I am thinking of Anita Hill.
I am thinking of Christine Blasey Ford.
I am thinking of Alexandra Waterbury.
I am thinking of Chinaka Hodge and her #whyIdidntreport story.
I am thinking of Adrienne Truscott and her #whyIdidntreport story.
I am thinking of my friend who dropped out of school after she was assaulted.
I am thinking of Amber Wyatt.
I am thinking of my 18-year-old self, jogging around the campus at Rice, groped by a stranger.
I am thinking about how I don’t like to share what I’m doing on social media in a way that will reveal my location because I don’t want an stalkerish ex to know where I am, even though I have a public-facing job.
While all of this thinking is going on, I am attending a dance festival in Lyon, France. I am thinking and raging and watching and mourning over the course of 15 shows in mid to late September, 2018.
I meet with a French colleague and ask her if she has heard about the scandal at New York City Ballet. She asks me if I had heard about the open letter from dancers with Jan Fabre.
I hear about another brilliant female performance curator being forced out of her arts institution by a male colleague. It’s at least the third one in nine months in our small, specialized field.
My rage affects my viewing and I rail internally:
I do not want to see a dance in which women are thrown about like rag dolls.
I do not want to see a dance in which a woman is hit by a man, and it turns out he is really sad inside, but everything continues as before.
I do not want to see a festival in which the vast majority of the headlining artists are men.
I do not want to see a dance in which a woman is kicked.
I do not want to see a dance in which the female dancer is nude and the male dancer keeps his pants on.
I do not want to see a dance in which the female dancer wriggles and writhes all over the stage while a man stands behind her and strums a few fingers on a bass.
I find myself wishing that Half Straddle were performing in this festival, or Milka Djordjevich, or Annie Wilson, or Onye Ozuzu. I replay little snippets of their shows in my mind as consolation.
And then I start thinking about Anita Hill all over again…