First I would like to say that I had a bit too much to drink last night. No hangover thank goodness, though we all slept til 9:30 or so this morning. We were at some friends' house for supper and fun and both were accomplished.
Somehow,though, towards the end of the evening our host put in a "Girls Gone Wild" video. I am not sure why he did this, why he thought it would be okay. I found myself watching bits and pieces of this, a little amused, but mostly appalled. These young women in the flush of their youth, many obviously under the influence of alcohol, selling themselves for a t-shirt. We left pretty quickly by the way. I am not a prude, far from it as you have probably figured out by now. But something about this video series disturbs me. On a deep level. My visceral reaction is one of sadness and anger, and I know why.
Why do some men, some people, prey on the naivete of youth?
Time to cover your eyes. Or read on, if you can handle the truth.
As a young woman, 13, 14, 15, I was sexually abused by a trusted pseudo-family member. It was not date rape. He did not beat me or threaten me or my family in any way. I was emotionally vulnerable, completely naive and yes, a horny pubescent teenager. He took complete of advantage of me as only an older more experienced person could. This man did not over power me physically but he surely did in every other way possible. His seduction of me is a blurred thing-I can't in memory put my finger on the first inappropriate look, suggestion, or touch . What I do know is that my virginity was gone in a short time and due to the ever prevalent mindsets of purity, I felt that I no longer had worth as an individual outside of my breasts and vagina. I can't accurately describe my feelings but those of you who have experienced even a moment of abuse will understand. I think one of the worst things, and it will sound weird I know, is that during the period of abuse I never had an orgasm. I somehow thought if I didn't have one that I wasn't all the way a bad girl, that I was not completely under this person's control. This holding back lasted in future relationships-and I have had my share plus one-as a way to maintain distance and control and it took several years for me to realize that in holding back this physical response, I was perpetuating this man's abuse and control over me long after he was in prison doing hard time for his crimes.
Yes he did end up in prison for his crimes. When I became pregnant I finally told the truth about what was happening to me. He was arrested. I did testify. He was convicted, and served hard time in prison.
I served time too, in high school. Being unmarried and staying in school while pregnant in the Deep South was a prison for me. I am no quitter though and persevered despite the pressure to keep my shameful state at home. I suffered through losing most of my friends who could not be associated with the whore that I obviously was. I was too much of a nerd and a straight A student to be ostracized by the faculty, most of whom, I am sure, knew my story. Don't get me wrong, I made new friends and eventually was accepted back into high school society, mostly because I refused to be ashamed and only the weak are prey in that cut throat world.
Eventually, after much soul searching and admittedly cold logical thought, I decided to place my unborn baby for adoption. I realized that barely 15 was no age become a mother and no matter how much I loved my unborn daughter she could have a better life than the one I could provide. She was born January 7, 1987, three weeks overdue(I kept her as long as I could) and I saw her just once, in a drug induced haze as the cord was cut, separating us forever. I found out later that I very nearly died, hemorrhaging because I was over medicated and my uterus could not contract as nature designed it to. By the time I regained consciousness, her parents had whisked her away.
Ah, don't cry.
I have more than survived.
I live, I love, I laugh.
I don't regret.
So, back to "Girls Gone Wild". I saw parts of this video and heard in the voices the cajoling, the pressure, the manipulation that I experienced so many years ago. Those girls were for the most part unsure, uncomfortable at least at first. Sure, most of these girls are of age and some may have set out to flash their tits and asses, but that is not what I was hearing and seeing. I see young women being valued for their body parts and not the wholeness of themselves, not only by the videographers but by themselves and the people around them, not to mention the viewing public. And that public is large. This series of videos has become a multi million dollar business and I tell you I have a problem with it. The lessons taught seem to me to be ones that perpetuate a mindset that fosters abuse.
I have lived it and truly wish others would not.
Only when we value and honor ourselves will others follow suit.