Me Too

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Me Too campaign to speak out about sexual harassment and assault. Its primary purpose is to raise awareness about the magnitude of the problem. And I think that’s an excellent concept. But here’s the dirty little secret that most people don’t care to admit:

We already knew.

I mean, come on, people. Stop acting so surprised. I’m a 52 year old woman, and every single female friend I have has been physically, verbally or emotionally abused at some point in her life. Every. Single. One. And every single one of them can say the same thing about every single one of their friends. So, you do the math. This is a violent, brutal society. We just don’t want to think, talk, or do anything about it.

I’m glad this campaign has opened up a dialogue. But I think the more pertinent question would be, why have we all known this all along and taken no action? Because we do know this. You do. I do. Every-freaking-body does.

The time has come to stop letting the people who benefit from this silence have their way. Don’t let them get away with their evil abuses. Shine a light on these cockroaches. Speak loudly and often and don’t shut up. Because it’s not okay. It never has been, and it never will be okay.

I’m telling you, we are legion. And when an entire legion turns around and decides to fight back, it’s a formidable thing. You would be wise to stop poking this she-bear.

So, for the guy who groped me on the subway, the coworker who retaliated against me when I asked my supervisor to take his swimsuit edition calendar down, the coworker who had a coffee mug in the shape of a woman’s breasts, the doctor who told me my breasts reminded me of his girlfriend in college, the ex-brother-in-law who liked to “accidentally” be nude in my presence, every single stranger who called me “honey” or “sweetie” or “darling”, the uncle who used to humiliate me about my developing body during puberty, the boss who placed a soap dispenser shaped like male genitalia in the bathroom, the coworker who delighted in making me feel weak so he could feel strong, the supervisor who permanently assigned me to scraping dirty dishes because I wouldn’t go out with him, the coworker who “accidentally” rubbed up against me in an area where there was plenty of room, every construction worker who whistled as I walked past, the bridgetender who always groaned suggestively when he saw a woman in a bikini float past, the supervisor who just the other day said I had too strong of a personality, the old man who touched my leg as some warped thank you for giving him a ride home, the stepfather who sexually abused me and the guy who raped me…

I am the rule, not the exception. And you have run out of excuses.

Me too. Me too. Me too.


A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book.

6 thoughts on “Me Too

  1. lyn sutton

    I’ve a long list too. At first, when these abuses began to accumulate, I thought no one would believe me. I tried to write about it but it sounded like a work of exaggerated fiction because I hadn’t heard others claiming so many offenses. The few that did were quickly shamed, discredited, or worse. As a teenager, working in a crisis center, I learned that we were many but fear kept most silent in their anonymity. I’ve fought back but without support the consequences are sometimes worse than the initial abuse.Though I’ve been victimized, by the very system that’s supposed to defend us, I’ll continue to speak up. I won’t be shamed or intimidated into silence because I know, with our legion of voices together, none of us have to face this alone anymore. I hope the perpetrators are paying attention. You are out numbered!

    1. And some of these guys think, “Well, I only did one little thing to her. One whistle. One bad comment. No big deal.” But they don’t realize that these things mount up, and we get so many of them, that each “tiny” thing is like a knife wound.

  2. Carole Lewis

    We, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters must teach our children, both sons and daughters that this has got to stop. It begins at a very young age. Daddy’s and Grandpa’ teasing, ” Are you a little girl or a boy”. “OOOO you are so cute I could yum, yum eat you up.” Older… hand gently placed on the shoulder, slowly slides down the arm. Maybe, he gets too close and brushes up against you. Are you sure? It felt a little weird, but you don’t want to say anything, you don’t want anyone to get in trouble. Older still, He tells an off color joke, and you are uncomfortable, but don’t want to appear naïve, so you nervously twitter or smile. Even at 75, the comments come. In many cases the words are followed by unwelcomed physical advances. It never leaves the mind, the fear is always there.

    “Me too” must become our mantra. Our Sons also suffer. And we must prepare them as well. Your body and your mind is yours alone. Accept only what you want and shout it out what you do not.

    From this day forward…Onward and upward into the future, free to be ME TOO!

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