I am not controversial and hardly confrontational. Don’t get me wrong, I speak when I feel my voice needs to be heard and I don’t shy away from a fight. But I won’t storm in brazenly ready to start a revolution. What I want is to start a conversation.
Specifically, a conversation about sexual violence. I’d like to say that I’m sorry you feel uncomfortable talking about sexual assault or that you’re uncomfortable with the extreme nature of these conversations. But frankly, I’m not. You should be uncomfortable because fearing or experiencing sexual harassment is uncomfortable. And I’d like to say that I’m sorry that you have to experience the vulnerability of those recounting their assaults. But I’m not because this discomfort is only a fraction of what many women deal with daily.
You should feel uncomfortable because this is an uncomfortable topic. But it’s not a conversation we should censor, or sugar coat or mute because of it. It’s nothing we should sweep under the rug because it’s taboo or sensitive or we’re not sure how to handle it. It’s a conversation we all need to start having and learning how to have it.
Some people don’t like talking about sexual assault. And you know what, neither do I. I wish it wasn’t even an issue. But the fact is, many women and men – some you know, others you don’t – have or will experience a sexually violent event in their lives. But no one should be embarrassed to speak out against sexual violence.
Start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Let’s start the conversation so that one day, hopefully, it’s one we don’t have to have.