3 hours ago
Today we are 12 days out from @theunitedstatespageants and as a part of my get to know me countdown I’d love to share my story of becoming a #consentculture champion. I realized in the middle of dental school, while teaching my GLOW barre classes for survivors of sexual violence, that I was in complete denial about all of the assaults I had experienced. Like so many others, I just wrote off the groping, the forcing, the catcalling, the unwanted and inappropriate texts, the comments, the just too low hands, and the aggressive gaslighting as ‘normal’ events that every young woman experiences. Right around the time the #metoo movement hit full force I owned the fact that not only was I a survivor of a pedophile as a child, but I survived sexual assault at a sorority formal, sexual harassment at school and in the dental clinic, and sexual misconduct in my day to day life in Southern California. Many of us have these “gray zone” experience that aren’t necessarily rape but are ALWAYS wrong and ALWAYS are attributed to the assailant refusing to obtain consent. Once I came clean with myself, I decided it was time to own up to my experiences with the students in my GLOW classes, my friends, my peers, and my community. Each time I shared my experiences I felt a little less apprehensive, a little flicker of recognition in the faces of my community, and an instant connection and understanding that these experiences are nearly ubiquitous. By sharing, by talking, by unburdening ourselves, and by addressing what we wish was different, CONSENT, to be specific, I felt a power shift. Deciding to eradicate #rapeculture and replace it with Consent Culture was a natural next step. No one should ever face sexual violence, assault, harassment, intimidation, or misconduct in the future and by sharing our stories and expectations we can slowly shape culture to reflect how our relationships should and could be. Partnering with @spiritualhoneys to fundraise for @thejhf was a natural next step. Each shirt sold provides funding to end the backlog of untested rape kits in the United States. Because it’s not enough to just talk about it, we have to be about it too!