Our opinion: We’ve all been there, been followed, stalked, or worse...
On Sunday night, Alyssa Milano tweeted: "Suggested by a friend: 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."
“Me too” is the viral battle cry of those tweeting--or rather speaking out against sexual assault and sexual harassment over social media as a direct response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Ironically enough, actress Rose McGowan, who’s had an active voice in outing Weinstein as a predator, has called out numerous people of power online in response to this scandal, including Ben Affleck, who she openly called a liar once Affleck denounced Weinstein, Rose claiming that he was in the know-- only to find her Twitter account suspended.
Ironic that we live in a day and age when someone speaking out about sexual assault gets their account temporarily locked, yet it’s perfectly acceptable for Trumplethinskin to bully and flirt with the threat of nuclear war. As the prophetic but fictional character Forrest Gump would say, “..and that’s all I have to say about that.”
Don’t mind us though. We’re just a bunch of hysteric women right? Remember, friends: the term hysteria is derived from the Greek word for uterus. Uffda. Where did the idea ever come from that we’re supposed to be docile? Oh yeah, because our emotions get in the way of our rational thought processes. Silly uterus.
I’d apologize for my sarcasm if I meant it.
Milano’s suggestion is increasing awareness. As we compulsively scroll through our updates, we partially digest our friends’ and acquaintances’ horror stories. But will we retain any of it once it stops trending? Will it get lost in the vast white noise of the internet?
Of course it will. These negative encounters don’t leave our thoughts. They will continue to haunt us and depending on the individual and the situation, they will take a toll on you.
There’s a reason dancers are escorted to their cars after work and there’s a reason why we should worry when we walk home alone at night. There’s a reason why the girls’ dorms are locked after a certain time. We shouldn’t have to but it’s something we need to consider, with regard to our own self-preservation.
Some consciences might be rattling but the silence of “Me too” is almost more stifling. There are those of us that haven’t or won’t use the hashtag for reasons that are deep, dark and personal. We’ve all been there, whether we’ve experienced unwanted advances, received unsolicited photos of the male anatomy, been groped, grabbed, or pawed at, received unwanted propositions, been followed, stalked, and worse...
What’s the next step--what do we do when we see each other in person? What do we do when we see someone actively stepping out of line? Do we interject? Maybe try to make eye contact to make sure everything is fine? Do we try to expose our underbellies and talk to each other on a human level?
It’s all REALLY uncomfortable.
Do we try to be better humans and treat each other with a little more respect and understanding? I guarantee it won’t happen overnight, but I’ve always heard that admitting there’s a problem is the first step.
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