“Yours wasn’t that bad.”
“It was forever ago, it doesn’t count.”
“You don’t even think about it.”
“This isn’t about you.”
“You are fine.”
Even having known the stats, the amount of #metoo over the past two days has been shocking.
I have never “counted” my experience(s) and, until this point, have separated myself from the ability to relate to anyone who has been through what I had considered true sexual trauma. Because I know the stories of other women and men and I could never be able to begin to imagine the things they have been through.
But that’s the problem, isn’t it? No one thinks their experience is valid because others have had it worse. What is sexual harassment, anyway? What qualifies assault? You can’t look at precedence in the law for validation. You don’t really see the point of sharing when your first instinct is to try and remember if you smiled too much or stood too close to someone. Maybe you shouldn’t have just stood there on that crowded bus and pretended nothing was happening. But forget it, because this happens all. the. time.
Contrary to the ugly little voices in my (and maybe your) head, people sharing “me too” isn’t bandwagon jumping or attention seeking. It should shock – and if not shock, continue to horrify – that this many bodies have been disrespected unscrupulously. And although I know the saturation across your newsfeeds makes your brain turn off and even your eyes roll waiting for it to subside, I beg you with everything I’ve got to turn your brain on for this. For just a minute. Your partners, your friends and your family members have been fearful, violated and ashamed at the hands of others, many of whom they have known and even loved. And that’s more than enough reason to create a conversation about this.
Cynically, I wonder whether this will become “that ‘me too’ thing” that caught a glimpse of social media hum and promptly died. I’m hopeful that it isn’t. Regardless, I simply want each and every brave soul with their lives on their sleeves to know that one more little heart is with you.