Silence Is Complicity And We Cannot Afford To Be Complacent
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Politics and Activism

Silence Is Complicity And We Cannot Afford To Be Complacent

When difficult conversations are a repeat endeavor, it can be hard to feel like there is any change happening.

Silence Is Complicity And We Cannot Afford To Be Complacent


Recently, Indian-American college-sophomore Ruth George was brutally murdered after ignoring a man's catcalls. The story was picked up by news outlets in both the United States and India. It was a topic of hushed and shocked conversation during Thanksgiving dinner. Our community was in shock. Here was this pre-med honors student from a respectable brown family, assaulted in the back of her own car. It jarred many of the men and women I know out of their complacency.

It had hit home and it had hit hard.

For the first time since I can remember, there was a sincere conversation about the types of violence female-presenting people experience in the world. In an unexpected show of intersectionality, we had an honest discussion about the compound threats facing transgender and gender non-conforming people, women of different races and ethnicities*, gay and bisexual men and women, and people in the military. We talked about toxic masculinity and the reasons why guys rape and do not report when they are victims and survivors. And why women often don't report, either.

I know this website isn't exactly the height of grit, but the fact that events like this continue to happen is horrifying and in need of discussion. Some people might be tired, fatigued, and inclined to complain that in the wake of #MeToo, all we seem to do is talk about sexual assault and sexual violence. But ignoring the problem is not going to produce any solutions. And we need to keep talking about it until it no longer is a problem.

I don't have all the answers. I see stories like this, this, this, this, this, this and this, and I am scared. Most women will tell you of the perennial cloud over our existence. The way we carry our keys in our knuckles when walking down the street, the backward glances and heightened alertness that characterizes our presence in an unfamiliar location, the way we awkwardly tug at our clothes when talking to certain people, because they unsettle us. Because we know that we are moments away from having to fight for our lives.

I don't have all the answers, but I hope things will get better somehow, soon.

*Note: the article opens with a misguided statement. "Students who perceive that their college campus is more inclusive and welcoming of sexual- and gender-minority people have lower odds of being victims of sexual assault, according to a study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence." Let us rephrase that a bit. How about this: students who were at lower risk of being victims of sexual assault perceived their college campus to be more inclusive and welcoming.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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