Let me start by saying that so much has been written on this by people with way more depth of knowledge , by better ,more articulate writers but holding my thoughts on this in are starting to drive me nuts . So this is merely the 2 pence worth of a blogger with an opinion.
Everyone has seen the #metoo hashtag over social media the past couple of days. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations and Rose Macgowan’s subsequent suspension from Twitter over a tweet she sent about another actor a call for women to boycott Twitter in protest went up.
The point was raised and I agreed wholeheartedly that by reacting to women being silenced by voluntarily silencing ourselves was not quite right . That instead let’s speak out, let’s shout,lets flood Twitter with our voices telling our stories.
#metoo is women telling their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in a bid to show exactly how widespread it is.
It’s also women not wanting to , some not able to talk about their experience. Not wanting to give light to their trauma but using #metoo just to stand in solidarity and say yes this has happened to me too.
I truly believe that there are very few women who have never been subject to harassment and abuse of this kind. Most of us have numerous occasions we could talk about. When I first heard about me too I immediately off the top of my head recalled half a dozen occasions. That was without even sitting down and thinking about it. Most women I know would say the same I think.
We’ve been yelled at out of cars and vans , felt shame at the “nice tits” comments and immediately yanked up our tops.
We’ve been rubbed up against on public transport , our space encroached on ,our bodies forced to make contact with an unwanted crotch.
We’ve been touched inappropriately yet felt too ashamed to cause a fuss!
We’ve been in one on one situations with creepy guys and felt so intimidated we’ve nervously laughed off inappropriate comments and behaviour, worried what the consequences of not would be.
We’ve been pushed further than we want to go sexually , pressurised , bullied to get us to do things we’re not comfortable with.
We’ve been raped.
Out in the street we should be safe walking down.
In our own bed , a place that should be full of comfort, by a man who we’re married to , who says he loves us as he abuses us.
By relatives , by friends , by co-workers.
These things , all these things have often happened repeatedly , they’ve been happening since we were teenagers.
We’ve often never spoken about them .
We feel ashamed , and embarrassed.
We blame ourselves , we know others will blame us too.
We can’t articulate what’s happened or we downplay it.
So if just by saying me too that makes other women feel less alone , or shows how many of us have suffered then just those words can be strong.
I hate leaving a post on a depressing note but on this one I can’t do any other.
The thing is , I think in ten years time nothing much will have changed.
I don’t have all the answers , I wish I did.
I fear though that our daughters , our friends , our neighbours in a decade’s time will still be saying #metoo