The First Time I Was 5….
Over the last week I’ve watched my Facebook news feed fill up with #metoo; I’ve seen the same thing as I’m scrolling through twitter. I’ve seen people talk about how they are hoping it creates a shock factor; they hope it helps others feel like they aren’t alone and brave enough to say “Me, Too” also. I get it. I understand the intentions and why people have been open to joining in the movement. Im thankful for the hope, Love, and comfort it’s offered. I’m also angered by the fact we even have to talk about it; that it’s become this “normal”. I am not, however, shocked. I’m not sure how anyone who has been paying attention to the cultural of our society would be either.
I’ve been very hesitant to address and talk about the Me, Too. I have mixed feelings about it; not because I don’t value the importance or believe that it provides a safe an comfortable way to talk about personal stories and situations but because I don’t want the momentum to stop after a few weeks. Sexual assault is something that I’m all too aware of and I think we are long over due for some really candid and raw conversations about it. My fear is that this will be another trend that we lose sight of in a few months. I hope and pray it won’t and that we can move towards fixing the problem; I guess only time will tell.
We currently live in a culture where sexual harassment has become the norm and sexual assault places blame on everyone and everything but the actual perpetrators. We let rapist go free in 3 months, we elect World leaders with a history of a sexual mis-conduct, we blame clothes, and alcohol, and flirtatious behavior. We tend to turn a blind eye when we witness unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. We don’t have a voice for the voiceless, instead we sit in silence and pretend it’s not happening or it’s not our place. That silence is deafening.
So how can anyone be shocked? Maybe it’s the fact when it happens to us we feel guilty because the environment we live in teaches us to accept blame for other people actions. Maybe the shock is the fact isn’t our fault; it’s never the victims fault. Our culture has trained us to accept that this is the new norm for society. But boy is that philosophy wrong.
However, it is our fault that so many incidents occur without properly being addressed. It’s our fault that we don’t push back at situations that make us or someone else feel uncomfortable. We haven’t done a good job of teaching our younger generations that boundaries exist for a reason and worth is not determined by favors you do for other people or they do for you. It’s our responsibility to break the cycle. In order to do that we have to remove the blinders that the amount of “me, Too”s is shocking; what we are currently unveiling is the norm that we have created. Not purposely but we’ve allowed it to be created none the less.
So if you posted “Me, Too” thank you for having the courage to share, thank you for helping to encourage other people to share. I appreciate your bravery and know that you aren’t alone. But don’t let your voice stop at a social media post. Don’t allow your situation to be unheard. We have to stop letting society shape us into willingly blind-full people. Wake up, stand up, speak up, and fight. Not just for your own stories but for other’s stories; for the ones we know and the ones we don’t, and the ones that have yet to be told. Because let’s face it, saying “Me, Too” is only going to get us so far.
And for crying out loud….