The Least of Our Peers
Troy Headrick

I’ve had fingers hovering over the keyboard several times, then thought the better of it and stopped. I’ve returned, compelled to express my thoughts on this. Your defence of women’s rights and especially of their right to be heard is not in question, far from it. What I do find difficult to align with is the me too campaign, and this for two reasons. The first is that this history of abuse, harassment and assault is a fact of life for most women. There are few who *haven’t* been subject to it, to a graver or lesser degree, by the time they’ve lived a couple of decades. I have experienced all three: abuse, harassment and assault. If the subject comes up in conversation with female friends — which is not often — I discover that there is a solidarity, a sisterhood of silent victims. But many of us consciously choose not to wear this on our sleeve. Not necessarily out of shame, but because that’s what we need to do in order to survive and move on. Dredging it back up, putting it out there for everyone to see, is not what works for our own personal path. So for every me too, there may be that many more silent voices who just don’t want to go there, out of self-preservation or fear or whatever. Secondly, social media seems to be trending toward a sort of sensationalistic, boy-who-cried-wolf aura, and it facilitates both bandwagon-jumping and a false sense of implication. Typing the words me too, or for that matter sharing links, adding hashtags…what does that actually accomplish? It takes very little effort, and it seems that the only thing gained is a sense of —I don’t want to say smugness, but perhaps self-satisfaction — for having done one’s part. No. All you’ve done is sat at a keyboard and validated your appartenance to or your endorsement of an idea or a trend. And you’ve not reached beyond your own social circle of friends, who likely are already aligned with you anyway. Sorry, but it rings hollow.

Earlier this year, I went and stood at the grave of the person who sexually assaulted me and my sister overandoveragain when I was 7 and she was 5. I tried to find forgiveness. But most of all I wanted to show him the woman that I became, and the fact that he did not win. So yeah. Me too.

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