Thursday, July 18, 2024

You Can Be Harassed by a Woman.

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( When we discuss abuse, sexual assault and harassment this is often a discussion of violence against women by men. It seems to be inherently understood that the primary predator in our community is men, and that is who we must protect ourselves against. Though women can be cruel to each other violence against women by women is not a major topic of discussion. We don’t talk to each other about how to deal with harassment from each other, or how to handle domestic disputes. There are women that feel they can harass a woman and its okay, because they are not a man. Its okay for “no means no” to apply to women, but are we ready to have the discussion about the many women that do not feel this should apply to them? Do we have the same energy for each other that we readily have for our male counterparts? The sad thing is many of us are not ready to admit we are in danger and the person we fear is another woman.

I knew a sister that was in a relationship that was completely toxic. It was hard to understand how someone as kind as she was could be in such and abusive situation. Honestly, the first time she confided that she was being physically abused I was angry for her and told her she didn’t need a man that would cause her such harm. In that moment she hung her head and admitted that the person that was beating on her was a woman. She felt it wasn’t as bad because it wasn’t a man though she admitted she didn’t deserve to be abused. When she spoke of this treatment to other women, she was encouraged to just beat up her partner verses leaving her. If this were a man the advice, and sense of urgency would have been different. There are women that are followed in stores and sexually harassed by other women. People see it, but it’s not a man harassing so the woman being subjected to the harassment must not be in serious danger. This thinking is very dangerous.

Just as our children can be harassed and abused by men the same can happen to them at the hands of women. Our girls can be made to feel uncomfortable by women growing up…its just a shame that this is often swept under the rug. As women we fight for the protection, and equality, of women yet we seem to refuse to address the disrespectful predators amongst our ranks. When will we acknowledge that we harm each other? When will we rebuke the hypocrisy of abuse within our ranks? When will we be honest that there are cis-gendered women that deserve our protection against abuse just as lesbian, bisexual, and trans women?

Women that been harassed and abused by women need a safe space whereby they can speak their truth amongst women. If we can’t acknowledge the women that are facing these kinds manners of suffering it means we don’t see the little girls either. Its time we understand that women can harm each other in ways that some only expect from a man. Let’s hold women accountable not to hurt and harm other women. It is wrong for women to harass and abuse each other. We must encourage each other to speak out and hold those women legally responsible. Anyone that deals in harassment and abuse need to face charges, and jail time.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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