Monday, 23 October 2017

What About #MeToo

As my Facebook wall filled up with swathes of #MeToo it felt like this little voice emerging, as one by one women's hands went up in a public display of wounding, outrage, solidarity and collective pain.  This little voice became a roar, and after consideration about my personal need and motive, in the end I added my own "me too" with a public statement.

As women's statuses around the world fill up with "me too" stop being surprised, it's not new information, it isn't shocking. What is shocking is that many women will not have been believed, not been helped, not been supported and not had any justice. All those women are now reliving shitty memories as they type "me too" just to show a disbelieving world that pretty much #YesAllWomen
I have lost count of the personal stories and horrors I have heard from other women, and the accounts I have read, and I mean that lost count entirely. It is in the hundreds. Over the years I have heard from friends, colleagues and the many women I hold circle for and who come to me privately in session. My heart goes out to all of them and countless others who may feeling horribly triggered by everything that is happening now. My own tears and rage are welling up.
And for every "me too" you read, there will be several others that still cannot bring themselves to type those two words. We should not be being pressured to share our history en masse just to get some solidarity ffs. Women should not be the focus here. Perpetrators, flashers, creeps, stalkers, gropers, office drunks, movie moguls, locker room talkers, college frat boys, shitty bosses, bad boyfriends, violent men, those 'nice' men, and fucking presidents, should be under the spotlight right now.
And yes before someone in this thread says it, we all know it is "not all men", but seriously it is too many. Can we now shine the spotlight on the cause not the symptom. This is your department. Somehow we have a world where the abuse of women is a common everyday occurrence, where the cover up and collusion is systemic, and where not enough men are outspoken allies, believing allies and active allies.
And yes #metoo

And whilst I felt guilt free and shame free about adding my voice to the collective, it did bring up a whole load of feelings I had not felt in a long while. I am well aware that I am so un-alone in that.
It saddened me to hear that some women felt pressured to out themselves and guilty for not showing solidarity. And again it seems women are damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Enough already.  No women owes the world their survival story summed up in two words. It completely sucks that women are even doing the emotional labour for individual relationships let alone the world, but yet we are.  Again and again saying "now do you get it", "now do you see", "now make it change".  We aren't saying this to the perpetrators.  This is a unified voice going out to the men of the world who consider themselves no part of the problem.  Alas, dear men, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  This emotional labour is exhausting and even more so when faced with the internalised mysoginy of other women.
That when swallowed is a bitter poison that seeps out in the breath and words.  Regarding the me too hashtag is showed up in several ways. I read the hateful words of women who were cross that some women were not adding their voice, letting down the sisterhood. I saw women being angry with other women for playing the victim or attention seeking when they did.  Other women did not wish the boat to be rocked so hard or to cause a divide between the sexes, some even going as far as joining the defensive and derailing #NotAllMen squad . 

Fairly fed up with the shocking amount of the "not all men"; the sarcastic "great my newsfeed is full of me toos" rolleyes how boring; the "let's not create more divide between men and women" peacemakers; the poor me one that said "what about the opposite of the sexual assault, those who are sexually denied ( I kid you not, like wtf, as though assault is the opposite scenario); the "sharing assault history on social media cheapens the experience" (again seriously wtf); those that talked about women playing the victim role too much; the many that said this was just attention seeking; all those men that looked at their shoes or just scrolled the other way; the women who wished other women wouldn't make such a fuss; and blah de blah de blah internalised and externalised mysoginy crap that has shown up in my newsfeed during the last few days alongside the many #metoo.
Fairly fed up is probably not the word. Raging more like.

Heidi x