I want to thank all of you who read my recent post and especially those who left a comment, sent a private message mentioning feelings and experiences, or simply shared by retelling, retweeting, or reblogging. I believe sharing my story was the right thing to do and I appreciated the supportive and moving responses.
It seems that each reader found something that she or he needed – some saw a story of harassment and exploitation, others saw it as echos of their experiences, a few saw workplace bullying, several found a new perspective, and a couple of readers used it as a call for better nonprofit workplace policies. Lots of you sent apologies and hugs.
Writing about my experience was deeply personal – I had removed the episode from my career narrative and even my husband didn’t know it had happened until I asked his opinion about posting it. The post had a lot of power because it was born at the nexus of the fear, pain, anger, misogyny, shame and disbelief expressed by #YesAllWomen.
And not a few of you shouted, “OK, but now what?!”
Is there a culture of rape in the US and other countries? (Find a good definition from Marshall University.) Or is it simply abuse of power and privilege with another name? Isn’t it all just oppression by another name?
And if all this is woven into the fabric of our society, what can we do? How do we change a culture, the status quo?
The easiest thing is to do nothing. Inertia is the natural tendency of objects to resist changes in their state of motion. People can be very comfortable with inertia.
But I would argue that fundraisers are not comfortable with inertia; our nature is to fight oppression in any and all of its many forms. We raise awareness, we raise funds so that our nonprofits will eliminate oppression, injustice, destruction, disease, poverty, ignorance, mistreatment, hate and more. We raise a flag, we rally the troops, we fund the fight.