Following the recent allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, the words “Me Too” have once again become a unifier.
The hashtag (#MeToo) originated 10 years ago with activist Tarana Burke but saw a resurgence when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a rallying cry to victims “so we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Since then, wo[men] have used the hashtag to share [often] concealed stories of sexual harassment and assault.
As my Facebook timeline filled with friends sharing their accounts, some of which were harrowing, I not only marveled at their bravery but was intrigued by the number of men who were surprised at the number of women they knew personally who are victims.
I was not surprised though. Unfortunately a large percentage of the women I know have stories they can tell about sexual harassment or assault. A couple of my friends can recount tales as far back as childhood.
Sexual harassment and assault are not uncommon; most women just choose to bury their experience and move on for various reasons such as not being believed or being blamed. However, I get it. I am one of them.
Having said that, am not quite brave enough to detail the experience – or rather, my experiences of sexual harassment because quite frankly, they are something I prefer to forget.
However, I am glad that #MeToo has gained traction again. It is a necessary conversation starter and brings awareness to a plight that some men are somewhat oblivious of.
“Denial forces victims to retreat in lifeless existence, dieing in the shadows of buried trauma and painful memories.”
― Trudy Metzger