there is so much we don’t want to talk about
here or anywhere
someone taught us to stay quiet
to fear our voice
and our power

it is learned behavior to not share what is real
it is learned behavior to dance around truths
so we are taught shame
to feel ashamed for things we did not do
to take responsibility for scenarios we did not create
a short skirt is not an invitation for rape
a smile is not misleading
too much alcohol is not an excuse

we must encourage each other to speak
we must embolden each other to feel
disconnection is a crime
when we create artificial separation
we create a species
that does not know it’s own humanity
so we can wage war on each other
in our homes
behind closed doors
on the streets
and in dark alleys

the truth of it is,
as you sit here reading this
another human has been violated

months ago i was at a lecture
when someone asked,
“why rape culture, how could another normalize rape”
and the speaker said something i found fascinating
she said she believes that it actually starts young
our obsession with separating genders
is one of the root causes
and that part of what happens
with this separation of genders
is that we don’t learn to see the opposite sex
as human like us,
and so we can disconnect
and violate

it feels to me like the perpetuation of objectification
masked as protection
i have witnessed this,
working with children in residential programs
and i have noticed it in myself
i still find myself uncomfortable around men
in a different way

i didn’t grow up around a lot of boys
being home-schooled and a dancer,
my world was my family and girlfriends
and i can see how that has now shaped me
the only way i knew how to relate to men
was to act like them or sleep with them
i was guilty and sometimes still am
of objectification
it lingers in me

but i am obsessed with the possibility
that one of the ways we can start to change this
is through celebrating our humanity
and connecting sincerely

i don’t have children, but i may someday
and if i do, this is what i would pass onto them
because without connection,
i am not sure we have much of anything

but let me be clear
i am not saying this is the simple solution
i am not saying there is a simple solution
i’m simply bringing attention
to what i think we can start to do personally
in our day to day
that might make all the difference someday

it is my way of saying
we are not powerless
change happens first here
with you and me

i strongly believe in the importance
of not waiting
for someone else to come and make it all better
for someone else to come and fix everything
it doesn’t usually work that way
the world is changed by you
by you and me
and what we choose to do

so while i am not saying i have the answers
i am saying i have a clue
and as a human like you
i am committed to doing my part
to make a difference in that ways i know to
because i am pretty sure if we all took a stand here
you and me
we could change most anything

be aware of what you allow to be said around you
be committed to what you say is important to you
be willing to share your truth
and never turn a blind eye
on what you know is hurting another

it is our responsibility
in this huge community called humanity
to treat each other like our own
to care for each other relentlessly
this is how we start to shift things
in our homes, neighborhoods and society

please don’t let tragedy overwhelm you
feel it yes
morn it for sure
take your time
but then let it fuel you
come back stronger
come back fiercely
come back always

come back
to what you know to be true
i am no different
and no better
and no more worthy than you

we are in this

always have been
always will be

❤️ emily joy rosen

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