I see it in my news feed, I hear it on the street. I watch it on the news. “Me, too.” It’s there. We notice.
Thank you. Thank you to every woman who can put it out there. To every woman who can admit to herself and to the world that she, too, has been a victim.
I have always loved the Dr. Suess book The Lorax. It’s a story about a small creature who speaks up for others who can’t speak for themselves.
“I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you, Sir, at the top of my lungs.”
The challenge zipping across Facebook is this: “If all of 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.”
“Me, too” is asking you to hear her, to hear me, to see us. By putting herself out there she is asking people to understand us. Asking people to notice that this narrative is rampant, that it is considered normal to violate women. That it is accepted and that it no longer should be.
Thank you for starting the conversation for yourself, for me, and for all of the women who can’t speak or write the words.
Maybe she is afraid of losing her job or of getting someone fired. Maybe she fears some kind of retaliation. Or maybe she feels shame that “she could let something like that happen to her.” Maybe she is still hurting too badly to find the words for herself and admit what happened.
I am so grateful to the huge number of simple, quiet posts, “Me, too.”
The number is overwhelming. It should not be okay that the majority of women I know, of every age and background, have dealt with this. Whether they were raped, assaulted, degraded, disrespected, belittled or just made to feel uncomfortable. It is not okay.
The Scope of the Problem
The statistic says 1 in 4.
I can’t imagine how that is true. Not for being high, but for being low. Personal experience tells me the number is much greater. It is ingrained in the culture and it must stop. It stops with us, with you, by speaking out.
As a parent, I am afraid for my daughter. I am leery of everyone my child comes in contact with. I trust almost no one. That is a terrible feeling. But I know I have to be vigilant because too many victims are first victimized as children.
In the same breath, I have to be diligent to make sure I raise boys who know what is appropriate, where the boundaries are, and what could result in life-long repercussions for them and others.
For my sons, it feels double sided. I don’t want my child to violate another or be falsely accused, and we know, some boys and men are victims also. This taboo subject destroys many lives. It is hard to talk about and not a conversation that will end today.
But it can start today.
“Me, too,” you have started the conversation. Teach our young boys appropriate behavior so they grow up to be good, respectful men. Continue the discussion and teach already grown men, too.