I know I’ve been very quiet lately. Fact is, I just didn’t know what to say. I still don’t really know what to say. News about two different rape cases that went wrong (one guy being sentenced to only six months after being convicted of three felonies in the USA, and then a case in Germany where–even though there is a video of the rape(!)–instead of sending the rapists in jail, the victim was sentenced to a hefty fine for wrongful accusations) made me both angry and sick. In what kind of society are we living that rape victims are treated like this? That their rapists get a “get out of jail” card–for being a star swimmer, or because of the victim having been pretty promiscuous before the rape? But then, if you really look around, it doesn’t start with the big things. This kind of culture starts with the little things. A female commentator on TV during the European Football Championship? Cue the guys screaming bloody murder for “ruining” their experience. Cue the guys mocking her, asking her whether she was even allowed out of the kitchen, demeaning her just because she’s a woman. (Yes, this happened. And a lot of the comments online were more than nasty.)
Then just when you think you can’t take any news like this anymore for a while, a deranged lunatic walks into a gay bar in Orlando and shoots over a 100 people, 49 of which die. A day or two later, a toddler is killed by an alligator while his father had to watch in terror, unable to help. Also in Orlando.
And while we still try to process all the terrible things that have happened, life goes on and demands our attention as well.
I wasn’t personally affected by any of this, just read about it in the news and online, but I feel exhausted. Exhausted from being angry, from grieving, from discussing with other people online. And I feel the need to catch a break, to recharge, so that I have energy again to feel angry and to grieve when the next bad thing happens.
I know the world won’t stop revolving, and the bad things won’t stop happening, but maybe, just maybe, we can try to focus on the good things in life for a little while. I think we all need this: to find hope again, belief in the good in people, and to recharge. No, bad things won’t stop happening while we recharge. But exhausted people don’t have energy to change things.