" If you can still be considered 'mature for your age,' you are not an older person's equal. This observation can easily go from an act of respect to license for harm"
CW: sexual assault and abuse.
Reading this article had me crying because I felt so seen. So much of what this author writes about is true to my experience as a first year university student who thought that I was capable of anything, and smart enough to protect myself from all harm. My abuser preyed on me in my first year and complimented my intelligence and maturity in order to abuse me. Because if I was truly mature, then I should be okay with this. Even while logical sides of my brain were telling me that I was being raped and abused, I would disregard those thoughts believing that "I would never put myself in that situation," and "I'm smarter than that." But there was so much more at play. I know that I am not to blame for what happened to me, but I still feel to blame for what happened to me. I still feel responsible for protecting everyone else who my abuser could hurt in the future. I continuously struggle with this feeling of hopelessness now, that started partly because I thought that I was in control when I absolutely was not. And for me too, this "slow motion after shock" is a traumatic event in itself.
And the fact that this has happened to SO many women only amplifies this hopelessness.
I highly recommend everyone read this article if you are in a space to do so.