Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Me Too?

If you're on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you've surely seen it -- the meme that urges victims of sexual assault and/or harassment to respond by posting "Me Too" in order to highlight the enormity of the problem.

Though the first Me Too campaign began years ago, this new incarnation seems to have been prompted by the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

It's been sobering, thousands and thousands of women -- and some men -- who have responded and sometimes shared their stories. One commenter suggested that if a woman didn't say Me Too, she was probably in denial.

Which got me to thinking. . .

I've never been sexually assaulted -- or even sexually harassed, as far as I can remember.  I've been very fortunate (or oblivious.) Really, the only incident that stands out is a phone call once (back when we lived in Tampa) from someone who started telling me he wanted to __ __ ___(insert common phrase for oral sex.)

I laughed and said, "____, is that you?" Because John and I had a friend back then who just might have thought that would be a funny thing to say. 

The caller was understandably taken aback. "Uh, yeah," he said, "this is ___."

And then I suddenly realized this wasn't our friend and hung up. The phone rang a few times and I ignored it. End of story.

As I said, I've been fortunate. I certainly was aware of discrimination against women and experienced it to some degree in college and as a teacher. And I had friends who suffered sexual assault or harassment. 

I think I've  always been aware of the possibility, have always had the awareness that It's Not Safe out there. Not fair, not right . . . but, ultimately, not safe.

I hope this Me Too campaign raises awareness and prompts victims to speak out at once against those offenders, as well as those who perpetrate this culture by hushing it up or dismissing bad behavior as "locker room talk" or "boys will be boys."

I hope that things will change. Weinstein has resigned from most of his posts of authority.  I'd like to see the trend continue.


Thérèse said...

Nothing to add, you said it all.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Excellent post. (I'm one of the "me oh's".) As for your poster of Trump's quotes: is that format okay for me to post on my FB? I don't want to get into public domain problems — i know his words are public domain, but is the poster?

Anvilcloud said...

Good post.The meme, if that's the right word, is quite sobering.

Vicki Lane said...

Elizabeth -- the poster is a meme I found on the internet. Help yourself!

KarenB said...

The #metoo campaign is both empowering and triggering. I'm remembering so many things - bra-snapping in middle school, catcalls, a prom date with a friend who thought he deserved sex because we went to prom together as friends, a date rape, the several times a guy started rubbing up against me in a very crowded subway . . . I could go on. And I'm filled with rage that this goes on ALL THE TIME for almost every woman I know.

Bernie said...

Me Too! Unfortunately I faced a predator but left my job with dignity. Back then jobs were easy to find, dignity was something I refused to leave behind.

NCmountainwoman said...

I may be wrong, but I think there was more sexual innuendo and harassment in hospitals than any place outside the movie industry. I recall so very many incidents as a young nurse, mostly from physicians and surgeons. This included brief but inappropriate touching and the occasional "would you like to meet me some evening?" It never occurred to me or any of my friends to report such behavior, but it was common knowledge not to let Dr. X corner you or be in a room alone with Dr. Y. I strongly suspected that reporting this behavior would have had little effect for anything short of rape or police involvement. After all, who was more important to the hospital; a young RN or a well-established surgeon who brought in lots of revenue for the hospital? Sadly, this was simply a part of the job.

I strongly suspect you would be hard pressed to find a Registered Nurse who started practice in the early 70s (and likely earlier) who was not targeted.

Jime said...

METOO should not stop. At the top the Trump quote should be repeated daily to remind people that voted for the idiot what they got, an amoral jackass.

katy gilmore said...

I was amazed by how much came flooding back - started to happen last fall with the tape. And even now, I think well it's all little stuff - but adds up - one I hadn't thought about for more than 50 years - the train conductor who suggested I give him a kiss before he'd tell me how to recover from failing to get off at the right stop. Really?