Recently, there has been a quiet explosion of women, in fact, women AND men who decided to break the unwritten code of silence to stand up and share that they have been harassed, molested, and raped. This comes after the revelation of yet another high powered man being accused of aggressively inappropriate behavior with countless humans.
At first, we were horrified as countless high profile women pushed out of the shadows to share their scars. The buzz rippled through social media. Ordinary humans spoke about the news as if they were somehow related to these offenses. They mourned for those who had been harmed. The shock and despair seemed to turn strangers into a solidified group all holding hands to move forward.
the mirror turned.
Women and men alike began posting two simple words and suddenly they were part of a group that clearly no one would ever choose to be a part of. “Me too” adorned the social media profiles, reaching across platforms to inform and perhaps shock those around them happily ignorant of these horrors.
I witnessed day after day as my friends and relatives shared the words with courage and conviction. I continued to battle inside about my rightful place in these revelations. The last thing I wanted to do was to seem to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. Or maybe the last thing I wanted to was to open that door. Yet, that seemed to be exactly what should be done.
I have lived a good bit of my life thinking that if I had been stronger, less this, more that; none of this would have happened. I have blamed myself, hated myself and hidden my true heart. I have worked to bury this deep telling myself I was letting go and freeing myself of the darkness. Or have I?
Then all these strong and courageous people around me stood up with power and declared, “me too”.
and still, I was silent.
I debated repeatedly and constantly what good it would do to type those words in my profile. I convinced myself that I wouldn’t add much to the conversation and perhaps my words might even dilute the message. Yet, I read explanation after explanation about why it was important to stand up. I was surrounded people who live carefully as to never rock the boat were but courageously standing up. The reason for them to do so was sinking in. It horrified me. It disheartened me that it seemed nearly everyone I knew could recall a time where they were objectified, or harmed in some horrible way for the benefit of someone else.
So. here I am. Standing up with all who have gone before me to be counted. To stop the darkness and live in the light.
If we choose to face this and no longer accept this, we can stop it.
Thank you to each of you, who have gone before me. I am sorry for your pain, for your scars, for the darkness that you have until recently chosen to live in. As I step out of the shadow I am inspired by your courage and I know I am strong enough to say….
- Irondequoit Art Trail