I battled with whether or not to post this because it’s a very personal thing to share with everyone. Before you think that you don’t want to read any further because I’m going to divulge details that you don’t want to know, I’m not, I’m not sharing my story, at least not today.
I shared #metoo yesterday, along with thousands of other women across social media. This new # is for women to let people know that they have been the victim of sexual abuse or harassment. That is all, you’re not expected to say anything else, however if you do want to that’s perfectly acceptable too.
I just want to say that when I read a status that says something along the lines of ‘copy and paste to do blah, blah, blah’, I tend to ignore it. Mainly because I think ‘we don’t need to raise awareness of cancer and sharing a pink heart is not going to cure it’.
I will happily share the suicide prevention number but I will not copy and paste the status that makes people feel guilty for not sharing it.
However I won’t then write a Facebook status telling everyone that it’s pointless and futile and your efforts are wasted, mainly because I’m not an a**ehole…
When I saw the first #metoo on my Facebook my immediate reaction was,
“Wow, you’re really brave”
Then they started appearing all over my newsfeed and it made me really sad to see all of these women, some whom I have known for years, and never known they have been victim to sexual harassment or abuse.
It was after the second #metoo status that I decided to share my own because I thought if they can be brave, so can I. And I felt proud of myself that I had done that because it’s not something I have openly admitted before, at least not so publicly.
My pride was short lived though…
I was then unfortunately greeted by a status that was full of ignorant remarks and stupidity, I must admit some of it did hold some truth. Unfortunately this was over-shadowed by ignorance. They did point out that raising awareness can be done in more effective ways and yes it can but it’s very difficult to admit to being a victim of sexual abuse and some people may not be ready to face it in that way yet. This was a way to unburden yourself without any added pressure.
The basic premise of their vapid statement was that these awareness #’s are a trend and will be forgotten by next week. That may well be so but this particular one may have given your best friend, sister, aunt, Mum, neighbour, the chance to finally tell someone that they were abused.
Can I also say that sharing #metoo isn’t an attention seeking status and it does not make your abuse any less prevalent just because you choose not to share.
Do not assume that just because you are close to someone, that means that they have divulged their every trauma to you, or that they even want to.
Shame on you for having the audacity to even think you can tell other women when and how to share their pain.
I like to think that in sharing this status on my Facebook that someone else who has possibly been suffering in silence, saw my status and had the courage to do the same, or at least now knows they aren’t alone and if they even need to talk to someone who has gone through similar, then I am here if they need to talk.
What happened to me was NOT my fault and it does NOT make me weak.
What happened to you was NOT your fault and it does NOT make you weak.
Let me make this clear…
If you have been sexually assaulted or harassed and you don’t share the #metoo status, that is totally fine. There is no pressure to do so, but don’t berate the extremely brave women who have chosen to share.
Don’t ever let anyone make you think you’re not good enough.
Follow your dreams right now! Don’t wait until tomorrow,
next week, next year. Stop planning, start doing 🙂