Yesterday I was at work, watching a talk show with my boss. The subject was the New York Attorney General of New York and his peccadilloes. Later in the day, the new shift worker came and the topic was brought up. My boss was of the persuasion that the women now declaring the brutality during sex with the Attorney General had to be willing participants to have 1) gone so long without reporting it, and 2) must have enjoyed it to have stayed in the relationship with this barbarous man.
The two of us, both women, tried to explain the concepts of fear and shame to him. As it was not going to happen we diverged into talking about how passive and jaded our society has gotten to continue to hear one instance after another and numb our brains to them. It is overwhelming and heinous, these acts perpetrated by men (or in some cases, women) again and again. We can’t stand to hear about it so jokes are made to neutralize hearing about the cases and knowing it is not just the power brokers but the garbage man and the local pastor, the insurance man and that nice man who just fixed your plumbing, inside the sanctity of your home. Jokes raw and harmful in that they serve to anesthetize us to the horrors of what humans perpetrate on each other, and in so many cases, get away with.
I want to rise up and do something but lack the funds for donations to the cause and the wherewithal and physical ability to attend rallies. My voice is drowned in a sea of angry people – those coming from one point of view or another. And, furthermore, I don’t have anything new to add to the subject. Why even write? I’ve wondered whether I should for weeks now because of the redundancy and that there are many far more eloquent than I. Coupled with the fact that I offer no new solutions.
But, in the end, I choose to write because I am one more voice begging for solutions, for restitution and acknowledgment of terrible wrongs. Of feeling betrayed by all those power figures who I looked up to and admired their integrity, and who committed acts of lewdness and violence against innocent women. How can I forgive Bill Cosby for acting as a bastion of goodwill and integrity, knowing he probably won’t serve a day in jail. Or Matt Lauer, a man who interviewed other men accused of sexual misconduct knowing he was still in the land of innocence and getting away with it.
If the government is really watching all of us. And it is positive they are. Then perhaps my one little voice will be registered on some server somewhere, stored for posterity, but possibly amounting to nothing. Still, I must write, #Me Too.