Late-night Musings: #MeToo

Unless you’re living under a rock (or, more realistically, a sane person who stays away from social media), you’ve probably heard about the #MeToo campaign taking social media by storm. 

I’ve already heard so many takes on it, and they all make sense; that’s what I liked about this campaign – everyone’s point is valid. If you want to share your story, it is welcomed and you get empathy (not sympathy) from so many others. If you don’t want to share your story, I support you; as a lot of statuses are saying, just because someone isn’t sharing their story doesn’t mean they weren’t harassed/assaulted, but then no one owes anyone their story.

I posted my #MeToo status yesterday morning.

Yesterday night, a friend came to me crying – she’d been molested in the parking lot of her apartment building. 

The horror and helplessness of watching her trying to articulate what she was feeling and figuring out how to deal with the cocktail of emotions she was feeling, not onky reminded me strongly of how I had felt, but it also brought home a point to me – this is an issue which goes so many layers deeper than we usually acknowledge. 

It has become a part of our societal fabric, and isn’t that just the the most excruciatingly horrific thing? Harrassment and assault (especially of women, but of men too) is something we accept as an everyday phenomenon. How did we reach such a stage? Shouldn’t we be doing something? 

I know this campaign will probably die a sudden death, like most social media trends, but what I will take away from this will be substantial – I take with me the realization that most of the women I know have faced assault/harrassment, and the many who did not post anything have probably gone through it too. And that sense of oneness, knowing that those feelings will be understood if I share them, is a heartening feeling. 

I am also heartened by the reactions from so many men, who have also been taken aback by the statuses pouring in, and have reached out to show solidarity and support. 

There’s no guarantee that anything will magically change, but I’m glad we’re talking about it. Because it’s a way for getting some points across…

… It’s not your fault

… You are not weak

… You deserve to have a safe space to share your feelings, and you can be that safe space for others

… Society cannot dictate your worth based on something that happened to you, so stop bothering about how others are judging you

… You are so much more than you believe

… Confide in trusted individuals, and get help if needed

… You. Are not. Weak.

If you don’t wish to talk to friends or family, talk to a counselor/therapist, or find your local Women’s Cell/Helpline. 

Help is out there if you want it. Empathy and understanding are out there, always. Don’t let something a cowardly person did, run your life. 

Don’t doubt your strength, ever.

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