In the era of Social Media, we’re no strangers to desensitization. It feels like I regularly see news about another mass shooting or photos of animal abuse so often the initial, shocked feeling is becoming more and more difficult to come by.
Rarely it feels like we talk about physical desensitization. It’s numbing, and lately I feel the same way I feel about what I see in the news as I do when people grab my ass without my permission.
I think it’s safe to say I typically have more than one person a weekend touch my behind when I’m turned around. I think the first time I cried, the second and third times I yelled. I got extra upset when it was an off-duty officer.
But after this weekend, having it done three times, I just don’t even know how to react. I’m uncomfortably exhausted caring about and reacting to things that just don’t seem to change.
I have to fight a constant urge not to feel guilty. My first reaction is always, ‘Why did I make them think they could do that?’ followed by a, “Oh no, I have a boyfriend,” and then I remember that I did not ask for it nor did I give any impression it was okay.
The desensitization doesn’t mean I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t get upset, I just don’t have the energy to try and teach a lesson to someone who genuinely doesn’t give a fuck about me or what I have to say.
The simple answer is creating boundaries, but that’s just as ineffective. What can we do? Well if you’re a perv you can stop but I mean aside from that.
I think the answer is reminding myself that I DO NOT have control around the people around me. I cannot stop someone from smacking my butt as I walk away but what I can control is how I respond.
I need to remember that although the anger that lights the fire in my stomach is uncomfortable, and exhausting, it is what is going to get me what I deserve.