#MeToo but saying ‘MeToo’ isn’t enough
Alas…All of us have had our own #metoo moments. You just shut your abuser down? Well done, Me too. A piece of flesh to be groped, sexually abused, and raped even when it is a criminal offense? Totally, me too? A guy pushed up against you from behind with his erection on a bus? That’s what you get for being a woman, they say!!
Some insensitive pricks are genuinely curious if there are women who have never been sexually harassed. But why no woman is shocked by the #MeToo tag? Because the insensitive ones have been living under the rock basking in their own stinky glory. How can you gods not notice half the world in pain? Is your third eye numb? You dumb?
I am#metoo. Like most women, I have tried to push bad memories away. No surprises there! Like every woman on dear Earth, I’ve been bombarded with a range of gross grabs, brushes, and grinds in streets, shops, cabs and autos, buses and trains, in bedrooms and boardrooms, in broad daylight and in the dead of night. This has come about to days-old infants and timeworn and infirm women and even, animals! Humanity has failed. In short, the ubiquity is astonishing.
The “uncle” who brushed his lips with mine at 11 years of tender age, the guy who yelled and begged after I declined to have sex with him after going out with him twice as I owed him sex for the money he spent on “my” food. Countless acts of street harassment, from merry to menacing. The teenager, the beggar, the elite, the beast who exposed themselves and masturbated to me in various situations of life. And, so much more! The emotions welling inside of me ran the gamut till the point I couldn’t take it anymore. You still function like a normal person recapturing all your secrets and tucking them back into their hiding place. You put on a mask back on and go back into the heart-wrenching world.
But instead of addressing it, we work around it.
It was horrifying while growing up and it still is but you endure. We all do. Abuse and its various shades happen to all of us. The pain of opening a wound only to have it abruptly forced closed again – it is all on my face.
Most of us, men and women, bumped into “harassment” when we weren’t even ripe but still children. The most painful memories curtail from childhood when abuse and assault molded a child’s ideas about men, femininity, and self-image. It’s a lifelong struggle. We all know exactly how deep, how wide the rot runs and still we obnoxiously undermine it rather than acknowledging it.
And so on. But, hey, that’s accepted and normalized? Because being harassed is a pre-puberty phenomenon that we are subjected to and lasts forever after?
In India, marital rape is still legal, and until now, it didn’t matter if you were under 18. Also, consider this in context of #MeToo. And, Nah, being raped or molested once doesn’t make it easier to do it again.
It is a sad reality that it really does take a Twitter trend to recognize that women and men are harassed and violated every day. I feel deep-fried. My blood is running hot. It is the deepest, darkest place in my soul. I’m looking over the six emojis provided on Facebook to figure out how to respond to the exasperating and vulnerable-sounding posts people have shared. (Does “thumbs up” mean “I like it” or “I hear you?”). Do you need a hug?
We come across grinning pictures, on social media platforms, of rapists; the creeps who should be fading into the cardinal bushes instead writing serious, considerate messages of care and support on Twitter—convenient acts of moral laundering. And when caught red-handed, insist that none of that has any inference for their “usual,” everyday selves.
If we don’t change, if we don’t do better, a new generation will still be tweeting #MeToo years from now and your unfortunate ass wouldn’t be able to do a thing to protect your children. And, it rips my heart out. We need to be very, very angry about the leering, jeering, and threats, verbal and physical abuses we relentlessly face in almost every sphere of life.
So who exactly did not know that the prevalent problem was this bad? Turns out, it is the society and culture, with some vague set of people holding their shit together.
And this is why we need a paradigm shift in the way we view sexual assault. Men and women don’t just get “raped”, they are raped. As people have warmly pointed out, for every #MeToo story there is a corresponding #IDidThat.
We belong to a culture that creates cosmos for fighting and pushing back, but not enough for connecting and healing. A culture that strains to silence the woman by petrifying her about consequences that her avowals may have on her career or life and humiliates her for ‘bringing the harassment or assault on herself’, in so doing, holding the woman responsible through her dress, her mannerisms or even her being at a particular place at a particular time. A Society that treats these incidences with shaky levels of seriousness and mostly just plain dismissal.
You know if someone tells you he/she has been sexually harassed, what’s the best thing you could do? YOU BELIEVE THEM.
Women are letting it all out and opening their hearts and souls to the world, and the saddest part of it all is that we won’t see any physical change, at least, not right away. In the end, will it make a difference?
The demur now is to figure out how to take it beyond a viral moment that is here today and forgotten tomorrow. Our society needs to evolve. We need to speak up whenever needed, offline or online.
Possibly soon, we’ll take off from the passive voice of #MeToo to a more keen construction.
We need to transform awareness into action. Speak up, Know better, and do better. Thus, saying ‘me too’ isn’t enough. We have to stop excusing perpetrators. Sexual violence or gender-based violence should now be approached as social justice issues.
Meanwhile, let’s keep talking about it. And the godly ones, you zip it up down there.
29 thoughts on “#MeToo but saying ‘MeToo’ isn’t enough”
I do think there’s a tremendous power in women and girls speaking openly about what’s happening. For so long, we were supposed to keep it to ourselves and pretend everything was fine. But you’re right–the next step is to change things.
You’re right, Ellen. Both the genders have come out with their narratives and received support from people like us. Sadly, the abusive and daunting behavior of perpetrators is normalized for being so by keeping silent. We will certainly change things in times to come.
I think your writing has potential and you have talent. Buy going by your opening and closing paragraphs, it feels as if you are deliberately trying to be cool or edgy in a wirodh sort of way. Don’t do it. You don’t have to be edgy to get noticed. A serious post shouldn’t be diluted with humor.
I have been following you ever since you started this blog and have seen you grow from a fumbling writer to a confident one, but I feel that you have started slacking. Do not mix styles. It is a waste of potential and not very good to read.
Just my two cents. More power to you.
That is so sweet of you to point that out. Thank you for letting me know of my slacking and mixing styles, having been with me since the beginning. But, it was more of a sarcastic and trending perspectives kind of a post because sexual abuse and related aspects are not anew and have been with us since as long as we can remember. It’s merely the treatment and silence we generally offer to people undergoing and overcoming taboos. My intention was not to bring all the emphasis to victimization or persecution. However, I hope I can deliver better writings in future to sate your observance towards me.
Thank you very much for taking out the time to let me know your thoughts. More power to you. Keep in touch to discipline my writings. I would love that.
Can I toss one more opinion into the discussion? Sometimes humor and serious writing do mix and sometimes they don’t. I don’t think there’s an overall rule. The useful questions, I think, are, “Is this working?” Or “How does the impact does this have I take this bit out? What does it have if I leave it in?”
You can’t please everyone, but hearing from someone who can be both critical and supportive? That’s golden. Even if, in the end, you decide you don’t want to take their advice.
That’s constructive, Ellen. I on other hand have realized to express my thoughts on a wider perspective through writing. Writing is democratic and expression of thoughts is limitless. Sometimes the writing works, sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s how we learn and grow. Humor works for me because it comes from a place of keen observation and sheer anger. I am glad you decided to toss your opinion into the discussion too. It was worth it. I needed that. Have a wonderful day ahead.
I just looked back at my comment and saw that I didn’t proofread it after I made a change. Sigh.
It is appreciable that you have remained gender neutral. Everyone suffering has been taken into account and thankfully, you have not victimised us unlike every other post on the Internet. Good job, Lovey.
All of us have had the experiences we hardly ever talk about openly, be it men or women. I can hardly ever victimise anyone for that matter. Thank you for recognising and appreciating such small basic things in the post. It’s heart warming. May god bless you forever and ever.
It has been long since we have known all about it but we never personally addressed it. You are right about making it bigger than a viral moment. Wonderful post acknowledging problems and suggested solutions.
True, it has been known since forever but hardly ever addressed with an intention to take stern actions to save future generations and help the ones suffering the consequences.
You seem to have incorporated all the trending hoolahoop around the issue. People can be really silly saying stupid things about something as severe as sexual abuse. You seem really, really angry and sarcastic towards umparliamentary elements of the society. I resonate with the points above mentioned. It’s high time we act now to leave behind a good life for our future generations. Best regards.
Thank you, Samantha. It feels good to have someone understand my perspective by the post. I have consciously tried to incorporate all the things said in introspect or retrospect. But, you must be talking about the pasta and wine, I guess?
Your post is totally worth my time. We need more people like you to talk about such issues. God bless you. You are a brave and strong person.
I am glad It was worth your time. We need to talk about everything that feels amiss to make things better for all. I am sure, you must be really fun to hang out with and discuss relevant issues with too. Thank you 🙂
I fumbled on your blog and I had to stop to tell you how incredibly relatable you are. You don’t seem to hold back to seem polished and perfect. You talk real, Lovey.
It is overwhelming to read your motivating words. I could never learn to pretend so am I here talking all that surfaces my ambushed head. Thank you for taking out the time to comment. I appreciate it. Have a good day ahead, Ben.
Good work. Keep it up.
Thank you, Anurag.
there has never been another animal more deadly than Homo Sapiens!
I was sexually abuse by two strangers as a child.I can feel things most miss because of this trauma.I have overcome it & am far stronger!
Indeed, you are stronger than you think you are. I can imagine how awful it must have been for you to deal and overcome something as severe as sexual abuse. I feel you for what it is because I have been there too and went through some really troublesome time of my life. I am still uncomfortable with unfamiliar physical touch though. I wish you well, forever and always, Tofino.
thank you Lovey!
You are always more than welcome.
I’ve missed your posts Lovey! I have been thinking the same thing with the #MeToo phenomenon. It’s not enough just to tweet or post those words. What’s important is that we try (in this lifetime) to resolve the issues and take back our power. Thanks for a great and empowering read.
I’ve missed your feedback. Thank you for inspiring me.