Yes Means Yes. No Means No.
It's horrifying. Horrifying. And much like police violence, it's been happening all along without much attention from the press until fairly recently. One out of every six women will suffer from sexual assault in her lifetime. It's unthinkable. But that's how it's been. That's how it is. Unless you're in college, where one out of every four women will be sexually assaulted during her time on campus. For all of our brothers reading this, please take those numbers in deep. Next time you're walking down the street take a moment to grasp what it means that such an astounding number of the women walking by may be carrying the trauma of sexual assault with them each day. Now imagine if that was your mother in her youth, or your sister.
People around the world were utterly sickened reading the news about two successive instances of gang rape and murder (West Bengal and New Delhi.) For those of us in the US, it hit closer to home when we saw the outrageous verdict of the Stanford case where a unanimous jury convicted Brock Turner of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, but a judge sentenced him to only 6 months in jail. All this regardless of the fact that he expressed no remorse for what he had done. On the contrary, Brock, his lawyer, and Brock's father did everything they could to discredit, blame, and silence the woman who was already profoundly traumatized from the assault. But that's standard fare.
Whether at Stanford, Indiana University (where student John Enochs was charged with two instances of flagrant sexual assault and received only a sentence of probation for 1 year), New Delhi or most anywhere in the world, women are blamed, doubted, silenced, stigmatized or threatened when they are victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. 70-90% of sexual assaults in the US go unreported for those very reasons.
We wrote this song to stand with the women of the world, and with our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, partners, friends, neighbors, and the daughters we may have one day. We also wrote this song for our brothers around the world and we ask you to treat the women around you the way you would want another man to treat your Mother or your Sister. Be respectful. Be peaceful with your actions and words. Always get consent. Listen. Learn. Take some time to read the letter written by the powerful woman who was sexually assaulted at Stanford to get more insight on the experience of a victim of sexual assault. Read "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche to understand why we need to build a society that guarantees women and men equal respect, protections, rights, and freedoms. Thank you for reading and thank you for listening.