Week 4 Reflection
After listening to the stories shared in class, it was both painful and empowering, but most of all, infuriating. It was painful to know how much women endure as a result of a lack of respect and acknowledgement as human beings. It is painful to hear about the harassment and the degradation women have felt throughout their lives, no matter what age. It is infuriating to know that men and women think that it is in their right to make people feel lower than they are, make people feel unsafe in ways that is violating and humiliating. While I might not have had the same experiences many of you have had, there have been moments in my life where I too have felt the weight of oppression from men who think it is OK to make gestures and attempts to find my interest. Men who overstep their welcome. Men who feel it is in their right to obstruct a person's personal space. However, despite the pain and the frustration and the anger, I felt empowered hearing all the stories, and the radiance that now beams from each of the faces in that room. It is empowering to know that women do not stand alone in this long struggle against harassment, degradation, and violation. Men and women are united against this fight, this fight to educate and stop sexual violence and harassment against women, men, and children. Women no longer have to hide these shame stories, but are instead encouraged to speak out and stand up for themselves and those who might feel not have the strength to do it for themselves. It is encouraging to see so many people in solidarity, united.