No Idea

We were talking about advocacy. It’s going to be part of my job as a sexual assault responder. I offered the thought that I wasn’t looking forward to having to confront an RCMP officer on behalf of a survivor, an officer like the one who recently told a young teenager that she was lying, when she reported her sexual assault, or the officer who recently told another woman that she had “brought it [the sexual assault] on herself” because she had allowed a stranger into her house. (She operates a catering business. The assailant was a customer.)
“You have no idea what it is like to grow up as a woman,” I was told. There was a good deal of anger in the tone, and even more in the set of the jaw. “Women are told things like that all the time. They get that message right from day one.”
“I get that,” I said, “but these are professionals. They should know better. They should have been trained.”
“You have no idea,” she said again.
It’s called a “pivot” in political circles–changing the topic so you can go on the attack. Suddenly the conversation was no longer about the police, or about compassion for survivors. It was about me. I am so tired of hearing that  I have “no idea” from this person. It hurts. It’s meant to.
What she is really trying to tell me is that I can never be as ‘real’ a woman as she is. Actually, I am. As to having “no idea,” just for the record, actually, I do.

~ by karenmcl on March 11, 2017.

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