It’s said that if you share your pain with someone, it always heals your wounds but re-living that experience while sharing it can be terribly painful too. This is the case with incidents of sexual assault. #MeToo, the hashtag trending on social media is all about people coming out on a public platform accepting they have faced sexual assault/molestation, and the blame and shame was never theirs. The campaign was started by American actress Alyssa Milano in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations of multiple counts of sexual assault. It is not at all surprising that a lot of women around the world have taken to the hashtag whole-heartedly.
Survivors of sexual assault are generally intimidated into silence and made to believe that the fault was theirs. With the campaign spreading far and wide, it has come to include other genders as well, who have also faced some or the other kind of sexual harassment sending across the message that it is not women alone.
A few women also shared disturbing accounts of their sexual assault and it only gives us a sense of magnitude of a problem so prevalent in our society, which is never spoken about because it is always so easy to blame the victim of sexual assault, rather than making an effort to make the society a better place to live.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Me, too @Alyssa_Milano. When I was in the military, my date wanted sex. I said no. He ripped my shirt. I jumped out of the car. I was lucky.
— Lisa J (@LisaJanieMcG) October 16, 2017
— #DestroyTheAadhaar (@GreySasquatch) October 16, 2017
— Ankur Pathak (@aktalkies) October 16, 2017
Stand-up comedian Mallika Dua recounts:
Me too … in my own car. My mother was driving while he sat at the back with his hand under my skirt the whole time. I was 7. My sister was 11. His hands went everywhere inside my skirt and on my sister’s back. My father who was in a different car dislocated the bastard’s jaw with his bare hands later that night.”
The top comment on this post is unfortunately by a woman named Deepshikha Kumari who declares that “Now a days..it’s fashion ..every girl is telling her molestation story to grab attention”. Well, thanks madam. For not standing up for a woman despite being a woman yourself, AND trying to dismiss the women who speak up against any form of molestation.
Here’s what Lawyer Vrinda Grover has to say:
Me too. I too was sexually harassed and molested by known and unknown men, as a child, an adolescent and as an adult. So it can’t be just Weinstien, who is a sexual predator. There are many many more men, men holding high positions, talented men, super smart men, men who are our friends, relatives and acquaintances. And you know what, sexual abuse is not inevitable, nor accidental; it is always intentional and deliberate. AND IT CAN BE STOPPED. “
Although some have doubts about the campaign and instead run a campaign #ididn’t where people tried to overlook a sexual assault happening in front of them and didn’t step in to stop it.
As this Facebook user, Leena van Deventer’s post reads:
(If #metoo is useful to you then I’m glad. But I am incredibly conflicted on it. )
What I *would* like to see is the men stepping up and admitting times they ‘kind of ignored’ some predatory behaviour they witnessed or knew about. Or consciously ignored it. Or helped cover it up. Knew something, and did nothing. Still know something, and still do nothing. Had a woman come to them for help, and failed her, hoping it would ‘just go away’. The assaulted did nothing wrong, why should they be the ones risking outing themselves and reliving their pain, worried about shame and consequence. That would be something, huh. How about you don’t rely on victims opening a vein publicly to show how widespread it is, and you show how widespread and easy the cover ups are to achieve.Surely acknowleding the amount of people complicit is a more shocking statistic than knowing how many women have experienced this. We have the stats. If people don’t believe the stats they won’t believe us after #metoo either.”
Many men too joined the fray, voicing their concern that people from their gender are the ones who are largely to be held accountable.
This is painful to see. So many… #MeToo
— Itu More (@itu_more) October 16, 2017
— Ankur Pathak (@aktalkies) October 16, 2017
I feel great sadness for every #metoo
Sexual abuse is a huge blight in society
— Twitty McTwitface (@gcarrick) October 16, 2017
To my brave sisters coming forward with #MeToo: It wasn’t your fault. You were not asking for it. We believe you.
— Christopher Denman (@CZDenman) October 16, 2017
The fact that something of this sort is trending on social media to raise awareness about an issue, which our society is struggling with since years is shameful as well as saddening.