We are currently in a social movement, a defining moment in history, something that will make or break women's rights moving forward. At this pivotal time in history, we need to acknowledge the power we now hold. If we don't use this time period we have been given to bring about the necessary change to our society, we are going to waste the advancements we have made.
The coutnless survivors of sexual abuse and harrasment who have come forward and shared their stories deserve to be commended, and respected. However, we need to know mobilize those stories into action.
We need to begin to investigate and solve the instiutions and people that have allowed such sexual misconduct to continue for so long. Sexual abusers andharrasers are not able to victimize as many people as they do without people keeping them in power.
When individuals have harrased and abused for their entire careers it is avoiding reality to think that others don't know and aren't covering up. Men who abuse are able to continue abuse because people do not intervene.
Women who get sexually harrased at work are being shown that they are less, nothing more than a sex object in their field, and institutions allow this practice to continue. They allow women to be devalued, and they allow harrasment to be a crime barely worthy of punishment.
The #MeToo movement has shown us how broad these problems are. As a woman, I can say that I was not surprised at the magnitude of the movement, at the shocking number of women who have been molested, abused, or harrased. I can tell you that each post filled me with rage, pain, and sadness but never shock.
The fact that women are not surprised by the maginitude of the movement shows how common these practices have always been. The real test however is two parts. It is firstly sharing stories of abuse to show others how common this issue we face really is, and it is two taking the knowledge from these stories and bringing about change.
It is not enough for companies to release statements about their employees behavior saying they are 'appalled' and 'deeply sorry.' Companies need to begin investigating the practices they have in place that allow this attack on women to continue.
Organizations like United States Olymic Committee and USA Gymnastics need to destroy and rebuild their whole system, so that monsters like Larry Nassar can never inflict the unimaginable and immeasurable abuse that was inflicted.
The #MeToo movement needs to be taken forward. We need to take this rage, this sadness, this pain we feel and propel it to true gender equality. We cannot allow this movement, like so many other Women's movements, to have a backlash. We cannot allow this movement to be pushed to the side, forgotten about so that nothing is changed.
I stand and I say #MeToo but I also say that my pain, our pain fuels us. This is the time to end abusers and harassers, their time is officially up.