Coming out from a decade ago to incidents that have occurred recently, both women and men are coming forward with stories of sexual assault, harassment and abuse. The fingers are pointed at our upper class-the celebrities and businessmen, as well as our politicians.
As I can only assume that most of our population in the U.S. understand and accept the sincerity of the accusers of all ages and positions; however, there are still those skeptical. These aren’t simply men who fail to comprehend the truthfulness of the victims statements-despite their age, there are women too that make similar comments. As in,
Why now? (Why not when the incident of abuse or assault occurred did these women or then girls did not come forward to the authorities?)
Here we go again. (These women are simply buying attention from the media.)
Why does it matter now? (As in I believe these women, however fail to understand the purpose of their accusations now as they proved themselves successful or beneficiaries in their careers.)
These are simply allegations, no charges have been made and the media/social media is not a courtroom. (We do not know for sure if these situations are truthful or not. In any case we have a court and rule of law that should properly investigate, judge then rule on these incidences. A trial by media causing the lost of jobs is unjustified.)
With these common statements and questions by both, some, men and women is an admission to the overall question, really a statement: Why now?
Any ‘now’ or moment in time takes courage to speak of. As I have had women confess to me about their brother, their pastor, father, uncle, neighbor, friend or teacher. The time is irrelevant, what matter is the act and how it deeply silences the victim. As one woman confessed to me that her brother had molested her for years, but she did not want to alarm her dad. Her dad, a single father providing financial necessities as he worked all hours of the day and often leaving the children home alone. However, she said after some years when she finally confessed what had happened to her, her father believed her. Her brother then later confessed, confessed of other children he had silenced and sought help.
I witnessed poetry spoken by women who were raped by their fathers and how she still deals with the emotional aspect. Still she is haunted by memories. A few came forward right after the act, others had come forward years later. The point again not being about time it is about courage. And in stating ‘courage’ is not to belittle the people that have faced abuse of some kind, yet have not come forward. You know this isn’t about comparison of who has the guts to say something its simply that it takes courage to do so.
In asking that question, too, is a form of silencing. As I remember in my studies about accusations of rape and assault in high school, I remember a statement made by either a teacher or by the textbook. It was somewhere along the lines of how our society become especially protective of men as women began to come forward about their assault, abuse and the like. Yes some were proven to be false, as our media reporting on these claims have found a couple to be false. However it shouldn’t negate the truthfulness of all other women, but it does some times. So we, as in our society, automatically assume the innocence of the man before the woman because of the need to protect, the need to silence from harm of knowing. Why now? Well the victims are not only breaking the silence of the act, they have to break the silence placed by our society.
For example, a male is victim of sexual harassment by women. The first question by the immature is, well is he gay, a homosexual? Why would a man reject attention from a woman? I mean that is desired in a heterosexual male, regardless of age. However it is not. And to deny the unwanted advances of a woman is no indication of his sexuality, only his ownership of his body. However, the immature understands this point only if the male victim is sexually harassed by men. Therefore, he is free to speak without scrutiny, but the first question asked again is did the male victim evoke violence towards him? If not, again well is he gay? A way to shun men based on homophobia, a repulsion of feminism, is another form of silencing a victim. A silence placed by our society of how men are ‘suppose’ to act and react to such situations.
By this question, ‘Why now?’, the skeptics are admitting to the fault of the accused and as well admitting to their own encouragement of silencing the victims. Though without this desire to self reflect on their comments made is also admitting the need to silence harm from knowing.