There are two women I am feeling particularly grateful to right now: Alexandria Goddard and Jane Doe.
Last week, my social networking feeds and news feeds were all lit up with, first, news of the sentencing in the Steubenville, OH rape cases, and then, with reactions: to the sentencing, to the news coverage of it, and to rape culture overall.
Countless women, male allies, and genderqueer people reared up and thundered: We have had enough of rape culture. We have had enough of rape apology. We are not standing any more for cultural narratives that normalize or explain away this kind of violence.
It was the first time in my life that I had ever been surrounded by that much no-holds-barred, unapologetic, outrage and advocacy.
I have been active in feminist causes and anti-violence work for almost 30 years now. There are plenty of times before now when I have been surrounded by amazing, loud, unapologetic feminist women and allies.
But never in my life until last week was I ever surrounded by such a huge, huge swell of us -- and such a mainstream swell of us.
There are two women I am particularly grateful to for making this open, vocal outrage and advocacy work possible.
One is Alexandria Goddard, the blogger and former Steubenville resident who worked so persistently to bring the perpetrators to the awareness of both the public and law enforcement. Goddard didn't give up even when her own personal life was affected and when she received death threats and was sued. Goddard's work has very much helped shape the cultural discussion of this case.
You can read Goddard's story here: http://www.xojane.com/issues/steubenville-rape-verdict-alexandria-goddard
The other is Jane Doe, the victim and survivor of the rapes this case is all about. Her persistence, courage, and integrity were instrumental in moving the cases forward, securing convictions, and in shaping the cultural discussion.
Thank you both. I am grateful.