So I had a whole other post planned for yesterday and was in the middle of preparing it to post and then #metoo erupted. First there were a couple from the people you might expect (in a good way) and then the regularity of the status set in.
My immediate reaction was that I was a woman and that maybe in some strange way that I might have some kind of exclusivity of the outpouring. The immediate challenge and concern for me was that many of the women, on sharing this information would be either ignored or silenced. So I made it my role to acknowledge, share and amplify on my feed so it wasn’t just me saying it but all the women or other victims who had experienced sexual harassment or assault. I shared with no judgement and no prejudice about what people were saying. I wanted everybody to be validated and heard. That was probably all about my own stuff too. It alarmed me that many women might in essence come out to a wall of silence and dismissal.
It took a few attempts but I finally got the response sorted #Ibelieveyou #Isupportyou #Irespectyou #Askingforconsent Can I please share your #metoo status?
#Ibelieveyou so many victims are ignored when they speak out and it really messes with our heads, like did that really happen? Am I imagining it? That did happen? I felt very real for me. I am fucking angry listen to me. I feel violated listen to me. Imagine a world of natural disaster denying and you might figure out what that does to someone’s head. It’s actually classic gaslighting which is a form of psychological abuse. The healing of psyhcological abuse can be much harder to deal with that the sexual abuse itself. So there you have it! Sexually abused then psychologically abused by two different people in one day. So yes #Ibelieveyou
#Isupportyou the amazing thing is that we are so often told to tell someone about our experience in face of any form of harassment or abuse. Quite often when we do choose to disclose our experiences the person that we disclose them to simply says #thankyouforsharing which is not the same as saying they will help. They aren’t equipped to listen to or respond appropriately to your disclosure and/or might be worried about the impact on them of actively supporting you. The stigma of sexual shame runs deep. This is not you fault. Although everybody should be able to assist you in some way please be aware that not everybody wants to, is willing or can. Women’s groups and safe online spaces can be incredibly helpful. Find friends and people you trust who can hold your hand and help you call out the culprit, taking it to a higher authority or even report it to the police (yes you can do that) and we thank you for it #Isupportyou
#Irespectyou whatever you decide I will respect your decision. I will not force you to say anything if you don’t want to. I will not force you to do anything that you don’t want to. I will keep confidentiality where appropriate (that means of you intend to kill yourself or stab to death the perpetrator I’ll inform the police/medical services) I will have #nojudgement of anything that you tell me. #Irespectyou
#askingforconsent If I want to share what you have shared then I ask consent, (don’t nobody want to go viral without permission and given the stagnation on my facebook page it’s also highly unlikely). And it’s demonstrating to any men out there, that you shouldn’t just take something without asking first? There is a whole process of clearly asking? If you don’t want to share, I have #nojudgement sharing is personal, much like sex is if you don’t want to tell everybody you don’t have to. If you don’t want to tell the whole story you don’t have to. If you don’t want to name names you don’t have to. Anything you say must serve you and you alone #askingforconsent. #ibelieveyou #isupportyou #Irespectyou
#nojudgement just cause it’s easier to help people if they feel they are going to be listened to and respected. Nobody can change the past. You might just be able to change someones future even your own. #nojudgement.
#thankyouforsharing it’s never easy to freely share if a post has brought some insight it’s the least we can do to say #thankyouforsharing