I often find it hard to process campaigns, politics, hard issues, and fad movements. I think one reason is because I usually see the brokenness with a movement and how it seems to focus on absolutes. But I don’t want to write about my problems with a movement, especially one that is so important, instead I want to talk about my takeaways with #metoo.
Again, this is MY story, not yours, so please don’t assume I am speaking for anyone else other than myself.
1. Since seeing #metoo in the last few days I’ve started paying attention to movies and tv shows in a different way. I’ve noticed that women are often subjected to the very thing we find offensive, and it’s often without a blink of an eye. In some instances I have seen people stand up and point out the accuser, but I can’t help but wonder why more isn’t done. I don’t want to call out anyone or any show so I’ll stop there, because my point remains the same.
2. I know just as many men who have faced #metoo worthy statuses. I think we need to focus on not just the way women are treated, but how humans are treated. This is in NO way to take away from women who have been abused or taken advantage of, this is simply to say that it’s not just women.
3. Along with number 2, I have also seen a lot of women make remarks about men in passing…just watch your status updates during The Bachelor. For some reason it seems okay when women make remarks about a “hot guy” or they talk about how they’d like to make-out with him or worse. I’ve even seen this from married women. My thought is that as you read this spelled out, you find it appalling, but most of the time we don’t even notice that we are sexualizing another human being, only giving them worth based on their appearance.
4. I have visited and lived in many countries and I have limited experiences with sexual harassment in the U.S. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, again, it’s just my story. I have however, seen and experienced sexual harassment in almost every country I have lived in or visited. Male stalkers, butt slaps, groping, strangers kissing you on the lips…and can I just say that all of these involved NO alcohol and no dark corners of a club. They were in the broad daylight walking down the street, standing in the metro, and doing my everyday life. I also believed it was because of the “culture” and country I lived in, and therefore I should just ignore it. Now I’m learning how wrong this is…I also knew it was because I lacked a male presence. Since marriage I have not traveled alone and I also have not had one instance of sexual harassment—yes, there is a correlation.
As humans we must stand up and fight against all evil. Evil will happen in the darkness and it will be hard to see, it will be disguised, it will “feel” like something that is our fault, it will seem as if we are responsible, but we must not be fooled. We must push back with truth and courage. Challenge those around you, don’t be afraid of what people will think, stand tall in knowing that you can be part of world change.
And if you are someone who has experienced traumatic harassment of any kind, please seek counsel. Seek trusted friends or family, tell your story to someone who is safe, let a counselor walk with you through healing. It will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but one day you’ll hopefully be able to look back and see healing and forgiveness in your own life and in turn hopefully be able to help someone else through their journey.