What does it mean to practice conscious vulnerability?
My son is kind of obsessed with “bad guys” right now. We used to fight the bad guys. Now we pretend we are the bad guys and we actually fight the good guys.
Sounds like this: I am the bad guy and I will not share anything. I am a bad guy so I will not help you. We are the bad guys and we are stealing all your food!
Of course I like to put in my 2 cents: I am the bad guy who pretends I am helping you but really I am not, I’m the worst of all the bad guys. Ha ha ha.
If you pretend to care but really don’t, I can tell.
Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity;
Cowardice represents fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it polite?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?
And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have been practicing conscious vulnerability daily for the past 12 days.
Mostly this seems to go unnoticed. Some people are clearly positively impacted by my vulnerability. Some people are clearly uncomfortable to the point of disgust.
I don’t do it because it’s popular; I practice vulnerability because I feel it is right.
I believe in vulnerability because I believe in love.
I started following @ambertheactivist on Instagram about 7 weeks ago because I liked her chalk art. I scrolled through her entire page like, wow, what an incredible person; she is an artist, activist and founder of the #stoprapeeducate campaign. Talk about courage. Taking your trauma and using it to make the world a better place is the height of cool.
Several days after I began to follow @ambertheactivist, things got real.
During the #stoprapeeducate tour, Amber was raped by an acquaintance, someone who actually helped her make chalk art.
This guy listened to Amber, understood she was a survivor of rape, helped her make #stoprapeeducate chalk art and then, one week later, he raped her. I’m talking about one of those bad guys who pretends to help, but has no intention of helping. I’m talking about the worst of all the bad guys.
Amber’s vulnerability initially resulted in support, which lead her to report the crime and endure the evidence collection rape kit.
Amber’s continued practice of conscious vulnerability quickly lead to outrageous expressions of disgust and aggression. I get that it’s the internet, but the sheer volume of aggressive dissent was disheartening to me. In other words: victim blaming. It seems many people hate rape victims and their voices more than they “hate” rape.
Not Marie Clair. 3 Days ago the popular magazine published an interview with Amber (read it here). Yesterday the Huffington Post published a similar interview (read it here). One hour ago Bustle published a similar interview (read about it here).
This morning Instagram deleted the caption underneath Amber’s selfie from 7 weeks ago, describing her rape in real time.
Luckily, you can’t delete someone’s story.
Not really. I will never forget the raw emotion expressed in real time; Amber has inspired me to be vulnerable. Sometimes trying to silence someone gives them the platform they need to be heard. I heard you, Amber; I care about your story, keep telling it. Practicing conscious vulnerability in this regard is the first step to creating consent culture.