We’re experiencing a kind of tidal wave right now of women (and men) who are standing up and speaking their truth about how they have been sexually assaulted – physically, emotionally or mentally.
This is a pivotal moment of voices crying out to be heard, of voices which will no longer be silent. Of voices which have had enough of the status quo, where sexual intimidation is the norm. Perpetrators are in the political arena and the entertainment arena; they are from the right and from the left, famous or infamous – it doesn’t matter — the pervasiveness of their horrible behavior is being dragged into the light.
“We’re going to watch this play out with famous men. It’s happened in lots of places, lots of them are talked about, and this is a moment in America, as I see it. And the question is whether this is a moment that’s a big flash, and then nothing really changes—nobody feels like they have to answer—or is this a moment when there’s real change?” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren on The Late Show
Standing up for yourself is rarely easy. Whether you are standing up to a boss or co-worker who is trying to quash your opinions and ideas or speaking up with family and friends from whom you can no longer hide your truth, the fear of retaliation, separation, rejection is strong. But, there comes a time when the pressure to speak up outweighs these fears.
Now is one of those times. The voices of those who have suffered at the hands of brutish people who have no self-control, no compassion and are motivated by power are finally being heard.
What about you? Did you type #me too on your Facebook page last month, when the allegations came out about Weinstein? I heard from several male friends that they were shocked and surprised at just how many women in their lives could say “me, too.” Men, as well, who have suffered sexual assault and abuse, have spoken up against their perpetrators. They will no longer be silent either.
The “me too” movement gave me pause…how many times have I been assaulted but have said nothing about it to anyone? What impact did staying silent have on my ability to trust myself? How might it have stymied my ability to form healthy, meaningful relationships? In what ways do we sabotage ourselves when we do not speak up?
“…keep speaking up and encouraging others to do the same. It is essential to breaking the logjam. Talking can transform minds, which can transform behaviors, which can transform institutions.” – Sheryl Sandberg.
Whether you feel inspired to speak out against sexual harassment or assault, or any other kind of assault or injustice, let your voice be heard. Now is the time in our cultural history when your voice can carry so much weight – online or in person. Don’t be silent. Don’t keep your truth under a blanket or your light under a bushel. Speak up, speak out and stand up for others who are unable to do so.
Your voice – our voices – must be heard.