We rise up

We rise up in unexpected ways. I don’t have the Internet at home, an attempt to save money (and maybe some part of my soul). I don’t read newspapers. So it happened that I missed the news of the UCSB shooting spree, the killer’s vitriol towards women, and the subsequent bursts of social media activism – in particular, #yesallwomen – stories of survival, solidarity, sisterhood, pain, retribution, beauty, coming in waves through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, as hundreds of thousands of women found a space for sharing and healing. This was beyond powerful. I have come into my feminism as I have grown into my womanhood – and with it, the female realities of scary street harassment, regular fear of rape, and daily (if unintended) acts of microagression from men. As a feminist and a woman who holds these traumatic experiences, and has worked closely with women who have survived much, much worse, this sudden, mainstream attention to rape culture, sexism, and the need for female voices to be heard has been important for me. It feels like a cultural shift. But what has felt even MORE important is a response movement, #allmencan. This photo is my partner. He is one of hundreds of men who have submitted similar photos to blogs and feeds. I know him deeply and am not surprised by his commitment to this movement – but I have been shocked and overwhelmingly heartened by the powerful statements that so many men have made in the most public of forums. It makes me feel a little safer moving through the world. It makes me feel grateful. It makes me believe in the ability of men to be vulnerable with one another, and to support collective liberation. I can’t remember the last time I was truly touched in this way- that I felt the world changing beneath my feet, that I felt astounded by the beauty of humanity. We are making progress. We are rising up in unexpected ways. Check out some of the portraits at allmencan.tumblr.com.

I amsarah.