This was the original post, when it came across my Facebook feed:
As suggested: “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.”
It resonated, deeply.
So I went for it, as did probably a gajillion other women I know and love.
Look, it’s not as if women are somehow unaware that men are also sexually assaulted and raped. In fact, despite the fact that they are assaulted and raped, most men almost never mention it, even in passing, and despite the fact that MRA-types like to whine about the undeniable fact that things that women experience daily are also occasionally things that can happen to men, women of third-wave feminism are the only ones actually fighting in any material way for protection and services to be available for men who are oppressed in these ways, too. We’re the ones campaigning for male oppression by the system to be recognized. We’re the ones who keep reminding the world that men, too, are victimized and assaulted.
But this wasn’t about that.
“Me, Too” was an attempt to show the world just how incredibly pervasive the problem is for women. How it affects pretty much every woman that you, as a man, has ever come into contact with. That it’s your mom, and your sister, and the woman in the Starbucks line-up ahead of you.
“Me, Too” was an attempt to start a conversation about this enormous problem that impacts women disproportionately, and is one of the key foundational weapons used to keep women in a subservient position in the world.
Within minutes, though….the idea that this wasn’t representing men became the topic.
You know what subsuming men into the sexual harassment/assault “Me Too” campaign actually did?
It made the men who become victims of sexual assault even more invisible and easier to be ignored, while subverting what was intended to be a very visual statement about women’s oppression into how we didn’t include the male victims.
It’s basically one big distraction move that took the teeth out of the impact — for ALL victims.
What might have been a great way to show just how big that impact is for women, and maybe make some men a little more aware of the problem, has turned into something that men can ignore.
If, however, y’all had waited, and then, once the conversation had gotten going, had your own “I Have” moment (or whatever two words seemed best to you), that impact would probably have been greater, and more powerful for EVERYONE.
Now, the conversation is not about sexual harassment or assault of anyone.
It’s about how women are mean because they didn’t include everybody.
Derailed and ignored, once again.