#metoo. If you have Twitter, you’ve probably seen this trending over these past few weeks. It’s a movement to bring more awareness to sexual harassment that women have encountered.
It’s gotten so much attention that Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is the Silence Breakers: the women and some men who have come forward to talk about their experience with sexual violence.
This hashtag has inspired women to come forward and out their offenders. Many of these harassers are big names in Hollywood (who I will not name because they don’t deserve that kind of attention) and even government officials. It’s surprising to see the number grow to the amount that it has. You’d think that in 2017, there would be less sexual harassment. But even then, it still exists in places such as our own hometown to the White House.
It takes a lot to come forward about these moments of vulnerability. I admire these women who have had the strength to come forward and talk so openly about it.
While some are praising these women who are coming forward, many people, both male and female, have taken to victim blaming once again, claiming they were dressed provocatively or they were asking for it. News flash: no one asks to be sexually harassed.
But when they do come forward about their past, so many are quick to disregard their accusations. They say something along the lines of “if it happened so long ago, why didn’t you come forward sooner? You probably don’t even remember it correctly.”
Sometimes, victims of sexual violence truly can’t remember what happened to them. It has been proven that a part of your brain can kick into survival mode when it senses danger, which can cause people to black out or not be able to recall accurately what happened. But this does not mean that it didn’t happen.
I have also seen some concerning reactions by men specifically. Some have taken to putting signs up at work, like one stating “Women, stay 300 feet away because I don’t want to get fired.” If you find it that hard not to sexually harass a woman you work with, there might be something wrong with you.
Going back to the title of this blog, I 100% support all of the brave people who are holding these men (and women) accountable for their actions.
If you or someone you know has gone through some of the same stuff, don’t be afraid to talk about it. It isn’t your fault and you deserve justice. #metoo is here to support you and let you know that you are not alone. And if you personally haven’t gone through this, but know someone who has, believe their story. Listen to them and be the support that they need.