I’m guessing that some of you feel the same way. Some of the recent comments of a powerful political leader glorifying sexual assault have been hard for me to shake over the last couple of weeks. After the political dust settles what effect will these words have? Words that demean women and send the message to men that it’s okay to not only express these ideas, but also brush them off as being trivial words spoken in an informal situation that somehow makes them acceptable.
That’s not the world that I want to live in.
Looking back at my relatively short adult life, it is astonishing to recall the number of stories recounting sexual assault and abuse experienced by so many friends, family, acquaintances, clients, and colleagues. I’ve heard about the resulting nightmares, fears, the pressure to silence the experience, undeserved shame, that broken sense of safety, and the feeling of having no control. Even though I can never fully empathize with what it is like to be a woman in today’s world, I’m hearing you, I’m with you.
One of the things that bothers me in this swirling conversation surrounding sexual assault and abuse is the relative silence of men. Maybe some of us just don’t know what to say. Maybe some of us are afraid that we’ll say the wrong thing. Maybe some of us are also overwhelmed. Maybe some of us are ignorant. Maybe some of us don’t think it’s our place. Worse, maybe some of us don’t care.
I can’t answer for all of the men out there, but I feel compelled to tell you that regardless of your politics or the results in November, I know you deserve better from men.
I’m with you.