Since Oprah Winfrey spoke at a ceremony, two weeks ago, where she was given a prestigious award there has been a lot of speculation as to whether she intends to delve into the political realm and join the race to be president. For almost a week there was a furor as to whether she would as the media went wild. The question is still being asked, Will she?
For me, the response is “So what?”
As much as I love and respect Oprah I find it unbelievable that at an event where women came together, mourning in over-priced black outfits to tackle the often-neglected topic of universal sexual abuse, that people were so easily distracted by Oprah’s presidency. I say this because I firmly believe that one of the reasons why we are no further ahead in fighting for women’s rights, is because from Anita Hill’s brave stance against sexual abuse to the million women’s march to counteract Trump’s dirty behavior, women have allowed themselves to be distracted by the media, which in case we forget, is tightly governed by powerful men who have 100 percent decision-making power as to how women’s issues should be seen.
Do not be distracted.
The same thing happened during the sixties when women were fighting to improve every aspect of women ‘s lives and the media started focusing on women burning their bras and coining the word feminism as if it was the “f” word. To this day there are women who still chirp up, I am not a feminist. That’s like saying, I follow Christ, but I am not a Christian”. The word feminist comes from the French word “femme” which means every woman is a feminist. That does not negate each woman’s right to fight sexism without labelling herself and giving others the right to fight without distractions by the media, and evil men at large.
My plea is for us to stay focused and not allow distractions like Oprah’s dubious presidential experience to warp our thinking as we to join the conversation and fight for the rights of women of all stature, all religion, all races and all ages. Let us, therefore, be intentional about supporting our Sisters who are scared to speak up because they do not have Hollywood, or other powerful institutions, to champion their cause.
Let us work together to find ways to empower the forgotten victims, whether they are found in factories, on their knees cleaning someone else’s floor, fighting the legal system, attending universities, or climbing the corporate ladder. Stay on course realizing that women’s sexual abuse debases all of us but women’s empowerment uplifts society at large.