#notme #ohhangon #therewasthatonetime…

#metoo

#metoo has been all over my Facebook feed this week and I thought long and hard about jumping in and joining the rush.

Here’s a window on my thought process:

  • #notme
  • #Imnotavictim
  • #ohhangon there was that one time… and then…
  • #itwasntthatbad
  • #itwasntthatoften (notice past tense… I am now old and invisible… OUT. RAGE. OUS!! — and a whole other can of worms)

Also…

  • Sometimes I know it wasn’t meant badly (truth);
  • and lastly, the time it was physical, I elbowed the creepy dude in the stomach like a ninja and caused him pain. I am so proud of my young self from this distance — at the time I felt shame for causing a fuss — can you believe it?! I was a fucking brave legend!

And there’s the rub (no pun intended)…

I have been hesitating about posting my own #metoo because I. Don’t. Want. To Cause. A Fuss.

This my friends makes me as complicit in the whole mess as anyone else. It makes me selfish. Women are dropping like flies in my country. If terrorists were taking out as many people as men are women, there’d be martial law. At least. But #metoo is only part of the story.

Here’s another # introduced to me by my beautiful cousin Will. #Ihave

#Ihave kept quiet and shut up. #Ihave shrunk back from “causing a fuss”. #Ihave witnessed and not confronted sexist carryon by men. #Ihave thought “c’mon people… move on!”

I am complicit in this.

#Ihave seen things through my eyes and not stretched to see through others’.

I work with men. Closely. The pain of men and the pain of women informs my work deeply. Shame, suffering, fear… no one gender, race or religion has dominion over these things. They are all of ours — yes, experienced differently, but present for all of us.

Rather than divide along various gender lines… to heal, we must face into the whole truth of each other. Our ugliness, our beauty, our cruelty, our kindness, our fear. By polarising, staying apart, keeping our distance, the hurt and distance and anger will remain.

Many of us may be the #metoos and the #Ihaves without even realising it. It’s stuff, it’s data, it’s done. What matters now is how we face into this, listen to each other and change.

The hashtags have been unexpectedly thought provoking for me.

What’s next?

I’d love to see us invite some #Ihaves from each other and step into a space of accountability.

I’d love to see the men I love and respect feel confident to share their #Ihave moments — because I know they have, AND… I know they’d rather live in a world where that shit just doesn’t go down.