Last weekend I got invited on Facebook by several people to participate in a "blackout" for domestic violence awareness -- basically, you changed your profile picture to a black square to "show men what a world without women would be like" and of course "don't tell anyone but women about this," because THAT's how you spread awareness, with secrecy and profile pictures.
It reminded me of those stupid "breast cancer awareness" meme things where you write a weird, vague post like "I'm 4 weeks and craving pickles" or "Forgot to feed my unicorn" or some other stupid thing that supposedly makes people go "huh? what's that?" and immediately go get a mammogram.
Wait, that's NOT what happens? Huh.
It pissed me off, frankly. Right now, where women are coming out with their stories of abuse and assault and rape and violence, and they are being met with ridicule and disbelief and threats of MORE violence, right now we want to "show men what a world would look like without women?"
I just ignored these requests and didn't do it, quietly seething, and then someone I know put up a post basically slamming everyone who responded with "I'm not doing this" by saying that she was disgusted with people who don't believe in awareness for domestic violence. And I couldn't stay quiet anymore.
If you want to do something like that, have at it, and just know that it probably is not creating a safe haven for women escaping abuse, or convincing a controlling, violent man to stop being abusive. BUT DO NOT TELL OTHER PEOPLE THAT THEY SUCK FOR NOT DOING IT.
When you have kept your shoes by the door so you can run out of the house for safety, when you have locked yourself in your office while a swearing, screaming man kicks a hole in the hollow core door, when a magazine leaves Nicole Kidman's face on your white wall because it was thrown with force towards your head and missed, when someone whispers through gritted teeth "I want to just snap your neck" while shaking you by the shoulders... then maybe you can judge me for not making my profile pic a black square in order to "make a difference."
Nope, even then, for the love of all that's holy, respect other people's choices not to participate in this ilk.
Because THAT'S WHAT ABUSERS WANT -- a world where women are invisible, powerless, weak, easy to push around.
That's what all these people who are bullying Christine Blasey Ford and other women coming forward with their personal accounts of sexual assault want. For heaven's sake, the effing president of the United States took in all the accounts of violence and assault and inappropriate behavior and then turned it into IT IS A SCARY TIME FOR YOUNG MEN TODAY.
We don't need to make ourselves invisible by choice, it's already happened. We need to be loud, because apparently it is damn near impossible to get a woman's voice heard. We need a flood of strong, fierce, vocal, VISIBLE women.
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