This is a hard time, sisters. How are you feeling? Are you grieving, or remembering/reliving old traumas? Feeling confused, or enraged?
These responses are all healthy and natural. We are standing with and among the survivors.
Like all of the staff, I am working long days preparing for the conference. In the background, I have been tracking the stories of women in the wake of the senate judiciary committee hearings and the testimony of Christine Basley Ford. I see rape culture everywhere.
For at least a week, I have been feeling a low level of rage stirring in my body. At times it intensifies and I pause to allow the emotions to surge through me. A furious bike ride Tuesday morning. Home alone for 15 minutes on Thursday evening, I yell, hitting the bed, and collapse into sobs. Why am I so enraged?
I draw from my needs-based language training, remembering that my feelings—in this case anger and grief—point me to underlying needs. I ask myself, what needs are not met, by this current display of rape culture? Many needs are not met. Respect. Safety. Valuing. Integrity. Honesty. A shared sense of reality. These are all basic human needs.