I was intrigued when I came across a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. It was a full-bleed yellow background that simply said, “Believe Women.” The only signoff was the bumble logo. This resonated with me and echoed a sentiment that I’ve been voicing since the start of the Kavanaugh trial. Intrigued, I went online to learn more and discovered Bumble is a female-focused dating app who published the ad in support of victims of sexual assault. The timing was key: a day after Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.
My husband and I have been talking about the hearing. Regardless of which side you sit on, I told him it’s only fair to seek the truth and I applaud Flake’s request to postpone the confirmation until the FBI can further investigate. And I applaud the two women who had the power to share their story, whose voices were heard and brought about change. While women want to be seen as equal to men, the fact is it’s still an uphill battle. And while as a gender we are strong, in most cases men are physically stronger. If a man is determined to overpower a woman, chances are he will succeed.
The best tool we have at our disposal to fight back is our voice.
It infuriates me that Ford is receiving death threats. She had the courage to speak out, one of the most difficult yet bravest acts because victims are often the ones who are put on trial. With the rise of the Me Too movement, many injustices that have been buried for years are coming to light. I know many people, men in particular, wonder: why now? Why stay silent all these years? Because women were afraid. But the time is up. The time for women to speak out is now. With the solidarity of a sisterhood behind them, women are finding their voices. I hope the ad will shed light on the fact that these women who come forward are strong. And they are to be believed unless proven otherwise. Every claim and case deserves to be taken seriously.
Today is blackout day on Facebook, meaning women are replacing their profile picture with a black box. It’s a sisterhood-driven social media movement to show what the world might be like without women. The goal is to bring awareness about domestic abuse and sexual assault against women. There are two sides to this movement: those in favor and those against it. One woman who was opposed said she would not remove herself from Facebook because “it’s what the patriarchy has been trying to do to us for centuries.” I see her point. But I guess I don’t look at it as silencing myself. I see it as making a statement. There’s also women who feel it’s useless because there’s no call to action. I think it sends a message. If thousands of women make this symbolic gesture it’s the start of a conversation. So I stand with the virtual chain of women who are making a point by removing ourselves, even if only temporarily. We want our voices to be heard. It’s time to Believe Women.