Our Light in the Darkness During the #MeToo Movement: We Share. We Care. We Create. by Nancy Dafoe
During dark times, such as millions of Americans are experiencing, light is needed to pull us from despair. Simply being human is sometimes overwhelming even in a country as prosperous as ours. These past couple of weeks, however, have presented unusual challenges in America, particularly for women across the country. It would feel dishonest to offer solace in the form of cute pictures of kittens or lovely photos of children and grandchildren to remind us of joy. We don’t need reminding. We know.
Part of the reason so many women feel despondent is directly related to the perils and difficulties our children and grandchildren will face on this planet, as well as in our country. However, I do believe there is something luminous happening right before our eyes in this moment. While patriarchy still dominates our politics and culture, women are standing up and fighting back very visibly. Women are not merely speaking up for themselves but for each other in the Me Too movement, and they are sharing.
When Christine Blasey Ford spoke her powerful words in tremulous voice before the Senate hearing on Supreme Court (at that time) nominee Brett Kavanaugh, we could all feel her courage, not simply see it. Within hours, women across the United States of America began sharing their previously hidden stories of assaults. A childhood friend of mine announced with bravery that she had been violated as a girl of 11. All the years I have known this amazing woman, this was the first time she stopped trying to hide what happened. Although exposing ourselves by openly expressing the indignities and pain we have faced at the hands of men is traumatic, the communal sharing of offering these stories is also healing.
For many, this politically dark time has also provided the impetus many women and some men have needed to step forward. Nationwide, sisterhood has never felt as real as at this moment in time. We are truly not alone and not without power when we stand together. This moment feels brighter than during the 60s when women said, “We will be heard.” Yes, there have been steps backward, but we are like the waves in the ocean. We do not recede for long.
I would also like to add that another radiant glow I see coming through this darkness is the explosion of creative energy. Throughout human history, people have confronted oppression with creative expression. There is a reason the Irish and the Russians have produced such dynamic and powerful literature. During these last two years, I have found my own creative burst of writing novels, poems and essays. That dynamism is not unrelated to the feeling of oppression in our own country. Where there is a will and a pen or a brush or other tool, artists will thrive even under brutal political circumstances.
We care for one another.
This is a legacy we leave to both our daughters and our sons.