This Women’s month has been very intense already and shown us leading by example why we still have to raise awareness and celebrate #women.
Amongst all the incredible and powerful stories of women who have made a change to society, inspired so many generations and demonstrate that the era of male supremacy will come to an end, one story stood out on this side of the world and we are all familiar with her face.
And it is not a story of glory.
It is a story of brutal reality that happens and will continue to happen in this world.
Sarah Everard’s disappearance has triggered the deeply rooted fears of women to walk this world in a female body. The story held everyone in tension and were all still holding breath. Especially living in London close to the route the young woman took home, it is irritating and emotional, it is all too familiar ground.
This incident fired anger and demands to address misogyny. Women feel shaken in their confidence of a modern woman. This young collective confidence that we can be who we want to be, that we are equal to anyone else. This sweet and embraced confidence that brings us the stories of independent and glorious women, lets us overcome the trauma of the past in daily life as it outdoes the collective female experience of centuries in the moment of business.
And then we read about Sarah Everard. And the trigger is set. The fear crawls back. And it turns into anger and the confidence of a modern woman shouts: No!
“We are having a #MeToo moment right now,” said the writer Mary Morgan, one of the vigil’s organisers. “Women are sharing their stories, they are showing the world the realities of gender-based violence, and how deep and widespread of an issue it is. We need urgent societal change.” Guardian, 2021
Yes, we do!
I see two sides of the coin of action.
We need to always take into account the collective side and standing up for change and #choosetochallenge like this year theme is shining. And you will see me being the first on the street to raise my voice and set action, without a question.
As we know though, social change takes time and always will. We can say NO and we must. And it might be wise to look at it like a marathon that we will still have to continue for more than decades, properly centuries.
Fighting violence is a giant task. Violence doesn’t end when it is applied for the abuse of power, it will only shift. As a person who carries a batch of labels, I speak from experience.
I am a woman, yet I also got beaten up twice because I am gay.
To fight the root of violence, we have to go all the way back to educate our children better emotionally and help them to understand how they can manage their anger, their grief and even love. We need to be champions of emotional and mental support and lead by example., create a safe space.
Also by taking instant action.
The other side of the coin. We as individuals we must start with ourselves for instant changes.
Say YES to yourself. Let the stories of glory and fear tell you that you are worth taking that step to learn how to protect yourself.
NOT because of anger or fear, but coming from a place of LOVE. Deeply rooted love for life and yourself!
We can’t change that violence will be out there, but we can choose to protect ourselves by learning skills that will help us in the moment to say YES and NO at the same time. Yes to yourself and your quality of life, and NO to anyone who is invading your personal safety.
It will set an example over time. Every woman who learns self defence AND stands up for the collective social change stands up for all future generations and more equality. Choose to rise!
When you make your choice, just remember:
No law will help you in the moment of attack, but you can learn how to help yourself until times hopefully have changed and women can indeed walk around being their awesome female Self - sexy AND safe.
Be safe. Be you.