a few more times than I would like. And also yesterday I was watching Thirteen Reasons Why and the issue came up as well. So lets dive into that. But first of all I would like to put a disclaimer that this is not a generalization to all females and all males, it is just my experiences and my opinions towards those experiences.
I may use also what I have heard, so if you feel that the information is deviating from the truth, comment below to correct me. Secondly, I am very passionate about this topic so some words that I do not usually use will be used in this post. If you do not want to read such words then please stop here and maybe read any one of my other posts. For those still with me lets get to it!
OBJECTIFY: the act of treating people as if they are objects, without rights or feelings of
their own As I was watching Thirteen Reasons why, this young lady, Hannah Baker, was listed as Best Ass at school, a guy who kissed her ended up saying that he slept with her, another guy who seemed like a nice guy tried to touch her in a restaurant, a girl who was supposed to be her best friend slapped her across her face because she thought her boyfriend had left her for Hannah and a brilliant young lady decided to tell rumours that Hannah was a lesbian and invited threesomes.
That is the far I have gotten on that series for those who have already finished season 1. Hannah was going through so much but I’m not quick to put Hannah in the victim corner yet. You see, we humans tend to objectify each other, both male and female.
We reduce each other’s worth to the way our bodies look like or how our voice sounds like or even worse what other people say about us. Because none us knows what the hell we are doing, especially when we are young, we really almost 100% depend on what people say about us.
Well unless you are like my sister, since she never really deviated from who she was. She had a clear vision of herself and she has been like that. For those like her a round of applause truly!
I will tell you some personal stories that not many people know about. When I was in high school, a teacher kissed me. I was 14 about to turn 15 at the time and I was so traumatized. I know it sounds like a small thing but I hadn’t even had my first boyfriend yet so I was super new to what that was. I remember it so vividly.
My God, I wish I could show you but I’ll try to paint the picture best I can. I had gone for extra work because I was failing in his subject, then he called me to his side to show me which questions I was to do. Then as soon as I got to his side, he started caressing the back of my leg and I froze. He pulled my face to his face and he kissed me and I was frozen.
Then there was a knock at the door and he let me go and I fled. For the rest of high school I felt nauseated every time I saw him and yet he was my teacher. He did ask for more but I told him to wait until I was of age (and in Kenya that is 18 years) because I knew by then, I would be no where near him. And yet every time we met in the halls he would stop me just enough to whisper “I can’t wait”.
So the thought that remained engraved in my mind even after high school was that the way I am just encourages men to act a certain way towards me. Even strangers I met in public transport would “accidentally” brush up on my boobs and I would think to myself “Why do I have this size of boobs? Why did I wear this top or this dress? Why I’m I exposing myself so much?” Yup.
In my head I also became a stick with boobs and an ass and men and women were right in reacting the way they did with me at that time. Even my first boyfriend told me the thing he loved most about me was my ass, and I was hella flattered! What in the world!! I don’t know why I felt like that was an amazing thing.
Last year was probably my breaking point, my wake up call. So what happened was that my supervisor at the time was teaching me the work they do, like an orientation of sorts. But he was a bit too friendly and a bit too handsy. And by handsy I mean he used to greet me in the morning and hold my hand for an extended period of time telling me how I was soft, he would out of nowhere tickle me and even put his hand on my lap. But I did not tell anyone, I just lived with the trauma for about a month and a half.
He would even comment about my body in front of everyone and say how ripe I was and such things. But I did not complain about him because I was scared, I thought that he had his limits in check and that if he lost his job because of me it would suck because he does have a family to provide for.
Well that was until he grabbed my boob, forcefully obviously, and held on to it as I tried to fight him off. I did report his ass and I was moved to somewhere else and he, well let’s just say he will not be too friendly with any young girl again. I was so furious! At him yes but mostly at myself. If he had had the opportunity, it would have been rape.
I allowed his behaviour to grow a bit more everyday and I did not put a stop to it until it was too much. Why did I wait that long. You see, I realized that I do not effing value myself as me, a human being. This is why I allowed things to just happen to me. I’m sure there are cases of sexual harassment where the lady or guy was very firm and careful but still got harassed anyways. But there are also cases, like mine where I never did set boundaries.
I objectified myself and in return people objectified me. Hannah Baker was me and I was Hannah Baker. The only difference is that I spoke up to my sister and she raised hell obviously. I do not know what I would have done without her. To lack love and value in myself was what led me to such uncomfortable and unfortunate circumstances.
The men are to be blamed of course. But how many of them would have done what they did if I have had my boundaries set from the beginning. If I believed I am woman, blessed in more ways that one. If I had believed that I deserved to be treated as a human rather than an object to be compared and characterized by other people. That I am of value. That I am more than what anyone could see. That I do have a goals and priorities to meet beyond myself!! I love the statement I am woman, hear me roar!!!
Well, I believe all these now. I love me. I trust me and you best believe that the boundaries are set and not going anywhere. If you have done this to someone else or even yourself, please stop. We have so much good to do to be held back by this. If I can stand and look a person in the face and tell them “Get the eff behind the boundary set or I will effing destroy you!!” then you can 1000% do it too. I have complete confidence. And no, a dirty look is not enough, we need to communicate verbally, kick if necessary.
I know this post is hella long but I needed to speak it to you guys. Take courage and be strong. This is the advice I got from a dream I had some time back hehe. Anyway thanks so much for reading, I love you, I wish you nothing but positive vibes, love and light and have an epic day!! See you on Monday!!