Today I participated in the National Walk Out in Support of Dr. Blasey Ford & Deborah Ramirez. To be quite honest, I felt a little awkward about it. I was at home and didn’t have much to “walk out” of. But I did it nevertheless, getting up and walking out of my house with my sign in hand at 1:00 PM Eastern time. And am so glad I did.
Last week was extremely painful for so many women as we watched breaking news of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, lead the headlines. We felt pain because it hit far too close to home, and our hearts ached because it keeps happening. Anger swelled within us because justice is – far too often – entirely elusive. We felt anger, sadness, grief, guilt, confusion, fear, numbness, depression, and anxiety because of the complex and personal nature of sexual assault and it’s seemingly pervasive impact on so many of the women we know, admire, respect, and love.
This is for every sister-survivor who showed up…however and whenever you showed up. I see you and I hear you. I respect and honor you. And, I appreciate you and am so proud to stand with you.
I See You, Sister-Survivor
I saw you today. You were dressed in black and held a sign that said #BelieveSurvivors. (Or maybe it said #BelieveWomen?) You weren’t smiling or striking a pose. No. Today, you were all business.
I saw you walk out of your job, your home, your moment – whatever it was – and stand up for and with survivors. You stood in sisterhood and solidarity, and it was breathtaking.
I saw you.
And what struck me most was your eyes. Your eyes were as deep as the midnight darkness and overflowing with profound truth. They held wisdom and knowingness, the kind that only another woman could recognize. Focused and steady, they spoke straight to my heart and in their piercing silence, they said so many things.
Your eyes told me that you fully and unequivocally believe in and support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Rameriz, Anita Hill, and so many other women who’ve survived sexual assault and gone on to share their stories in hope of sparing other women pain.
They told me how personal this is to you. That you and so many of the women in your tribe have said #MeToo, and you’ve had enough. You wonder when the number of men who accept full responsibility and accountability for their own thoughts, words, and actions will reach critical mass, such that #MeToo might blessedly fade into memory.
Your eyes spoke to me of fury and frustration. You are exhausted from watching sister-survivors speak their truths, sharing details so profoundly painful and intimate, only to be shamed, blamed, and dismissed. You’re furious at watching justice fail completely. Egregiously. Again. And. Again.
I thought I recognized fear and rage there, too. Perhaps you aren’t afraid for yourself so much as you might be for your daughters, granddaughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, neighbors, classmates, students and coworkers. The very thought of this happening over and over, seemingly without end, to countless people we know and love, is both terrifying and enraging.
I saw a flash of unwavering certainty in your eyes. It said, “I am a sister-survivor, and in my heart, I hold the stories and strength of generations of fellow sister-survivors; you cannot and will not shake me.”
Your eyes were full of empathy and compassion for the heartache and pain of all women. And they offered gentle reassurance that each of us can and will overcome, both our individual battles and our shared struggle. Together.
There was power in those eyes. Sometimes just a flicker, and sometimes a roaring flame. But always, power. Know your power, Sister-Survivor. Know it, honor it, trust it, and stand firmly in it.
I saw love in your eyes. And hope. And so much determination. I saw a woman who fully intends to use her life to make this world a more just and loving place.
I saw you today. And I was so proud to stand with you and for you.
I saw you today. And in you, I saw a little bit of me.
I saw you today. And I want you to know: I love you. And #IBelieveYou, my fellow sister-survivor.