Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just Listen

In response to this Huffington Post article Jaci Evan's (a former student of mine who is about to finish her  Ph. D. at U. of Maryland) wrote this on Facebook.  Please listen to her.

"There are so many things I could write here that it's hard to choose. But I think I'll say this: I still remember the first time an adult man made me feel sexualized and unsafe. I was 12. That memory has stuck with me to this day, and it was the first of a countless number of times that it has happened since. So when your girlfriend says that your neighbor's behavior makes her feel unsafe, don't say you think it sounds normal, just listen. When she says she doesn't think she'd enjoy travelling to that country known for men who grope women on the subway or cat-call on the streets, don't tell her she's being too sensitive about it, just listen. When she gets upset about those "good old boy" songs involving rape that so many frats get in trouble for these days, don't tell her that they don't really mean it, just listen. Your reality isn't hers, and her thoughts are valid. They come from horrific experiences in her past and in her knowledge of horrific experiences in her friends' pasts. Just listen."

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