Sunday, April 1, 2012

R.C Weslowski's response to our meeting on Safe Space and outing Sexual Predators

R.C Weslowski runs our youth slam in Vancouver, he is an incredible individual and poet. this is his response to the recent revelations of assault at VanSlam:

 I think something incredibly powerful and important occurred last night at The Van Slam meeting.  We had a workshop on creating and maintaining a "safe space" for all within our scene.  It was led by Tara Hardy who is an amazing facilitator especially around this topic.  There were probably close to 20 people there and we all provided input on what can be done and how we can change the culture of our scene because some shit has been happening.

And then some women stepped forward, some amazing and brave women in our community stepped forward and told their stories of being sexually assaulted by men in our scene.  I won't say who said what as they can do that for themselves and it's pretty easy to find out as this inforamtion is blasting aroung the internet and they are being very forward and public and unashamed about telling their truths.
I applaud them for it and I support them.
That's not always been the case.  I have heard rumours and stories and gossip about this in general and some people in particular and I dismissed it.  I dismissed it because I didn't know what to do about it, I dismissed it because I didn't want to believe it was happening, I dismissed it out of fear.  That was wrong.  I said this last night and I want to say it again, I apologize for not listening, for letting the silence win and not doing anything.
All of this needs to be discussed...the things that happen and how we let them happen.
I've been trying to figure it out for myself.  And it probably stems from my own history of childhood violence and abuse.  Then as now I somehow felt I needed to give the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt, give them a second chance, somehow believing that if I loved them enough, if they saw that, if they saw that I loved them even when they were being bad people then it would stop.  The next time will be the last time, the next time will be the last time, the next time will be...and so I did nothing because facing the present would require facing the past and I was too weak to do that.
I don't say this to gain sympathy but because it needs to be discussed. 
But now that the egg is cracked wide open and I am listening and I will do what I can to assist their healing in particular and the scene's in general and I am sorry for not doing that before.  You are amazingly powerful women and the strength you showed in your vulnerabilty and honesty was inspiring and knocked me on my ass. 
Thank you for your courage and honesty.  I will do what I can even if it means just listening.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this Randy! It means so much