As I sit here, reflecting on a particularly grueling news week last week, I have to wonder: What direction is the world heading? I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stay motivated and inspired to do good in a country where sexual assault victims are mocked by the highest levels of leadership and a concerted effort is still being made to deny climate change and the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
On Sunday, we watched as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court. After an FBI investigation in which the constraints were so tightly wound in his favor, he was deemed a fit candidate. Yesterday, President Trump apologized to Kavanaugh “on behalf of our nation” for the “terrible pain and suffering” he was “forced to endure” in the nomination process.
Through those words and their actions, the administration confirmed that ‘we’ as a nation, do not care about sexual assault survivors.
Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report regarding the urgent and collective effort necessary to avoid a deleterious and irreversible increase in global temperature. Within the report, the prognosis for the planet was predictably grim. Headlines are pleading American leaders to take action. The political response thus far: predictably pathetic.
And as the #MeToo movement continues to grow expeditiously a year after it’s initial rise, antithetical hashtags including #IBelieveMen and #HimToo are beginning to surface across social media channels. These hashtags aren’t designed to be inclusive or empowering to male assault survivors (an equally vulnerable population), but instead, a counter weapon aimed to dilute the credibility of female victims. This is step backwards for survivors of all sexes.
Right now, it all feels like a lot and I am struggling.
I am struggling to adapt to a culture where empathy and compassion are desperately lacking.
I am struggling with the devastating level of willful ignorance that’s only being exacerbated with propagandic terms like ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ that empower imbecilic and detrimental ideologies.
I am struggling to understand how the opinions and feelings of privileged individuals now preponderate science-based medicine and irrefutable data.
I am struggling to grasp what it means to be a female in 2018. Not only do I have to fear for my safety as a woman, but I also have to fear for my credibility as a survivor.
I am struggling with the habituation of white-supremacists, police brutality, gun violence and hate in our headlines; action rarely taken, readers quickly apathetic – inured by the suffering due to the frequency of such events.
I am struggling to understand the world that I live in. Each year, I feel a piece of the somewhat idyllic place I thought this planet to be, fall away, revealing an even more complex, daunting and downright terrifying place.
At this point, my solutions are limited. My inclination has always been to solve life’s biggest dilemmas using a combination of logic, data, practical reasoning and creativity – all while nourishing my insatiable desire to find the truth, learn more and share my knowledge.
So for now, that’s what I’ll continue to do.