I've never been one to follow trends or hashtags, because I want to be a 'wolf' in a world of 'sheep'. Thus, if I do something and support a cause or become active, it's because I actually believe in it rather than just follow the trend.
Lately I've been seeing #metoo posts a lot!
First, I was skeptic and thought is was just another trend. However, I read up about it and realised that even though it still might be used as a trend of people wanting to victimize themselves, it's also a powerful message for those who have experienced such monstrosities as well as the society.
Second, at first I didn't recognise myself in the group. I thought, "But I haven't been raped, and the things that have happened to me, I've managed to either talk my way out or escape or protect myself in other ways so it didn't end up into anything. So it must mean I'm not a victim, I'm not part of that group."
I think it took me a while until I realised that escaping or not being put through the worst doesn't mean you haven't been harmed. So, I opened that little locked box in my head where I had put all of the incidents and had to admit to myself that things have happened in the past.
Third, after admitting that it has happened made my head spin with feelings of all sorts and many questions. I felt shame for letting that happen to me, a lot of self-blame and anger. Am I a victim? I'm an educated and responsible person, how did I not protect myself better?! But the truth is.. I could he the smartest or the most responsible person, but it still wouldn't be enough, now would it?!.
Forth, admission came with realisation that regardless of what I do: limit my drinking when going out, dressing appropriately, or anything else I could come up with, nothing would protect me up to a 100%. Because it's not just about me, it's about the moral and social norms of others, people who think it's okay to 'grab that ass' and nothing will be done to them. That midset can lead to dangerous outcomes.
Fifth, even though I admit of being a 'victim', how can I post it online for the whole world to see?! what would my friends and family think?! I don't speak about these things with anyone, so how can I just suddenly tell everyone?! However, I realised, it's not about telling my story. If I don't want to tell it, I don't have to. It's not about showing myself as a 'victim', because I'm not. I'm a survivor and all sorts of bad things have happened to me that have left scars in one way or another. My friends and family know me as a strong person and that won't change. What will change is admitting that it can happen to everyone and it does happen to many. It shouldn't be me who still feels shame and blame while the asshole probably doesn't even remember. Maybe by showing how many people have been affected by it, will change the mindset of the society. Maybe next time a person is harrasing another someone will step in. Maybe next time you see your drunk friend on a night out, you'll make sure they get home safely and not let them wonder off on their own in hopes that they'll find their way home.
Finally, with that mindset, I finally posted my own #metoo post. I didn't say anything else, just that. It doesn't change me or who I am, it doesn't change my story, but.. it does make one realise that it is more common than we think. I'm in a group of a lot of wonderful survivors with different backgrounds, race, gender and age, because it doesn't happen to just one specific person or in specific situations. It can happen to anyone anywhere. So you know what?! We are all the same, because we are human, so why don't we start treating each other as such?! Respect others, learn manners and don't be blind, step in, so your little sister, brother, daughter or son doesn't ever have to think about writing #metoo!