Not really feeling the work talk this week.
The week started with the tsunami of racist reactions to the Meghan/Harry interview with Oprah and then the news of what had happened to Sarah Everard hit and was followed by a flood of first person accounts from women about the harassment and abuse they have endured. Seemingly every woman I know on Twitter contributed. It was all hard to read but that surely is the point. You have to read and react and do better.
To be honest I didn’t watch the Oprah interview. It was impossible to miss the reactions though. Piers Morgan throwing a hissy fit (so he can join GB News). The Society of Editors being blind to the fact their industry has ruthlessly monetised racism. Twitter being overwhelmed with “I’m not racist but..”.
I don’t understand how you can grow up in the UK and not see the racist undertones to so much of our society. Sure some of it is subtle or passive aggressive or so intertwined with history that it doesn’t scream like some of the stuff in the US but it isn’t that stealthy. Some of it has screwy logic that allows racists to like some black individuals but to hate black people (or Asian people or whoever..).
Something like this interview (or BLM) just surfaces all of that.
Then all the Sarah Everard stuff. Every bit of it is horrific. What happened, who did it, how they seem to have done it – all the stuff of nightmares. The stories it triggered from so many women after. The extreme scale of the harassment and abuse by men against women that has been normalised. The armies of #notallmen responders.
Look I’m no angel. I was definitely guilty of bad behaviour towards women in the past – especially in my twenties. Mainly I was a mouthy prick when things didn’t work out with women I liked – especially when drunk. I also joined in with cat-calling and that sort of mob behaviour when I knew better. As well as just being a bit oblivious in general.
I got called out on it by some women who were friends and who meant a lot to me so I got my shit together. It didn’t happen over night and I probably still have some moments today that are sub optimal but I try. I listen. I read. I try to take real actions. I call out the behaviours of guys I know (and don’t.)
Could I do better? 100%.
Will I keep trying? Yes.
To be honest I find the whole allyship thing a hard line to walk. I’m a late 40s white, straight guy who has had a pretty blessed life (apart from health stuff I guess) and I’m very aware of that so I’ll keep stumbling along.
Oh I had my first vaccine jab. It was the AZ one and it totally kicked the crap out of me. Totally worth it but be prepared if you have it.
I think I’ll end this one there.