#Metoo is one of the most powerful, bold and courageous movements on the internet today, and every time I see those five letters, with that beautiful hashtag, I feel like real change is finally happening.
But then, I hear things.
I hear people dismissing it as a cry for attention or another way to bring up a non-issue.
I hear people saying that it's just another way for women to hate men.
Is that really what it is about? Is that what we as a society take away from courageous, fearless people, being open and honest about their stories of sexual assault? Why do we always, always manage to take people who are fighting hard as hell to stay above the surface of the water and push them back down? Why are we continuing to victimize the victim?
Why can't we see that people have broken barriers, fought years, maybe a lifetime's worth of crippling PTSD, and still have the strength to speak up about what happened to them?
Why is it so hard for us as a society to know what we need to support, and what not to? Ethical lines may be blurry, and social norms might be constantly reforming, but does that ever make it okay to violate someone's body or mind, without their consent?
#MeToo is powerful because for once, we can address sexual assault without thinking of "why" it happened, or "who" provoked it.
We can look at people and understand, that they too, have been through something, without labeling them, or shaming them. Because in entirety, after all the dust settles, all that really remains in the rubble. All that we are left with, are the scars left behind, the scars that give us the courage to say "MeToo."
It's simple, carries no baggage, yet it has a voice, a meaning, and a hidden story.
End of story.
No questions asked.
Wikipedia defines sexual assault as "a sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will or non-consensual sexual touching of a person. " But I think it is much, much more.
So where do we draw a line? There are so many shades and forms of sexual assault that happen to people every day, and we can't define it, or give it a title. It is unfair to say that sexual assault is only relevant when there is a knife involved. What about the hundreds of people in relationships that are emotionally abusive? What about the 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be abused by an intimate partner. Abused by people they trust, love and are vulnerable to? What about all the underreported cases in the LGBT community because of the fear of homophobia, transphobia or sexism?
The underlying problem of one person assuming power over the other still remains, but by saying #metoo, you are fighting it. You are fighting all the people who say that it's not a big deal. You are fighting everyone that said that you were asking for it. You are telling everyone who has ever sexually assaulted you to leave you alone, without having to explain yourself. You are saying that nobody has a right to your body or your mind except for yourself, and that is the most powerful thing in the world.