Good, Halloween, pay it forward, sexual predators, Social Media, Support

May They All Fall Down

 

I am nostalgic for simple things today — tiny costumes, frost, crisp leaves and the Halloween of days past when I safety-pinned tails and veils and walked door to door at dusk arms full of coats and extra tissues. But delusion, that life is simple, is on the auction block this week.

Sexual predators and manipulators in the form of celebrities, chefs and politicians have been steadily outed this month. Dropped by the media, the public and sponsors does not begin to rectify the enormous damage, to both women and men, that denial has fostered. Yet this feels like a slow roll towards something: illumination, education, vindication? The news just came through of truck carnage in NYC.  I find it hard to catch my breath.

What is good.

I need to reward the good people around me more. Thank them often, send them notes, praise their accomplishments, foster kindness and respect. I cannot expect them to just know that they have touched me with their goodness but I can show them in simple ways. We should all start fixing and polishing what is around us one word, one gesture, one act at a time. I choose to believe this will pay forward towards a better culture. Who does not feel better, more powerful, more motivated after praise?

After the news broke in NYC today, I went outside and nailed up a plastic illuminated spiderweb at the bottom of my stairs. Threaded down a 40-foot extension cord so the spider’s eyes could glow. My pockets are full of tissue for my own cold. The children next door make an effort to come up my stairs and get candy at some point every Halloween, even though the neighbors give out full-sized candy (come on, no contest, I agree). But they support me and my presence.

In return, I will dump the contents of my plastic pumpkin into their bags and spike their end of the night candy count quite nicely. I will cheer them as they tackle the stairs to my door, trains and swords and light lasers in hand.

May the people that harmed all fall down. May the goodness in others, and you, get rewarded, over and over. It is the only way to stand up strong.

Tonight, may your candy count be amazing.

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#metoo, keeping silent, Me, Too, Social Media, Support, Women

Me + You

Me, Too.

Two little words. Every one of these posts, raining down on Facebook and Twitter from my women friends, colleagues and family feels like the moment the ice bucket challenge water hit the top of my head. The goosebumps just keep rising and won’t go away.

Just like when I was groped, at fifteen, in a movie theater. Just like when the pant-less man jumped out at me on Anderson Street. Just like when the passenger standing over me on the train parted his raincoat (seriously, how cliché) and showed me his penis. Just like the lewd emails I received from a male writer after a conference. Just like the tainted martini. I felt sick. I fell silent.

Do I look like an idiot? No, I look like a woman. And what did I do? Moved seats, crossed the road, sat still and hoped it would go away, deleted the emails, tried to forget. Never told my daughters. In other words, acted like a woman taught to keep her mouth shut, not stir up trouble, smile and pretend.

Those of you that know me might just have snorted. But that reaction has been ingrained. Period. In every instance, through my entire fifty-nine years, my response has been I am powerless against this man. Nothing I do will change what happened. Not worth making a fuss.

But these two words, posted again and again by women I love and admire, makes my heart skitter. We are confessing, yes; Me. But together we are building powerful, irreversible awareness with the second word; Too. 

I suspect every finger hesitated, every woman wondered, “should I do this publicly?” The answer is yes.

Because if you are nervous about going public consider something: each generation reaches higher standing on the shoulders and accomplishments of the women before them. But how staggering that women of ALL ages are posting these two words Me, Too and #metoo.  This is power. This is momentum. This is all of us, together.

Solidarity breaks things. Silence. Ignorance. Powerlessness. Domination. Wrong.

Wow and Wow. I admire each and everyone of you.

We are women. Not,

Blog10.17.17

 

 

 

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Facebook, Friendship, Social Media

Friend-back.

 

There is a lot I do not want to read this month — or see, or hear. Inconceivable to me a year ago, I have been making daily choices about the news: read the New York Times or toss? Turn on the evening news or Netflix? Scroll through Twitter or ignore.?

“Bear witness!” my cousin scolds me. But I need to manage my media diet to sleep at night. I have taken to skimming. I deleted The Skimm (suddenly, it seems too snarky and young when everything is too much in crisis). Facebook, however, has been a bit of a conundrum.

As a social media tool, FB has such information potential and such damage potential. A year ago, convinced I couldn’t listen or read what the Trump supporters had to post, I ‘unfollowed’ a lot of people. I defined ‘friends’ as those that agreed with my politics. But look where that landed me — in a bubble of Hilary supporters and no balanced perspective. I was crushed even more– a tough lesson in listening and not just to what I wanted to hear.

Since January 21st, 2017 the site has become a place to ‘click and share’ our rage and disbelief, media false or true, pictures that can be difficult to look at, rhetoric that ranges from “F***” to “Crying.” Frankly, who isn’t going through that range of emotion every day, regardless of which party you support?

This time, I won’t un-friend you. In fact, I have ‘friended-back’ everyone.

I am listening.

I fully understand that the rate of posting cute puppies or sporty photos in exotic locations has steeply declined. We are a nation in crisis. But you are my friends, and for that I will read your feed, wince in private, and be present to what is happening and for you.

Otherwise, I am uninformed and not a friend. But throw me a cute Scottish Terrier sometime just to keep my heartburn at bay.

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