If you’re on Facebook you’ve mostly likely seen the trending #metoo on the statuses of women and even a few men. The intention of this status was intended to raise awareness to just how many women have been pushed in some way, violated, disrespected, abused, harassed, or the like in a sexual way.
At first glance there may have been a bit of a somber vibe scrolling through the Facebook/Insta universe, seeing just how many women have been in these situations. It’s a sad thing that so many women could easily relate with such a movement.
At second glance it was empowering. So many women were able to see they aren’t alone. Man, I love it when people find out that they don’t have an awkward flashing sign above there head when they are vulnerable. Instead it was liking lighters held up at a concert. It was a beautiful thing, unity.
At third glance you read the comments. Which always causes me to grit my teeth a bit and maybe scrunch one side of my face in preparation for the attacks, heartless responses, blame, and the overall feeling that people have so much pain in their own lives that they have near lost their ability to have compassion for others. This was not the case. So many added their #metoo in the comments. Sad face emojis, kisses, hearts, and comfort were offered.
Of course though, there had to be one, okay maybe two, that said something about how much of a bummer it was for guys to no longer be able to say anything without a female finding it offensive. It was mentioned not in a mean way, but a perspective kind of way. I couldn’t help but agree a little. As a blogger I’m constantly & without even trying, brainstorming topics to write about. Something I’ve been working through in my head was how to write about the oversensitivity of our culture.
As a sometimes overly sensitive person myself, I’m constantly having to work through criticism for being too sensitive, taking things too literally, being too vulnerable, etc… I often feel a battle within myself to remain true to who I am, I am sensitive, or to toughen up & be easier for those around me to handle.
Even more confusing than that is that there are times where I’m not as sensitive as I think I should be! What’s up with that? I am wonderfully complex, that’s what. I can not easily fit in any box & I’m learning more & more to not only be okay with that but to be proud of that. Although, I’m proud of my progress, I know I have more to learn.
Back on topic though, I’m someone who likes a cat call every once in awhile. Wait, what!?! Maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve always appreciated when someone thought I was pretty enough to raise a ruckus about! This I’m sure makes it clear that I’m not a modern day feminist. I’m a feminist of a different era. An era where women were less concerned with proving they were better than men & were more concerned about being treated equally.
That being said, I believe rape culture is a very real thing. It’s not something the media made up to cause drama. It’s not something that a certain demographic is trying to sell to the world as a bigger problem than it actually is. No, rape culture is very real & needs to be addressed. #metoo is proof of this.
No, I’ve never been raped, or molested.
I am fortunate.
No, I am not required to tell anyone my #metoo
Neither are you.
But, yes I have in more than one instance had someone not listen to my first no. Or my second no. Or even my third! I have had situations where I made my wishes clear before a make out session and those lines weren’t respected.
Do I walk around focusing on it? No
Do I think these guys should be punished for what they did? No
I think that in my situations these guys were told that’s what you do. These guys were told that women need a little push & they will end up liking it. They were told that they have a higher sex drive then girls & so it is not only acceptable but expected. They were told, they were told, they were told…
and you know what? I was told as well. I was told that guys are a bit pushy & that’s okay. I was told that it was my responsibility to keep a guys hands from wandering not his own. I was told that a guy’s sex drive is higher than my own.
When we are being raised & taught how to handle ourselves through puberty & adolescence, how are we to know that what we are being taught is wrong? We don’t.
It may seem like a matter of common sense, but it clearly is not & we need to get over it & work to change the narrative. Teach the correct way to treat each other & ourselves.
I don’t think it’s a matter of being more sensitive now then we were 15 or 20 years ago. I think it boils down to one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
No we haven’t always had seat belts, car seats that expire, organic foods, gender equality, talks about our feelings, or even relationships with our kids when they are little. BUT when you know better, do better.
After seeing all these women in our lives speak up & say #metoo now we know better. No one can write it off as an imaginary issue any longer. It’s real. It’s clear. Now we must do better.
How do we “do better”?
We start a different narrative. We teach guys & girls alike that their
No means no.
Stop means stop.
Our bodies are our own to control.
Hormones don’t control us, we control our hormones.
No one asks for anything by what they wear or don’t wear, you ask for something by actually asking with your words.
Both guys & girls have healthy active sex drives & that’s healthy & not shameful in any way.
I know that I’m only scratching the surface with these examples so feel free to drop some in the comments below!
What are some things we were told growing up that we must change the narrative on?
What will be a part of the narrative you teach your children about sex in today’s society?
I hope this is only the beginning of a much longer conversation & we just keep doing better! & I also hope that instead of feeling challenged because things are changing, we will embrace the change & identify it as evidence that we are doing our job in teaching our kids that we never “arrive” we just keep learning new ways to care for & be kind to each other.
We simply learn to keep moving forward together.