Start the Conversation.

The other night I performed once again in The Vagina Monologues, a show that is truly wonderful. It raises money and awareness to help stop sexual and physical violence toward women and men.

 

To me what is more wonderful though is that it starts a conversation. Conversations that people are reluctant and don’t particularly want to have or even start. When I was growing up I didn’t talk about anything. I didn’t want to come across as vulnerable and being a young girl I didn’t want to come across as being, ‘a silly girl’. So I toughed everything out, anything and everything I was feeling. For example when I was fourteen a twenty six year old guy named A forced me into the bathrooms at our friend’s house and locked the door. My sister heard me yell and came to rescue with our family friend Luke. But did we speak about what happened after? Nope. Not a dicky bird. Nothing. It’s like an attempt at me hadn’t even been made. So you know, best not to talk about it to anyone.

 

The conversations I had yesterday were very similar. “I was a very developed twelve year old, men couldn’t control themselves, I was made to feel ashamed of my body.”

 

Why are young girls made to feel shameful about their bodies growing up? How is it OK for men to leer over us when they should know better? Why cannot girls be girls and why do they have to grow up faster than usual because objectification?

 

Women struggle with their looks and bodies pretty much for their entire lives (unless you’re Kate Moss and I’m sure she even dislikes something about herself? Right?) But why are young girls objectified from such young ages? Why are we shamed for developing early or even developing later, it doesn’t matter when we develop, it’s like we can never win. Why does no one have the conversations with us early on about how men, grown men, are going to act around us. Why are we blamed for growing and turning into women? Something that should be celebrated and cherished, something so wonderful and empowering is taken away from a lot of young girls because men cannot control themselves around us. It truly is a crying shame.

 

It is something that 100% carries over into our adult lives, it doesn’t seem to matter what we do, how we dress, how we act, how much make up we wear. If we, women, get assaulted, we are blamed. Blamed because we are the weaker sex, weaker because we have more power over men because we know our “sex appeal” and men don’t know how to handle themselves around us and so they touch, grope, rape. It’s women’s fault because “we know” how sexual we are, how pretty we are and we “know the affect we have when we wear skinny tank tops.” People make girls weak because they shame us, they make us ashamed to speak up and start conversations. Conversations that we should and can be having, that we NEEDto be having that just are not happening.

Author

Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett

Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett

Lindsay is a British actress currently living in Los Angeles. It was during her time at drama school in London back in 2007 when Lindsay got date raped. After six years of therapy, travelling the globe to get away from London, Lindsay settled in LA where she has been for the past five years. Now happily married with a furry baby of a dog, Lindsay has started her next journey into helping others. Lindsay joined forces this year with VDAY to help bring awareness of sexual and physical violence across the globe that is inflicted on women everyday. Lindsay produced and performed in The Vagina Monologues for the 2015 event and raised over $7,000 for Peace Over Violence, an organization that helps bring this awareness to larger audiences.

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