this summer, in the late afternoon, in a sunny backyard, in front of family and my own children, someone i had just met came to hug me goodbye and put his hand up my shorts to grope my ass.
my stomach fell to my feet.
the thing about these dipshits is they know what they’re doing – no one else is ever looking in that exact moment- that moment that is both subtle and pungent, that moment that makes you feel hazy. did it even happen?
it happened. we are hazy because we are stunned.
i have three daughters – so pure, still, and little but big. they are children, unaware of the ugliness this world has to offer. what do i do, as their mother? how do i raise girls who will know what to do, if and when their stomach drops to their feet after a man has had his way?
i wish i could love them hard enough to create a permanent bubble of protection.
i can only fill their days with as much space and opportunity for voicing their opinion, expressing their identity, and understanding their worth.
maybe if my girls trust their source, and serve their life with authenticity, they can say out loud: this is wrong, and the wrong is not me. they can disarm the villain of assault with words and truth.
i told pat right after that man did that. i told a couple of other people a few days later. and the world did not change, but here is what did:
the wrong-doing was no longer a secret; the secret couldn’t stay inside me gathering shame dust. through telling, it became something separate, that i could hold out for others to see.
this is what voice does – this is what using your voice does: it makes what you say community property, it fills the air. it becomes not mine, but ours.
our voices hold us accountable.
my daughters will encounter offense, misconduct, transgression.
i hope they know, feel, and say: no. do better. look. someone! over here. let’s fix this, let’s acknowledge this. let’s not accept that which makes us hazy.
let’s be very clear.