“Me too.” Two simple words that have made an big impact in just 24 hours,with nearly 6.5 million people talking about it. JUST on Facebook.
The first time I was in 7th grade at an amusement park as some man made comments about my appearance. I was 12 and awkward. A grown man said something to me.. in front of my father. My dad put an end to it and we moved on.. but we never talked about it.
The second time was at work. Inappropriate comments that become so vulgar I had to say something. Thankfully my boss and supervisor at the time were extremely supportive when I finally was brave enough to confide in them. I felt bad about it. Why? I am still not sure. I was standing up for myself, and yet somewhere deep inside I felt bad that my coworker now had that on his record.
The third time was just this year. I was getting a massage when the male massage therapist made inappropriate comments and started rubbing me to close for comfort. I got up and left, but I didn’t say anything until I got home to my husband. After he listened to me cry about what happened, he asked why I didn’t say anything to the manager. I couldn’t think of a good reason. I was afraid they wouldn’t believe me.
And sadly, these are just a few of the instances that stand out. It doesn’t include the unwanted comments that have been yelled to me walking down the street, out of a car window or that have popped up in my Facebook messenger. I have been lucky my stories have stopped at comments and uncomfortable situations because some woman go through much worse than that.
Two words have made such an impact, but where do we go from here? Words can be a powerful tool that bring people together, but we need action behind them. We need to do better.
We need to raise better men. “Boys will be boys” is a phrase that should be used when a boy eats dirt, or when a boy can turn any object into a weapon. NOT when they sexually harass or assault a woman. Yet so many use it as an excuse. We need to hold our brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons to a higher standard.
Victim blaming needs to end. It doesn’t matter how much you were drinking, how your clothes fit, or if he is your significant other. No means No. Being unconscious means No. Just because you have done it before DOES NOT mean you have to do it again.
We need to encourage woman to speak up when theses things happen to them and give them a safe place when they do. My heart breaks at some of the stories I have seen today. So many woman have been brave enough to speak up and report awful things that have happened to them, just to be blamed or called horrible names. It is not the victims vault. We need to do better.
We HAVE to do better.
To find out ways to help stand up against sexual assault, visit http://www.itsonus.org