On Tuesday morning, as I do each morning, I was sharing my little nuggets of pseudo-wisdom around my Facebook groups when I suddenly realized that my heart just wasn’t in it.
It wasn’t that I no longer liked what I had written.
I simply felt as if there was something more important that needed to be said.
The staggering number of #metoo posts that have appeared across Facebook from women who are or have been sexually harassed or assaulted leaves one rather numb.
Despite the constant talk about rape culture…
Despite the fact that we live in a patriarchal society that still believes women are decorative objects rather than sentient beings (it’s just gotten a little better at paying lip service to equality)…
Despite the institutionalized environment of victim blaming that exists for any women with the temerity to speak up for themselves…
Despite all this, the fact that we are still surprised by the number of friends and family who have experienced abuse is enough to bring any decent human to their knees.
How to respond?
One thing we can no longer do is remain silent. People, (particularly men) who support women’s rights, those who are disgusted by rape culture… we can no longer remain silent.
We no longer have the option to sit back and smugly congratulate ourselves for not being “one of THOSE guys.”
We can no longer say nothing when friends make supposedly “innocent” sexual innuendoes and advances toward women.
We can no longer shake our heads and tut-tut when we see abuse taking place.
It’s not enough – it will never ben enough to make up for the damage that’s already been done, but dammit, it’s SOMETHING.
I’m not going to stand here and declare how supportive I am of women, how much of a “feminist” I am, or how I take a degree of responsibility for the crimes that have been and continue to be perpetrated on women.
All those facts are true, but it’s just self-serving grandstanding. It’s simply a desire to have my ego stroked.
What I CAN do, aside from the things I’ve mentioned above is to say (and more importantly mean) three simple words. Three words that I’m willing to be many of the women who have posted “me too” have heard little, if at all.
“I believe you.”
Let’s start there shall we?