Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | October 18, 2017

Not Me; But Standing with #MeToo

There’s been a recent social media campaign in the wake of the dreadful revelations about ongoing long term sexual harassment and abuse specifically by media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Posting the hashtag #metoo on Facebook and other social media sites is supposed to call attention to the ubiquity of the problem by showing how many women have experienced this outrageous behavior, and how it’s affected their lives.

As a rule, I tend not to participate in these kinds of things, mainly because I’m not on Facebook or any social media all that much. But in this case, it is also because this is not something I have experienced.

I know that I am insanely privileged: born with white skin into affluence and safety, raised by secure, supportive parents and grandparents (my grandmother told us we should always live with a man before marrying him; this was in the 1960s), afforded summers and high school in a girls only environment, and a historically female medical school.

I take no credit for any of this. I am well aware that another word for Privilege is “Luck.” There is nothing intrinsically better about me, stronger, smarter, nothing other than the grace of Gd that has allowed me to live my life to date without ever having experienced sexual assault or harassment.

Possibly some may say that I am wrong; that I have experienced sexism like this, but either do not recall or am repressing the experience. While I suppose that is technically possible, I have no psychic repercussions. I feel strong and confident, while striving to be appropriately cautious. I suppose resilience is another form of privilege.

I have frequently seen the assertion that “every” woman has been in one of these situations at some point. I submit that this assertion invalidates my voice and my experience. Even if I am the only woman in the world who have never been assaulted or harassed, it in no way diminishes the horror of the experience of everyone else. Even if one woman has ever been treated this way, it is too many. As a particularly perceptive young lady of my aquaintance puts it:

“…why do any of us have to post anything. I’m internally conflicted: we should neither need a Facebook campaign to see that this is a issue nor should this even be an issue at all. So yeah me too, but I’m angry about posting this! I want the world to hear us and to understand how sexual harassment and assault effects all of us, and also often most hurts those society has already worked hard to hurt. But if we need Facebook to tell us this, that’s fucking sad.”
(h/t APS)

I do not minimize the problem. I do not blame the victims. I do not claim you are overreacting, or asked for it, or that the perpetrators are anything other than deplorable, fully responsible for their actions. I merely point out that it is something I have not experienced.

Although I cannot post #MeToo, I stand with all who do.

 

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Responses

  1. I don’t think that we need Facebook to tell us this is a problem, but it is a very useful tool to show the world how overwhelmingly large the problem is. The behavior won’t stop if we don’t stand together and make it stop. Excusing it, or explaining it away just gives permission to those who want to act that way.

  2. Agree with Lisa but men’s attitudes also need to change….

  3. I haven’t joined in the posting of “Me too’s” I guess because it’s been such a long time since I was sexually harassed or abused by a male relative. Once I realized what it was that he had been doing before I got old enough to make him stop I used it as kind of an excuse to publicly oppose “gay rights” and I avoided him for many years, which upset my sister and even when I finally told her why, way into adulthood, she didn’t even believe me anymore and he was dead. We had a couple of civil conversations close to the time he died and I guess I expected him to apologize in some way but the subject never came up.

    I had by then realized that I really had nothing against gay people. I stopped really even thinking about it, which was fine with me, until this issue has been raised again. I don’t know if any women who have suffered from this harassment or physical abuse (short of rape) feel the way I do about just letting it go (after decades) or not, but now and then with these recent events I feel like saying my piece on it. I don’t expect anyone to feel the way I do about it now – especially not women; it is up to you. If this situation fits you I’m sharing mine. And it was short of rape – I escaped before it could have become that but I imagine if I’d been unable to it might have gone that far. I don’t know. I guess that’s all I want to say.

  4. Just realized that I feel particularly disgusted by men or anyone who engages in any form of sexual harassment or assault or rape and I always have. Maybe that feeling comes from my experience but I think it is more from the kind of attitudes my mother, mostly, instilled in me. Using a position of power to engage in or avoid harshly negative outcomes from this is even more disgusting.

  5. Sorry I can’t edit that. I meant “Just realized that I should say I feel…” My feelings of disgust on this matter have been with me as long as I can remember.

  6. You say you never experience it, but surly you have witness it . Open the communication with a nurse or pretty patient. Maybe denial runs big in such affluent male medical culture. What is the rate of suicides,alcoholism,and drug abuse among those academia acclaimed surgeons. Sorry to sound sarcastic but not buying into your excuse of never experiencing it . http://doctors.ajc.com/ #metoo


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