Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Denim Day

I've known women, too many women, who I knew had been sexually (and otherwise) harassed, and/or abused, and/or raped. Frankly, one is too many. I'm sadly certain I know still others who have been, too. It's probably safe to say we all do.

I hesitantly started to write this 'blog post a few months ago, when #MeToo was burning white-hot, and Hollywood women rose up against Harvey Weinstein and his ilk, and Tessa Lena told her story about domestic abuse, and Mandy Stadtmiller wrote about Jill Messick's suicide, and Eliza Dushku came forward about having been molested as a minor, and Larry Nassar disgusted everyone, and Jessica Valenti asked why the media wasn't talking with actual experts on these subjectsAnd now there's NXIVM, which appears to be a cult, whose leader, Keith Raniere, has been arrested on sex trafficking charges; actress Allison Mack was arrested as well, for recruiting women into the group.

Several times, I came back to this to write something, only to find myself unable to do it. In the end, I don't really have that much to say, nor am I one of the people whose voices need to be heard on the topic anyway. What I will say: it's wrong. It should be so obvious that it's wrong that it's ridiculous of me to say so, and yet it's still so prevalent, and still so many people look away or shrug it off or say "she had it coming" or fail to press charges. We all deserve our dignity and self-respect, regardless of gender or gender identity or age or sexual orientation or religion or what we're wearing or... anything. There is no excuse and never an invitation to harass, abuse, assault, or rape. Anyone. Ever. Which is why I'm wearing jeans today for Denim Day, which is what prompted me to finally get this post out. It's a small gesture, but it's something.

You deserve better. You didn't deserve that. I wish I could've done something to help you, something more than just cry tears of helpless rage and sorrow while you told me your story, something more than just hold you after you woke screaming from night terrors. I listened, but maybe I didn't want to hear. I will listen and I will hear.