Vinyl recently published “A Statement Against Abusive Behavior in Our Creative Community.” More than 50 black writers and artists signed a statement representing themselves as “men or people with male privilege (MMP),” committing to help change the power structures and ideas that contribute to abuse in the black community.

The statement first establishes the signees’ defense of women who have been subject to abuse and silenced as a result. They express their hopes that this public defense of women will “elevate and further critiques of all literary institutions where rampant sexism disempowers women-identified individuals and presents a physical threat to their safety.”

Without making excuses, the statement recognizes that often, the violence against women is a result of an institutional problem in regards to women, power and sexual assault. In this statement, they acknowledge that there are men “in positions of extreme power over the well-being and safety of women,” who abuse this power. However, they suggested the fact that many offenders do not see a problem with their actions is a more pressing issue.

In order to combat this way of thinking, this group examined themselves by asking four essential questions and developed five action steps to get closer to gender equality and “the complete restructuring of institutions that support predatory behavior.” They have also challenged MMP members of the creative community to do the same. This challenge was specifically directed toward individuals involved in literary work.

Steps to combact abuse against women
Photo: Canva


Questions to ask regarding abuse against women
Photo: Canva

In a bold action, each MMP member signed their name to the statement that they concluded with the following:

“We’re examining ourselves in this space together with care and in solidarity with others. We recognize that we have flawed ideas, attitudes, and behaviors around gender even as we commit ourselves to a process of self-interrogation and change. We hope that our statement helps to strengthen others and that together we move into a place of respect and love.”

It will be interesting to see how many other MMP members of the creative community speak publically against violence against women, and take this pledge. Read the entire statement, and let us know if you’ll be in that number.

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