So often its written about sexual harassment and about being abused as a child. I believe social media will set us free in many ways and bring a lot of taboos out of the closet. I realise not everyone can speak so openly and freely about it. But we’ve all experienced it.
The guy who smacked you hard across the chest as he went by on the bike so that you secretly nursed a purple breast for weeks. The man who just randomly thrust a hand between your legs as you climbed up ahead of him into the bus. The doctor who under cover of his stethoscope, felt up your non-existent 11-year-old chest. The colleague who always insists on bending over you and trying to look down your shirt. The uncle who pulls a 21-year-old girl into his lap and strokes her thigh, calling her beta all the while. The lecherous cousin your parents insisted would chaperone you to tuition.
There are plenty of people wondering how the #MeToo tag helps. Who think it is a waste of time. It helps because women who would NEVER have acknowledged it, or written about something of this sort have shared it today. And that is a big deal for them. It frees them from the burden of what feels like a deep dark secret. I’m watching the #MeToos pop up on my Facebook wall and I’m not surprised. And yes, there are men too.
No tag, no effort is perfect and complete in itself. So if this made you talk about the effectiveness of such a campaign, if you came up with the idea that people who have harassed other men or women should run a me too campaign, whatever, then that too, is proof that it worked. Just like an #IceBucketChallenge gave birth to a #RiceBucketChallenge.
Let’s not bitch about why something doesn’t work. If it’s made you think, then *you* improve on it. *You* start your own hashtag. *You* change your DP on Whatsapp. And it would have achieved its purpose.
Solidarity, strength in numbers, gaining and giving others the courage to speak out, a hashtag could do a lot – sure, it’s not “the ultimate solution” but it’s one more step in breaking the culture of silence, which in turn perpetuates the problem. And it speaks of the magnitude of the problem, which it says it has set out to do.
Change will come, slowly but surely.
#MeToo and a #MeToo again for those who can’t.