It’s time to talk about all of this…. this strange twilight zone that we seem to be living in. This endless confronting news cycle. This overwhelming media assault. This strange counter-argument that keeps creeping in, seemingly to justify or give some explanation for the wreckage that has been left behind by this patriarchal society that has dominated for centuries.
Yes, I’m angry. I’m absolutely furious. I’ve been so angry that it has taken me weeks to actually write this all down.
In the midst of my desperate self-preservation, I have read and digested much of the news cycle. Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s devastating and measured testimony followed by Brett Kavanaugh’s angry, rage-filled rebuttal. His subsequent confirmation to the Supreme Court in spite of such doubts about his character. Bill Cosby’s conviction and resultant sentencing for his crimes against women. Harvey Weinstein’s trial. Take it back even to Larry Nasser’s trial. And then, closer to home, the removal of access to basic contraception within the country that I live. Young women being expelled from school should they fall pregnant in a country that does not advocate even basic sexual education. An assault on sexual and reproductive rights that already has devastated and will continue to devastate many.
Where do I start? Where do I stop? The whole horrific cycle has gone on for years. Yes, we say #metoo and #timesup. But is it even making a difference? With every victory we are faced with more revelations of just how much damage has been done and continues to be done around the world, from the most powerful, developed nations in the world to developing nations.
Even today I heard a story that horrified me by what can only be described as a cultural ‘invisibility cloak’ where a sexual crime perpetrated by a minor on another child was ‘dealt with’ by a family paying off another family…. No counselling sought for either child. No investigation into how or why this happened. No recognition of any trauma. Just ‘dealt with’ and swept away with the rest of the daily news.
My heart truly hurts in this knowledge. In the knowledge of the psychological damage that exists for the children and the fact that I live in a country where there is one social worker per region……an insurmountable caseload. A country where rape cases are dealt with in the same way, with the same ‘invisibility cloak’.
It makes me wonder about the strength or breadth of this cloak. This protective, invisibility cloak that exists that protects perpetrators, hides the truths and covers up so much under a guise of appearances, explaining away, it’s in the past, ‘harmless fun’, ‘banter’, ‘boys will be boys’…. while women are desperately trying to break glass ceilings, there is an invisibility cloak that we can’t even get near.
The cloak crosses nations and borders. For every President who talks about grabbing a woman’s pussy, there is a rapists family paying off a family in order to ‘keep it quiet’ and stop any scandal. For every sexually abusive coach, there is a 5 year old child bride being married off to a 60 year old. The cloak protects in different guises. But it is there. It is real and it is dangerous.
This invisibility cloak dupes a jury into seeing the underwear of a rape victim as valid evidence of ‘asking for it’ in a trial. This invisibility cloak confirms a sexual predator to the US Supreme Court. This invisibility cloak convinces communities to ‘keep it quiet’ and avoid a scandal. This invisibility cloak covers up years of misogyny, abuse of power and victim blaming.
It’s time. This invisibility cloak can no longer be invisible. It’s real. It’s dangerous and it must be torn apart.
I am thankful for the rising of women….this wave of powerful women who are trying to tear this cloak apart. From Eve Ensler to Ilhan Omar. From Maxine Waters to Nadia Murad. From Malala Yousafzai to Kat Banyard to Minna Salami…. look up these names if you don’t know them and look further.
Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
Feminism is the belief in the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.