Tag Archives: sexual harassment

Me Too

5 Oct

It’s been about a year now that the #MeToo movement has been going strong. In case you have been living under a rock, this movement is against sexual harassment and sexual assault. It’s used by mostly women (some men) in solidarity, sharing their stories of violation and some even exposing those who have wronged them.

When I first learned about his movement I didn’t know what to make of it. Part of me was happy to see this all happen, but part of me was almost scared and I didn’t know why. The more I read of brave women coming forward with their horror stories, the more thought I gave to the things that had happened to me in my life. And the deeper I dug into my own closet, the more I came to realize just how deep and dark that closet really was.

I came to learn more about my self and how I tick in this past year thanks to #MeToo. I realized that I was suppressing a lot of incidents and didn’t quite know how to face them. But in the end, I realized it all boiled down to one thing; Shame.

I have been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault and yes, rape. The harassment I didn’t seem to care too much about because growing up in South Florida, you honestly couldn’t step outside of your house without having someone cat call you in your own damn driveway. And it’s so sad that so many women, like myself, had become numb to it. The fact that sexual harassment was our norm is absolutely tragic.

As for the sexual assaults, I have had quite a few. I’ve experience it from both strangers and acquaintances alike. And the rape, well, once by someone I thought was my friend and the other by a man I was on a second date with. And it really wasn’t until recently that I came to terms with the fact that these two incidences were indeed rape. Mainly because both times I gave my consent, but not because I wanted to; I was afraid what would happen if I had insisted on the “No”. Because I knew that even if I had continued to say no, they would have had me anyway. Because it was better in my mind to just close my eyes and allow them to go through the motions than to experience the outright terror of the alternative.

But as a young woman in my early to mid twenties, still thinking rape was so black and white I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that it was what actually happened. I went through a mixture of feelings like denial, shame and even blaming myself for allowing me to be in those situations. You know, the lovely shit the patriarchy like to drill into the heads of females since birth! So I did what I thought was best; I placed these memories inside of a little box and push them deep inside my brain as best I could so as to forget.

There really is so much more to my story, but telling it in its entirety could really fill a book and I still, at this age and phase of my life, am not fully ready to disclose those details to anyone. But I will say that seeing other women step up for themselves has really inspired me. It has moved me in such a way to step outside of the patriarchal box I was living in for so long ad saying “Fuck you!” I’ve never been a feminist, ever, but these days I feel like I just might be on my way. I feel a lot more strongly about women’s rights and the straight up shit treatment we receive when it comes to sexual abuse.

I indeed have been part of the problem for so long and have been guilty of all kinds of horrible things like unfairly judging, slut and body shaming, and heck, even envy. But I have chosen to deprogram myself and I’m trying to live a better, more mindful life. I now feel a sense of solidarity with my fellow women and really want to work towards helping lift them up. That’s why #MeToo is so important. If there is one thing every single one of us women have in common, it is that at one point or another in our lives, we have experience something that allows us to say “Me too”. And we cannot let the movement die. We need to let everyone know that the time for bullshit is over. That we will no longer allow them to shame us into silence and that we matter. That we will raise our daughters to be strong where we were once weak, and to fight like there will be no tomorrow because #MeToo should end with us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this ever so personal post and feel free to share your own story in the comments! And if you don’t already, don’t forget to follow my blog on the upper right side of the page 🙂

With love,
Emily