In this blog post, I would like to share my thoughts and opinions about something I read yesterday.
While on Facebook I came across a post on one of the (women entrepreneur) groups that I am a member of. Due to the controversial issue, the post was taken down just before I was able to leave a comment. Good on the admins/moderators for taking it down as it had nothing to do with the group; it was a means of getting people fired up and turning on each other.
The article was titled, “#notmetoo” and written by a female that shared her thoughts about the #metoo movement and how it has gone from raising awareness to being used to exploit people. I don’t have an issue with this opinion, as I tend to agree.
I feel that many people don’t really understand what the #metoo movement is all about, nor do they care enough to research the topic. The #metoo movement is about raising awareness, showing just how many people (not just women) that have endured sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. The movement created a platform for many of us (myself included) to know that we are not alone and to show our support to those that choose to come forward.
Is anyone forced into coming forward? No.
You don’t have to out yourself, nor do you have to share your experience.
There is no action for you to take unless you want to.
The author of the article thought that most women have experienced being sexually harassed, what’s the point of saying anything? It was her experience that when it happened to her at work, she said NO and she didn’t have to take any action. The word No was enough, so she didn’t feel like the #metoo movement applies to her.
The author mentioned that if women were stronger, more assertive and weren’t so scared, that they wouldn’t need the #metoo movement and encourages others like her to start a #notmetoo movement.
Here’s the problem I have with that logic. Speaking from my own experience, I was a child, my NO didn’t solve the problem. During my first job out of high school, my No didn’t solve the problem. Some victims are drugged, date raped, overpowered, ganged up on, restrained. Our No, assuming we could get it out was not respected.
Good for her and good for the rest of you that have never had a sexual act of violence forced upon you. Good for you that your No was respected. While you feel that the #metoo movement doesn’t apply to you, you don’t get to diminish the meaning behind it. By doing so, you are basically saying boo-hoo, suck it up, we all get harassed, deal with it.
Trust me, I have been dealing with it, dealing with it for 30+ years because there is no magic cure. I will never be 100%, none of us will ever fully recover. During times of extreme stress or fear, we all react differently. We either Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn. How nice it must be to know how you would react to an act of sexual violence when you haven’t experienced it. Those of us that tend to Freeze or Fawn should not be mistaken for as weak.
Tell me, for those strong, assertive types, if you witness another person being sexually harassed/assaulted, would you help or would you look the other way thinking, suck it up!
The idea of starting a #notmetoo movement is absurd and hurts the rest of us that are trying to recover, looking for support, finally having the courage to speak up. Speaking up IS part of our recovery, so don’t joke about it, make light of the subject or diminish the significance.
The notion of a #notmeetoo movement is as ridiculous as straight people wanting their own “pride” parade. Be glad you don’t need one because your rights and mental health aren’t in danger. You are not the ones being silenced, or not believed when you finally do come forward.
In my opinion, those that are for the #notmetoo movement are part of the problem. Choose to be better, choose to be part of the solution. What do you have to lose?
Sexual harassment is not tolerated in the workplace and Sexual Assault is a CRIME, both of which are never okay.