#MeToo - Rising Up for My and Our Dignity
Over the course of a few months I have been quiet about a growing movement that seems to have come to stay perhaps because it hits close to home. What exactly am I going on about? You might wonder. Well unless you've been living under a rock, you must have heard of the #MeToo movement that recently rocked Hollywood and exposed the vicious arrogance of a patriarchal society. The one that quite frankly we all live in.
Really, I have chosen not to talk about it because it hurts. When I hear these stories and I see these women, my heart breaks for them; I share their pain. I find myself thinking, it could have been me. It hurts to know that for so long females have been pushed aside, beaten down and shamed for telling the truth, for daring to even try. And the scary part? Almost every female has a story to tell where they've been too scared, too ashamed to speak up. And why?
Just because they wanted to make their dreams come true, just because they wanted to feed their families, just because they wanted to live.
Too often women have been ignored, made to feel less, forced to shrink just because of their gender. Sexual harassment though is one of the most agonizing ways this is expressed. It is a menace that sadly has been going on for a while. I remember watching Michelle Obama's speech on harassment during the US election period and there's no way as a woman, a female, you won't relate. We've all had the too long stares, the occasional "accidental" brush, the catcalls, the unnecessary side talk. And the men? They think it's a compliment, that it's absolutely alright. The truth is those circumstances scare you, most times, we keep quiet about it but sometimes when you have the courage to raise it with your girls, You get the pitying glance, the "you should have covered up more". Yet that's just the starting point, it gets worse. When your grades don't add up and you have to meet with the lecturer, when you're not promoted, when you're just going about your job, you suddenly find yourself being groped, rough handled, forced and what can you do? Absolutely nothing. They do have all the power. Besides, who will ever believe you over him?
One of the most heart breaking things you can go through is to be powerless, to not be able to fight back or speak up. Knowing that this is wrong and not being able to do anything about it. It has the ability to crush the most powerful of us.
Being a female is not easy, you have to work twice as hard, twice as much and still get treated like trash. It is something that somehow cannot be explained unless you experience it yourself. Sexual harassment affects you mentally, it crushes your spirit, it kills and to have it happen to so many of us is as heartbreaking as it is true. Which is why it is singularly heartening that we - the women who are bearing the brunt of the unequal treatment through the ages - are coming to this current consciousness that we must rise in all respects to counter this continuing denial of our humanity and fight to have a decent chance to live as human beings without being shamed and abused at every point.
The #TimesUp movement, a group of women coming together to help each other, however reminds us that really we are stronger together. We are saying, Enough is enough! We are tired of being pushed down, looked down on, groped, catcalled, pressed, forced, assaulted, abused. We are taking the time to speak up, to cry out, to stand up, to rise up. We are saying,
We are not objects, we are not tools, we are humans, we are people, we have dreams and hopes and we can achieve them! Watch out males, your time is up!
As a female who has friends who have been harassed sexually, as a person dealing and coming to terms with the constant barraging that comes with my gender. I am so glad that #TIMESUP