When I started seeing, “Me Too” splashed across my social media feeds my negative side instantly brought me to a place of status updates you’re urged to share with an Amen! or you’ll go to hell. I hate that shit, I actually can’t scroll past it fast enough. Not because I want to go to hell, I just think it’s lame. There, I said it. But to each their own, if that trips your trigger, share away friends. Amen until your heart explodes with happiness – I do not judge you, it’s just not my jam.
I shared a personal story about sexual harassment a few weeks ago, and I battled with whether or not I should call this guy out publicly. Why? Why would I even hesitate? I did not ask for this to happen to me, I did nothing to welcome it, and I certainly never forgave this guy, mostly because he never apologized.
Now here I am, faced with this crossroads where women are being asked to speak up and I feel more of an urge to be dismissive than I do to proclaim my victim status. I genuinely believe that’s what keeps ladies from speaking up. We don’t want to be perceived as the victim, or that we’re seeking pity.
We assume that whoever is listening will think we’re exaggerating or even worse, we think we’re exaggerating. Real life, I have been sexually harassed and thought to myself how nasty it was, only to backtrack and tell myself I was overreacting. Pardon my french, but that’s fucked up. If it’s nasty, it’s nasty. End of story. If a human being, male or female is grossed out by someone’s behavior towards them they are not in the wrong for being offended. I’m not sure why that’s such a hard concept for anyone to grasp, including myself.
I have been sexually harassed walking down the street; I have been sexually assaulted by boyfriends; I have been sexually harassed while at work; I lost my virginity to sexual assault – there’s a whammy I’ve been holding onto. How’s that for, me too?
Sexual harassment and assault are shameful. It does not matter how many times you’re told it wasn’t your fault, the simple statement you’re often left telling yourself is so much louder:
It wasn’t that big of a deal.
Who are we trying to convince other than ourselves? I’ve told my stories to a select few people, sometimes not even the whole story, and their faces gave me expressions tagged with resounding disgust. I wish I had an answer as to why I was less disgusted when I was the one it happened to. That’s a problem.
It’s no one’s responsibility to come out as a victim (or a less crappy word that doesn’t make it feel so vulnerable) to declare unity. This is a choice. The clash that I’m having privately is that if I’m willing to share a story on my blog about this guy grabbing my lady parts… why can’t I bring myself to post that me too status?
I don’t know, I’m literally just talking this out for my own clarity, and the consensus that I’m coming to is that it’s just an all-around unpleasant experience that is uncomfortable to discuss in basically any situation and THAT is what every single “Me Too” expression embodies.
That’s why it’s important to use your platform of choice – power in numbers. I’m so proud of everyone who has come forward with their stories. We’re not wrong for feeling disrespected and we’re absolutely allowed to feel upset, more importantly, we’re not alone.
I will leave this asking for a favor:
If you see a ‘me too’ status don’t think it’s lame. You don’t have to feel bad for the person who posted it or apologize for their experience. Just acknowledge the amount of them you see, even if it’s just to yourself. Recognize not only the problem but the size of it.