If the #MeToo movement changed the world in any way it was that it created listeners. It was finally time to listen. The abused who finally spoke up may have told someone previously, or tried to, but probably hadn’t gotten enough support to make a difference, or change anything. Out of 700 rapes one year in Sweden, only 3 convictions were made and Sweden is one of the best “listening countries” in my point of view. Laws have been carefully scrutinised and changed to support a society that doesn’t think it’s OK to steal sex or another person’s body, not even from a wife. (Martial rape was made illegal in 1965 and in the US 1970-1993, but still debated, specifically in South Carolina)
Most of the (sexually) abused were never truly heard so they stopped telling their stories or kept them to themselves, and if they did speak up might have been told to become “nice victims.” As Christine Blasey Ford, who was abused in her teens by judge Kavanaugh, most victims end up having to oppress a trauma for decades, or if they can afford to pay for a listener, visit a therapist. Imagine living with the memories of a rape. It might destroy one of the most basic human drives for an entire life. This can’t be neglected anymore. It’s NOT healthy for anyone.
#MeToo created a listener in society. Finally someone got it, and a huge “detox” could start with baby steps, even in America. Sex roles are now being questioned by both genders. Female sexuality has been finally accepted, but abuse hasn’t and won’t be. Abusers themselves have come out to talk about what was the conventional ‘boys will be boys/macho’ culture and about having been bullied into following the predator pattern. At Olive Retreat sexual abuse often comes up as a common inhibitor to being healthy. We don’t censor any subject and we don’t force any subjects either. Talking, feeling, and understanding our lives as either victims or abusers, or both, as well as our thinking about them in new ways opens up a possibility to move forward against history as an important part of a healing.
Those who understand their abusiveness can finally ask themselves and others for forgiveness and move on. But many leaders, medical professionals, even “happiness coaches” like Tony Robbins have a redundant and limiting view on what is manly. During one of his events Tony asked a young man to roar like a lion publicly to prove his manliness to his girlfriend (who, it seems, had lost interest in him). Really? Is that what a guy has to do to feel like a man, or intrigue women in the US? Roar? What if the guy was born a sensitive, non-violent person? Just because one is born in a strong male body doesn’t mean he identifies with lions. What if a woman identifies with a lion? She might have been born with a strong, go-getter instinct but in a petite body. Isn’t it time we ditch the cliches about having to be something based on our looks?
We are going through a well needed #whatismanly and sexual abuse detox in the western world (others might have to wait). The most recent in a row of abuses is the Kavanaugh case. As a non-American it seems more like a Hollywood (bad)reality show than a hearing at the US Senate, but we are used to Trump and his shows by now.
Considering it IS reality, it’s time to move on from #MeToo to #dosomething. I believe that Brett and his abusive peers need a lesson in lovemaking. They obviously never figured it out and were no doubt lousy lovers and probably still are, if they still get drunk at least. If he was a normal kid with normal parents and teachers, or if he hasn’t been lucky enough to fall in love with a woman safe enough in her body and herself to show him how to be a good lover, he would – like most young teenagers – be left with porn movies (or equally uninformed buddies) to teach him. If he is not lying, seems to me that Bret (in spite of him being a judge) needs a lesson in what kind of behaviour is abusive (still).
He simply needs to understand that forcing someone to have sex, or expecting them too, is never right. He needs to understand that a good lover takes responsibility for the partner’s body and loves it as much as one’s own, that making love is two bodies expressing deep friendship and love through facilitating sensory pleasure for each other, on equal terms, in giving and receiving, being sure of what that is, even if the partner might not be sure, as we recycle old stupid ideas about bodies (especially the female one) and sex. It’s the exploring of bodies and as such getting to know one’s own. Like getting to know a friend for the first time, discovering new things about it over and over again.
At Olive Retreat we don’t censor any subjects. We talk about everything, and listen to everything. We don’t judge. We listen to and acknowledge what is – the past, a story, a memory, an emotion. Healing takes place by allowing the pain to be felt, not by oppressing it. We call it ‘Feel for Real’, and we apply it in all we do to get to know our bodies and minds. That’s where being healthy starts, getting to know oneself beyond the imposed culture telling us what to do or not (we call it the Überculture).
In our experience healing from a trauma takes place in at least three steps.
- Tell someone in a safe environment,
- Understand, seek information, knowledge and facts,
- Creating acts of hope – writing a book, creating an exhibition, a movement, or teach about it.
The abused can tell us about the pain they suffered. The abuser can tell us how he or she got to be an abusive person, and the pain associated with realising it. Often the abusers are being abusive to themselves as well, they neglect their bodies and feelings, just as they did with those they abused.