You Are Not Removed From This

First of all, me too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about sexual assault and how we react to it. The way we don’t believe. The way when we do believe, we hedge how bad it is. The knee-jerk, “not all men,” which shifts the narrative from the fucking point. The women who buy into misogyny and ask you what you were wearing. The women who say it happened to them too and it’s a part of life. The way solidarity can be a weapon used against you. The way men think the whole topic is overblown and laugh at rape jokes. The way a guy thinks he’s owed something for just being a friend. The way we debate sexual assault training on colleges as if there aren’t real victims behind the need for them. The way fathers say, “as someone with a daughter,” as if one measly chromosome stood between empathy and apathy. (As if fathers don’t police their daughters’ bodies like they own it.) The way Woody Allen dares to say anything on the subject because he’s still revered. The way we talk about Weinstein’s actions but he’s still free. Social pariah, perhaps. But still free.

The way it takes a tsunami to move the water when a ripple should have sufficed.

So yes, me too. But a man should be walking around owning up to the fact he assaulted me. I bet he’s not.

When you read all these “me too” statuses, don’t just sit there and feel sorry for us. Ask yourself what role you’ve played, good or bad, in the widespread harassment of women. Some of you have been friends and confidants. Some of you have been the victims — the survivors — of assault. Some of you don’t want to talk about it. And at least one of you has been the harasser on some level. Maybe you didn’t know better or maybe, even now, you think it’s a compliment. But everyone has a part in this.

You too.

Written by

Disabled. Fat. Queer. Nonbinary. Afro-Latinx. Writer.

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