The hashtag me too has been trending for a few days now and while it is sad that it took such a long time for the truth about Harvey Weinstein and his alleged sexual predatory behavior to be revealed to the world, it is encouraging to see women all over the world unifying to share their own stories of sexual abuse. This is not discounting the fact that so many boys and men are victims of sexual abuse; case in point- Terry Crews who was an NFL player and is a muscular, athletic American man shared his story of abuse in Hollywood, the abuse happened in his wife’s presence. How sad and inhumane! However, I want to focus of girls and women because girls and women are inherently more susceptible to sexual abuse and harassment; it is unfair and unjust, but this is something that women have had to deal with on a daily basis for centuries and must end!
My friend Rachel Moran says this “when some men hear me say that most sexual offenders are men, what they hear is most men are sexual offenders, and that is not the same thing”. Nevertheless, statistics show that there are more sexual offenders that are male than female; and male on female sexual attacks are higher than any other. I could post links to different statistics here but I won’t, let this be a challenge for you to do your research and come to your own conclusions. We live in a world where most societies are patriarchal, including those who claim to support gender equality and equal rights for all. This is why men and women must come together to promote actual equality for all; if half of the population is oppressed and violated, how can a community or society be healthy as a whole? Look at the statistics of how many women have to take anti-depressants and deal with panic attacks as a result of sexual violation, it is not right that they have to live with the consequences of someone else’s greed and maniacal behavior. It is time for us to come together as humanity to empower each other for good, to defend those who are being oppressed because of their gender, race, nationality and even physical features.
I remember being on a bus that was being held up by armed robbers who proceeded to take some of the passengers down, rob them and rape some of the women; I can still hear the screams in my head…this happened 10 years ago. I remember being groped on an extremely crowded bus on my way home from university at the age of 17 and feeling helpless because there was nothing I could do about it. When I complained, people yelled at me for being fussy and suggested I buy my own car and drive alone if I did not want to be around people, they empowered the predator without realising it. That story is one of so many that I have and will share later on. What we need to realise is that like Martin Luther King Jr. said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”; if our society provides good healthcare, but sexual violence is prevalent, then that is not a just society because things are out of alignment, out of order.
To those of you who shared your heartbreaking #metoo stories, I hear you, I celebrate you and your courage to speak up when society would rather have us stay silent because “you don’t wash your dirty linen in public”. To those who have never experienced this, I hope you never do and that your innocence is never taken from you. To the men who feel guilty and judged even though you were never a perpetrator, that is not the idea of this post; it is to open your eyes to this reality and encourage you to speak up, stand against all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. When we do this, men and women, when we come together to promote a just and truly peaceful society, our world as we know it, will never be the same.