Same as me, you have probably noticed the trend of Me Toos popping up on Facebook. I find myself saying should I post those simple two words? I question have I ever been sexually harassed or assaulted?
I find myself questioning the moments I felt that I had been harassed or assaulted by someone. Was it really harassment, was it an accident or did they mean to, was it my fault, did I do something wrong?
And then it hit me, that was the first problem. I wanted to excuse away the harassment and assault. Because I didn’t want to be one of those people who posted on Facebook and was attacked for expressing my discomforts, and honestly situations I wanted nothing more than to do was wash my skin in bleach.
Scrolling though Facebook this morning my fears that people wouldn’t take me, someone who hasn’t been seriously assaulted, seriously. And then I found the second problem. Someone had shared a photo of a Facebook post from a guy saying Me Too, before I read further I really thought it was going to be about how men also get harassed or assaulted, because people, it’s not gender specific. But it was a post that read on to say if you have ever felt lonely and horny then post Me Too.
That really got under my skin. Once again someone was making me feel small for being made uncomfortable. The funny thing is, that person has probably made a ton of women feel uncomfortable, and now he is going on Facebook and mocking them? And he probably doesn’t even realize that he is part of the problem. And then I came to number three, dismissal.
Over the past few days I have read a magnitude of posts from women sharing stories, many of which must have been terrifying to share on the internet. And then some person, because remember it happens to every gender, makes fun of those strong women for finally speaking out. And discouraging those women who want to step up and share their stories. Women who are hurting from past trauma, and others like me who feel like if we talk about it we will be judged for things that have been out of our control.
And then I came to my fourth and final realization. Share, connect, and build each other up. We have enough of hate and backlash on the internet that both women and men who have been harassed or assaulted should talk about the problem no matter how small or larger the event that happened.
In order to start the healing and building process I am going to tell you a few of my Me Toos.
I can remember going out dancing after two drinks with my girl friends, a typical place we all went in college. I was walking out side to get some air with my friends when I felt a hand grab my ass. It was quick and just a light squeeze but I felt it. I turned around to look back to see who it was, a guy I had never seen in my life, very drunk. When I made eye contact with him he quickly averted his eyes and pretended like I wasn’t even holding the hand of my best friend in front of me walking out the back door. And that made me feel sick. I wanted to go back find the guy and give him a swift quick knee to the groin and ask him if that made him feel uncomfortable? Tell him my backside isn’t an open thing to grab as you please. No person should be grabbed on the derriere, or anywhere for that matter, unless they tell you without a doubt that it’s okay.
I can still remember clearly how uncomfortable I was made by a customer when I worked at Ginnie Springs. I was on register and it was late at night, towards closing. A man approached me to register for camping. Along with him, he brought a pair of fins. Ours fins had been priced at 69 dollars. The first thing out if the man, who was full on grey in his hair, asked me if I thought the number 69 was the best. What started to make me uncomfortable was his tone, the way he leaned on the counter, how he just presumed I would say ‘yes 69 is my favorite number’ as I licked lips and pored a water bottle over my too tight white shirt. No you f’ing creep this isn’t a porn. I brushed off the question and started my check in process. But he didn’t care. All he wanted to do was get me back to his tent. He asked me what I was doing later that night and told me not to reply with ‘I’m busy’. But I did. And he asked me with what. Not that it was any of his business but I told him, I was going home to sleep in my bed alone. He baggered me the whole way out of the store trying to get me back to his tent. And that was just one of the many men on a given day that acted that way. If a person says no, it means no. Go on YouTube and search for the video about tea and consent (choose the British voice over version) and watch the video. It’s really that damn simple.
These two instances happened in the last couple of months. I could keep going, really, call me, email me, we can talk.
Harassment and assulat is something we all deal with everyday. No matter how small or how large, you matter. Your feelings matter. And if you doubt it, remember to me it matters. You can think when you go to the dark corners of your mind, someone cares.
I hope this gets people talking, I hope other women feel strong enough to talk to each other, talk on here. I would love for everyone to post and talk with me. But in a positive way, hating and negativity won’t be tolerated at least not on my blog. Let’s share, connect, and build each other up as a strong united front of people who will not tolerate the beliddlemt of others. I challenge each and every person who reads this post to start small, if each of us helped one person in our community then eventually we would take care of the small issues on the homefront and fight the larger issues as a strong connected group.
Remember that each of you are loved and deserve to be respected.