#Metoo, Of Course

Don’t lie to us and say you’re surprised.

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

This past week has been full of #metoo posts from women around the world on social media.

As I watched the flood of posts, scrolling past another and another, then more and more, of every woman I know on Facebook, strangers on Twitter, I felt the rising heat in my chest.

While #metoo may be provoking conversation and forcing men to see the actual human people in their lives who have been personally effected by sexual harassment, it should not be a surprise.

Be sad, make promises, be horrified, but don’t lie to us and say you’re surprised.

In a culture that blames the victim of sexual assault more often than not, that has dress codes throughout children’s school saying girls have to cover their shoulders so that the BOYS can learn, in a world where in some countries girls just don’t go to school during period week. In a world where my fucking uterus is more regulated and legislated than tools of murder, you are not allowed to be surprised that every woman you know has been harassed, and most of them so many times that they simply shrug it off.

We stop telling people.

Girls are taught to carry pepper spray, wear different clothes, carry your keys so they stick out from each finger, just in case.

Women are scared to walk alone in parking garages, or late at night in their own neighborhood. We base decisions about how late to stay out, the outfit we wear, and where we park our car all on the possibility of harassment.

Me too. Of course, me too.

Me too because I had a “friend” follow me back to my apartment in college and try to force himself on me. He said I had flirted with him and clearly wanted him or else I “wouldn’t have worn that.” Because this happened more than once.

Me too because I have been groped on the NYC train, at parties, and in lines.

Me too because I can’t walk down the street after dark without feeling extremely vulnerable and nervous. Without walking faster and holding my purse a little tighter.

Me too because men feel like it’s okay to tell me to “smile” or comment loudly on my weight or my breasts or my clothes as I walk in their general vicinity.

Me too because I grew up knowing I have to fear rape and assault from men and have to make DAILY DECISIONS based on the fact that simply because I am a woman, I am far more likely to be physically and sexually assaulted.

Sure, I am happy the #metoo movement on social media is opening men’s eyes to the true epidemic of harassment and assault and how it makes women feel.

But the fact is that we needed to have a movement at all for half the population to even be aware that women are their own individual humans and should not be left in daily indoctrinated fear.

When will our society move from “here is how you can protect yourself from assault, ladies” to “do not assault, men. This is your responsibility and you will be held accountable for your actions.”?

So, yeah. Me too, assholes.