I was reading about the R. Kelly verdict, which of course led to reading about the facts and just how much nastiness he has inflicted over how many years. I wanted to say something right away, but I was scared to write anything. If I wrote too quickly or too soon, it would probably end up just another flip, sarcastic internet comment ultimately containing no meaning. Hell, maybe it would even end up causing problems. It wouldn’t be the first time. I can be such an ass about all this because I did anti-sexual violence and anti-domestic violence work for so long that a whole bunch of the wisdom feminists have accumulated through the years became second nature to me, and I would forget that people who didn’t work in shelters and on hotlines didn’t have that. I forgot the effort it took to reach to the point that anti-violence wisdom became second nature, and that we aren’t born knowing things, we learn them either because we were taught or because we work our asses off to learn them ourselves, which is admirable, but takes a fuck of a lot longer. Decades.
But I did learn that I can be an ass about this, and that I can expect too much from normal human beings who simply haven’t been taught important things by their families and schools and societies. Because I can be an ass, when the time came to shake up DV/SA public outreach at an agency where I worked I heard people say that we need to put, “It’s not your fault,” front and center in our public message, I said no.