Happy Day of Love! Dia de Amor! Valentines! I hope you are filling yourself up with self-love and feeling deep presence to the relationships you have. Take a moment today to honor the role that love plays in your life.
Whether you have a lover or partner, or are flying solo, today is a day we get to honor the universal beauty and power of love. Love is the fuel that makes the world go around.
Love and creation are why we are here.
We can and should celebrate love and creation every day. And it deserves a holiday.
We continue to live in a super polarized world where we need the reminder of love and our basic humanity every single day. It becomes too easy to file people away under “dismissed” or “wrong.”
This week an interesting polarization surfaced around the death of Kobe Bryant as Gayle King brought up the rape allegation against him with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, who was a friend of Kobe’s.
What transpired in their interview was a respectful, thoughtful conversation about the situation and the complexity of it, and Lisa Leslie’s experience of Bryant.
But when a famous and powerful man’s legacy is at stake, people will often not want to see the whole picture. Snoop Dogg piped up with a strong, threatening response, livid that Gayle King would bring up the rape allegation or question Kobe at all. He called her names and told her to “back off before we come get you.”
As a result, Gayle King faced an avalanche of insults and threats, including death threats, after his video was posted to Instagram.
The fact that King is raising a situation of assault against a woman and the response is to threaten her is one powerful way misogyny stays in place.
Keep women quiet.
Keep women from questioning powerful men.
Keep women from speaking up about violations against us so we can keep doing them.
Keep women in line.
Make sure women know that they can be harmed if they dare speak up against injustice, sexism, misogyny, violence and powerful men.
This is not acceptable. Ever.
Women get to speak up and men also need to speak up about misogyny.
Finally, yesterday Snoop Dogg apologized to Gayle King and requested to speak with her privately. He looks like he hasn’t slept either.
Many people have been upset that in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death, there seemed to be a cultural amnesia about the rape allegation, which he settled out of court. At the time, he apologized to the woman who accused him and acknowledged that he understood that she saw a situation he saw as consensual as non-consensual. It’s a part of his history and it is not imagined.
Many survivors have been activated around this silence or unwillingness to bring it forward. What message does it send when we refuse to speak as if it never happened?
Two weeks ago when I mentioned Bryant’s enormous public memorial, I got letters from people upset that I spoke about him at all. I understood people’s response, even as I was neither championing nor denigrating him.
Gayle King was willing to raise the unspoken, and name the elephant in the room. We need journalists to do that. We get to not sweep past the ugly parts and we get to not throw people out and cancel them because of them either. Bryant’s legacy gets to be complex and about all of the facets of who he was.
We all get to create a better world, not by silence, not by complicity, not by conformity, not by hate.
We create a better world through our humanity, through creativity, by using our voices and our commitment, by speaking and creating our visions, by being present, by using our power, by expressing our full selves, and by our LOVE.
It is our greatest charge as humans to learn what love really means, starting with ourselves.
Today may you learn something new about what it means to love, to act not from frustration and anger, but from understanding and compassion.
May today be about loving what is.