What The 2018 Grammys Taught Me About Sexual Assault
Welcome back readers!
Today I want to give attention to the #MeToo and Times Up movements that have taken the United States by storm in recent months. It is a hard topic to talk about, but as a country, we need to start to give attention to issues that aren't so comfortable. The 2018 Grammys held in my own city at Madison Square Garden last evening were a stark reminder that sexual assault is everywhere and it will no longer be ignored.
It began with solidarity; #MeToo. The #MeToo Movement was founded by social activist Tarana Burke to help survivors realize they are not alone and it was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano after she encouraged others suffering to tweet it out (millennial style). It brought solace to those suffering through their own experiences and it brought a spot light on an uncomfortable topic in our country.
Following the #MeToo movement we saw Times Up take flight. Enough is enough and we let the world know exactly what we were not going to accept any longer. The Golden Globes in 2017 highlighted this next chapter in this defining movement by dressing in black to represent a united front.
Enter The 2018 Grammys last evening. White everywhere. Historically, white is said to be the color of surrender in war. In our country today, white is a clear representation of peace, hope and resistance. Janelle Monáe said it best in her Grammys speech last evening, "We come in peace, but we mean business." Enough is enough.
Men have begun to respond in their own fashion both joining women at the Golden Globes and The Grammys in black and white respectively and by beginning movements aimed at changing the culture through personal reflection and future action, including #IDidThat, #IHave, and #IWill.
A proverbial line in the sand has been drawn and with a line drawn must also come hope and resistance. Black and white are not just clothing statements. They are a representation of the beautiful balance between yin and yang. Anger and hope. Fight and peace. Yin and Yang, ("dark-bright", "negative-positive") describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. With pain comes power, with anger comes redemption.
So you're asking me, well this post was enlightening Miranda, but what should I do about it.
1. Keep The Conversation Moving.
Don't turn a deaf ear to a casual conversation about your friends awful experience or an interaction they feel may have been assault. Talk. Keep it open and moving because the more momentum this movement continues to build, the more it can carry and the further it will flow.
2. Be Aware.
Keep yourself updated and aware of the world going on around us. Read articles, talk to others, watch videos. The more we know as a country, the less we will tolerate as a collective whole. This article was a great start, now continue this on.
3. Speak Your Truth.
If you are someone who has been affected by sexual assault in any capacity, speak your truth. Now this doesn't mean go telling all of your friends and family on Facebook if you are not emotionally there yet. Speaking your truth is for you and you alone. Whether that is admitting to yourself that you may have experienced unwanted interactions, beginning to attend therapy to discuss the effects, or sharing it with a close, trusted support, speaking your truth takes away the perpetrators power. Speaking your truth gives you that power back.
4. Don't Be Afraid of Confrontation.
Sexual assault is never a laughing matter; from an unwanted touch on the subway to a rape from a trusted friend at a party, sexual assault should never be tolerated. Don't be afraid to confront a friend who makes light of the topic or a journal article you feel didn't give it the respect it deserved. Confront. Change the conversation. Until we begin to confront the behaviors we have allowed for far too long, we cannot expect to see a shift in the culture surrounding sexual assault.
5. Get Active.
Whether this means joining a group near you who is active in the public resistance to sexual assault or it is simply changing your own conversations about sexual assault, get active. Make social media posts, write articles, read books, start a focus group, launch a neighborhood peace walk. Get active and get yourself out there. Again, the more momentum we give to this movement, the more power it gains, the more it can carry, and the further it will go.
**Find out more info at the Times Up website.
Stand together in all classes, sexualities, genders, cultures, and skin colors.
xoxo Miranda from the Midwest