The Quiet Roar of #MeToo
10.17.17

On Sunday, Alyssa Milano asked people on Twitter to reply “me too” if they’d experienced sexual assault. The tweet sparked a movement: 50,000 replies and a reported half million tweets containing #MeToo accumulated over the next 24 hours. It’s been echoing across the internet ever since.

“#MeToo wasn’t just mushrooming on Twitter,” writes Sophie Gilbert for The Atlantic. “[W]hen I checked Facebook Monday morning, my feed was filled with friends and acquaintances acknowledging publicly that they, too, had experienced harassment or assault…Actors including Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Evan Rachel Wood joined in.”

Just like 2014’s #YesAllWomen, #MeToo attempts to debunk the dangerous myth that sexual transgressions, big and small, aren’t happening every day, in every context. As the recent bedlam surrounding Harvey Weinstein has shown, our culture has much to learn about the true breadth of sexual abuse that occurs behind closed doors and open ones. The explosion of #MeToo across platforms is more proof this problem has deep roots, a wide berth and long legs.

Before it was a trending hashtag, the “me too” movement was started by Tarana Bank of Just BE Inc., an organization “focused on the health, wellbeing and wholeness of young women of color.” According to the site, “the me too Movement™ program is focused on young women who have endured sexual abuse, assault or exploitation (S.A.A.E) and was founded to fill what we see as a void.”

With the help of social media, the two words have also become a proverbial hand-raise for hundreds of thousands of victims across various online platforms. “Unlike many kinds of social-media activism,” writes Gilbert, “[#MeToo] isn’t a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, culminating in a series of protests and speeches and events. It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society.”

To bifurcate “harassment” into the nameable extremes — the everyday catcalls and the felony crimes, is to miss the pervasive, varied and nuanced middle. Sexist power dynamics seep their way into every nook and cranny of our modern existence. They’re in our relationships at work, our relationships at home, the way we view ourselves, the world, our lives. Acts of sexual harassment and violence stick with people forever, in whatever form they come.

I’ll never forget the time I was coerced into having sex with a man because he was drunk and wanted to, and I was young and liked him. I didn’t have the vocabulary at the time, so I stared at the ceiling while he did what he wanted and cried quietly instead. I was taught to say no and “knew better”; he was “a nice guy” and liked me back, but the toxic sexual narrative both of were raised us on overpowered all of that.

#MeToo may be a broad statement for a complex problem, but it captures the fervor of the sexist engine that still fuels our culture. The burden should never be on the victims to come forward, but for those that feel comfortable doing so, their posts and anecdotes stitch together a massive and messy story that abstract statistics could never tell.

The comment section is yours if you’d like to say #MeToo.

Illustration by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

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  • tmm16

    #MeToo

  • Ashley Hamilton

    me too

  • Hayley

    Me too.

  • Alison

    me too

  • Mekalah Loxley

    #MeToo

  • Caitlin Crow

    #MeToo. #MySistersToo. #MyBestFriendToo. #MyMotherToo.

  • kitmcc

    #MeToo

  • Abi Newhouse Vaughn

    #metoo https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5bf807c4ce6805f68c9d37340dfb50cbff30e3e10679b7eb8b6b25772ca77188.jpg . I’m so glad this conversation is happening. I found this and thought it would be important to contribute:

    • Kate

      Thank you so much for sharing this, I’m surprised at myself that I’ve never thought about the discussion this way.

    • Thanks for sharing this. It’s so sadly true.

    • I can’t help feeling like this #metoo (and #metoo btw) is more like a national therapy session rather than any call to action. If men don’t know by now that the women in their lives face sexual harassment/assault then they are willfully turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. I don’t buy that you could get to 2017 and be all, wha? REALLY?!?

      But men are comfortable to act ignorant. Because they aren’t being made to feel uncomfortable. Like this bit suggests, us women just somehow, out of somewhere, were victimized by some thing that we could never know. And before I get any whattaboutthemenz, men commit 90% of sexual assaults. Overwhelmingly against women but other men as well. This points to an problem that MEN need to fix. If not for us I guess, than the male victims of men. Because asking women to take on the emotional burden of fixing male rapists is another way to put all of the blame back on us.

      • JennyWren

        Yeah, I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but #MeToo feels like the third or fourth time we’ve had a “NOW they’ll take it seriously!” moment. And I just don’t think they will Weinstein’s career may be over, but I doubt he will face justice. I don’t think there’s going to be a seismic, era-defining shift in the way we treat men who abuse women or the women who face abuse. We will feel better, for a moment, about ourselves as a society because Weinstein can’t make movies anymore, and then we’ll go back to ignoring the issue.

        And to be honest, although I feel no shame about the abuse I experienced, I don’t want to feel compelled to put it out there on social media either. I don’t want to talk about it anymore, because in so many ways it has already impacted my life, and I’m just done with thinking about it.

      • Abi Newhouse Vaughn

        Agreed! And I feel like, at this point, it should be implied that a quote like this applies to all genders–all victims and all perpetrators.

      • Susana

        I totally agree with you. I live in Mexico and recently there was a case of a girl who was raped and killed by a Cabify driver, some months before she had used a hashtag popular in Mexico and was something like #IfIGetKilled followed by common “reasons” used by people after a story of violence towards women comes out. My point is that as women we have signaled for years that there is a problem but no further action is taken. I’m kind of tired because all the women we know have been harassed, we already knew that, what’s next? I really don’t know the answer but what I have done so far is calling off men when their language or behavior is offensive. Once you are aware it makes you uncomfortable no matter where you see it: movies, chats with friends, etc.

    • Allison

      Thanks for sharing this Abi. It’s a great point. We need to put accountability where it lays, and expect men to be active in the conversation. My office is in a particularly unsafe part of downtown, when I leave for lunch with co-workers (I never go alone) I inevitably get cat called, often with really graphic comments. I work in finance, so I’m usually the only woman on these lunch trips. It pisses me off so much that my co-workers never do or say anything. Maybe they don’t want to get in a first fight with a homeless man at lunch, fine, but I wish they’d at least say something to me. This might be messed up, but what makes me mad as well is that I am walking in a suit, I have a master’s degree, and some homeless cracked out POS thinks he can express power over me by cat calling AND HE CAN. Ugh it’s so frustrating. Obviously no woman regardless of background, clothes, etc. should be cat called but it just makes me so angry.

      • Hippiefreak

        At the worst, your co-workers are watching you fail to compete with them. You with your suit and master’s degree cannot speak up for herself. Are they there to carry you? Why are you deserving of verbalized comfort that men do not give to each other in a comparable situation? And then, you benefit from your coworkers’ protective presence yet resent they do not have ESP to read your mind. How yesteryear to expect ESP.

        At the best, they know they would protect you. You know they would protect you. You want coddling but by a different name. Stop seething. Start a dialogue. At the next cat-call, tell the guys how much you hate it. See what they say. Don’t expect a husband response. You are competition, same as any male coworker. Why are you so impotent? You’re great with chiming agreement with women in comments sections but you cannot help yourself in the moment.

        Lastly, “express power over you” is that language that deceptively substitutes for action. Who says that, but a woman? Time to quit memorizing women’s cliches and focus on the physical world of speaking, not of ESP and internal anger.

  • talisa

    #MeToo

  • Magdalen Trela

    #metoo

  • Eliza

    I was sixteen and he was twenty one. I don’t remember much at all, but I do remember how I knew it wasn’t ok. #MeToo

  • Babs

    Totally on board with the collective support that’s in the air. I just want to add this perspective from Leslie Mac, which I hadn’t really thought of:

    “All day my friends have been sharing privately what seeing the many stories of sexual violence have done to them. How reading their abusers “supporting” the me too hashtag made them feel. We have been huddled together triggered & re injured.

    So… given that this “awareness” came at a pretty steep price – have those that initiated this call formulated next steps? Or communal support for survivors? Or anything really?
    Look, I’m an organizer. I understand the role visibility & awareness play in this kind of work. But awareness without action & visibility without clear purpose is irresponsible at best & quite frankly harmful in most cases.

    I’ll add one additional point from a digital organizer perspective – large scale communal action on social media requires deep thought. One thing that should have been considered is the fact that you cannot mute hashtags on this platform like you can on Twitter. A different mechanism – checking in or “attending” an event to show the numbers (as the action was apparently intended to do) would have allowed a demonstration of the large scale impact sexual violence has in our society while allowing those for whom this would be harmful to easily opt out of interacting with it.

    This work is not for the careless or the casual. I wish more people would remember that.
    And yes… #metoo”

    • Greenborough

      Where is the Women’s March on Hollywood? Seems like a pretty hazardous workplace.

    • Kattigans

      I’m so on board w/ you and exactly where my head is at too. Me too but also what about action steps and understanding from a holistic experience what resharing or sharing for the first time asks of women? I choose not to share, not because I’m ashamed or unsupportive, but because I don’t feel like explaining anymore. I don’t feel like raising my hand and saying “yeah I’ve been a victim of this as well like every woman I know”. I don’t know if that makes any sense but I want to see the tables flipped and men asked to share some of their stories of a time when they didn’t step up or step in and know they should have or a time they sexually harassed women themselves and perhaps been enlightened on their behavior after the fact. I also want to see men discussing what action steps they’ll take to help support and ally women so we can make “me too” less of a reality for women.

  • me

    me too …

  • Aggie

    #metoo 🙁

  • mariahg

    #MeToo

  • annie holland

    #MeToo

  • Beth

    Me too.

  • Me too.

    Been wanting to get this off my chest, but because on Instagram and Facebook I am connected with many family members and coworkers, I felt I have had to hold back (which is a problem in and of itself, but I’ma keep my nosy coworkers out of it)

    I had a guy friend in my group of high school friends that I had hooked up with a few times, but at one party he assaulted me. It was one of those situations where he pressured me into saying yes even though I had told him no over and over again. Hard to keep saying no when you’re drunk and have someone lying on top of you with their erection pressing into you. I just wanted to be left alone and knew if I gave him what he wanted he would finally leave it.
    A few weeks later I sent him a message saying what he did was wrong, that if he wants to stay friends with me he can’t harass me at parties anymore. At this point I’m 20 and didn’t realize that this wasn’t my fault, and that MAYBE he’ll just be on his best behavior, and I should just get over it because he’s going to keep showing up to stuff with our group of friends. He apologizes, I accept, I try to move past it.
    But he continues to be an asshole. He harasses me at parties, sends me messages about wanting to hook up. From this point I try to avoid him at parties, or I skip out on events if he’s RSVP’d.
    Years later I live very far away from all my friends, and this is where I ask my fellow MR readers for some advice (if you are still reading, that is):
    There is supposed to be a group trip coming up in the summer and he is invited and has RSVP’d and very active on the thread. Part of me thinks he’s trying to mark his territory on the trip so that I know he’s going and that it’s up to me to decide what I want to do. I don’t want to miss the trip, but I don’t want to make a big stink about uninviting him and alienate myself from everyone either. My friend coordinating the whole trip knows what he did, yet still invites us both to this shit.
    There’s still a lot of shame and guilt and complicated feelings wrapped up in all of this.. basically I’m asking what ya’ll think I should do about it? Should I talk to him, or my friend coordinating? Do I grind my heels into the ground and shame the guy for something he’s done almost 7 years ago??

    • kay

      you aren’t responsible for his shame. in fact its not clear he’ll have any, given that after he apologized he kept doing the same thing. but you aren’t responsible for his feelings. he is making choices, and those choices have consequences, and you are not supposed to take all those consequences on yourself. my advice is to tell the entire story to everyone else on the trip, either on the group thread or in individual messages, you could just copy and paste what you posted above. this will gather support for you, whether or not you decide to go on the trip, and it also shifts the burden from you to him, which is where it should be. if he feels shame, those are his feelings. if your friends disinvite him or treat him differently, that is just what caring people do when others engage in anti-social behavior like harassment, intimidation and coercion. this is what happens when people do bad things. he did bad things. he didn’t have to, he chose to. you aren’t responsible for the consequences of his choices, he is.
      how your friends react will tell you a lot about who cares about your safety, and will probably help you make a more informed decision about whether you want to go on the trip or even stay friends with them. if the group wants to preserve itself it needs to resolve this somehow. this is so stressful and sad but so is carrying someone else’s consequences on your back all these years. you stood up to him once, so you know you can do it. sending lots of love and hope that your friends rally for you.

      • Gretel Stroh

        I agree with Kayla….if you’re not comfortable telling everyone….tell another woman in the group, and why you won’t be going, and don’t go

        • kay

          are you thinking that telling another woman would be so that woman could tell everyone else why she wasn’t coming?

          • Gretel Stroh

            I’m thinking that if she wasn’t comfortable telling “everyone” she might be more comfortable telling another woman about the incident…..I wasn’t thinking that far ahead to say “why” she wasn’t coming to the group.

      • Marielle Nicol

        I also agree! His poor choices and behavior should not circumscribe YOUR life choices and joy. However, devastatingly, in our society’s present state, it’s hard to let them not … This is why I agree to reach out to someone among the group and share your feelings. This doesn’t mean it will blow up and be a big messy confrontation of jerk face guy – HOPEFULLY, just like Kay said, this will even be as simple and reassuring as a friend saying ‘oh my gosh, I had no idea. I’m sorry you went through that or feel this way. I think you should totally come and I will make sure no weird shit goes down between him and you’. If they don’t, a trip with insensitive and closed minded people is NEVER fun!!!

        • Thanks for your response! I agree, I think I need to discuss with a few folks and see how we can make it work so in the event we both go that there’s little chance for us to have to really interact that much. I don’t think he’d try anything other than to talk to me, but I also am concerned about not being able to let my guard down (ie drunkenness, swimsuit-wearing, etc)

      • Thank you so much for your response. It helps to be reminded that I am not responsible for his feelings for HIS idiotic actions. I have definitely been toying with the idea of hashing it out with some of the members of the group just to see where everyone stands. I can’t not imagine they wouldn’t support me or take me seriously but who knows. I might be okay with going on the trip with him there but I really have to think about it.

  • Posted this to my social media:

    I was 11, and he was an 8th grader assigned to share the seat with me on the bus. It took two weeks of him touching my thighs and bottom every morning for me to get up the nerve to ask him to stop. It took another month for me to get up the nerve to tell the bus driver. Thankfully the bus driver acted immediately. Others are not always so lucky. #metoo

    • Gretel Stroh

      #me too….I get it Aleda….the same thing happened to me when I was 14 on a public bus in the back row, I was in the window seat with no where to go

  • Emily Hager

    #metoo

  • Julie

    #MeToo
    I shared the hashtag but no detail on my Facebook page out of I don’t know…shame? Not wanting my parents to know? Not wanting people to see me differently? But:
    Among many many other instances of cat calling, uncomfortable comments, standing too close on the train, etc. the experience that will always stand out in my mind happened last summer – and I think it stands out in my mind because I didn’t realize that it was sexual assault until months later.

    I was walking home from getting a couple of drinks with friends around 10 pm, in my very busy and safe neighborhood. A man probably around my age, who had been walking towards me stopped me and said something like “It’s pretty late, do you want me to walk you home?” I said “no, thanks” probably 3 times. He persisted. I felt no way out, so I finally said “sure”. We were making casual, half-minded conversation on the walk, as I scoured my mind for an escape plan. A guy I had been dating lived nearby, so I started walking in that direction. I felt safer leading this man to another male’s apartment building than my own (plus, my actual apartment was a bit further down, in a more secluded part of the neighborhood).

    We stopped outside the building, I said, “Well, this is me. BYE” and pretended to start walking towards the front door (which I did NOT have a key to, obviously). He grabbed my wrist and slammed himself against me, shoving his tongue down my throat. This advanced to groping and pushing me up against the building, not giving me a chance to say anything or push him away. He kept saying “let’s go inside.” and “I know you want this, I’m a great lover.” and at one point PICKED ME UP and tried to carry me to the front door. I kept saying “No”, of course, coming up with bullshit “reasons” why not. “I have a roommate.”, “I just met you.”, etc. After about 10 minutes of coercing, he finally realized he was not getting into that apartment and immediately lost interest, mumbling “fuck this” as he walked away into the darkness. I crumpled up outside of the guy I had been dating’s door and cried, extremely shaken and disoriented. The scariest thing to me is that if I had actually walked with him to my own apartment and I didn’t allow him inside, it is isolated enough that he very well could’ve attempted something more. I’m grateful I followed my gut instinct to stay within the public eye. I still have the business card he gave me during our walk and have tried to Google him but there’s no trace, not even a Facebook page or anything.

    • That fucking monster. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    • I am so sorry, that is absolutely horrifying.

  • eva

    <3 of course me too

  • Sarah Houlahan

    #metoo

  • Gg

    I was 17, and my best friend tried to have sex with me, after telling him no. Too drunk to fight him off. I’m not even sure if he succeeded. The next morning he asked me not to tell and I was too embarrassed and ashamed to ask any questions: don’t tell who? Don’t tell them which part?

    This kid wasn’t a predator. I’ve known him since childhood. So sweet and funny. I was spending the night at his house and my mom was fine with it–that’s how innocuous and platonic our relationship had been up to that night.

    #metoo

  • Diana McNeill

    me too

  • Samara E Jones

    me too

  • Alex S

    Me too

  • Sugar Bones

    Me too.

    • Sugar Bones

      And to me, this feels like a safe space to say it. Thank you for this community, MR

  • Adele

    In my lifetime has been an incredibly upsetting and just plain sad trend of women not making a big deal out of their sexual harassment. I have witnessed many of my friends say that what happened to them wasn’t “a big deal” or they give excuses for the guy i.e. drunk, high, in a long-distance relationship, etc…It is very important to understand that consent is necessary and any circumstance where they felt uncomfortable in any way is a violation. However- how do you bring up to friends that what they have “put up with” IS a big deal? Is it in my place to determine the level of significance/ impact of the harassment? How do you get friends to speak out/ stand up from themselves?

  • Beth

    I was talking to one of my guy friends months ago in the first few hot days of summer. I was telling him how I went out for the first time in a dress in my new neighbourhood and didn’t make it three blocks before getting harassed on the street over ten times. A man stopped on the street ten feet away from me. He made animal noises and watched me walk towards him. I braced myself as I passed him, and as I did, he leaned in close and whispered in my ear “the fucking things I’d do to you.”

    I got home later and changed out of my dress. I put on different clothes. I went out to meet my guy friend and I told him this story – with a laugh. As most of us know, this story is nowhere near the worse and it is nowhere near unusual. My guy friend was shocked. He seemed genuinely unaware that catcalling and street harassment still happened. He said he never sees it. Willful blindness, actual blindness, I’m not sure. I think #metoo is important to make things visible. I think it’s important for men to be forced to see something, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing.

    The most important thing is for women to say it out loud and to say it to an audience of thousands of other people that are saying ‘me too” and not “I’ve never seen that.” Creating an environment where people speak out is powerful.

    Am I frustrated and angry that movement has to come from victims? Of course I am. Is this only one small, baby, mini step in a long arduous journey? Yep, it’s going to be a long haul. But I appreciate the #metoo movement for what it is and it has inspired me. Since this started I have spoken up against the older men in my office that take advantage of young and vulnerable female students – not sexually but as part of the same patriarchal and domineering system that allows sexual harassment to survive. These men did this to me when I was young and powerless and I always felt guilty for letting them get away with it… but I felt alone and unsupported and my job was on the line so I was silent – going days without sleep and developing stomach ulcers from stress. Now I’m telling these young women as well as the senior management “me too” and these perpetrators are currently being reprimanded. Another baby step on a thousand mile journey.

  • Serena

    #MeToo

  • Laura

    #MeToo…

    “And when I think of it, my fingers turn to fists
    I never did anything to you, man
    But no matter what I try, you’ll beat me with your bitter lies
    So call me crazy, hold me down
    Make me cry; get off now, baby
    It won’t be long till you’ll be lying limp in your own hands” – – Fiona Apple

  • Senka

    I was gropped and rubbed against in public transportation, many times, even though I moved away, tried all I could to push them away and yelled to be left alone.
    I was grabbed by my behind on a crowded street of Istanbul, even though I was wearing a longish skirt and my sixtysomething mother was walking next to me. Yelled again and felt like an idiot because no ones eyes judged that creep, but me.
    Those were men I didn’t now.
    Like you, like countless women I guess, I was convinced that if nomally, I liked him, and he liked me, and he really wanted it, even though I didn’t and, asked him not to, repeatedly, it’s not really abuse. Because he’s not a bad guy.
    The other time I was told that, I actually do want sex, I am just too neurotic to know I do. That if I’d just stop sobbing and freaking out I’d actually know I want it too. Then he was on top of me, saying all he wants to do is to calm me down, using his body. 260 of male on a crying, shivering woman. He didn’t do anything, but I was terrified enough.
    I’m a heterosexual woman who is terrified of men. Sex is never, ever easy to me anyomore.
    So, yes,
    #metoo

  • Raquel Fernandes Felino

    #metoo I talked about this on my blog (I had some bad experiences, including one I told as a 12 year old when a man without pants or underwear asked me to join him in his car) and I was called out that I was just doing that for attention (or likes) and I shouldn’t confuse a flirt with sexual abuse or harassment. I was so shocked. Actually more than shocked, I was sad that so many people on my country thinks this way. This is not a “trendy american thing”, and I know so many people in this situation, some even worse, it makes me really sad that people still have this super retro mind. I hope people can open about this and talk more and more, so fear and shame won’t shut the stories we must tell, so one day this can stop and we can live quietly without thinking our children can live a similar situation.

  • elpug

    Me too. By my best friend in high school. By the guy who lied to me about his age. By the guy who guilt tripped me into it at a music festival. By several more after that and in between. And all of them blamed me or that they were going through “hard times” or other bullshit excuses for things they “didn’t mean to” do or made me feel bad if I wasn’t into it.

    Telling my mom what happened was through a fight on the night of trump’s election. She said I didn’t know what it felt like to be harassed at work or to have been sexually assaulted. It was then that through tears from my bed, I yelled through the house “I have been raped”. That was my “Me Too”. And my dad has never mentioned it since and my brother has never mentioned it since and my mom got angry in the moment for not having told her even though it occurred years prior. Since then, I feel a shared understanding with her personal struggles but I also felt like I let her down. I knew what had happened to her and having that happen to me was her biggest fear.

    Even one time in a persons life to be harassed or assaulted or raped is too many. Nobody should have to have a “the first time” story. It stings and the wounds cut so deep and can’t always be seen from the skin. We want to say “No More”, but even that is difficult. It’s hard to speak up for yourself or others. While the Me Too movement draws great attention to the people and the stories behind them, it has made me feel bad not yet having said anything. I have not been ready to share my stories on social media that my family or younger sister follow me on. The vulnerability of doing that is too scary. I feel as though I am betraying my family members who have made posts. It is so comfortable to stay quiet. I will continue to discus it with my friends or those close to me and remind myself that I am a survivor and not a victim but I am not ready to publicly and openly say Me Too.

  • yassqueeeen

    Me too.

  • Jay

    #metoo – first of all…

    And I sometimes wonder – sadly – who isnt. Though we are not speaking about it, or at least try not to, I have figured that from my four girlfriends I am closest with, all four of them had experiences that could be considered sexual harassment – one of them going up to outright rape. At least that is what I would call it…

    Cause I feel that the drawing line is far from clear. And I dont mean the question of consent. I rather mean what we admit to ourself to have been harassment.

    Dont we sometimes try to see it like „a bad joke“? Or „we were drunk and it was a party after all“? Or – which it all comes down to in the end – „I just didn’t communicate clearly enough“. „I should have set boundaries“. … and we do what we do so often: Blame it on ourselves?!

    At least that‘s my experience. And this is probably – I would assume – why all those women have been silent for all that long. It’s a feeling of shame. And guilt. If it were your fault.

    Pretty little liars portraits that pretty well I think.

    Another interesting thing I read was this one: https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/i-dated-my-rapist-jessica-knoll.html

    Cause I feel this is a very relevant phenomenon as well: Going back to it, in order to make it feel less terrible. Playing it down.

    But that doesnt change anything. So thanks Haley. And I am sorry for what happened to you. But we are in this together. And we should speak up. Not play it down. And certainly to blame ourselves.

    (Though I am not trying to victimise women – not at all! – but I guess you get the point…. or hope so.)

  • Laurel Kemp

    #MeToo

    I have never been one to post things on forums or social media but the ‘#MeToo’ movement has struck a very unpleasant chord with me. When I was 14 I lost my virginity to a 19 year old Oxford student, I was told that if I didn’t sleep with this man he no longer like me and if I didn’t “I’ll still tell my friends you did anyway”. I cried throughout, wanting to go home and away from this new adult world.

    After he had finished he walked away, leaving me laying on his bed in pain. My shocked state only disturbed when he threw my clothes at me and told me to leave.

    I am now 23, the story of how I lost my virginity has been passed around at parties as something to laugh at, both men and women shaking their heads at my naivety and how it was me who should have known better.

    The physical assault was awful, but realising afterwards that everyone thought it was my fault…that was worse.

  • M. Catastrophe

    I don’t know… I must confess I’ve been a bit reluctant to join all this #metoo thing. Don’t get me wrong, #metoo, but, what next? It’s only been a week and it already sounds like outdated hashtag, pretty much like #yolo or #aboutlastnight.

    We too have been victims, we too have witnessed. And yes, I agree that speaking up is a necessary first step. Still, it will be of little use if it stops here. I mean. Let’s not make of it another example of our (mine, too) hypocrisy. I don’t think any of us was too shocked after hearing about the pervasiveness of harassment in Hollywood or on the street. I am not questioning the motives of any victim or second-guess why they didn’t denounce before. I’ve been there. I know the overwhelming feeling of disempowerment.

    But what about everybody else? What about the men that saw, the women that have gone through similar demeaning experiences and chose to look other way? What about us when we accept the movies coming from an industry so pervaded by inequality from the script to the screen? What about our voices against the objectification of women the media? Or everywhere around us, for that matter? How often have I (we) spoken up?

    This is what I mean. It happened some weeks ago. One of those #metoo moments we women know about. I was sitting on the bus on my way back home from work. Some of my work colleagues, all #metoo people, were there on the bus too, standing not far from me. I was sitting down a little bit further away because my period was killing me and I really didn’t have any energy to stand up on the bumpy way home. Some drunkards sat down next to me and started talking to me. They were getting more and more offensive and I was feeling very uncomfortable. Everyone saw it and no one did anything, even if in this case it would have been enough to come to me and simply strike up a conversation so that the drunkards would stop. I guess it was none of their business. I guess they thought it was my fault for wearing that outfit to work or for choosing to sit down away from them. And honestly, I don’t blame them because I was thinking the same myself, and maybe that’s why I didn’t even think of asking for help. The fact is that, eventually, I got off the bus way before my stop because I couldn’t take it.

    This week we have come out and feel so proud of our social awareness, but is really the best we can do?