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Thousands of Women Chant Together Against Sexual Assault

“The way she was dressed, she was asking for it”. That is a sentence I’ve heard unfortunately too many times in my life. Growing up in Spain in the 80’s I was taught very early on in life not to wear anything too revealing, not too much makeup and definitely not to walk on my own late at night because that was going straight into the wolf cave. And what happens when you get into the wolf cave? You will be eaten because wolves would be wolves, they can’t help it.

So if something bad would have happened to me, which fortunately, never did, it was implied, I was looking for it. That’s why rape victims were often known as “busconas.”

Isn’t that horrible? The answer is a solid “YES”.

And I’m not the only one who grew up with that “rape-shame” mentality. Millions of women are in the same boat. That’s why when I saw “Y la Culpa no era mia…” movement gave me goosebumps. Thousands of women all around the world have gotten together with blindfolds protesting against rape and sexual abuse, singing the tune “Y la culpa no era mia, ni como estaba, ni como vestia”. Damn right, girl. You can walk completely naked for all I care and that doesn’t give anybody the right to touch you unless you give it to them. Your body, your rules. Read that again.

I never liked the wolves analogy because yes, wolves are wolves, but men are men; human beings totally capable to discern between what’s right and what’s wrong. They are not wild animals that can’t help themselves if they have a piece of meat in front of them. Even my dog is trained not to eat a delicious steak when I’m away from the table. So are you telling me some men are less able to restrain themselves than dogs? That’s sad, and worse than sad, a big problem for society that starts with education. From the parents, from the school system, and from society in general.

Latin countries are too soft on men and too hard on women. I remember when I turned twelve, in my school (that was a religious school) girls were suddenly banned from using tank tops in the summer. We could not show our shoulders and the reason given was that it could be provocative for our male schoolmates, which, come on, were 12 years old as well and clearly more interested in soccer than in girls. But the message was already planted in our heads, by priests.

Some rules don’t make sense and need to be changed.  So I applaud and support women who everyday want to make a difference however they can, by joining these movements or even better, by raising boys who know to be respectful and accountable for their actions.

Since I was a rebel, I would wear tank tops regardless. It was Spain in the 90’s, schools didn’t have AC and the classrooms were saunas from May to June. I refused to wear a long sleeve shirt while my male schoolmates were able to dress up however they wanted. When one of the teachers scolded me in front of all my classmates, I pointed at the cross in the middle of the classroom and asked “why can’t I wear a tank top when I’m staring at a semi-naked Jesus hanging from that cross”. I got expelled for a week. My parents, who were kind of progressive, were secretly proud of my response, but worried about how would this affect my school trajectory so convinced me that even though I was right, sometimes you just have to follow the rules. And that mentality my friends, has to stop.

Some rules don’t make sense and need to be changed.  So I applaud and support women who everyday want to make a difference however they can, by joining these movements or even better, by raising boys who know to be respectful and accountable for their actions.

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