Miscarriage of Justice

Are you like the woman I met the other day?

She doesn’t vote.

Even now.

She hears what’s being said, she sees what’s being done and she says, “I’m not political.”

Even now.

If you think you’re not political you’re missing the point. You have been politicized. Your body. Your mind. Your memories. Your human rights and dignity.

This week, for the second time in recent history, we have been shown that our government ignores the rights and belittles the dignity of sexual assault victims.

The conviction rate for rape and sexual assault is abysmally low. I believe it’s because men are not actually tried for committing sexual assault, women are tried for failing to prevent it.

This week a woman, a woman who had nothing to gain and everything to lose, was put on trial for not having prevented her own assault as a teenager and she was found guilty.

She did it in service to try and stop our government from committing a grave injustice.

And has become commonplace in our society, whether in the case of sports events or political showdowns, it’s not enough that they ‘won,’ the victors are setting fire to whatever they know will burn hottest.

In their eyes it’s not enough that she is guilty of not stopping him, they must uphold a vision of his absolute purity. It’s not that he tried to do something he didn’t realize was wrong – it never happened. She lied.

She made it all up for … what possible reason could this woman have for throwing herself into that den of lions? She’s been humiliated, vilified, and had her life and the lives of her entire family threatened.

This is not the motivation of a liar.

The ‘victors’ are the liars.

Remember this when, on November 6, you decide whether or not to exercise your right to vote.

It’s a right that was won for you by women who also willingly threw themselves into a den of lions. Women who sustained physical and mental threats, attacks and injuries; as well as the loss of some of their homes and families.

So, in actuality, women’s ability to vote is not a right so much as a privilege.

There is a reason that along with great privilege comes great responsibility. When you choose to not exercise your privilege to vote you shirk your responsibility by allowing others, with no personal stake in the outcome (other than what they consider their empirical right to make everyone live according to their rules) decide for those of us who have a very personal stake in the outcome.

When you choose to not exercise your privilege to vote you tell other women, especially all who have faced those lions, that you don’t care. You tell them that you are unwilling to help them right this grave injustice perpetrated against more than half the population of this country – including you – and that’s just the way the current administration, which betrays women every day, wants it.