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#IBELIEVEHER

Cindy Maddera

It must be a shock to you, after all this time, that we are finally standing up and fighting back. You’ve spent so much of your life believing that you had the advantage, that you could do whatever you wanted, when you wanted with out consequences. You’ve spent much of your life believing that our bodies where meant for you to use. I mean, why shouldn’t you believe that? Our bodies are on display in advertisements plastered across all media formats. Business models are specifically designed to lure you into their stores with the promise of a beautiful scantily clad women for you to abuse. There are no laws that govern your body.

Except now we are no longer willing to silently put up with your “boys will be boys” mentality. We are no longer willing to let you just go on without being held accountable for your actions. We are no longer willing to let you bully us. When one of our tribe steps up and points a finger at the man who assaulted her, no matter how old the crime may be, we believe her. We believe her and stand behind her because it could just as easily be any of us speaking up. We stand behind her and support her because we know how scary speaking up is. We know her fear. We know the shame she feels. We know the hurt she feels. We are a collective, brought together by similar experiences, afraid to speak up. Afraid that no one will believe us. We’ve been told our whole lives that women are liars, temptresses, sirens. We’ve been told that we were asking for it. We’ve been told to keep it a secret. No. We’ve been threatened to keep it a secret. And then you sit there arms crossed and ask “why didn’t you say so sooner?” after you threaten a girl with her life if she says a word.

What was the tipping point? I don’t know. Maybe it was your unfailing devotion to a man who openly, without qualms, gleefully humiliates women and your insistence on making such a man leader of this country. Really though, it has been brewing and festering for years before that. It is one thing for us to declare that we will no longer allow you to govern our bodies. It is quite another to take action to legally keep you from governing our bodies. Which is what you have done to us for years. The statue of limitations does not run out on your crimes against women and you are no less guilty of those crimes just because she didn’t speak up. You are no longer allowed to bully us. You are no longer allowed to just get away with it.

I get it though, change is hard. It’s not easy giving up a way of life you known for far too long. It’s not easy giving up your roll as bully or always getting your way. But if you’re not going to change, then be prepared for the consequences.

It’s your turn to feel threatened.