A Revolution is set up as a play with multiple voices describing abuses experienced by women in various settings. The objective is to view the subject from various perspectives which can be followed by a conversation. The play can be read by women to women or a mixed audience, and men can be among the voices participating.
Part 1. The Accusations
First came the accusations
And then the denials;
The charges are years beyond the offense.
Is the evidence credible
Enough for trial?
In the court of public opinion,
The claims are not common,
But do they make sense?
Should we believe the accusations
Against a good man’s reputation?
The charges circling, as vultures
Above their prey,
Should we believe, without provocation,
That she vetoes and says no,
And he blatantly disobeys?
The women were emotionally maimed.
Their stories ring of truth, just as they claimed.
Men drunk with arrogance abused their role
And used their authority, as they stole
The women’s dignity through rabid threats,
That led to silence and regrets.
The women waited to report their claims.
They initially withheld their names.
They stood authentic, no imitations;
Beyond the statute of limitations;
Believable, regardless of their fears
And potential impact on their careers.
They are ready to face all obstacles;
Emboldened, by what now seems possible.
Social media’s a fireside chat;
A platform and a habitat;
Where conflicts that are not resolved;
Can be aired, as they get involved;
Inspired they discuss despair;
And shared the hardships, hard to bear.
Ubiquitous publicity, widespread
Stories of women, misused, misled,
Spawned solidarity we rarely see;
#MeToo grew exponentially;
An avalanche formed, rumbling down a slope;
A platform branched, and it is giving hope,
To hold on and watch, as more industries,
See more women disclose their injuries.
Brave souls stepped out of shadows,
As in a roll call, identified
Themselves and stood
Side by virtual side;
No longer feeling the need to hide;
No more thoughts of the gauntlet
Accused of baiting scandals
With false intentions.
The number of women coming forth
Should not surprise us.
They have always been there.
And if we analyze us
And open our eyes
To the stark reality
It will come through,
That we always knew.
What we denied,
Was always true.
We hear the words
Of the victims,
We must believe;
For it is invariably, inevitably,
Relates to me;
Relates to you.
Part 2. Testimonials
Nightmare scenarios dismissed and unreported;
Their accounts of what happened, distorted;
Afraid, many have resorted
To bury their burden within,
To hide the memory and secrecy of sin,
Especially when abused by kin.
When malice strikes close to home,
To someone we know;
The aftershock has no afterglow;
A family member debased and defiled;
Emotions expressed, but not reconciled;
Relatives prone to denying;
Accusing their kin of lying.
She was vulnerable, unsafe,
And often with no means of escape.
She begged for belief, relief and rescue,
To help her remove the residue;
But it happened far too often;
When he died she looked in his coffin
And wanted to spit on him, as he lay
There still, no longer able
To take her against her will.
She quietly cursed him,
Content he would pay
Through torment and damnation
On Judgment Day.
A teenaged victim washed incessantly.
She was not as clean
As she needed to be.
She wanted to remove the violation.
She felt dirty and demeaned.
She wanted more water and more soap
To cleanse her body and return the hope
And innocence, she experienced,
Before the offense.
Sexual harassment has metastasized
And a day of reckoning is beckoning,
As Judgment Day and Karma have arrived;
And the past sins, even if repented,
Are being presented and resented.
We honor those who survived despite
The trauma who withstood the drama.
We honor those who did not survive
And those who, although disadvantaged;
Were able to strive
Until they managed to thrive.
Women wanted freedom to compose and identify
The offenders charged and to clarify
The details, to describe the incidents;
A sordid recount of the events,
Involving neighbors and presidents.
Victims spoke their stories with conviction,
After years of denial, self-blame and addictions,
And the hesitancy to wrestle with shame,
For fear of others,
Thrashing and trashing their name.
Anonymously and silently, men
Are having sleepless nights,
Nervously wondering if past deeds
Will come to light.
Part 3. The Perpetrators Strike Back
Power is not passive.
Power strikes back and goes
On the offensive,
With massive counter claims;
And launching a flurry of insults;
Between consenting adults.
Power attacks character, pressing
The public into second guessing
Whether the women were really under duress;
Was body language and manner of dress
A method to signal their consent?
Did they somehow portray their intent
To curry special favors
For their labor?
Something of value was removed.
He claimed she asked for it and she wanted it
And she approved.
He said she led him on and now has buyer’s remorse.
She changed her mind and mysteriously
Believes she was taken by force.
The women said what they knew to be true;
Someone wondered if the defendants would sue.
Some of the women over time repressed
The memories, but no longer suppressed
Their accounts of the stories,
After scrolling through the inventories
Of events, the incidents and accidents,
They remembered the stress
And the recurring nightmare
Of feeling less
Than they deserved;
A recurring nightmare
Made them feel guilty,
Filthy, unnerved and under-served.
She had a gift that was only hers to give;
But it was taken and now as long as she lives,
She is reminded of something taken;
Her faith in men sullied and shaken.
Part 4. The Perpetrators’ Repentance
A few perpetrators, conscience driven,
Asked for mercy and to be forgiven;
And offered apologies
For the selfish qualities
That caused them to intentionally
Hurt physically or mentally,
As they selfishly and recklessly
Robbed people of their dignity;
Against their will and conversations
Revoked women’s rights and
Ignored their reservations.
They apologized after they were caught;
“Be aggressive” is what they were taught;
Obsession with sex is how they were trained.
It is how manhood was defined and obtained.
But, they should have known it was a mistake;
That rights are not something they should take.
Men resigned from office and positions
Of power to show their true contrition;
For they are a liability,
For showing poor judgment,
And through the lens of interpretation,
Bad behavior that is an aberration
Is still considered a violation;
Which is open to dissemination.
Part 5. Next Steps
The ladies expressed their tales of woe;
From feeling helpless with no place to go;
About disrespect that made them cry,
From feeling helpless and wanting to die;
And being belittled and made to feel,
The deed could not be true,
The deed could not be real.
We see courageous women
Speaking about abuse;
Through their outrageous accounts
Of villains on the loose.
We are shocked and numb.
We were not aware.
For we did not know the acts existed,
That the pain was there;
Anonymously suffering and secretly
Wanting to speak out, so they could be free.
As we sit around and debate these facts,
Is the culture culpable in these acts?
The power dynamic and social views
Are we complicit when people abuse
And fail to listen when the victims speak,
Compromising the justice that they seek?
We hear the stories and the outlook is sad.
The focus on these acts is not be a fad;
Corrective measures will be put in place
And penalties to prevent, punish and erase
The attitude and pervasive disdain,
Toward women who faced harassment’s pain.
The vulnerable will be protected;
Not victimized and disrespected.
The laws on our books will be enforced
And values upheld and endorsed;
Inappropriate behavior defined;
Cherish accusers when they speak their minds;
Punish abusers when they cross the line,
Because harming the vulnerable
Should be seen as a crime
And the response should always be,
“Not in this lifetime”
Because everyone should equally
Have access to respect and dignity.
Copyright © 2017 Orlando Ceaser