.