by Miya Kuramoto //
The letter below is addressed to all of the Xs of the world that harass women for no good reason.
I am sick and tired of making excuses for you; blaming myself to rationalize your behavior. I am done watching you abuse the power that you hold as a man in our society. As you read this letter, I want you to put aside your pride and your idea of what it means to be a “man” and just listen.
It wasn’t a joke, it was harassment. The words you spoke and the silence that followed were real and they held more power than you know. Your condescending jabs and psychological warfare have no place in my life and I refuse to be caught in the wake of your insecurities. I am a woman and regardless of whether I am your peer, your student, your employee, your athlete, or your mentee I deserve to be heard and respected. I cannot go back in time and pretend these things never happened, the damage has already been done. However, I am here to tell you that you have not won. Your attempt to break me down was unsuccessful, and it has only stoked a flame within me that has inspired me to love and fight for myself even more.
Unfortunately you are not the first, nor will you be the last man to treat me in this manner. Your actions and encouragement of others like you only perpetuates misogynistic behavior. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Find it in yourself to break away from the cycle and call out the guy who is objectifying a woman at a party or the guy who makes an inappropriate “joke” about her when she’s not laughing. You have the potential to change and to treat other women better than you treated me. Give these women the respect and acknowledgement that they deserve. As for me, I will continue to fight to amplify women’s voices and help them share their stories.