There have been many swirling allegations, confessions, and media attention surrounding many prominent Hollywood figures like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and alleged sexual assaults. I will say alleged in these instances because not all of these men have been convicted as of today. If you haven’t heard of any of these, I’m sure you must be living under a rock. I’m actually not sure how you are reading this blog in the blogosphere world if you haven’t heard the media coverage, but that is a mute point now. *Insert crickets chirping*
While it was quite unfortunate that so many women, men, and under-aged boys were victimized and felt they had no other choice but to acquiesce, there have been a slew of men and women who have had the courage to come forward in the movement #metoo. We are now able to have a conversation. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Women matter. These under-aged boys who have come forward whom Kevin Spacey has publically apologized to, they matter. If you are sitting here, snuggled in your fave pjs from tenth grade, sipping on something nice and feel these sentiments echoing in the chamber of your heart- you matter. And as much as it pains me to type this, I matter.
You see friends, our voices matter. We have the power to say no to our bosses who make inappropriate advances. I will note that I didn’t know that even one advance in the workplace constitutes sexual harassment. We do not have to accept “an innocent touch” at the club because someone had too much to drink. While I speak mostly of personal experience from unwarranted male-to-female advances, unwanted same-sex or female-to-male (see Horrible Bosses and Jennifer Aniston’s character) are just as callus and predatory.
As I had pondered what to write, I thought about one of my favourite shirts which says, “Don’t Rape.” I’ve donned it to two #TakeBackTheNight rallies, as well as in the public, whenever it is clean. It has raised interesting conversations because I believe it helps to reduce stigma and barriers that victims are alone. We believe the lies that, “we were dressed that way so we deserve it,” that we deserve it.
If no one has told you; you are not alone. That’s what the #metoo campaign is about. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that you are not alone. As a sexual assault survivor (which was one of the impetuses that led to a mental health crisis in 2013), I can tell you that the choice was theirs and theirs alone. You did nothing wrong. You were brave. You ARE brave. As I write this to you, I write as much to myself as I do to you, my friend.
You are not alone. You will get through this.