Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Speaking up feels authentic

I believe in authenticity. The older I become, the more important it is to me to be authentic and true to who I am and what I value. Sometimes that deep calling comes into conflict with my desire to maintain serenity and equanimity. That's been happening for me this week.

Ever since a woman came forward with accusations against the current Supreme Court nominee, her life has been scrutinized. She's been ridiculed and accused of vengeful behavior and worse; several lies have been circulated about her. She has even received death threats! She's being what we now call slut-shamed because she dared come forward and accuse a man who has risen to a high level.

I remember vividly in 1991 when Anita Hill went through this same thing, and I wonder why women are still being re-victimized simply for coming forward with their stories of abuse or rape. As a woman, I have strong feelings about this; and I have been so pleased to see the "Me, Too" movement take hold. It's been long overdue. But the behavior persists.

Here's the thing. I don't want to be upset about everything that I hear on the news (although there's plenty about which to be upset these days). I don't want to always see the glass half empty. I want to live in hope. I want to remain positive. However, I also want to be true to my beliefs and my values. And to tell the truth, I am way beyond sick and tired of the way women have been treated for centuries—the way we're devalued even yet in this country. So I simply have to speak out about it. I cannot sit by and watch the slut-shaming circus without saying something. That may make me a trouble-maker. But history shows that much change has come because of "trouble-makers."

So I'm going on record here (and on social media and my friendship circles) to call people out when they do this to women. Enough already. This needs to stop! Women are human and deserve respect just as do men. Let's not keep silent when our sisters name abuse.