Wow, these past few weeks have been both exhausting and invigorating. How’s that? Well, the Roots of Change conference is over! It was a success, with fabulous, inspiring presenters and speakers. It made me feel really great about the work I do.
Thursday night, I posted on Facebook:
I know I’m supposed to be all, “yay, we can totally change the world no matter what!” but sometimes I just want to crawl under the covers and never come out. All the violence, abuse, exploitation, and victim-blaming in the news over the past few days…having a hard time reframing.
I really am all “yay!” I am. But especially for survivors of sexual violence and harassment, and those who work against it, the stories we’re hearing when we turn on the news, power up our computers, or heck, simply get out of bed, aren’t the most hope-producing.
Let’s start with something that has been news since I was born: Roman Polanski. Jaclyn Friedman, in her keynote for Roots of Change, showed a picture of his victim who we hear about oh so often as his “accuser.”
SHE WAS A CHILD, yet people question, major celebrities scoff at us, at HER, and support Polanski beyond belief, he continues to make movies, and we continue to pay him to do so. He brutally raped a child, blamed her for “seducing” him, and this is how we respond?
Any candidate who boasts an increase in campaign fundraising resulting from increased press due to sexual harassment allegations does not deserve to be President. This is absolutely horrifying.
Enough yet? WTF is going on!?
Oh, but there’s more. Paterno. PSU. Student riots. No, not against an institution protecting a child rapist, but against an institution firing a child rapist. This article breaks it down by comparing this to what’s going on at Berkeley.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
If I sound frustrated, angry, I am. I’m really PISSED OFF. THIS IS NOT OKAY. None of it.
I’m OVER IT.
I’m SO INCREDIBLY OVER IT.
I can look at the children in my life and know, I can know, that if things continue like this, one of them WILL be harassed, abused, or assaulted. Statistics don’t lie. Research and data don’t exaggerate. Come on, think about that. A child I love, I LOVE more than anything, WILL BE ASSAULTED. If things continue like this.
What’s it going to take? What’s it’s going to take to convince people that if nothing else, RAPE is not okay. RAPE is not EVER okay.
My colleagues in this work are trying desperately to figure out how to end this. We know that we can. We know that a lot of the work of the past 30 years hasn’t changed attitudes as much as we would hope. It’s sad, but it’s not hopeless. You know what it’s going to take to end this? It’s going to take this not being MY JOB. It’s going to take this being a part of who we are as human beings, as community members, not just who some of us are as employees.
It’s going to take you. It’s going to take all of us to say NO WAY, NO MORE. We’re going to make sure that our communities do not allow for this. We have that power. It’s in us. It’s in our communities.
Don’t wait for someone like me to figure it all out because it’s my 9-5. Make it our lives. Make it part of who we are as decent human beings.
What the hell is going on, people? Why are we allowing this to happen?
I know one thing: I am way the hell over it.
Do me a favor. Stop asking me how I can handle doing this work and get out there and do it with me.