The shock of “me, too”

October 17, 2017

sexual-harassmentIn the wake of the latest sexual harassment scandal, this one targeting Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, many women on Facebook (including me) posted this:

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.

While I knew the number of “me, too” posts wouldn’t be insignificant, I was not prepared for just how many women have faced harassment or assault. A shocking number. It seemed like just about every woman on social media.

As you might expect, a few men piped in, not taking it seriously. Making fun by saying “me, too” when it was unlikely. Usually men on the right side of the spectrum. And a few women blamed other women for dressing provocatively, “bringing it on themselves” and the like. All very expected. And stupid. Because when I scanned through the hundreds (if not thousands) of me, too posts I saw on line it was clearly not possible that every single woman who experienced this horrific behavior had “brought it on themselves.”

This little social media experiment showed how shockingly pervasive sexual harassment and/or assault is. How many men do not respect or even accept “no” and exert power and pressure to get compliance from women loathe to ruin their chances for their big break or afraid of getting fired or otherwise ostracized.

It also helps clarify why so many voters didn’t care that Trump had harassed and abused women. Sexual harassment seems to be a tacitly acceptable part of our culture.

Sexual harassment in trade for favors or for any reason at all is not tolerable.

So here’s my question: what are we going to do about it? Women and men both?

What are we going to do about it?







15 comments on “The shock of “me, too”
  1. robin rue says:

    My Facebook feed has been filled with “Me, too”‘s this past week. It’s nice to see all the women who have experienced this stand up.

  2. My Facebook and Twitter feed has been blowing up with MeToo for the past couple of days. I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but I’m really not. =(

  3. Vera says:

    Unfortunately, so many men don’t understand EVERY part of no. It’s so disheartening that in this day and age, the Weinstein scandal brought out so many women who have been abused in some way. It’s just so much.

  4. M Robinson says:

    Good question. I saw a post about putting responsibility on men for their actions. Agreed! Not blaming victims is also a good start. It’s easier to handle the verbal stuff — saying “that’s inappropriate” instead of laughing it off or ignoring it (I wish I could go back to too many times where I laughed it off). I’m trying to raise both my son and daughter to understand what is and what is not appropriate.Obviously, men are the problem here. There are so many male environs where this crap is encouraged (sports teams, frat houses, etc.) Young men need to be strong enough to resist peer pressure and stand up for what’s right. And I do think parents need to address that stuff. That would be a good start. And maybe redefining masculinity. And…more women need to be in leadership positions.

  5. Barbara says:

    This new movement,( it seems like a movement to me) will be good for all who are finally admitting they were harassed or worse. I dealt with it as a child with step-fathers, and as an adult with co-workers or bosses. I had learned how to find my way around it when I was a kid and it toughened me greatly for dealing with men I worked with or for. However, I never reported any of it because it seemed a hopeless gesture. I did threaten to report some incidents and that seemed to put an end to it, one asshole at a time.

  6. Beth Havey says:

    Great ideas hear. Having the courage to say ME TOO is difficult. Often it has taken years for someone to survive an experience which they wish never happened or would like to bury. However, saying ME TOO can add to the strength that is building. We woman can do so much when we hold one another up.

  7. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    My feed has been filled with “me too” as well. It’s really disheartening but I am not surprised by it in the least.

  8. Haralee says:

    I emailed my senator and asked him about his awareness of this issue and told him as his supporter it is important to me and what will he do about this. I asked him if he would be certain to block health care reforms against women. I also asked him to look at his own offices in DC and here in Oregon for instances of quiet, unreported sexual harassment.

  9. Liz Mays says:

    It’s powerful to see so many people showing solidarity by participating on social media. Reminding people how big of an issue this is is incredibly important.

  10. Jess says:

    The numbers were not shocking to me. I haven’t met a female yet on my life journey that doesn’t have some sort of heart wrenching tale of rape, harassment, or to be made to feel like an object. I struggle in my life to forgive men as an entire species. Perhaps they aren’t all sick disgusting perverts, but with my past, and the past of the females that surround me it’s difficult for me to trust, forgive, or flat out stand our male counterparts certain days. How do we?

  11. I think stepping up like this and talking about it more openly is definitely a good start. Creating a dialogue that brings it to the attention of others is just the beginning, and it is the only way we can admit we have a problem. We can’t fix it until we actually admit there is a problem. While I honestly don’t know what the next step should be, shining a light on people like Harvey Weinstein is hopefully giving others the courage to come forward with their own stories and maybe expose other men that thought they could get away with it.

  12. It’s heartbreaking to say that a lot of people still don’t take it seriously and are participating in rape culture as well. It’s something that won’t go away if we don’t continue to speak out.

  13. The number of “Me too” posts is really disheartening. I wish this gives hope and courage to others to speak out and seriously take action about this matter.

  14. I hadn’t seen this on Facebook, but that’s so sad that there are so many. Sexual harassment is a terrible thing.

  15. Tonya says:

    The numbers aren’t shocking to me. What I find shocking is the number of women who seem to think this isn’t a problem- yes, women.

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