Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too

There’s a social media campaign going on right now, where women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted post “Me too.” My feed is filled with them—the number of times they pop up makes me nauseated, because it shouldn’t happen. Ever.

Each time I see someone else post, I think about whether or not I should. I suspect there are just as many of us not posting, even though we could. Just because we don’t post “Me too” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to us. We have lots of reasons for not posting, including not wanting to post just because everyone else is.

I get the point—to show how prevalent the issue is. Point made. Except, my Facebook feed doesn’t represent a slice of general society, enabling me to teach something new to someone who needs it. It represents a very filtered slice of my own friends. Just think about how many people you’ve muted, unfollowed or unfriended because of their politics or opinions or posts. We’ve whitewashed our newsfeed to mostly show people who think and feel like us. And we are the ones who are aware of how frequent sexual harassment and assault occurs. So I’d kind of be preaching to the choir.

This is a serious topic, and it’s taken on a bit of a "game" status. Sexual harassment or assault isn’t a game. It’s serious. While it needs to be brought out into the open, it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t lessen what’s been done. It needs to create a dialogue about why this is so prevalent and what can be done to stop it.

I don’t think this campaign does that, at least not yet. My first thought when I see these posts is, “I wonder what happened.” And frankly, what happened to someone else isn’t my business. Just like mine isn’t yours, unless I choose to tell you.

Sometimes I do choose to share, whether it’s in person or with a black-humored Facebook post or blog post that is meant as much to serve as a warning to people as it is to allow me to vent and feel better. But how I choose to share is personal, and shouldn’t be lumped in with how others choose to share their stories.

And that leads to another thing. The “Me Too” campaign combines harassment and assault. Harassment is a wide scale with many shades of grey. Assault is not. While I take seriously what I’ve experienced, in no way would I want to even suggest that my experience compares in any way to someone who has been assaulted or who has experienced something worse than I have. Does combining those two things lessen or trivialize the experience of someone who has been assaulted? I don’t know, but I’m loathe to post anything that might cause someone extra pain.

So to those of you who are posting, you have my deepest sympathy for what you’ve experienced, and my unending support. This topic needs to be addressed, and I truly hope that the “Me Too” campaign helps to do that. But to those of you—us—who don’t post, know that I see you too.

No comments:

Post a Comment