Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Yet, here I am blogging about it.

Let’s just get this out there: HBO is damn good television. Am I right?
We eat ramen because we love our HBO subscription.
{Not really, but I feel like if push came to shove, the beef flavored ramen wouldn’t be all bad…}
Image result for HBO logo
I love the show “Girls” and am already grieving the loss of my friends when the series ends this month. The new hit “Crashing” is quirky and fun, as is “Silicon Valley” and “Veep”. I adore John Oliver and I think the world is a better place because of the good old days of “Sex and the City” and “Entourage”. The world is a weirder place because of “Westworld” and, even though I am not a huge fan, “Game of Thrones” brought back John Snow and that’s just good television.

My latest obsession was, of course, “Big Little Lies”. The 7 part mini-series was pure brilliance. Based off the book of the same name, HBO spared no expense in showing us a lavish Monterey, CA life that causes deep ocean view envy. Who knew I wanted to live in a glass house so badly!
Image result for big little lies image with ocean
While the primary reason for watching the show each week was its pure entertainment value, I was thrown off by my emotional response after the last episode. I was pretty much sobbing because of Nicole Kidman’s character’s storyline. Her portrayal of living with an abuser and the effect of this on her kids left me gasping for air. I think, besides the vivid imagery of her hell each week, the fact that NO ONE knew it was happening had my mind spinning.

Women I know could be living in a nightmare.
Women I know may be in danger.
Women I know are suffering.

I feel like I have to say right here that I have never been involved in a domestic violence or a sexual assault situation. But I think my working with teens for most of my adult life has created a space in my heart that fears the worst for the girls I know and love. I fear the worst about what normalizing abuse could look like for them and I am kept up at night worried that “my girls” could be hurt in this way.

Some of the layers that were built within this issue happened during the presidential campaign. I get that within politics abuse and sexual assault has, sadly, been normalized. But the vivid descriptions, blatant disrespect for women, and dismissal from Trump and his team around sexual assault made me sick. Then the spin of “locker room talk” came to light and I couldn’t breathe. The perpetuation of normalizing assault like this became vivid, scary and all too real.

{When I started this post, I did not know DT declared April “Sexual Abuse Awareness” month nor did I know that his hypocrisy within this insane declaration from him could multiply exponentially. The sheer terror of this headline:  “Donald Trump Kicks Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month By Defending Bill O’Reilly” makes me sick. I can’t. I just can’t….}

So with all of these layers and in reflecting about my response to the “Big Little Lies” portrayal of domestic violence, I felt like I had to do something. I noted that there wasn't a PSA for victims after the show so I thought I could do my own. I Googled “domestic violence hotline” I found It seemed like a great organization so I posted the link to my Instagram and Facebook pages in hopes of raising awareness--even a little bit.

I then felt like I needed to try to support the hotline itself, so I donated $30.

I then wrote an email to HBO and asked them why there wasn’t a PSA of sorts after the episode to give women a resource to get help. I offered a suggestion that they put one together and add it to the show if it gets more playtime.

I didn’t know what else to do because what I did seemed futile and lame.
It felt lame to post the hotline on social media because I only got a total of 13 likes for my IG and FB posts. This made me wonder if I was overreacting or being weird about this topic. I know this is silly...but we live in the  world of “likes” and “likes” hold value-- {Which is SO DUMB!} and in my brain the more "likes" the more awareness there would be.

I felt lame for donating to the hotline because I felt like $30 might as well be a penny. It was a one time gift and I, for some reason, think $30 won’t do a thing.

I felt lame for emailing HBO because I felt like the big wigs at HBO will probably
A.) Not see my email.
B.) Dismiss it because I still have a Hotmail account for God’s sake!
C.) realistically do nothing about it if they do see it.
{Of which I am confident they won’t. Did I mention I used my Hotmail account?}

Yet, here I am blogging about it.

My convictions about this issue run deep and I can’t stop thinking about it.
The girls in front of me every day should not live in a world where they could be the subject of a conversation of someone grabbing them by the pussy.
They should not live in a world where they are controlled and hurt for no reason.
They should not live in a world where fear is reality.
They should not live in a world where the statistics for abuse victims dominates their gender.  
They should not have to wonder if they are good enough or important enough to receive
healthy love and affection.
They should not live in a world where they are afraid to be themselves.
They should not hear someone say that whoever hurt them “did nothing wrong”.
They should not live in a world of silence on this topic.

Talking about it, doing something about it, and fighting for what’s right is what needs to be normalized. But it feels like this will never happen.

What I hope will happen is that if you are in a domestic violence situation or you are a victim of sexual assault that you know help is out there for you and you are not alone. Or, if you know someone who needs help, please, please, please, speak up. They may not be able to, so speak for them.

Image result for hotline for domestic abuse

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