How we treat non-human animals is a reflection of our personal and collective ethos; one often mired in a subconscious belief that humans have a monopoly on sentience and therefore value. Our film sets are no exception.
Culture is a human-made idea, often a man-made idea. And it’s just that: an idea. An imaginary construct enough people have chosen to believe to make it real. It can change at any time and it should. Culture is the external companion of our collective psychological, emotional, and spiritual evolutionary process. Acts of violence, cruelty, and barbarism held with indifference or as sacred and reverent in the name of ‘culture’ are external symptoms of a willfully ignorant ego.
You can’t grow deep roots in shallow pools. We’re plagued with shallow pools: shiny objects, quick fixes, culturally appropriated tokens, traditions, symbols, ceremony. Capitalist ‘spirituality.’ The sacred hacked up, commodified and served with a side of overpriced, environment-destroying, water-poisoning, climate change accelerating, sweat-shop made stretchy pants we label ‘yoga’ like Yoga has anything to do with it.
Rape is a four letter word. It happened to me. Based on statistics, it’s highly likely it happened to you or someone you know. It happens to us. Rape is a four letter word. It represents hate, violence, oppression, entitlement, victimisation. I have a hard time saying this four letter word. Do you? It’s only four letters but it weighs so much. But I won’t let it suffocate me, crush me, or define me. Neither should you. Silencing survivors is a deliberate – subconscious or conscious is irrelevant – knee-jerk reaction to maintaining status quo. It makes survivors victims. It makes us carry the burden. Talk about it, if you want. Don’t talk about it, if you want. Either way it’s never your shame or burden to carry. Rape is a four letter word. It happened to me. It maybe happened to you. It is not my identity and it’s not yours.
The duty and responsibility of fostering loving kindness and spreading peace is on all of us. And as such, everyone is to be held to account. Everyone irrespective of one’s social status, profession, ethnicity, nationality or economic station, has a duty to humanity. And this brings me to Hollywood, a self-identifying liberal universe.
It’s important to have perspective but that should never be used as a form of cruelty against yourself. It shouldn’t be a weapon to suppress your own challenges and deny yourself of compassion and self-care. Everything about you is important.