Herman Cain, hashtags, Hillary Addams, and hope

Our Courtney has a wonderful op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor today, in which she finds the common thread between the Herman Cain sexual harassment and assault accusations, the #mencallmethings hashtag, and the beating of Hillary Addams by her father. The common thread, she writes, is the systematic mistreatment of women by men in American culture:

The voting public will make up their own minds about Cain and sexual harassment. But landing on that truth is actually less important for the future of this nation than acknowledging this one: In the shadowy spaces of our society – online comment sections, late nights at the office, dorm rooms right before dawn – too many men still feel entitled to violate the inalienable rights and dignity of women.

But there’s another common thread to be found here, one that offers us some hope. It comes from the one and only Audre Lorde, and it’s the idea that speaking, en masse, about systemic oppression, can create solidarity and hopefully help to end that oppression:

What leaves me hopeful, despite all this dehumanization, is this: Women are starting to unapologetically shine a blinding floodlight on the behavior that used to lurk in the shadows. Building on the legacies of brave women before us – like Anita Hill, who 20 years ago, planted the seed of this new audacious documentation.

We are blogging, filming, tweeting, and testifying to our experiences. We are gathering, whether metaphorically or literally, and giving one another strength through solidarity. We are living feminist visionary Audre Lorde’s profound reminder: “Your silence will not protect you.”

Go read the whole thing. It will, I hope, help you find something of a silver lining on this shittiest of shitty news days.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted November 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Its good that women come forward and report rape crimes and assaults in greater numbers, if indeed it is happening.

    However in this case it sure would have helped the credibility of their case if they came forward on time. Instead they all come forward after years in the wake of an election year at the same time? There is only so much a rational person is willing to chalk up to coincidence, especially if there havent been even rumors of that sort surrounding Cain.

  2. Posted November 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    No coincidence, when you run for President, light shines on your past. Deal with it.

  3. Posted November 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Courtney for writing this article

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