I’m still reeling after the “Locker Room Talk” post. I didn’t intend this blog to ever touch on subjects outside of music, and I intend to shut the door on that with this post. In just a second.
I heard from (and am still hearing from) dozens of women who are sharing their own stories with me. I am humbled at every moment by them. I thought I knew the power of sharing stories, but nothing could have prepared me for this. Colleagues, friends, friends of friends, mentors, students – it takes my breath away.
And I’ve had dear friends write to offer personal support in a way that makes my heart grow three sizes, like the Grinch’s, shattering that little cartoon heart-measuring device.
Before we go back to me marketing my own concerts, here’s one more thing, inspired by two reactions to that blog post.
One is the use of the word “horrifying” to describe the stories I recounted.
The second is the sheer volume of storytelling that’s come my way, the incredible amount of things that women inside and outside of my acquaintance have told me, often after years of holding the stories back.
Truth: I don’t find the stories in my blog post horrifying, although I appreciate the spirit behind the use of that word to describe them. There are actual horrifying things in the world. And some of those things, I believe, are part of the reason that so many women – SO MANY – don’t talk about the smaller stuff. Oh, we stay silent for selfish, human, reasons too. We want a chance at a job, we want to keep what we have, we want to keep the family gathering/staff meeting/reunion lighthearted, so we laugh and smile and decide not to die on that hill.
But sometimes, we don’t sweat these things because they just don’t feel very significant. And that’s because we have lived through worse.
You all know this, because you read, you know the numbers. And you know the numbers mean that women you know have been physically and sexually assaulted. You know that you must have friends and family members who have endured things like this, and not told you.
From here on out, this blog will go back to talking about my professional activities as a musician. But in our current atmosphere, when every media outlet is carrying discussion on this topic of the crudest and most clueless sort, I am moved to break my understandable and well-earned silence on this topic.
You know people who carry these wounds, large and small. Maybe you carry them. Listen to each other, consider your own words, make a space where conversation can happen. Support organizations like RAINN (I heart them a lot) who are doing great work to address these things.
I’m awash in messages from women and men who have elevated themselves, and who elevate those around them, in defiance of the great ugliness and cruel pettiness of which we humans are capable. Forget the anger and sadness emojis. Where’s the one for inspiration, or for pride? Because y’all – you are, in the real sense of the word, awesome.