If you live anywhere on social media these days, you’ve most likely seen “#MeToo”. In light of the revelations about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the hashtag has swept twitter and facebook. Me Too as a campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and sexual assault began a decade ago with the activist Tarana Burke. This time around, it made the move to social media.
Essentially, Me Too speaks to the ubiquity of assault and harassment in the experience of those raised and/or socialized as female or who are femme presenting. The hashtag doesn’t deny that those socialized male or who are male presenting can experience these as well, but more that part of being raised female, being socialized female, means that you learn certain lessons early about how your body can and should be in space, about how to be safe (because the onus is on you), and about the numerous threats that are possible.
My own stories that lead me to declare Me, Too, are relatively benign: comments about my body from adult males when I was 12, an elderly man letting me know he had whips and chains in his apartment when I was 14 and apologized for delaying the elevator, being called darling and sweetie and honey by authority figures, and more. These are mild compared to stories that are coming out all over social media. The awareness being raised is vital. And many have also recognized that it is just a first step. There has to be more. There has to be a shift, a cultural shift that makes it possible for those being socialized female to live in the world less afraid.
This Sunday we are talking about the work the UU United Nations Office does on disarmament. We are talking about the very real threat of nuclear war. And we will be talking about the culture of violence and dominance and pride that underlies all this.
These aren’t easy subjects to deal with. For those of you who have found that #MeToo has raised up complicated questions, or triggered traumatic memories, or who find themselves needing conversation and company, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your trusted friends and peers, or to me or Dylan. We are ready to support and help.
Blessings as we brave these vulnerable waters together,