This goes out to the men, of a certain age, back when “things were different,” 40 years ago they say; except that 40 years ago, I was 14, and although I wasn’t male, I actually felt every bit a person as the men alone assumed they were; and the only thing that was “different” was that there weren’t as many voices holding space for my non-male humanity…
But back to YOU–MEN of a different generation–Those who I worked alongside as I came of age, sometimes in intimate settings, or with whom I shared cocktails on a Friday evening after work, or bumped up against at a gathering of some sort–personal or professional–You who did not seek to diminish or degrade or grope (let alone rape me)–despite how much we had to drink, or what I was wearing or how flirtatious I might have seemed or even if it was really late at night and I didn’t belong or was priviledged to belong, as the only non-male among you.
Must I thank you?
Must I celebrate you?
Must I be grateful that you did not assume my humanity as less than yours?
I am grateful. I do thank you. But I won’t wait any longer for you to stand beside me and say:
There was never a time when any of this was okay, not twenty years ago, not forty, not a hundred or a thousand.
There was only a time when it wasn’t safe to say so.
Let’s make things DIFFERENT.