on Ryan Adams, the pause, and getting off the fence.
Lets talk Ryan Adams.
Im a big fan of Ryan Adams. Ive got his albums. Ive got a concert poster above my desk. Ive seen him live. His music has played a significant role in my life.
Its been pretty easy to be an ally, advocate, and accomplice of #MeToo when the person was someone I didn’t care about. I could say “I can live without Kevin Spacey movies” and then write him off for deplorable and abusive actions.
When the news broke of Adams’ abusive relationships & sexual misconduct, I expected it to be as easy as before. I was disappointed but I believe women. I believe in justice. It was a no brainer: I had to say ‘No!’ I had to show I don't endorse that behaviour. I had to stop supporting him.
But here’s the thing: I paused. I hesitated to mute him.
As much of an ally and advocate as I like to think I am, I actually paused when it meant giving up my favourite music. A buddy said he had the same experience. Im sure we’re not the only ones.
Here’s the thing, guys. Here’s what I was confronted with:
It’s easy to be an ally, support women, and do our part when it costs us nothing. But to stand behind and support women means more than lip service and twitter rage. Justice requires a cost because it requires a stance. A world liberated of violence does not happen by sitting on the fence.
There are going to be more and more moments of hesitation coming our way. Whether it’s around sexual abuse, LGBTQ+ rights, racism, or something else, we’ll all be asked: Are we actually willing to pay the price?
The pause is real and we need to hear the question it asks us:
Are we willing to mute our favourite artists?
Are we willing to leave our churches?
Are we willing to end relationships?
Are we willing to speak up and stand up?
Are we willing to do what it takes to bring justice into our world?
Muting Ryan Adams was tough. Im going to miss that music. But I cant support him and someone whose survived sexual abuse at the same time. I cant support him and honour my values and beliefs at the same time.
I cant sit on the fence and thats the price Im willing to pay.