Whenever I dare to write something semi-political or to discuss what is going on in the world on my small internet platform, I’ve come to expect a response. Mostly a positive one but there is always be some prat who thinks I should wind my neck in, stay on message or stick to what I know. The wonderful thing about the internet is that everyone has a voice and so very many people are unafraid to use that voice to tell you to get back in the kitchen.
No surprise then that the morning after Meryl Streep’s impassioned Golden Globe speech on Sunday night, the vocal masses are out in force. In a not particularly veiled reference to the President Elect, Ms Streep used her huge platform to highlight the importance of the mainstream media in holding decision makers to account. She implored journalists and anyone with a voice to challenge injustice, to not let hateful rhetoric pass by uncontested. She used her influence to persuade her peers and those who idolise her and her impressive body of work, to stand up and be heard in the face of overwhelming negativity.
Of course, the first thing I read on Monday morning was a whole thread of comments telling her to ‘stick to acting’ which, in the unshakably objective opinion of anonymous internet users, she’s not that good at – that’s right trolls, hit ‘em where it hurts.
As a citizen of a nation about to change beyond all recognition, why shouldn’t she use her platform to discuss that change? To empower others to challenge and influence. Whether you agree or disagree with what she said, there is no doubt that it is her absolute right to use whatever means she has at her disposal to voice her opinion.
There’s also the small fact that she is a human being. At the heart of Meryl Streep’s missive was the well documented mockery of a disabled journalist by the President Elect. As human beings, it is the responsibility of every single one of us to speak up on behalf of those who have been treated unjustly and to challenge those who feel it somehow acceptable to treat others with such contempt.
When we stop challenging these sorts of behaviours, when we stand by and silently witness, we are failing at humanity a bit. So thank you Meryl Streep, thank you for showing the world that speaking up is the right thing to do and do try not to let Donald’s response that you’re a ‘Hilary lover’ keep you awake at night.
Never ever stick to what you know, never let injustice go unchallenged, always use your voice.