We have to be relentless

Dear President Trump,

I’m betting you are thanking your sick lucky stars for Sayfullo Saipov and his horrible, murderous attack yesterday in NYC since all the coverage of the Mueller indictments slipped below the fold. Don’t get too comfortable though — Mueller is clearly just getting started.

Did you see in the paper today that the British Defense Secretary stepped down after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced? The list of powerful/famous men who have resigned or been fired for being sexually inappropriate at work just keeps getting longer and longer. I’m not ready to hold my breath on this but it’s starting to look like we may be at a tipping point and things might just change going forward.

In an article early last month Jenni Konner said that “our voices are our superpower” and I think she is right as long we emphasize that it’s voices, plural. I’ve already written to you about how virtually impossible it’s been historically for an individual woman or girl to have her allegations of sexual harassment (or assault) taken seriously. Unfortunately I don’t necessarily see this changing much in the foreseeable future, but when dozens or hundreds of women (and men) start calling out harassers and abusers it is a powerful thing. Men start apologizing, they resign, they get fired. It remains to be seen whether other men will take note and mend their ways or think twice before putting their hand somewhere they shouldn’t. It is also unknown how men will respond to one another in private when there are no women around; will you just egg each other on more or will you start calling each other out on misogyny? I’m hopeful but you all have been able to run roughshod over women for such a long time that you aren’t going to give up that ground easily so we will have to be relentless. Here’s a blessing to help us all get to a time when we’ve figured out how to treat each other decently and we can tackle the big, big issues (climate change, income and wealth disparity, infant mortality….) we have got to face:

May we be safe with one another.
May we be happy in the context of mutual respect.
May we have healthy boundaries.
May we be at peace with ourselves and each other.

Tracy Simpson

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