The news keeps coming. Someone new every day, it seems. It feels like what it would be living in the McCarthy era accusing each other of Communist ties.
Countless women are now coming forward to point out a past of sexual misconduct from male coworkers, men that just so happen to be in the public eye.
It’s a lot to take in. For some people fired on the spot, it’s hard to believe the claims, even as a woman myself proud that others are standing up for their rights and are brave enough to come forward.
There is no good or bad way to go about this, the process of accusing others, addressing it, and experiencing the aftermath. But when it all seems to ripple upon each other, the same message over and over again, it turns into the phenomenon associated with terrorism and mass shootings: we see the same kind of news and headlines, and we start to become numb to it all. We aren’t taken aback anymore. We don’t feel much of anything.
That lack of empathy hurts the most. When we’re constantly aware of every bit of news out there, numbers and names become less human. These are people, as real as you and I, facing some difficult burdens. And yet we can only do and feel so much before it gets far too overwhelming. Plus, these countless individuals coming forward, anonymous or not, deserve better than mediocre, half-hearted sentiments. They deserve action.
Again, I don’t want to somehow compare apples to oranges in referring back to gun violence in this scenario, but I’m getting this quick post out there for others who might feel the same way. When our dialogue surrounding current events becomes the same story over and over again, that raises a red flag.
We have the energy to be so intent in keeping up and knowing who’s who, but we could devote more to moving forward, too. On that note, I and so many of us can probably make a personal connection to these claims and scenarios. Even on my campus, recently two footballs players were accused of rape and sexual assault. The administration later held an open forum for students to ask questions, and the answers were…less than satisfying.
Like so many issues, we’re quick to point out the flaws in the system, but we’re at a loss when deciding how to effectively address the problem and prevent its recurrence.
Admittedly, the problem of sexual misconduct isn’t all occurring at the same time: we just all decided to speak out about it at once, turning into a crowd of people all shouting at the same volume, trying to be heard. The men whose reputations are tainted are becoming a wall of faces, blurring out of immediate focus.
Those who have done wrong deserve to face the consequences. Besides the presidency (did we forget about that?), entities have done well in handling issues of sexual misconduct. But this is cleaning up the mess that’s always been there.
For however long it might take, we’ll keep seeing the news pop up with someone new at fault. Once this subsides, the real question will be, what are we doing differently? How are we solving this problem? Those who need justice will receive what’s coming to them in due time. I’m more interested now in seeing what comes next. Is it truly a phase that will just die down and pass by like another trend? Or will we start seeing headlines about changes in major industries changing policies and leadership?
Let’s stop hitting the rewind button. I want to hear more about here and now: what can we all do now to make a difference and put humanity back in the recycled headlines?
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie