I've had a post written for months that was meant to be my, "I'm back to blogging" post. The one that explains where I've been, what I've been doing, why I stopped writing for so long... It's eloquent and well crafted. Thoughtful and gracious. Planned.
This midnight-on-a-Monday post is not planned. It is not well thought out, nor is it gracious. It's not going to be published at the same time as the others, on schedule, so that it breeds consistency among a small contingent of regular readers. No. It is raw. It is unfiltered. It is too tired to be trimmed and proofed. It is born out of an inability to sleep caused by the earth shattering reality of seeing hundreds of "me too's" across my Facebook page- a small handful of thousands splashed across the internet.
This is the symptom of my head spinning, my mind racing, and my heart beating out of my chest in anger and frustration. I feel physical vertigo. My body feels what this world is- upside down.
What I'm reading does not shock me. The number of "me too's." Statistics say 1 in 4. I think statistics have largely underestimated the magnitude of the problem. I don't think we are 1 in 4. I'd guess we are much closer to 1 in 3. Maybe even 1 in 2. When I think of the women in my life - let's say the 25 girls closest to me - counting the number of them who haven't been sexually assaulted takes about 10 seconds, because that number is so relatively small.
The scale of Harvey Weinstein's abuse should not surprise us. I once read that if a predator is never caught, he can have 200 victims in his lifetime. Consider that 68% of sexual assaults are never reported. Currently, 28 women have come forward in the Weinstein case. In Bill Cosby's case, 58 women have come forward. So applying simple math- those 28 and 58 women represent the 32% of reported cases against these two men. In Weinstein's case, the 68% not reported = 59.5. In Cosby's, the 68% = 123.5. If you add the reported and suspected unreported, Weinstein could have 87 victims and Cosby 181... all of a sudden, a predator having 200 victims in his lifetime doesn't seem so implausible or shocking.
These are scary statistics. They are daunting. They are infuriating. And if this last week's news cycle and flood of social media posts teach us anything, I pray it is that we can no longer ignore the problem. We can no longer pretend that the objectification and sexual assault of women is not our societal norm. These women brave enough to identify themselves in the "me too" category are not jumping on a bandwagon- we are not doing something because it is trending... we are raising our voices against the injustice that has persisted for far too long. We are fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. And we are demanding change so that future girls can say "NOT ME.”
PS- if you're new and need context, this is how I ARISE began... just keep clicking the links under "newer post" on the bottom left to follow along in chronological order
PPS- the pretty "I'm back to blogging" post is coming shortly - from there, it's game on because being passive in the fight is no longer an option.