#MeToo: What it means, Why it’s needed

The #MeToo campaign is seeking to expose the magnitude of women who have been, in some form, at some time in their life, exposed to sexual harrassment.

Be it catcalling to rape, any unwanted sexual advances from an entitled male is being counted.

The hashtag is sweeping social media along with heartbreaking stories from women worldwide who have been victims of sexual abuse.

The campaign comes hot on the heels of, and perhaps in response to, the explosive allegations against Harvey Weinstein; studio exec and film producer extraordinaire.

Numerous actresses, many who are household names, have come forward with their stories of sexual assault against Weinstein.

The most troubling thing about this though is the pattern that emerges time and time again: rich, powerful men who feel entitled and completely invincible… in a position of such influence and domination, that their victims have no other choice but to remain silent. Or so it seems…

That for me, is the main reason this hashtag and its movement is so important. Apart from shedding light on the magnitude of abuse, I am hoping it is also giving a voice to the once voiceless.

And in doing so, those who are (or will be) victims of sexual abuse will know that they need not remain silent. They need not fear or hide because of the perpetrator’s influence on their careers, their images, their lives.

In this crazy world, where the president of the United States can get away with boastful anecdotes about sexual abuse he himself had perpetrated, I fear for the girls I am raising amidst the hate and hostility that seems to infiltrate men of all creed.

I fear it’s not a matter of “if” but merely “when” my own girls will be able to count themselves amongst the band of “#MeToos”. The thought makes me sick to my stomach.

I pray my daughters will know how to use their voice, how to say “no” and mean it. I pray they will have the strength to stand up for themselves when it may seem impossible.

As parents we are tasked with the great responsibility of raising strong, self-assured women; and strong, secure men who respect them.

It is my hope that the #MeToo campaign becomes a rallying call to and for all those who have remained silent for far too long.

You are heard. You are strong. You are not to blame. You are not alone.

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