Is Solidarity Enough to Impact Change?

The overwhelming display of solidarity from Hollywood’s elite at the Golden Globes speaks volumes about the courageous willingness of women who refuse to adorn silence in response to the decades of sexual harassment and assault which has plagued the entertainment industry.

As affirming as the aesthetic show of collective strength and solidarity is to the psyche of generations of women who have survived the horrors of having been victimized by an all-too commonplace American culture of violence and subjugation of women…one wonders aloud:  are the social media fueled attestations of #MeToo and the uncompromising cries of #TimesUp enough to affect the necessary change in the trenches?

The schools, workplaces, grassroots communities and industries where women have too-long suffered the deleterious effects of sexual assault have certainly been made privy to the increasing popularity of these growing sentiments denoting that a ‘change is gonna come’, but in the real and final analysis, there is little hope that widespread change is even impacted by the temporal and popular nature of a trending ‘movement’ – without an equal impact upon education and behavior.

Alas, it is incumbent upon the women who have so eagerly embraced these courageous movements to ensure that our daughters, those destined to inherit the legacy of a society in which their mothers were viewed in the context of our objectified sexual forms and/or as victims lacking agency, are empowered to choose an alternative path of justice in opposition to the mantra of silent suffering, which was pre-destined for us.  As Oprah so eloquently referenced in her widely heralded Golden Globe acceptance speech, the long-suffering exemplar established by Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks who fought for justice, albeit in vain, must not be a vicious cycle repeated by young women who have yet to mature and/or encounter sexual assault as a norm.

Rather, it is much more fitting that these meaningful and trendy movements morph into a teaching tool to empower explicit instruction on a woman’s divinely ordained right to protect our temples and duly respond to sexual violence, with the same degree of self-defense that we address other forms of assault.  In this manner, #MeToo and #TimesUp advance much more than a powerful aesthetic image of feminine solidarity, but promote an authentically empowered paradigm of freedom, justice and equality to impact lasting change.

 

 

 

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Published by Nefertari Nkenge

Nefertari Nkenge, Ed.D. is a well respected transformative leader in pedagogy. The unique combination of over two decades of classroom instruction, curriculum/professional development innovation, urban school administrative leadership and a lifelong commitment to grassroots activism and social justice - informs the empowering Educate to Liberate model.

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