A year ago the #metoo movement encouraged women to tell their stories of sexual abuse. A year later women are still sharing their stories.
I have heard a lot of amazing men listen, speak out, share, support, I have also heard a lot of anger, defensiveness, fear, & silence. The latter in some ways may ironically speak the loudest.
As human beings we need to have the courage to say the wrong thing. We make mistakes, we miscommunicate, we overreact, we fuck up. We are all just wandering this planet engaging in the human experience.
Women are setting boundaries and guess what? We don’t know what they are yet, we are still learning. Women have not always had this space. We are all just in a process of learning how to navigate it.
Women have stood up, and trust me, they are not going to sit back down.
Maybe you don’t like the way someone has phrased something, the way someone has responded to you, the post they shared, the way they generalized, well, women are also imperfect, we say the wrong thing, we fuck up. Women are angry, and for a change, we are taking up space.
We all need to be able to look beyond the cloud of swirling emotions of all genders & really hear each other. We need to look past the anger, the hurt, & we need to listen and start down a path of collective healing.
We won’t get anywhere without listening. We won’t find peace without meeting hurt with kindness and compassion. When someone is having a dramatic response, lean into that, be curious, ask questions, listen, like, really listen. Listen to their pain, their hurt, their experience, their ideas, their anger, listen to all of it, feel it.
Don’t discredit what they said, don’t minimize them, don’t try and prove them wrong, don’t try & tell them that you had the same experience or divert the conversation with your own issues, don’t ask them why they never mentioned it before. Just honor them and really hear them, we all deserve that.
I looked at the story I shared last year & thought, wow, there is a lot I haven’t shared. I thought of stories I have pushed back into the depths of my memories. Maybe I will share next week, in a year, when I am 35, maybe never. Whatever I decide is my choice.