I see the backlash against #MeToo has begun (sigh… patriarchy runs deep), I thought I would name a few things it is not.
#MeToo Is not about shaming women or silencing people who speak out or post about it. If you think it is not about you: listen. If you want to tell people there are better ways of addressing this: listen. If you want to over talk the women who have been silenced too long: listen (and check yourself).
#MeToo Is not about turning this into a gender row. Predators attack people of many persuasions. The conversation started with women of Hollywood who had been silenced, but the conversation continues, to different towns, different backgrounds and different genders. Let’s listen to the survivors rather than ostracise people more. You want to speak out? I am listening. If people want to shout about this? Now is the time. If you want to tell the people coming forward to be quiet (and this comes in many forms from snide come backs to glib replies to deleting comments which don’t fit your experience)? You probably should make now the time to listen.
#MeToo is about not remaining silent. And that means we are going to have to have some very uncomfortable conversations. Look at the statistics. It is highly unlikely you do not know someone who is a perpetrator. As long as we all keep thinking that the bad guys are over there or that the only people who do this come with Weinstein’s power and Saville’s sleaze, you’re missing the problem under your nose (in your club, in the bar, in the office etc…). Call people out. Start the conversations. Don’t walk away when people get defensive (unless it feels unsafe) and don’t turn a blind eye (or make excuses) because it is your mate. This is going to take a million little conversations to have a big impact. Are you willing to commit to that?
#MeToo is not here to create shame. It is triggery. For many reasons you may not be able to post about this and that in itself can feel shameful. The point is to create awareness for men and provide a reminder to women that you are not alone. You are not alone. If all this is getting too much, reach out.
Rape Crisis Freephone 0808 802 9999 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm every day of the year
Samaritans 028 9146 4646 (local call charges apply) National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call) Email Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org
To quote my glorious friend Guen “It is not a witch hunt. The witches are coming FOR YOU.”
We will not be silenced.
It is time to speak out.
It is time to listen.