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A Culture of Silence: Responses to “Men And Women”

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Thank you to the readers who helped me to restore my tact and compassion, if even temporarily. I tend to leave them locked away and gathering dust – like my saxophone during the coronavirus pandemic.

Let us begin.

 

The first response came from an enlightened individual who shared concern at my thought process. As they began to really detail the faults in my reasoning, I began to realize that this issue of sexual harassment and sexual abuse may be more widespread than I’d like to believe. Sex is amazing and one of the most pleasurable things created; why would anyone want to force it? Why would someone want to use it as a doorway for abuse? I never could grasp the concept. I was shown that a time limit on things of this nature probably isn’t the smartest idea, and even if I think 30-50 years is too long, the reality is that circumstances vary so widely that we honestly can’t place a timeline on when these crimes are reported. Legitimacy must be given to all victims, and due legal processes followed. Hopefully we can mature as a nation to the point where our laws work and there is faith in this system.

This leads into the second response, which was from a more technical perspective. If the people don’t trust the law, then how do we serve justice? Time limit or not, how will anyone make use of the channels available if these channels fail to work? The very people who are trusted to file these reports and get them investigated let the files stay buried on office desks for years; the people who are supposed to arrest rapists and abusers end up becoming them. This will cause victims to go silent, with paralyzing fear. I may have heavily undermined this fact.

Thirdly, I need to make it known that my ideas and opinions are always subject to change. What I fear is that we’ve become so silent on all these taboo topics that anyone who raises a question, objection or fact gets opposed almost immediately on an emotional basis. I’m not a monster to say no justice should be served, but we’ve all seen the law being abused. People lie. People manipulate these processes. People have their own intentions. I can’t just jump on a bandwagon and start shouting slogans with the public; there are hard lines and boundaries of critical thinking that we need to discuss for any common agreement to be reached…no matter how hurt we are.

Number four – this culture of silence also grows (theoretically) from black people not being able to properly develop healthy relationships overall. As someone put it to me: we basically grow in dysfunctional homes, try to emulate what seems like healthy white relationships in the media, and end up wrecking ourselves in ways that we refuse to fix, or are ignorant about. For sure the healing work has started, but it is important to note the roots of our problems so we can have a clear map to guide us out of them. An example would be me laughing at male rape. I’m hearing that a woman technically can’t rape a man. I’m also hearing that it is very possible. It’s clear-cut that men do assault and rape men. In any of these circumstances, the laughter that was my response could very well be my own inhumane blindness, but I’m also very sure that I didn’t develop it alone or on my own. Still, there’s less laughter now; I’m working on the rest.

This last part is where I find the most difficulty. If you have ever grown up/ are currently living in any kind of abusive household then you know the struggles that this will involve as it relates to public scrutiny, people leaving home and returning to the scene of abuse, damage to the family setting, death and injury, restraining orders, etc. If you’ve encountered these issues in a community, work, church or school setting, then you know how information can be used for either the abuser’s/victim’s benefit. I want safety and wisdom to be exercised, but it cannot be that we will all speak in hushed tones and expect justice. The power is in the true stories. Again, you’re not obligated, but again – I see no other way to increase awareness in a way that cannot be ignored. Even if you don’t speak out, you must be doing something to fight for your justice and the justice of others. I hope to do that through these writings, for if the people don’t press for justice to be served, it will not be the priority of those in power.

 

Below are petitions to sign, and letters to share and circulate. Please get involved, please start conversations, please listen and please help. The laughter doesn’t last, but the pain does. It’s time to break the silence.

Petition to make Sex Offender’s Registry Public

Letter and Petition to remove 12-month limit on sexual harassment accusations

Seek counselling and aid 

 

Blessings and Healing in abundance.

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