Beyoncé has been singing about it since 2011, and it looks like she was onto something. Since early October, women have been flooding the world with their #metoo stories. I was hesitant, at first, because the cynic in me understood that the probability of these stories making change was low. So, I wrote the following Facebook post on October 16:
In 2014, I became vocal on Facebook about my support for ethnic minorities and the Black Lives Matter movement. My voice was met with stark criticism, and people I respected shaming me for speaking on this platform. This was my first experience speaking out for the rights of humans with facts of injustice only for the truths to be denied with unrelenting disbelief.
I watched these people cling to their walls and misunderstandings while they became politically outspoken about their support for the man who would become our president. I saw that despite the lunacy of his character and the privilege that fuels him, these people continued to support him. Women, who knew that he assaulted our peers, continued to support him. I kept quiet because I feared the malice and hard-headedness that greeted me two years prior.
In those years, I also found myself in an abusive relationship. Every day, I was reminded of the strength and delusions of entitled men. I learned that no matter how loudly you scream truths in the face of an unenlightened human, you cannot make someone see facts they choose to ignore. Despite the hell I endured for two years, and subsequent lessons about domestic violence, I kept quiet for fear of continued victim shaming and lack of a socially acceptable platform.
But here I am, speaking up because this topic is too close to home. I imagine those shouting, “me too” feel similarly. I will no longer allow the fearful responses of others to dictate the words I choose to share. In light of this revolution, of women overwhelming the internet with the same two words, I have to say that I fear this isn’t enough. The men and women who refuse to acknowledge the reality of harassment and assault (and racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc.) will not experience a collective epiphany because of a social media movement. While I applaud women (and men) for feeling the strength to stand with one another, I suggest more action. Rather than draw attention to victims, we refocus on the perpetrators. We continue to stand together, but we also stand up for our brothers and sisters when we know something is wrong. The only solution is to acknowledge the hate, and confront it until this norm descends into extinction.
The world’s-a-changin’. Welcome.
YOU GUYS! How often can you say that something you suggest begin, begins happening? I don’t know, maybe others feel more heard than me, but my point remains the same. I’m so happy and proud of everyone for the bravery they’ve mustered, and the attack on our perpetrators. Change IS happening, and it’s thrilling! I can’t begin to convey the frustration of watching entitlement protect misguided people, and wow– every time I think the news will fade, another man is called out for his behavior. Talk about strength and collective upward movement.
What I’d really like to come back to, though, is that one important guy who has that super important job. Wait, you don’t know which man I’m talking about? A few fit that description… In any case, I mean THE job– the leader of the free world job. Yes, that guy. Now, I know and love people who elected him, and I mean no disrespect. But, I happen to have a massive problem with his behavior. If you’d like a refresher, you’ll find it here. It doesn’t sit right with me that so many powerful men have fallen for comparable actions, yet our nation’s biggest representative has bragged about assault on tape. Right? It’s unsettling.
I have a feeling the revolution isn’t quite over. We shall see.