After reading this article, [“Jagged Little Pill: Local Playwright Stages a Satire About the Manosphere,” Aug. 17, Xpress] I want to clarify a few points. First, at no point did Our VOICE lead a mediation between the playwright and those who did not want to play to move forward. Our VOICE was invited and participated in the mediation conducted by the Mediation Center at both parties’ request. Our role as an organization is not to mediate but to advocate for individuals impacted by sexual violence.
Since the play was brought to our attention, we have been consistent in expressing our concerns. First and foremost, we believe that individuals impacted by sexual violence have the right to hold and share their own stories. We are concerned that any level of specificity that ties the play to actual events in the community would revictimize those that were impacted by the Waking Life scandal.
We sincerely hope that our concerns were heard as well as those who took part in the mediation. While parody has its place in artistic expression, making light of victimization is no laughing matter.
As always, we encourage the community to take part in dialogue regarding rape culture, how it contributes to sexual violence and how it can be dismantled. How a community conducts this dialogue sets the stage for whether those who have been impacted by sexual violence come out from under the shadows. We at Our VOICE believe that this community can create the best possible environment for empowering victims to seek the justice and healing they deserve.
— Angelica Wind