I have just been so profoundly touched and impacted by reading all the #metoo stories around the internet this week. From celebrity op-eds to my personal friends on Facebook. I’m so amazed by the bravery of women to come forward and tell their stories to an audience that can sometimes be demeaning and unfriendly. I’ve been lucky enough to not have suffered like some of the women I know – and isn’t it so sad that I have to say that it is lucky. My own stories stem from the all too familiar harassment I think every woman faces almost daily: being demeaned at work by being called “sweetie” instead of taken seriously, getting catcalled on the street as I walk past strangers who feel they have a right to comment on how nice my “ass” looks, or having creeps tell me to “smile.”
The underlying thread I’ve seen in all these stories, including my own, is the regret we have in not standing up for ourselves. It’s as though we are trained not to speak, either out of fear or a desire not to upset the men around us. Even the most outspoken woman will tell you how she lost her voice when it happened to her.
It’s crazy, because even though the harassment is not our fault, we are the ones who carry this additional burden. We feel embarrassed we didn’t explain to our co-worker it’s not okay to refer to us as “sweetie”. We feel ashamed we didn’t yell at the catcallers in street. We feel sick to our stomachs that we actually smiled at the creep. As the victims, we not only carry the stain of the harassment, but also the self-loathing that follows. Those feelings are that much more amplified for the victims of assault and rape.
So for this week’s Maybe This Week, I wanted to share the stories I’ve read that had an impact on me. We are not alone, and although it’s comforting to have support, it’s also terribly sad that we are most surprised by women cannot partake in #metoo . This is not okay.
Literally Why I Can’t Say Me Too \\ Total Sorority Move
McKayla Maroney Says ‘Me Too’ What Happens Next \\ Liriel Higa Op Ed New York Times
Why I Thought Twice Before Saying #MeToo \\ Alyssa Rosenberg for Act Four in the Washington Post
I think it’s really important for both men and women to read these articles. It’s important to learn, to grow, and to be better. Let’s educate ourselves and those around us.