Time named Silence Breakers their Person of the Year. They have taken great personal risks and paid steep prices to bring the truth to light. They are my personal heroes.
Sexual abuse and assault have been far too prevalent in my life and in the lives of people I love. I’ve recently been dealing with sexual harassment in an up close and personal manner. The response I’ve seen has been disgustingly familiar.
There are apologies that lack ownership. The survivor is bullied into accepting these “apologies”. She tries to go along to get along and then goes home to vomit and cry and wonder what she did wrong. (NOTHING!!!)
People invested in the status quo wish to silence me. They want me to stop advocating for the survivor. They will try to blame me for creating the hostile environment caused by one person’s harassment (and other people’s enabling). I don’t care what price I pay. I will not be silenced.
People have called me a hero for what I am doing. I am not. I am just a grumpy old man tired of the b.s. from abusers, predators, and enablers.
I am no angel either. I have done bad things with the best of intentions. A couple years ago, for example, I gave a kiss to the forehead of a female friend. I had intended to make her feel loved and appreciated. I caused her distress. I own what I did. I apologized and listened to what she wanted from me to make amends.
Abusers and predators, on the other hand, don’t want to pay that price. They often expect forgiveness without consequences. They want silence. Enablers will join in their efforts. They want to keep the status quo and not do the hard work of truly making things right.
I want no one’s silence. I want to tell my own truth and invite anyone I’ve ever hurt to do the same.
Truth is the enemy of abusers, predators, and enablers. They want the truth to remain forever hidden, but eventually it always emerges.
Truth is every survivor’s greatest ally. And it will help us win in the end. The Silence Breakers are incredibly courageous to bring the truth to light despite the risks and prices they must pay. That is why the people named as Time’s Person of the Year are my personal heroes.