Musing on #Metoo

This hashtag has brought up so many things that I’d prefer to suppress, but the reality is that this problem is definitely bigger than you think. There are all sorts of people from different backgrounds commenting on what this hashtag means or stating how just saying something doesn’t change the fact that so many people have this experience. That’s definitely true and I have gone back and forth about what to do about it. But, in all honesty, some people just don’t have the power to change things. I mean, how do you change some idiots catcalling you? This happened to me as I was walking into work yesterday. That’s all I was doing. I was walking into work. Sure, I could work in a better neighborhood, but in all honesty, it’s just not that simple and if you know me personally, you know why. So, do I prevent such a thing from happening by carrying a concealed weapon, or at the very least, some pepper spray? If you’ve seen any true crime show at all, you know that none of that actually matters. Each of us makes a choice. The man who catcalled me made a choice to do so. It’s a form of sexual harassment. Does this constitute a #metoo? I’ve had worse happen to me, but I wonder what the #metoo means to those that I know who have posted it. Do we reveal that we have been victims and give in to those who say, “Well, now you are stronger and a survivor”? And am I really a survivor? I mean, sure, I’m here and I’m alive. But I don’t go out in the dark alone, most of the time not even at all. I obsessively lock the doors at night. I make sure my car doors are always locked. I am always aware of my surroundings. I have nightmares and I sleep lightly enough that I can hear each odd noise at night. I have to take anti-depression medication every day so that I don’t feel so exhausted that I can’t function. And I don’t even trust people who are close to me, even though I want to trust them. Now, does that sound like surviving to you? Perhaps it does sound like surviving. I don’t think about what happened to me every single day anymore, but that anxiety creeps up in every day of my life, but why should I tell you? Admit that I have been there, too? Why do I owe that to you? The truth is that I don’t. I want to fix this just as much as the next person. I do my best. I teach my child to respect and be nice to others, as difficult as that is. I am starting the process of teaching him about the changes to his body and what is okay and what isn’t. But the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter if I do all of these things if those who have the power to create change just don’t do anything. I’m looking at you, people who catcall, people who try to grab others in inappropriate places, people who say, “boys will be boys” and then tell their girl children to be careful. The truth of the matter is that we all must work together to make this world a better place. We need to use our power to vote and our power to teach our children right from wrong. We need to pay attention to what is going on in the world. We need to prevent people who have already been known to harass women from holding any sort of office and/or political power. Yes, I did say that and you all know what it’s about. I don’t have to explain myself or my views, but if you want to talk to me about how to make this world a better place, I will sit here with open ears and listen to what you have to say. But if you want to tell me that a man who is so despicable that he causes women to once again shout, “I’ve been assaulted, too,” is a man who should also hold an office, then I will walk away. Isn’t it bad enough that women have already said, “me, too”? Do we really need to say it again? I think the answer is no. We don’t need to relive our trauma to justify the need for change. We just need to change it.

















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