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#yesallwomen

Screen shot 2014-05-27 at 8.42.25 PMAs a woman who has devoted one hell of a lot of time, energy and tears to the datingverse – and thus has both politely turned down dates, impolitely turned down dates, and been politely and impolitely turned down – it’s hard not to want to say something about the recent events that have made #yesallwomen kitchen table conversation, walk home conversation, new friend textversation, and even at work Skypeversation.

But it’s hard to write about this without feeling vehemently emotional, conjuring up visceral images I thought I had squished into near non-existence. The professor. The incident with the mail – the one that years later I’m afraid to say anything more about (but can I just say thank you to the champ-like response my boyfriend at the time had?). The time things almost got out of hand in high school, and the girl who smoked clove cigarettes with me to calm down before going home. The coworker at the brew pub who didn’t listen to “No” when things did get out of hand. There they all are, popping out of the wallpaper, the woodwork, the popcorn-crumbled ceiling, like images in a Magic Eye book I thought I’d trained myself not to see.

Which all just makes me want to curl up into a tiny ball and have long arms wrapped around me, telling me I’m safe – whether that’s true or not. Because the truth is, the “What if?” already has happened. I already know I’m not.

All the hubbub going on right now is great for awareness. But the awareness feels a lot like the hype leading up to Mother’s Day. Two weeks before, we get all jacked up about Moms and then whoosh – they go right back into blending in behind strollers or dropping kids off at school for another year.What happens after the awareness wears off? Shouldn’t every day be Mother’s Day? Shouldn’t every night be Take Back the Night?

We seem to think that by talking about it for a week, we’re getting somewhere…only to go right back to where we were before. So my question is: how do we not let that happen? How do we raise awareness into a cultural shift?

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