When I see copy/paste type posts on Facebook I usually gloss over them. They are an equivalent to me of the dreaded “email forward,” which I always felt compelled to share back in the day.
However, when I came across the following status of a friend, I paused:
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.
A post like this could truly make a difference.
I hesitated as I wondered if what I had experienced even counted. At the same time, I recalled the dozens of times I had been cat-called on runs (since I was a teenager), inappropriate comments by men in public settings (including church), and other uncomfortable experiences, which I have likely not even realized their impact.
I matter in this message.
This is one type of post that you wish you didn’t have so many responses. As I watched my friends comment and repost themselves, I was sad to see this experience we all had in common.
I jumped on Twitter and realized the movement had begun there. There were tens of thousands of tweets and #MeToo was trending nationwide and around the world. And this isn’t just a women’s issue, either, it’s a human issue.
While it’s a terrible to share negative experiences such as these, it’s encouraging and uniting to be a part of a movement to speak up. Sometimes we have to be obvious in pointing out a problem for change to occur. The reality and history is that the cycle of mistreatment has continued on for decades, but that doesn’t mean we should stay quiet.
I have hope in the women (and men) who have spoken up. I have hope in those who haven’t spoken up, but may gain courage in seeing this movement. I have hope in the kindness and respect of the majority of those who treat one another well. I even have hope that those who have been in the wrong will learn from their mistakes or have a conversation with someone who been negatively impacted and change their behavior. This last one only happens if we speak up.
So, let’s keep sharing our stories.