Things feel different this week. As if this practice of naming and truth telling and taking responsibility has revealed us in new ways. We’ve been changed by our words. By one another.
But it hurts. It’s heartbreaking. And yes, #MeToo.
The movement that was started by Tarana Burke some 10 years ago was intended as a means to combat violence against women and cultivate empowerment through empathy. But #MeToo is not created equal.
The experience of sexual assault and violence is compounded by systems of violence that disproportionately impact people based on race, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, economic inequality, and religion.
The #metoo movement teaches us the intersectionality of our issues and how much richer the conversation is when everyone is seen and heard.
Susan Thistlethwaite challenges us to:
“See the bodies, minds and spirits of each #MeToo post in their incredible diversity. And then act like you do.”
So this week, we’re dedicating this issue to all who are speaking up, reaching out, and calling in. We commit ourselves to not letting this be just another hashtag moment. Let this urgency be felt into the future. Let it be reflected in our actions. Let it be healed.
— Kerri Kelly, founder of CTZNWELL
ME TOO IS INTERSECTIONAL
(In case you missed The Shortcut). In the recognizing the amazing solidarity and collective power of the #metoo movement, we must also see the diverse experiences survivors of sexual assault face. That “bodies have races, sexual orientations, size, reproductive organs, religious and cultural meanings, and social locations within states and economies.” And Anita Hill breaks it down here.
ME TOO IS ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY
Gender violence does not exist without systems of violence, especially those designed to uphold white supremacy. We need inclusive survivor spaces that allow for the stories of brown, muslim and immigrant survivors too. And we can do better than “white feminism”.
ME TOO IS ABOUT MEN TOO
Some say the focus should shift from survivors to men. And we need more than #IHearYou. Taj James says men “have to divest from the power and privilege we hold”. Grateful to the brave men who are speaking up and out including Teo Drake, Maurice Moe MItchell and Jackson Katz. Oh..and smoke is not weather (read this).
SO NOW WHAT? If #MeToo demonstrated anything, its that sexual harassment is everywhere — it’s on the street, in classrooms, on campuses, behind closed doors, not behind closed doors, in the media, online, etc. So, what’s next? What can we do with our anger? How can we turn #MeToo into action? The call to men is clear. It’s time for them to step up. And not just by condemning wrongdoing, but by pushing back against a culture and the people who are perpetuating it through action or silence or both. And the call is out to white women to recognize that sexual assault and harassment sees color. Oh, and Congress: we are sure as f*** calling you up. If France can legislate street harassment in lockstep with their own country’s #metoo campaign, so can we.
The #RestForResilience offers resources for those healing from sexual violence. And here are more tools from a survivor for navigating times when sexual assault dominates our news cycle. Pema Chodron talks about hitting rock bottom and where to go from there. But pain can be a teacher. Minister and activist Waltrina Middleton reminds us how to harness it. And Omid Safi explains “how to reach out to someone who is struggling.”
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
“When Will We Learn to Listen to Black Women?” And this is a reminder to practice owning your shit/”toxic biases.” Safety Pin Box spells out white supremacy for us in a glossary. And in case you missed it, #MeToo does not exist without white supremacy.
On Being features Joan Halifax, Zen abbot and medical anthropologist, who breaks down how we can turn the empathy we feel into buoyancy and energy. We’re glued to this piece on calling in, not calling out. And don’t forget: Our collective storytelling can take down predators like Weinstein and push back against a culture that apologizes for them.
CALLING ALL WITCHES
The always uplifting and just-in-time words of Adrienne Marie Brown.
“…but not for your life. We’re coming for your legacy. The cost of being Harvey Weinstein is not getting to be Harvey Weinstein anymore. We don’t have the justice system on our side; we don’t have institutional power; we don’t have millions of dollars or the presidency; but we have our stories, and we’re going to keep telling them.”
We all deserve this reminder of beauty and hope. Enjoy.