Old Habits Die Hard
Why is it easier for people to look the other way knowing a person is a child sexual predator instead of standing against the status quo and SAYING SOMETHING? Nobody wants to confront the ugly elephant in the room but we will bury it under the guise of having a career, feeding your kids, or to keep up an appearance. Why are we sacrificing our children instead of CONFRONTING THE TRUTH?
One of my best friends and biggest supporters, recently had a very thought provoking conversation with her mom about the tolerance of child sexual abuse in the 60’s and 70’s. My friend is not a survivor but many of the people around her are, this is was there conversation:
My mom was telling me about what it used to be like for women when childhood sexual abuse occurred back then. She said it used to be as bad for the moms as it could be for the victims but she said that started changing in the 70s with the feminist movement. But the black community was much slower to accept the truth. She said if a stranger did something everyone would be in an uproar but if it was someone that a mom brought around, like a pastor, friend or her man she was dating then you were seen as less than a woman. She said that back then, a women’s only value were as mothers and as a wife. If you could not protect your kids, cook, clean, run the house and be a supportive wife you had no value. Churches would push you out, men would not date you, and your friends would ostracize you. Then it was just you, your hurt child and no community to be there for you. There was an incident where her grandmother’s was once friends with her neighbor until the woman’s husband died and her new husband was found to be sexually molesting her daughter. The man was eventually arrested but my grandmother never spoke to the woman again. In the 70s when women fought for equal rights as people, they started to change the attitudes about childhood sexual abuse but black people held on to the “keeping up appearances ” because black woman didn’t see the same type of benefits that white women saw. They still had to look perfect to succeed, so if that meant they had to sacrifice their children then that’s what had to be done.
That conversation she shared with her mom, answered many of the questions she and I had been asking one another about the tolerance of childhood sexual abuse. I felt like she and I were just at a loss trying to understand and in 20 minutes, we now understood where the roots came from for the mess we are dealing with for generations. It’s like we’ve had to work so hard to be recognized as women that we never looked back to fix the rest of what is wrong. How can we fix what we did not know, and the sad thing is the people that did know were so focused on surviving that they forgot to pass the knowledge. Or did they? They had been taught that sacrificing their child was the only answer, and then they bullied them into not telling anybody to protect themselves. Boy Am I Glad The days Of Not Doing Anything are OVER!