I have been seeing this everywhere and I don't know quite why it's taken me so long say it myself. Everything I offer is around providing a platform for women to speak. Here this came, two simple words and I’m surprised how hard it was to type.
The shame I still feel has been illuminated even though I know “better" than to feel shame. It's illuminated the impact of being ostracized. Ostracized by people I love very much for speaking up. I know it's not out of cruelty or lack of love. It's not simple at all, it’s very complex. Nobody wants to believe anybody they love is capable of such a thing and regardless which end of the story you lie on, it hurts incredibly.
I can see in every person who has violated me physically or verbally, who have not stopped when I said no, who have objectified me, mocked me, catcalled me and those have gotten aggressive with me to keep me mouth shut - I can see It's beyond them. I know it’s not personal. It is deeply systemic. I see how the web travels, not that it makes the behaviors excusable by any means but I see how it happens. It’s interwoven through the whole human race in every culture, every gender, every class and just about every age.
It’s everywhere. Some of it’s ignorance, some of it’s media, some of it’s been passed on generation after generation. The list goes on and on.
The pain goes both ways. And it goes deep.
In some ways we have come so, so far and in some ways it blows my mind what is still happening. It feels good to say what I have, there is so much I haven’t said and still feel vulnerable and scared to say anything at all.
To the men. I know you are the central target when it comes to this topic and I also know there are many amazing men. Men who have been saviors by being a healthy role model of what a man can be to the women who have never experienced that. I hope you know how invaluable you are.
Lastly, I would like to say “me too,” for all of those who it’s safer to endure than speak, to all of those who don’t feel the value because they have already taken more backlash than they can handle and for all of those that are too young to speak, to scared to speak or to ashamed to speak.
With love, to every single one of us.