In 2017, Salma Hayek wrote an op-ed for The New York Times entitled, "Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too". In it, she expressed that "the range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, 'I will kill you, don't think I can't.'"
I read those words. I stopped. I read them again. Oh my God, I thought. Me, too.
I'd resonated with the rage and marveled at the courage of women speaking out in that year's media storm of rape, assault and violence toward (mostly) women. I'd also quailed, not knowing how I would be able to tell my story. I hadn't been sure what counted. I'd denied that I'd been a victim for so long that it was hard for me to see the events of my past clearly. I knew things had happened that didn't feel good, but I didn't know what to name them.
Salma Hayek's story opened the door and invited me in.
My monster had told me, "If my wife ever finds out about you, she'll cut off my balls and come find you and kill you." And because I knew she was a Marine, and he'd told me she laughed when shooting insurgents, I believed him.
Like Salma Hayek, I'd been threatened with death. Her words penetrated me with a loud and furious, #methefucktoo. If she could be threatened and say so, then maybe I could, too.
Maybe credible threat was enough for me to take my place in the conversation.
I tested the waters. I emailed a circle of family, friends, teachers, and mentors and said #metoo, but please don't ask me about it. I'm not ready to tell it all yet. I just need to say it, to begin. The responses ranged from support, to fury, to kindness, to crickets. I set them aside and got to work.
At first, as I explored the shadows of my sexual history, no case of mine seemed as clear as the ones other women were sharing. No single instance seemed as severe as the ones the news media were reporting. I felt the resonance, I felt the rage, but nothing in my experience seemed to fit into a neat category.
Drunk date rape: does pressure from friends to have sex with the best man at their wedding count, if I went to his room after drinking enough alcohol to dull the instinct that said, no way, I don't even know you?
Rape by a superior: does being fucked on the sidewalk by a senior writer at the magazine where I'd interned count, if I first showed up at the bar and drank the beer he bought me?
Assault by a stranger: does unwanted touch from a new acquaintance count, if I froze and didn't tell him not to touch?
My friends and I are asking ourselves and each other: if we're not forced behind a dumpster, at gunpoint, by a stranger, do our experiences fit into the narrative? When we haven't said no, but we haven't exactly said yes either, how do we evaluate consent? How do we heal our trauma when a court of law wouldn't prosecute our perpetrator? How do we accept responsibility for our part in sex we're not sure we wanted without taking full responsibility for a two-or-more-person interaction? When our conditioning led us somewhere we didn't consciously choose to go, what is our part, and what is the other's? What do we call it when the lines aren't clear?
What did become clear as I reviewed my experiences was how often I'd buried them beneath shame and self-blame, without expecting any man involved to take responsibility for his piece of the action. I'd handed myself all the blame, simply for showing up.
As an Air Force officer with two years' experience, wide-eyed and ready for adventure, I showed up at a party in Baghdad four days after I'd arrived in Iraq for a six-month deployment. It was early in the war, I'd just been promoted to first lieutenant, and I was eager to celebrate with my new colleagues.
The Marine who hosted in his trailer served exotic alcohol from an illegal stash smuggled to him by his wife. We toasted and laughed and drank. I was high on excitement, the black first-lieutenant bars on my collar fresh. This was the life. I kept drinking. The van came to pick us up at midnight. I was still having fun. I was getting drunker. I chose to stay. One other man stayed with me, presumably so I wouldn't be alone with the Marine. Finally, though, he gave up and went home, too, with a grimace of warning, but hey. I was an adult. It wasn't his job to physically drag me away. Was it?
I've asked myself again and again why I stayed. What happened next would have been predictable to any sober person. Yet I continued to be astonished by his actions.
For years, when people asked about my experience as a woman in the military, I told them I was never a victim. "No, I was never raped, thank goodness. That didn't happen to me. It happened to other women, for sure, but not to me."
A therapist I see tells me that distancing oneself from the victim role is a bid for power. An attempt by those who feel powerless to reclaim control through denial, saying, "Not me. I'm one of the strong ones."
I chirped right along with them: #notme. "I knew how to walk with confidence," I told people. "No one rapes a woman who walks with confidence." It took a long time for me to face the lie in that statement. Many, many strong women are still raped, assaulted or coerced by strangers, colleagues, lovers, and friends. The lines seem to blur most with people we know, people we expect to be able to trust. People like our comrades in war.
So inside a trailer on an army base in Baghdad, a married Marine whom I'd known for less than a week, whom I outranked but who outmatched me in size, temper, and training, whom I expected to behave a certain way that was not this, was cooing to me.
"You know, sometimes out here you just wanna feel a warm body next to yours."
I sat down on the bed.
"Aww, come on, you don't wanna just lie here for a minute?"
I lay down.
"Oh, this neck," he breathed, running his fingers over my skin.
And though I was still surprised, I didn't stop him when he went down on me.
I didn't know, at first, when the Marine threatened me with his wife's vengeance, how afraid I really was. He didn't do it to coerce me into sex, after all. The threat came after, to get me not to tell anyone. I didn't understand how deeply I carried that fear. I told myself over the years that there were other reasons that I, a writer, wasn't writing that story. I was lazy. I had other priorities. I didn't have anything important to say compared to those who'd driven on convoys and hit IEDs and watched their best friends die in their arms. I made up a thousand stories to believe about myself so I wouldn't have to believe that I was ashamed and scared, and that he'd silenced my voice with his. If I believed that, it meant he'd won. It meant he had power over me. It meant I wasn't as strong as I thought.
It's taken years of work from within, a social movement, and witnessing from good friends and elders for me to admit that he did have power over me. He was responsible for his part in seducing and then terrorizing me. But that doesn't mean he won.
When I told him soon after the promotion party that I didn't want or need sex with him, he sweet-talked me: "Well, if you're not attracted to me..." I fawned and went back. When, exhausted and trying to free myself from his grasp, I didn't show up at his trailer one night after I'd said I would, he raged the next morning. I never disobeyed him again. When he demanded my gun one day so he could go to a meeting outside the office—weapons were required on our person at all times, and he'd forgotten his—I was ready to hand it to him till a coworker shook his head at me and said to him, "No, it's her gun, get your own." I could see in the Marine's eyes that he was furious, and that I'd hear about it later, which I did. And, when a neighbor knocked on his trailer door and he told me to hide, I stood shivering, naked, squeezed between his wardrobe and the wall while he chatted and smoked with the visitor. I hugged myself to stave off humiliation, making it a game instead, believing it was part of a thrilling secret life. But deep inside, deeper than I could see at the time, it felt like the ultimate debasement.
After Iraq I let other men take my body without stopping to think or feel whether I wanted to or not. I'd accepted that this was my worth, my warm body in a bed. Sometimes I protested. Sometimes I said no, sometimes I said not tonight, sometimes I said not that, sometimes I said not yet. But when alcohol and push came to shove and get naked, I consented.
Except that using alcohol means we're incapable of seeking or giving consent, and that goes for both parties. A power differential also means we're incapable of giving consent. So the senior writer at the magazine where I'd interned who fucked me on the sidewalk in Cambridge, Massachusetts? With alcohol and a power differential? Incapable of securing consent.
Not that he tried. He kissed me in the residential neighborhood behind the bar. We walked a little further. He said he wanted to go down on me, but no sex, he promised. Despite the occasional car driving by and plenty of people strolling, he laid me down on the sidewalk and pulled up my skirt. I didn't stop him. Then he said he was going to put it in for a second, just to see how it felt. Then he was fucking and pulling out at the last minute. To go home to his wife and daughters. He had daughters, and he did this with a young woman he met as an intern at his magazine.
And yet I'd twisted myself into a person who thought, for years, that this was okay, because I hadn't stopped him. After all, I'd bonded with him from the time we'd met. I was wounded, numbed to all but the most extreme emotions, only two and a half years out of Iraq. I'd wanted to connect, to share with anyone who would listen with apparent compassion, and he'd made me feel special with his attention. I didn't see then that engaging with married or otherwise unavailable men ensured that I myself stayed unavailable for fulfilling relationships and authentic intimacy. Trying to protect myself from further loss, thinking this person could make me whole, I didn't see that the routine only felt safe because it felt familiar.
Years of work have shown me my deep patterns. Long before I landed in Iraq, I was conditioned to please. As a child I was taught to fear and respect adults with authority—my parents and family elders, my teachers, my camp counselors. Everything in my culture, in my family, and in my friend groups taught me to watch, learn, and acquiesce. From ten years of girls' school education I learned that boys were for flirting with, not for making friends or being classmates with. From space camp counselors I learned to play it cool, be in the know, and laugh at sexual jokes. From the older guys in college ROTC I learned to drink, play strip poker, and not snitch on anyone. From Star Trek I learned that it was normal to go to bed with a stranger after one glance, one laugh, one dinner, one drink. I wasn't taught to recognize, trust or express my emotions in healthy ways. I learned instead to ignore my body's signals and to go along with whatever might gain me approval. I sought validation from those around me, rather than from within.
The complex trauma my body stored as a result of these learnings was not based on a single event. It came from subtle and repeated emotional misattunement. And it created the same level of impact, in emotional wounds and relational challenges, that acute trauma like a single, devastating rape can cause without compassionate guidance and healing after the fact.
While I may have felt permanently broken, the truth is that the culture driving me toward risky sex was broken. In order to take full responsibility instead of allowing my partners their share, I'd assumed that the niggling voice inside me that said this wasn't who I wanted to be or how I wanted to love was too traditional, too unevolved, too behind the times. This was the twenty-first century, and an empowered woman could sleep with whomever she damn well pleased without feeling a thing. I thought that was my voice, but it wasn't. It was the voice of an insidious, no-win, cultural norm that I'd absorbed: be free, be wild, be available for sex whenever we want, but know that we'll shame you for it afterwards—or better yet, we'll teach you to shame yourself.
No idea of trusting my feelings or my body entered this equation early on. I'd pushed down my needs and desires for so long that I didn't know how to recognize or speak up for them. I didn't have the body awareness to know what felt good and what didn't. I didn't know how to read in myself whether I felt safe to open or not; I didn't know what safety felt like. Nor did I have enough self-awareness, self-understanding, or self-esteem to navigate my curiosity, fire, and desire with strong boundaries. I thought sex was the only path to intimacy. Intimacy without sex was not a concept I'd experienced or learned, yet, to recognize or even imagine. Physical sex was what I could offer, and in my longing to connect, I offered it.
But all the times I thought I was consenting, I was in truth confused by the disconnect between what culture told me to expect—that sex and submission would bring me closeness—and what my heart and body longed for—true intimacy and acceptance. For years I went to bed with men sooner than I was ready to, sooner than I could know them, hating myself and them for not knowing better. For not knowing me better.
One lover told me he was never sure which version of me would walk in the door when I came through it. I could see his point. How could I expect any of them to know me when I didn't know myself? How could I expect any of them to hold me with tenderness and compassion, when I hadn't learned to hold myself? I'd been running the cultural program so long in my mind that I didn't have a clue how to listen to my heart. It would take years for me to break with culture and become truly wild, truly unapologetic, truly at one with myself.
Not long after the Cambridge sidewalk, one of my Air Force friends and her fiancé set me up with the best man at their wedding. Former British army, he'd come all the way across the pond to Dallas, Texas, and the bride and groom had told me he'd be looking to get laid. I immediately disliked his arrogance. When he was giving a speech the night before the wedding, in the first British accent I actually had trouble understanding, he barely said a word about his friend the groom, and instead talked smack about America and Americans. A girlfriend and I traded glances, shaking our heads. Who was this guy? And could we please we get subtitles?
The wedding night arrived, and my newly married friend said, "Hey, how do you like Bryan?"
"Meh," I answered.
"Aw, come on. He really wants to get laid. You're the only single woman here!"
Not bothering with an "I wonder why," I pondered my situation. Not only did I not like him, but I was also on my period. And not near the end of it, but really bleeding. So I was really, really not into it. But I knew they expected it of me. I knew this was the plan, and my friends knew this was the plan, and I was an adult. I hadn't said I wasn't up for it. How could they know what I was feeling if I didn't share? What is the responsibility of friends in these circumstances?
I drank and I kept drinking, on purpose this time; if I had any hope of doing this job that was apparently mine, I needed to silence my protesting body.
After the ceremony and after the sports bar and after the continued drinking all together in someone's hotel suite, I finally got up to leave. I remember the groom pointing at me as if to say, "Where are you going? Where's Bryan?" Then he found his best man and pointed at him, and again at me, and I rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah, yeah, I know." And I followed this dude to his hotel room and shucked my heels and my leopard print dress, and it was a disaster from beginning to end.
I left him sleeping it off and crawled into bed in my friends' hotel room at something like 3 a.m., feeling small and exhausted, cringing in the dark. Questions formed, more felt than consciously articulated: how did I get here? How did this happen? How did I sink so low?
Without my knowing it, my body made a quiet pact with my mind: "Never again."
Now I can see how these instances fit into the #metoo spectrum. With presumed consent to sex with men I didn't want and who didn't much care for me, I was following my conditioning to please without first checking in with what my own integrity required. With twisted narratives I was acquiescing to the culture that conditioned me to enact sex with male power figures, to derive my sense of self-worth from their favor, and to separate my body from my mind to do so. This is the environment, condoned, conditioned and perpetuated by men and women of patriarchy, that silenced so many of us for so long.
To be clear, not all sex that ends with feeling bad lacks consent. Feeling bad isn't the indicator. I've gone into some encounters fully desiring it and fully consenting, and still feeling bad afterwards. I could call those times mistakes or teaching tools; I wouldn't call them assault. I'm not sure what to call my action at my friends' wedding. I was trashed, and I didn't want it, but I did it. I had more agency and more years on me than I had in Iraq. I could have said no without threat to my physical safety. But I didn't. There's a grey area under the curve of women's conditioning—to act cool, to fit in, to please peers or the patriarchy by ignoring our own voices and offering up our bodies on command. And then to take the blame. "She asked for it." "She showed up." "She didn't say no." Those are old stories, and they're not enough anymore. The #metoo movement has given them notice. There's too much nuance in real human interactions to accept a one-sided version of events.
Several years into my self-recovery process, after I'd started yoga and dance and walking barefoot on the earth to reconnect to my body, a man who looked like the Cambridge sidewalk writer touched me without my permission to emphasize a point in a story he was telling around a lunch table at a ranch in Montana. We were there for a yoga retreat for military veterans, which was billed as a safe, healing space. This man was a former lieutenant colonel in the air force, and it turned out we'd served on the same base in Baghdad at the same time, but we hadn't known each other then.
From the moment we met, I'd started fawning—the fourth stress response after fight, flight, and freeze—without consciously realizing that he reminded me of the sidewalk guy. This man had the same tall frame, the same facial structure and blondish hair. He had the careless swagger and empty banter of the military that were so easy for me to fall into step with even after so long away. Out of old habit, I imitated his drawling repartee as I always had with men of power, to keep them a safe distance away while simultaneously trying to fit in.
As this man regaled us with a tale of troubled hospital patients, seven people around the lunch table watched him get up from his chair and walk around to my side of the table. Seven people saw me shrink away as he came nearer, as he reached out a hand to demonstrate—on me—his technique for subduing the patients. My mind screamed. Surely he's not actually going to touch me. Surely he realizes where he is. Surely he's going to ask for permission first. As he reached my side, I stared up at him in shock, frozen. He didn't stop. "Like this," he said, and pressed the edge of his palm against my chest. I crumpled inside. I felt as violated as if he had raped me. I didn't speak. I didn't have any words.
Later, one of the men from the table told me he saw it happen, saw the fear in my eyes, saw me recoil. "Thanks," I managed to mumble. I felt validated on hearing his acknowledgment, but in my head I raged. Then why didn't you stop him?? I couldn't, why didn't YOU? Was that too much to ask? Was it really up to me alone, when seven witnesses were present?
Over the next two days of the retreat I felt agitated, teary, and fragile. Walking from my yurt to the bathhouse, I saw the lieutenant colonel shaking out a blanket in front of what I assumed to be the cabin where he was staying. I changed my route after that, taking a much longer path to the bathroom to avoid meeting him by chance in the woods. Then, in one of our yoga classes, he sat across the circle from me, directly in my line of sight. I softened my gaze for the meditative exercise, trying not to look at him in front of me, but I felt tears streaming down my face. Unable to avoid seeing him, my body recalled not just the lunch table, but also Cambridge. My body, whose voice was getting louder, recalled its shame and rage.
The only thing that saved me from a downward spiral was the final restorative yoga class led by a compassionate female former Marine. Brianna had welcomed me at the retreat and was the only person with whom I'd felt truly safe and seen. In this class, her calm voice guided us to lie on our backs with one blanket under our knees and another under our shoulders for support. She invited us to relax further into the floor in a heart-opening posture, spreading our arms away from our torsos and allowing our collarbones to spread apart. After a few minutes of gentle breathing, I felt a release in my chest in exactly the same spot where the man had touched me. It felt like a weight was lifted, like my breastbone taking flight. I exhaled deeply and sobbed in silent relief.
It was the closest trigger-to-release moment I'd experienced to date, yet it took another week of gentle yoga and time in nature at the ranch for my nervous system to finally start to relax and renew again. I'm grateful that I was in a space with tools to heal. I'm relieved that I'd done enough work by then for my nervous system to find its way, relatively quickly, to home base. But it felt like a double-edged sword: I went there to heal with other veterans, not to be assaulted in order to learn of my body's expanded capacity.
A few months later, I worked up the courage to report the lieutenant colonel to the head of the veterans' yoga program. Based on my feedback and that of other participants, they offered an additional retreat specifically for women veterans the next year, which I heard was a great success.
But it's a scary prospect: even in healing spaces, anything can traumatize a person or cause old trauma to surface. A face, a touch, a laugh, a way of holding a cigarette. These are emotional flashbacks, and they don't go away. If we're lucky enough to come into contact with the right teachings, we learn gradually, with effort, how to stabilize our nervous systems and come back to baseline. We learn how to expand our capacity for feeling, how to slow down and pay attention.
This should not be a lucky break. It should be the norm. We should begin teaching children as early as possible to listen to their bodies and tune in to their emotions. Educating all people on consent and boundaries and how to trust the signals from their bodies is a way forward. We learn our patterns at a tender age—not just women, but all genders. Wouldn't it be nice—no, wouldn't it be essential to the thriving life of our communities—if we started young and built confidence and self-esteem from the inside out.
A year and a half ago, still on my quest for healing and release, I attended a retreat for relational gestalt practice, a therapy technique that emphasizes body awareness and acceptance of all feelings that arise in the moment. In my one-on-one facilitation, I went back to my experience of staying in the Marine's trailer after the party in Baghdad. With space to feel and remember, I realized that the part of me that chose to stay was choosing safety. Each of the two men present with me at the end of the night had indicated by his facial expressions, without words, that the other was dangerous. The implication was, "Come with me." The Marine's eyes were just slightly more insistent, and he was closer to my age, so I chose him.
That simple piece of the puzzle helped me take responsibility for the part I'd played and forgive myself for it, too. It helped me reassign appropriate responsibility to the man who'd gone too far. It helped me imagine the possibility of asking someone for help. I cried, and the pain eased. What remained was space for the transformation of anger into action.
The fact that I had to choose between two men I served with side by side, that I had to decide while drunk which one was less threatening, is the problem. The fact that I'd been told the day I arrived in Baghdad, "Women have been attacked here, so don't go anywhere alone, especially at night"—and that this was a routine warning, not a blaring alarm for military leadership and every person serving—is the problem. The fact that I felt so alone and so at fault that it didn't once occur to me to ask a superior for help, or to let someone with authority know what had happened, is the problem. Operating without awareness of alternatives to the narrative we're told is the problem.
In the book He's Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt, a consultant for the TV show "Sex and the City", posits the basic "truth" that a man would rather get run over by a bus or have his arm chopped off than tell a woman he's "not that into her." Why? Because he's afraid she'll cry. Or scream. Or throw things.
In my 20s I ate up that philosophy and proselytized to all my friends. It sounded great in theory: just figure out that the guy's not into me, dump him, and make space for the man who is into me. Presto!
In reality, this theory demeans men. It absolves them of adult responsibility for self-knowledge and honest communication. If women follow Greg's advice, it means we won't demand that men speak their truth or navigate their own difficult conversations. It means we won't trust men to know and advocate for themselves or to consciously choose their behavior in relationships. It means we won't expect them to connect with us from their own place of strength and sovereignty.
What if, instead of applying the generalizations of gendered evolution, we practice taking the human in each situation into account. No rule can label all actions of a certain nature wrong, or all actions of another nature right. When to kiss, when to touch, when to insert and envelop, when to not? No rules work for every instance. There's only the present moment, and each moment is different and requires all the parties to show up.
But how are we supposed to know what to do if every case is different? We aren't.
Then what can we do?
We can ask. We can talk. We can muster our warrior will, as women's sexual health educator Lara Catone says, to find out. We can set the bar higher than the absence of a "no" and instead call for the presence of an absolute "yes."
That requires us to learn. About trauma, complex and acute. About our partners, verbally and nonverbally. About ourselves, internally and externally.
With new partners or one-night partners, it's important to secure verbal confirmation; we don't know the other body yet. But nonverbal cues are also essential from the start. Think of the movie "Thelma and Louise": "When a woman's crying like that, she's not having any fun." Short of tears, other clues are a recoil, a grimace, a smile without smiling eyes.
Especially men, but all "we's", must keep in mind that women have learned for generations how to make their partners believe they're enjoying what's happening. We don't always know we're doing it. Please ask. Please pay attention. Please learn. Be assured, we're learning to change our behavior, too. We must. And we need your help.
Especially women, but all "we's", must learn to read our own body's signals. We must learn what an absolute "yes" feels like, not just from arousal but from an aligned heart, mind, body, guts, and womb. It takes work to cultivate that awareness. It takes study, practice and self-reflection. But it's worth it when, lacking that "yes" feeling, we can muster our will to say, "No. Stop." When our partners have slowed down enough to listen and pay attention, then we can expect a response that honors our needs and our humanity.
In patriarchy, it is a subversive act to say what we mean. We can help each other out, friends and partners alike, as we reshape the paradigm. We can say to one, "Hey friend, you're drunk. Do you really want to do this?" We can say to another, "Don't you want to have sex with someone who really wants to have sex with you?" We can stand up for our friends when they aren't able to stand up for themselves, whether they're in danger of being assaulted or in danger of perpetrating. We can take care of each other without taking away each other's self-responsibility.
We can share with our partners if it doesn't feel good. We can share what we think will feel good, and try it out. It takes courage and strength to say, "Hey, I'm really into you, and I'd like to go deeper." Or, "I'm curious to explore more emotional and physical intimacy, how do you feel about that?" Or, "This doesn't feel good for me right now, I'd like to change course."
We can also update the conversation around consent. The word "consent" implies permission, with a doer and a receiver. It implies an allowing, which is an expression of old paradigm "power over". Sex in the new world is a team sport, and all the players have both veto power and conscious positive choice. For sex to be mutual, all parties must actively affirm their intent. The new dynamic is "power with", and it needs a new language. A "yes, let's" is more empowering and more fun than a "yes, you may." This subtle shift couples consent with active desire, which makes it feel different.
How do I know? I'm now embarking on a partnership that began with setting clear boundaries and sharing needs and desires. It didn't happen overnight or with a single conversation. We worked through long emails, voice messages, texts, and phone conversations. We gave each other time to process, and we both kept showing up for the inquiry. We've come to know each other intimately, and we've agreed that sex is not yet on the table. We're still working through the sharing. It feels powerful and new.
What I'm noticing in my body through intentional foundation-building is space. Space to know myself, then to know him, then to check in with myself again. Our pace allows me to notice when I feel safe and when I don't, to determine what I need to take care of myself, and then to approach my partner with vulnerability and compassion. It's not easy. My heart breaks, and I feel afraid every day. I also feel delight, joy, giddiness, and strength. I feel alive. This slow dance is stirring my heart in a way I've never experienced before. I notice my attraction arise out of mutual understanding and connection. I notice my arousal arise out of safety and sweetness.
This is the partner dance I want to do for the rest of my life. This is the partner dance I wish for everyone.
In the grocery store recently, the man in line behind me started chatting up the clerk while she was ringing me up. He threw down some kind of veggie burger and she said, "Hey, I tried the Impossible Burger, and it was really good."
"Yeah," he said. "There's some kind of anti-meat protest happening this weekend."
"I wish they would educate people, instead of just telling them not to eat meat," she said.
As I took up my purchase and prepared to walk out I chimed in, a little fiercely, "Like sex."
She glanced at me and said, "Yeah." Then she nodded, still pondering, and as I started walking away she repeated, "YEAH!" I stopped, smiled, met her eyes, and walked on.
It's that simple. I didn't hesitate or wonder what the men in line would think. I spoke from what arose in my body in that moment, a call for justice from what I knew in my wholly integrated self to be true. We can change the world in a moment. Whether in the grocery store or the bedroom, whether on the playing field or the battlefield, at the temple or the lunch table, when we stay present with each other and with ourselves, when we slow it way down, and when we stay open to feeling, then we create safe spaces and opportunities for truly consensual, pleasure-informed interactions. That is social justice. That is social responsibility. That is radical action, wild, free, and true. That is the evolution of #metoo.