This article was written by the staff of Baller Alert. We want to take this time to discuss sexual assault, especially for those of us who have been assaulted since grade school.
This will make you uncomfortable. But, that is the point. It’s time we open our eyes to the way we’ve been brought up in relation to the horrific realities of the nation, and even the world.
I bet you never realized how prevalent sexual assault was in our own lives. I bet you never thought to yourself, “Wow, I’ve been sexually assaulted.” I know some of you are wondering why all of these women are coming forward with allegations in 2017. It’s because truthfully speaking, we’ve all been victims of sexual assault.
Back in the day, we all played those then-harmless games, like “booty tag” or “hide and go get it”to show your affection towards your crush. Whether you were the person doing the getting or consequently the person getting got, you failed to realize that those games and its actions are classified as sexual assault. These very actions are part of the allegations being brought forth today. Groping and grabbing private parts were some of our favorite pastimes and are clear cut signs of sexual misconduct, but did we know that back then? We knew our behaviors were taboo, but did we know the extent of what we were doing?
As we got older, the conversations with the opposite sex got more intense. For the young girls that were more developed than others, many were exposed to sexual harassment. How many of you were a victim of unwanted sexual advancements in middle school? How many of my extra busty women were plagued with inquisitions of sexual acts. “Ayo, let me suck ya titties,” “Damn, you got them jugs,” questions that are now labeled as harassment were still harassment back then, but why didn’t we report it as young children? For my men-Remember that one girl that saw your imprint and told the entire school you were extra hung? Or think about how many of you have also been gripped and grabbed without consent? That’s also considered sexual assault.
If it wasn’t at school or in our neighborhoods, the sexual misconduct and assault happened in our own homes and families. For many of us, our mothers’ “friends” introduced us to our first sexual experience. And if it wasn’t her friend, it was an uncle or cousin, or even a sibling. Even if we told, would they believe us or do anything about the situation.
The cringe- worthy compliments Uncle Joe paid were enough to make our skin crawl. “You filling out real nice. Got those child bearing hips like your mother.” No one could prepare us for that night it happened. We were sleeping over grandma’s. Freshly showered, we lay in bed in our favorite pajamas. Life was simple then. Cradled in its promises, we fell asleep pondering about the possibilities. And then, we are awakened. With a hand over our mouths and their bodies pending our chest, we felt that gritty hand travel down our chest and through the curvatures of our innocence. We heard them tell us we wanted it. ” I saw you looking at me, being fast.” And we just lay there wrapped in our shame.
Sexual assault is real and we need to discuss it. While most of us women were forewarned by our older siblings and cousins about the misconduct that men often display, the messages often times go in one ear and out the other. For males, the conversation about sexual assault never even comes up, especially for men of color. For so long we’ve grown up thinking that speaking out takes away your masculinity and goes against your femininity. It’s important that we start the conversation so the people after us are not as naive as we once were. We must wake up and take action. If you’ve experience sexual assault, don’t be afraid to share your story. Plenty of us have been there and know what it’s like.