Speak up and speak out. Start something and stop something. Do something that matters. Change things. Prevent things. Save someone’s life. Help someone out. Show someone how much you care. How can you do this? Use your voice. Say something. Stand up and shout it out.
I am a HUGE proponent of speaking out when it really matters. Yes, I’ve been exploring mindful speech, when to talk and when to hold my tongue (or try to at least). But there are times, when you just HAVE to speak out. I know that words can be used as weapons but so can a lack of words. One of the main things I’ve noticed in my life so far is the incredible damage that can be done by silent bystanders.
I heard something once about how evil is not just done by evil people, it’s also done by good people who stand by and do nothing. I’ve been guilty of doing nothing before. I think we all have at one point or another. It’s okay. We all do it. Whether it’s out of fear or shock or through not knowing the available resources or whatever. But if you know how to speak out, if you know what to say and who to say it to or think you could even find that outlet, then I encourage you to speak up.
Now I’m going to speak up, once again. Here is what having someone stalk me cost me: a safe space to practice, a subbing opportunity, and the ability to have my own office, all of which require a sense of safety. I’ve reported the situation and I’m only posting this to say that being a predator is not okay. Here’s what you can do: Men, don’t prey on women. It has damaging and long term consequences for them you can’t even begin to imagine. Women: don’t be silent victims. You have to speak up and speak out to protect both yourself and other potential victims. This is when me talking too much has positive results. Tell someone, report what you can, and get help.
The same could also be true for men who need to report something. It happens on both sides of the spectrum. There are wonderful men out there as well. But when behavior becomes predatory, that could be the first sign of someone whose behavior could eventually escalate to a full on attack, assault, etc.
And I will never fucking be silent about that again. Pardon my language, but I mean it. If I have to take a fall so that I can be safe, so that other women, other people, can be safe, I’ll do it, to the best of my ability. I’m not perfect by any means but I refuse to sit back and keep watching it all happen.
If you have something you need to share, please feel free to send me a note. I know I don’t have all the answers, but perhaps I could at least point you to the right resources. Have faith in yourself and take a chance on yourself and dedicate yourself to yourself enough to know that you matter and to act on that knowledge.
You have a voice for a reason. Use it.