“Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important than women, as a group.”
― Anita Hill,
Every time I look at the news, any social media feed, or other media outlets, I am faced with the glaring reminder that men in power have been sexually harassing women, and men, for centuries, but am nevertheless appalled each and every time I see that it continues to happen, with near impunity even in modern society.
I ache for those who have come forward, yet am fiercely proud and protective of them, as I know what it takes to do that. I know the fear, doubt, confusion, shame, anger, and so many other emotions that take place in someone after they’ve been made to experience such trauma. I know, because it happened to me, on numerous occasions.
But I’m not here to talk about me. This isn’t about my story. This is about theirs. The story of the brave people, too numerous to list here, who have come forward, possibly risking their safety, their careers, their relationships…everything. I’m here to talk about the likes of Corey Feldman and Naomi Campbell. Anthony Edwards and Aly Raisman. Rose McGowan and Anthony Rapp. Anita Hill and Ellen Page. The list goes on and on and on and on, and I feel worse every single time I just read their names…imagine how they feel?
I want to drop out of the world. Not from depression, but because I feel terribly unsafe within the confines of the toxic masculinity masquerading every day. When politicians, actors, producers, CEO’s, directors, comedians, and more are being accused every single day, by reliable sources, hell, the President of the United States of America falls into that category! How can we feel safe? What can we do? What will we do? How do we move forward every day, feeling like this?
I can’t answer these questions for anyone else, but I can answer them for myself. Me? I’m going to fiercely love those who love me, and enjoy them loving me back. I’m going to try to take a few moments out of every single day to do something that feeds my soul, a few more moments to just be lazy, a few more to laugh and smile and gossip with my husband or best friend, but most of all? I’m not going to shut the fuck up. I’m going to Tweet, post, write, call representatives…I’m not going anywhere.
Why do I put myself through that stress? Because of every single person who was victimized and/or brutalized by the sacks of shit who want us to accept their apologies (if they’ve even offered them). Because those people had the courage to speak up, and they’re still dealing with the backlash of their choice. Because they deserve to have as many people as possible in their corner, screaming from the proverbial rooftops that we will NOT be accepting this any longer, and we ARE coming for the abusers, rapists, molesters, harassers…ALL OF THEM. Because there are many who haven’t, or can’t, come forward, and they deserve it just as much.
We owe them that, at the very least. We owe them our support, our strength, our rage, our vitriol. We owe them our heart and soul. Because if we don’t do this now, if we don’t support them now, we are yet again complicit in the violence (sexual and otherwise), harassment, abuse, and toxic masculinity that is so dangerous and pervasive.
To the activists, the “Resistance,” the advocates, the friends and family, the partners, the supporters, the defenders: I salute you, I stand with you, I fight with you. You are worthy, you are beautiful, you are strong. You restore my faith in humanity.
To the brave souls speaking out about the most impossible of things to discuss: I salute you, I stand with you, I fight with you. You are worthy, you are beautiful, you are strong. You restore my faith in humanity.
So, in the wise, wise words of Jerry Springer: “Take care of yourselves, and each other.”