What does metoo bring up for you? How does it make you feel?
Do you think I’m identifying as a victim? I don’t see myself as one. I don’t feel like one.
I have had men sexually assault and harass me. I think the reason I don’t identify as a victim is because it is so normal that I brush it off, it doesn’t bother me that much. Not because the things that have happened aren’t that bad. But because I’m desensitised to it.
BUT the things that happened to me were NOT ok, they were absolutely wrong on every level. By identifying with #metoo I’m not asking for sympathy, I’m not coming out as a victim. I am saying ENOUGH.
I want my daughter to grow up without having to look over her shoulder as she walks down the street. I don’t want her to have to police what she wears, where she goes or what she does, out of a fear of what men might do or say if she makes the “wrong” choice.
I want my son to respect women and treat them as equals. I don’t want him to grow up in a culture where objectifying women and porn is normal.
I want them both to have equal opportunities in life, and to not have to be or do something different because of their gender. That their value should lie purely in the their talents, experience and knowledge.
So here is my response to some recurring comments I have seen over the last week or so.
“Men are victims too”
Yes they are, but right now we are specifically talking about sexual assault and harassment, which is almost always male on female. We can talk about that other violence another time, please don’t try and distract from this specific issue by broadening it.
“I’m not like that, you are attacking all men”
No we are not, but if you are feeling defensive maybe you should be thinking about why that is. If you are a “good guy” what are you personally trying to do to bring down patriarchy?
“This is divisive”
Nope, sexual assault and harassment are divisive. Talking about it might make you feel uncomfortable, but that’s because you have been happily ignoring the division that already exists.
“How do I know whether you are a victim of rape, or just catcalling?”
I don’t owe you my story, you just need to believe me.
I really believe at the moment humanity is being called upon to face some really big divisions amongst us. This hashtag is a manifestation of this. We are being asked to look at what is holding us back at as species, get it out in the open, work through it and find a path of healing. It is painful and if we are called out as an oppressor our natural response is often defensiveness. I hope if you are a man and you are reading this, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, angry or defensive. Sit with those feeling for a bit. Then ask yourself why you feel that way. Try and unpick it and work though it.