Sexually Harassed or Assaulted? #MeToo: We Are Members of a Club We Never Wanted to Join by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
To all the women declaring “Me too” in the most public of ways: I see you, I hear you, I am one of you. Thank you for your courage. I’m seeing #metoo over and over again and I wish I were surprised but I’m not, and there’s something so heartbreaking and infuriating about that. We’re all members of a club that we never wanted to join; our membership is infinite.
The original request was for “everyone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted” to post “me too” so that “we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” I’d like to believe that more and more of us are beginning to sense it, to realize that people, women mostly, whom we love and care about, have been sexually harassed and assaulted. Just imagine all the women who are privately proclaiming, “Me, too.” If everyone came forward, the number would be that much greater.
Just pause for a moment and think of the pervasiveness of this problem. Men, if you didn’t know how widespread sexual assault and harassment were before, you know now. We must do better for our daughters and our sons and our society and the whole damned world. We must speak up. We must be allies and not just witnesses. We must examine – and change – how we talk about sexual assault and sexual harassment and pregnancy and violence.
“We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenage girls ... got pregnant last year, rather than how many men and boys impregnated teenage girls … So you can see how the use of the passive voice has a political effect. [It] shifts the focus off of men and boys and onto girls and women. Even the term ‘violence against women’ is problematic. It’s a passive construction; there’s no active agent in the sentence. It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at that term 'violence against women,' nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them … Men aren’t even a part of it.” – Jackson Katz
Me too. Her too. #yesallwomen #ibelieveyou
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