My blogging debut came in the wake of the Nassar sexual abuse trial in February 2018 entitled “Dear MSU, Remember the Survivors.” I dedicate this new blog to them and other women like them for their enduring courage to speak the truth and not be silenced even when repeatedly ignored and dismissed.
I continue to believe as I stated in that original post that it is up to each and every one of us to decide to act to change a toxic culture with the power we have. The culture at MSU not only silences victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment, it perpetuates bullying. We all need to ask ourselves how we are participating in these structures. At a local level, giving credence to statements such as – “oh they are just like that” – reinforces habitual hurtful behavior that can have long-term consequences. Maybe not for you, but certainly for those who have less power around you. Call this person out if you can.
No matter how insignificant or unheard you might feel, you do have some ability to bring about culture change. It can be as simple as looking out for your neighbor. It can mean finally choosing to name an action instead of condoning it through inaction. It can mean having the courage to take a leadership role.