So many of us are survivors of sexual violence. We have learned to live with it in different ways. We want justice in different ways. Women are not a monolith. Our pain is not the same pain. Survivors criticized the open letter. Survivors signed it. We all deserve respect.
I know the terrible and lasting pain of sexual assault. My belief in due process and my belief in survivors are both parts of me, and I cannot sacrifice one for the other. It would be like ripping myself in two. I believe that we need to assume the best of each other, not the worst. I do not think it is impossible to imagine that multiple valid and humane viewpoints exist.
Please: let us talk about how we have failed language, and indeed how we have failed each other, but let us do so in a way that never forgets the dignity, the history, and life of the other.
The open letter and the ensuing conversation are not an argument or a game that need to be won. They are about human lives, all of the human lives that have been damaged by the failure of UBC’s process. The cost of failure is higher than I dare express in words. I do not think that the price is one any of us should be willing to pay.
I cannot go along with a process that has so destroyed and compromised individuals. My refusal has nothing to do with guilt or innocence or friendship or what any of us project or believe. It is simple humanity.