Managing Memories & Moving Forward with #MeToo.
I did not want to get out of bed this morning, yet I haven’t slept for days.
I wade through memories, waking up my past to consciously review the countless times I would say Me Too.
The list (as it is for so many of us) is far too long. Years of unwanted and unwelcome touches, advances or commentary to scroll through. I start to laugh.
I laugh because it’s all so ridiculous.
The boss who told me that sleeping with clients wasn’t in my job description but if I opted to do so, I wouldn’t get fired. The numerous managers and directors (including HR) whose discussions over the size, shape, and look of my breasts in a T-shirt apparently required weekly remarks. The boss who daily made reference to what I must be like in bed (or what he was like) while his wife worked in the next office.
I would say something on occasion but it was so common that it simply became part of the hazards of working in male-dominated industries.
We saw it daily. Every woman. We all knew it was wrong but standing up to it got so complicated.
Insane isn’t it?
And social media right now is like the mother of all triggers.
If you are an empath, today the world is screaming with heartache, frustration, (bubbling) anger and sadness. We feel it. All of it. Our hearts hurt hard. The “Me Too” movement overwhelmingly present and completely unsurprising.
Timing is everything.
I don’t need to debate the merits or downfall of when, where or how people made claims of sexual harassment. This is a really good thing. It has opened up more opportunity to talk.
Would this movement have happened even a year ago?
When I lent my voice to #BeenRapedNeverReported during the outing of Jian Ghomeshi, the deluge of comments and responses that came along with it shocked me. The amount of victim blaming and shaming rampant in the tide of that trial.
Are you ready for this?
I received 80 (yes, 80) private messages thanking me for having the courage to put it out there when 80 (yes, 80) other women did not feel brave or safe enough to put it out there themselves.
There is strength in numbers.
There is strength in every person who has managed to write “Me Too”.
There is strength in every person who has ever dealt with this.
How do you manage in the middle of this shit show?
It’s a fine line. All of this brings back all of that.
I will start with this.
Through You, Not Of You.
Self-care is essential. Know when things are too much and walk away. Breathe and take time to process. One of the greatest pieces of advice I was ever given was to let information flow through you, but don’t let it take part of you with it. Let it flow and let it go.
I know it seems odd to ask you to think of gratitude in the face of all of this, but there are millions upon millions of women who live in countries right now where rape is commonplace and assumed; where human trafficking is still actively occurring and where the parity and equity equations have hardly even begun to exist.
We live in countries where the dialogue has begun. Where freedom of speech allows us to speak our mind and more than ever we must.
It’s been said out loud what we have always known.
We are all responsible to figure out what to do with the knowledge that the mass majority of women (on earth) have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in her life.
This is everyone’s problem.
Change is Coming.
You never walk through the same river twice. What happened in the past, happened. You can do nothing to change that.
BUT you can do everything to change the future.
You can use this movement to recognize moving forward that you will never, ever let those moments of harassment go unchallenged.
You can use this movement to educate your children to be bold, to stand up for what is right, to stand against what is wrong and to know that they are in control of their own bodies.
We can use this movement to help shape our own, our children and societies core values so that this vicious cycle doesn’t continue momentum.
People knew. People know.
We can’t. We won’t let this happen anymore.
We are fierce.