You may have seen this circling around Facebook today:
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.
Please copy/paste to share."
I believe it's a powerful way for us to raise awareness about how prevalent sexual harassment, sexual assault, and even sexual abuse are in our culture today.
I checked out Google to see what this was really about, and I learned actress Alyssa Milano had shared this as a Twitter update today and it went viral. I am always so grateful when influencers take a stand and rise awareness about issues that are close to them. I hope to always do my part as well.
My personal Facebook feed has been filled with women who have all posted "me too" as their status. I even have a few men who identified themselves using "me too" as well. The issue of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse sees no race, no sex, no gender, no class. This is an issue which sees no bounds and no limits. It affects us all.
I know far too many women (and might I say, even ONE woman is one too many) both personally and professionally, as well as myself, who have experienced these experiences. And all too often we stay silent. Silent for fear that we won't be believed. Silent for fear that we won't be understood. Silent for fear that even we may have perceived the situation incorrectly. Or worse, we may not even realize what we experienced was a violation and a transgression.
I remember when my first therapist named one of my experiences for me. She said, "You were raped." I felt so angry with her because I did not want to be identified as someone who had been raped. The thoughts that went through my head were, "How dare she call that rape? I wasn't raped. I told him 'No.' I knew him, and he did it anyway. I didn't stop him after that."
Little did I know at that time in my life, my therapist was right. I had been raped. Date rape: raped by someone you might be dating or know. It's no less valid than rape by a stranger. And sadly, date rape and acquaintance rape, are actually way more prevalent than rape by an unknown person.
A woman is always somebody's daughter, sister, and friend. She may even be somebody's mother, lover, partner, or wife. So, how do we let people keep doing this to our women? How does this happen? And here I'm not even including sexual abuse towards a child...that's a topic for a different post.
Let's help raise awareness together.