Random Thoughts of Ashleigh Noelle

Rape Culture

I can’t give you guys a fun post filled with gifs and shit today. I have to speak on my extreme hate and rage I have for rape culture. It bothers me so much that it’s become a comic relief. People’s worst nightmares, being made a joke on social media and in life in general. It’s triggering.

I had a conversation with a friend and I had to break down to him my positon on why I strongly dislike males and am beginning to really push my brand. I broke it down like this – attire, sex, respect. These are things that I battle with as a woman, and I’m sure a lot more women do too, and we’re silent about the shit because we’re always chastised for demanding to be treated with respect.

Attire – recently in the news, work place dress codes, even down to the schools, have gotten extremely strict with the attire, which only really affects the females. We’re told nothing shorter than knee length in skirts or dresses, no spaghetti straps. No leggings. Little to no cleavage and lord forbid the site of your bra strap or panties if your shirts too short when you sit down. Yet, guys can wear tank tops/ wife beaters, form fitting or too big and be fine. Guys can wear their pants hanging off their asses with their drawers showing, and that’s fine. But, when a woman wears anything outside of the “normal” dress code, it’s provocative, it draws unnecessary attention aka slut shaming.

Being a rape survivor – I can’t tell you how often I assess myself to ensure I’m not sending of the come rape me vibe. Because let society tell it, we set ourselves up. I try to not dress with a lot of cleavage showing although, I have my days. I don’t make eye contact with men when I am out. I try not to smile, because my smile always invites people to talk to me, and I don’t want to talk. My resting bitch face is everything, so don’t tell me to smile. Yes, I am mean. No, I don’t want to talk to you. No, I won’t respond to you calling me chocolate, my mama didn’t name me that.

Why do we have to cover up and have so many rules because there are guys who cannot control themselves? Even down to what’s appropriate in our own homes. I feel like no matter who you are, if you are in my home you have no say in how I choose to walk around my house. If I have company over, walking around in my panties and a t-shirt should not signal or give off the indication I’m sexually available. I shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable in my own home by being fully dressed to save a man from not wanting to touch me or in my own skin because guys are perverted horn dogs.

Sex – Often women I know, talk about how aggressive guys can be when it comes to sex. To the point of feeling so much pressure, that they just do it to avoid being raped. I’ve been there and it’s a scary feeling not knowing how someone would take the word “no”. Or being standoffish, distant and saying “no” and they want to change your mind. Like bruh, *side eye*. Then we have to deal with the disrespect, because his expectation was sex and yours wasn’t. Then we go through the process not really wanting too, and even though we consented, it’s still a violation, because the decision was made based on pressure or fear and that’s not something any woman should have to deal with. No is no. If a woman says she’s not having sex, why do these guys think they can “change” our mind? I’ve heard that so much it drives me crazy!

Respect – I mean basically in a nutshell, women give more respect to these guys than we get back. We are always on the front line in their defense, yet when it’s stoning time, they are the ones casting the first throw. It’s insane to me how I watch guys have so much respect for their mothers who raised them alone, yet treat women like shit. I mean men with daughters, sisters, wives – just so disrespectful. But at the same time, it happens because it’s allowed.

I have gotten to a place where TSW will be my brand to help these women un-silence their voices and speak up. We got to take our power back. All it takes is one “sis” to another “sis”. We are so powerful individually, that together I know we’d be unstoppable.

I got caught writing my freshman year in high school during MCJROTC by my favorite MSgt. P & Sgt S. (Names withheld for privacy). The conversation went like this – “Thomas! I read your writing book. You’re going to be a great writer one day. Keep it up and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”(Thomas was my maiden name and they addressed us as our last names). Then I transferred schools, and during my senior year, my mentor said “Ash – in the eyes of society you were born with two strikes against you, you’re black and you’re a female. The reason why you and all other black women are threats, is because now, y’all are products of single households ran by women. Yall are strong, intelligent and independent and because of the fear people possess of black women when they are in presence gives you a power you’ll never understand. When you reach that point of knowing your power, you will never be hungry, you will never be broke and you will never be a failure.”

Ladies – when you reach that point of knowing your power, you will never be hungry, never be broke and you will never be a failure. But in order for us to get the respect we all demand. We have to stick together and fight for US. Cause ain’t nobody else doing it! I’m ready to do my part. I hope you are too. Join my movement or create your own. It’s so much we can do, and it starts with the right attitude and an idea.

You can’t lose when you believe in you.

AN

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