The hashtag #MeToo is trending to shed light on sexual assault and harassment, showing just how common it is in today’s world. So much that over 12 million posts and counting have been associated with the hashtag. Now I’m not going to re-tale my story because I’ve wrote about sexual assault and rape culture on my blog, participated in the #RedMyLips campaign that I’ve done for the last 3 years and wrote posts on my social media before I had a blog.
The magnitude of this project is to show that sexual assault and harassment is a problem and shouldn’t be a rite of passage into adulthood. It’s way too common for anyone not to be aware and the fact that it took a hashtag for people to realize “you know what maybe there is a problem” or a scandal with someone famous to cause a stir saddens me. When someone coming forward saying “I was rapped” should be enough. Yes I know there are times when people are falsely accused, but there are way more times when nothing is said. Hell I didn’t come forward on my own rape from embarrassment and fear that if I told the aftermath that could possibly happen. The guy who did it to me didn’t even show remorse he just said “I hope this doesn’t stop you from smiling” after he was done which still makes me sick to my stomach whenever anyone says those words.
However, rape isn’t the only thing that this hashtag is about. I can remember countless times in my life where I felt sexual harassed from unwanted comments, to someone smacking my behind in a club while I was standing talking to someone else, to being eyed on a crowded bus while a man was standing next to me and looking down my shirt and I could tell he was becoming sexually aroused. In all these instances it didn’t matter the time, place, what I wore, if I reacted aggressively or was silent, if I had a drink or if I was sober. No one should be made to feel like they are powerless or unworthy of basic human dignity even if they are the only one who sees that there’s something wrong with the behavior at hand.
I just know way too many stories or instances of this happening and it’s not okay. Sexual assault and harassment should not be a social/cultural norm. I shouldn’t have to prepare my future child with this is life and maybe if you weren’t standing around minding your business this wouldn’t have happened. Why don’t we start with ourselves and teach others about the beauty of consent. How to know when to draw the line of what’s a compliment and what’s harassment because there is a difference! In other words check the person at hand, not the victims.