I generally don’t engage in political commentary. It’s not how I want to spend my time.
I don’t frequently express my opinion publicly on current events. It’s not where I want to place my effort.
Very often I see two sides of big issues and therefore do not offer an allegiance to either side. While I may feel more empathy toward one side or another, the fact that I am not a central party to the issue at hand means I will not interject my words and feelings. There is no way for me to know the truth in the matter, therefore, anything I can add will be skewed and biased. If I can find the doubt, the hole in the information that allows for more than one probable outcome, I feel it is best that I keep any opinion to myself and let the responsible parties sort it out.
But, I can’t keep silent on the issues I hear and read and feel every day lately. The #MeToo campaign. The dozens and hundreds and thousands of women coming forward to tell their stories of harassment and abuse. The men being accused of sometimes insensitive and sometimes horrific atrocities. I can’t have these words and accusations and defamation and vitriol pouring into my thoughts anymore. It’s too much!
First, let me say that I do not feel this is only a women’s issue. This is a human issue. I have seen the aftermath of abuse in children and adults, men and women. This does not just move in one direction. What I have seen, in my limited exposure, has taught me a few things about these abuses:
It is not limited by gender.
It is not limited by socioeconomic factors.
It is not limited by race or ethnicity.
It is not limited by age.
It is not limited by power or status.
It is not limited by religion.
It is not limited by political affiliation.
It is not limited by geography or education.
And therein lies the root of this issue…
It is not limited.
We must stop treating each other as disposable chattel. Whether it is physical conquering or emotional blight. Whether you are the perpetrator of the offenses or a malevolent commentor on the actions of someone else – perpetrator or victim, or someone who stays silent about things you know to be wrong. How are we here?! After all the years in our history of poor decisions and struggles and victories over wrongfulness – how are we still still so abhorrent to each other? Do we place no value on life? Why do we continue to allow the repulsive behaviors and the heinous words and the fatal silence?
I remember a time when ‘rape’ was a word to be whispered in the shadows to limit its recusant dribble. While trying to give voice to muted victims we brought rape into the light but illuminated it too much, washing out its offensiveness. It’s just a word now. A word we hear far too much – too much because of its prevalence and too much because it’s thrown about like a meaningless name. It is not meaningless. And everyone who has been touched by it has a name.
People matter. We must stop treating the world as our expendable playground. We must stop abusing victims with our words of mistrust and accusation. We must stop defending perpetrators who have shown their guilt. We must find value in each other to say ‘Enough!’ We must find value in ourselves to say ‘No More!’
It’s too much.
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