Me, Too: Not Just A Facebook Status
If you have any female Facebook friends at all, chances are you saw upwards of 20 Facebook statuses last week that said something like this:
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me, too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
More than 100 of my female Facebook friends made this their status within a 24 hour period. If you think that this means that 100 of my Facebook friends were raped, you are wrong.
Some women posted anecdotes along with their statuses, about times that men catcalled them, touched them inappropriately without consent, made sexual slurs to their faces. All of these are experiences of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advancement made towards anyone.
Me f*cking too. I’m sexually harassed every time I’m walking down the damn street to catch the bus to work and some dude feels the need to whistle at me out the window. I’m sexually harassed every time a man grabs my ass in the club — which is every time I go to the club. I’m sexually harassed whenever I’m on a date with a woman and a man decides to sit down at our table and strike up a conversation, uninvited, because there’s no way these two “feminine”-looking women with long hair could be interested in each other and not at all interested in him, right? I was sexually harassed at f*cking work today, when a customer grabbed my hand for no reason, held onto it, and called me “sweetie.”
Every time we are touched sensually without consent, it is sexual harassment.
And every time, I want to ask, excuse me, Random Man I’ve Never Met Before, if I were a man, would you grab my hand? Would you call me sweetie? Would you grope my ass in the club? If I were on a date with a man, would you feel that it was okay to sit down and start talking to us without asking? And when I told you, with a smile, that I was on a date and asked you to leave, would you call me an “ugly bitch”?
No, you wouldn’t. And if you’re reading this and even one percent thinking that it’s my fault because I go to clubs, because I walk down the street without a man by my side, because I’m into women, then you are the problem.
There are other things I could write about, like the time I got followed on my way back to my apartment at 3 a.m. by two guys yelling at me out the window of their van. I luckily saw another woman walking about 25 feet ahead of me, so I ran up and asked her if I could walk with her, and the guys in the van sped off. Or, I could write about the time that a man I didn’t know followed me into the bathroom at a club, shut the door, took his pants off and pulled my hand towards his crotch. I kicked him in the groin, hit him with my other hand and yelled at him to leave me the f*ck alone and he did.
Of course those two situations “count” as sexual harassment. Those two situations are textbook sexual harassment. But catcalling, ass grabbing, and any other non-consensual touching are sexual harassment too.
If you’ve touched anyone without their consent, if you’ve catcalled someone, if you’ve made anyone feel unsafe just being out in public, you have sexually harassed someone.
Just like you learned in preschool, treat everyone the way you’d want to be treated. My guess is you’d like to be able to enjoy a night out with your friends, a date with someone you’re interested in, and your damn walk to work without being sexually harassed, right?
Yeah. Me too. Me f*cking too.