I hope we are at a turning point in History when it comes to abuses of power, bullying, and non-consensual sexually behaviors. I hope the developments of this week are a sign that the dynamics are shifting and that people are realizing that abuses of the power they are entrusted with are no longer going to be tolerated and excused.
As much as we can point to high profile abusers as the source of our wake up call (the Cosby’s, Ghomeshi’s, Sandusky’s), it’s just not true that we’ve ever really held them to account (President Clinton for instance). President Lyndon Johnson would literally expose himself regularly, and it’s not like this was a secret. It’s just that no one seemed to care enough to stand up against his behavior. So what is different now?
Part of me has to believe that something good will always come of tragedy. In that spirit, I want to believe what has changed is our awareness of the victims; that we are haunted by faces of the victims like Rehteah Parsons – victims of bullying that suffered too great a loss for any of us to bear. I have to believe her legacy is the very impact on society that we are seeing today. In other words: society took notice, society cared, and society is finally taking the action they never took before.
Maybe I’m just projecting, but I know her story had that impact on me.