The Ear has made a grave error, and make no mistake, and the organization’s reputation and its future are in jeopardy. This is not the time to circle wagons. This is not the time to double down on a policy that has enraged people throughout the community. Your Facebook posts are making it worse by trying to garner sympathy for a registered sex offender instead of owning up to the massive breach of trust. This is the time to do what your name says: Listen to the concerns being raised and respond with urgency, taking immediate steps to rebuild the trust you lost.
But there are tornadoes, and then there are tornadoes. The quick-moving kind are the ones nature delivers. The ones we create ourselves take years to play out.
So, today I’m bringing you back the rest of the yarn I bought from you. I’m not asking for a refund – you can just take it. I have no qualms with having an IUD in my uterus, but it feels immoral to have your yarn in my home.
Losing my job was a momentous turning point in my life. It taught me how to fail, and how to rise. It taught me how keep hope when despair would be so much easier. It taught me how to come together with the one I love, rather than falling apart. It taught me what it means to be afraid, to know what it’s like to wonder if there will still be food at the end of the month, to wonder whether you can afford heat in the winter, to not be able to see a doctor when you need one, to be scorned by those luckier than you because you are struggling.
At least have the courage to hear what your own citizens are saying. Hear them out, because that’s what a leader of a democracy does. And if you won’t even do that, then let’s drop this pretense of being a democracy. You can change your title from governor to autocrat, and at least that would be honest.
A friend took me aside. “My word to you,” she said, “is focus on intent, not outcome.” Wise words, and I have done my best to live by them since then. It just isn’t easy to do.
It’s the entire attitude toward rape that has to be done away with, not just the politician. As long as the survivors of rape are scared to come forward because they fear they won’t be believed, or be told their rape wasn’t real or bad enough, or because they are scared of a legal system that is cold and unempathetic, we will never do right by the survivors of rape.
We all go bumbling through life, meeting and forgetting people without much thought to it. You meet someone, you become friends or you don’t, you stick with them a long time or you never see them again. Certainly many of those chance encounters never amount to much. But we’re connected in ways great and small to everyone we meet – and probably everyone we never see as well. And every once in a while, you get a chance to make a difference to someone. If you’re lucky, you get to know when this happens. I was lucky.
It’s now 22 years later and women’s bodies are still being used as political bargaining chips, facts of the matter be damned. And now it’s not just abortion that has them in a lather. It’s women’s health itself. And that makes me a bit twitchy, because birth control might be all that stands between me and a pretty serious operation.
What do we do in the face of such blind ignorance and hatred? What do we do when evil makes a showing in our home town? Do we stand up against it, in one form or another? Or do we grab the seat in front of us and stare straight ahead and hope that by ignoring it, it’ll get bored and go away?