I have seen the hashtag #metoo floating around for a few days now and if you are not familiar with what is happening this is what it’s all about.
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
When I first saw this on social media I resisted it. Obviously every single woman I know has been harassed and/or assaulted, and what is a hashtag going to do to solve it. Then I realized my own apathy at that statement. How does the fact that it has happened to every woman I know, make it okay not to personally speak up about it?
The first time I was assaulted I was 13. We were selling my house in Federal Way and our Realtor had a key to our house. I stayed home sick one day and woke up to him in my room looking through my underwear drawer. He hadn’t realized I was there, but once he did he definitely capitalized on the situation.
He sat on my bed and asked me questions, to which I kept asking why he was in my room. He asked for a massage, rubbed my thigh, made disgusting comments. Luckily as a 13 year old I had a big mouth and an even bigger attitude and told him to get the fuck out of my room. He said he was just being nice and it was no big deal. I grabbed our house phone and told him if he didn’t get out I would call the cops. I finally bribed him to leave promising I wouldn’t tell anyone if he just left.
He finally left the house. Shaking I locked the door, wrote down his truck make and model, and called my dad. The first words out of my mouth were Dad “I’m sorry” How fucked that even a 13 year old caught on to societies rules that we assume it’s the woman’s fault. Crying I told my dad I would only tell him what happened if he wouldn’t be mad at me. After telling the whole story all he could manage through his own rage was I love you and I am proud of you. Safely in my dad’s arms we called the cops, the guy admitted to the whole thing and went to jail. Sadly, not every story has such a “happy ending.”
Even writing this I felt the need to justify this story. Saying it’s not always this bad, or there are worse situations. But NONE OF IT IS OKAY. If we are going to quantify harassment and assault, where do we draw the line? Where is just being nice and it not being a big deal, okay?
I have a ZERO tolerance policy moving forward. We have given too much wiggle room for harassment, for boys to be boys, for it just being the way it has always been.
So men, what is okay with us women? How about you abide by this simple rule.
If you would not want it said or done to you personally in prison by a large man named Bubba, do not do it to a woman.