Darklings, Today I’m sharing a special piece of writing for your Sunday reading on a topic that’s been on my mind and will continue to be for a long time. For the Los Angeles Times, I wrote about E. Jean Carroll and how far we’ve come—and how far we still need to go—since 2017’s #MeToo movement pushed to end the silencing of those who have experienced sexual harassment and assault. I hope this piece uplifts you today and lights anew your fire to keep fighting—and most importantly, to keep speaking out.
"Living in a world that asks us to stay quiet about it" is a phrase that will reverberate for the rest of my life.
Stay quiet about our lived experience
Stay quiet about who we are
In small ways and big ways...#nomorequiet
I'm not sure there's a woman alive who doesn't have a story. I appreciate women like you and Ms. Carroll speaking out and empowering others.
I agree. There is likely no women who has not experienced something of this nature. Some men are lesser known and easier to put off but why on earth are we put in those positions ?
When I was 21, I was propositioned by my very much older, very much married manager at a staff party. I turned him down and then had to face him in the morning.
I took my complaint to the assistant manager, who was also a woman. She did nothing... basically leaving me with the impression I shouldn’t have got myself into a position of being alone with him. He was drunk and had the company car. I offered to drive him home and leave the car at the office for him. Shame on me for caring...
Years later, he was finally fired for sexual harassment. How many women, I wondered, had this disgusting man harassed over the years?
It was high time for women to speak out and it is still time to bring the rapists to task.
I am sorry for what you, Ms. Carroll and the millions of others whose stories we do not know have experienced. Our society still has so, so much work to do......
In my new collection of poetry (currently looking for a publishing home) I address another aspect of the issue: spousal rape and assault. Too many men believe saying “I do” means they can “do” what they want whenever they want. Push, grab, hit, or have sex at will. I am now in a safe and loving marriage where that will not happen. But so many are not. A marriage license is not permission to abuse. #MeToo is saving many but it is not enough. Re-defining license/permission and accountability for actions of abuse must be front and center in every situation. Power is not permission. We must focus energy on educating our girls about agency and teaching our boys about boundaries. Donald Trump has been open about what he believes is his to do. He deserves to be publicly shamed and pay the highest possible price. Full accountability in his wallet will be a start.