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.
30 and counting. That is the number of “me too” statuses I have come across in the last day. That is heavy. That is disheartening. That is sickening. And the number keeps rising. But what is perhaps even more disheartening than coming across these statuses is the lack of response I see for each confession. Each post gets a good amount of reaction, there’s the like and the love and the crying emojis. But rarely is there a comment. If there is, it’s a simple “I love you.” Or a weak “I’m here for you.” And that’s where this problem, this epidemic, becomes perpetual. We don’t know how to discuss sexual assault. We don’t know how to discourse. And so the cycle continues. And the women around me are cornered, followed, made to feel uncomfortable, groped, attacked, and raped.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t see an easy solution to the problem. There’s a history, a culture, a safety-net set up to discourage victims from taking action, from getting justice. And culture is oftentimes too difficult to change as one voice, as one movement. It may take years or decades to finally eradicate the inactivity that surrounds this topic. What’s astounding is how commonplace sexual assault is in our society compared to how hush-hush the actual term is in our everyday conversations. We know it’s out there, lurking, waiting, but we turn blind eyes to it once we know it’s happened. It’s icky. Slimy. Confusing. I get it.
But what isn’t confusing is the mentality of a victim. When someone undergoes that experience, there is true trauma. There is nothing blasé about the experience. So why do we as a society continue to assume that this issue isn’t worth the time to address? Why are we sitting by and reacting to these “me too” statuses but not getting outraged?
I applaud the women I’ve seen who have publicly added their names to this cause. Who have stood up and said “me too” with confidence and courage because they know this isn’t about them. This isn’t a pity-status. A cry for attention. This is a real event. This is happening. And so these women know what assault is. And they are actively and publicly in our faces about it. Are we going to hear them? Finally?
Talk about it. With your friend who posted a status. Ask them what you can do. Research assault. Look at the statistics. View this as a problem. View this as a call-to-action as a member of this society. Things are bleak, but they aren’t hopeless. We need to dialogue, we need to hear, and we need to change the ways in which we see people, women, attackers and victims. This is something we can’t shy away from. Because if we do, more and more people will join in the voice saying, “Me, too.”
was the mantra of today.
in the harshest of ways.
Sisters banding together
All in hope,
always with hope,
that men can change
can heal the wounds