I appreciate #MeToo because it’s mass healing through acknowledgement and public psychotherapy at its best.
Traumatised women (literally all of them – but of course, with different intensities), given their systematic oppression, vented their thoughts of anger, sorrow or shame on a public platform; some people understood and stood by them. All this was just fine and was appreciated.
Why should you read on, if you understand and applaud #MeToo? Because here, I chose to delineate on other underlying aspects that rouged my cheeks with vexation.
“Women will gain more confidence by the verbalisation of pain, but no abuser is going to change by reading these tales of woe,” was my original thought.
No one was trying to wage a war against individual men. Instead, we were trying to fight this pre-existing, demeaning, dehumanising culture, not particular humans.
This movement was instrumental in shoving the presence of rape culture in the faces of the deniers.
The purpose of the #MeToo movement was to give people “a sense of the magnitude of the problem” according to the woman who popularized the hashtag, Alyssa Milano. I must rightfully credit the woman who came up with it initally – Tarana Burke.
Movements are spread by stories and writings. Our easiest access to these, now, is through the Internet.
Very often, like many others, my lazy hands don’t go beyond Google’s first page to research and read about any issue, ultimately leading me to fall into the comforting views of any privileged group – be it the cisgender people or heterosexuals, besides men and white people – talking about events they’ve never experienced but feel entitled enough to comment on.
So on #MeToo as well, articles are full of men giving their opinions on how this movement is “good” and giving apparent sociological justifications for the same. Read this excerpt I found.
Some activist from the Czech Republic said: “These campaigns are good because even when they’ll go away and people will forget about them, what won’t go away are the ideas that women around the world now. There is a time for absorbing emotions and there is a time for healing and then there is a time for fighting. Next time when there will be a call for action to defend their rights, women will be there.”
This was the top result for a curious to-be activist. This is a generic amalgamation of apparently ‘enlightening’ bullshit tossed together into a paragraph to distract people from the main point and make us believe things are alright. The women who have been screaming on the top of their lungs about this injustice don’t even get a place on the top results. Where do I go to find their voice? Why are men distracting us again? It isn’t alright!
Websites claim “men themselves have initiated campaigns of their own – #IHave, #IDidThat, and #IWill – confessing they have witnessed, condoned or engaged in sexual harassment and promising they will change their perception on the matter”, but that’s absolutely untrue. Go check Twitter if you wish. Very very few people have done this, and most users of this hashtags are posing the question to men to ameliorate the scene. A classic example of over-glorification of small efforts by non-victims.
I read reports from sociologists – these experts say changing perception on acceptable sexual behavior has always taken time and strong social involvement. I’m sure that’s been the case in the past – but only due a lack of a dynamic platform. Smart phones help us swallow and process huge amounts of information on a daily basis and act on it, so the question of delay shouldn’t arise now. Unless, of course, if this information is filtered and incorrectly represented.
Think about it – who controls the majority of the mainstream media? It’s men, yet again.
I am so angry that I could go into an Amber Rose breakdown, but I must maintain myself. That doesn’t mean I’ll let go of this pent up anger. Neither should you. The battle is against unfairness. It is to give individuals with feminine expression, regardless of gender, basic human respect, more than rights – which they had been denied all through the centuries because the other half of the population found their own expression and behavior ultimate and superior.
Yes, it’s all for equality, ultimately – but the ambiguity between rights and respect confuses people who end up taking unfavourable decisions. Most people have fundamental human rights on paper. We are not fighting for rights, we are fighting for equal treatment by law and the society. That simply means respecting personal opinions and preventing abuse. That is all. We cannot let our anger go waste.
What can we do, then? I had a vague idea, but singer Miss White’s words perfectly describe it: “I reject male opinion, male consumption, male dominance and replace it with a woman’s infinite ability to thrive in a fatally unfit environment.”
You no longer have to wince when a butthurt man cries “reverse sexism!”
You no longer have to clap for a man for doing the bare minimum, for example, saying, “I respect women” or “I will never rape”.
You no longer have to read or unconsciously pick up their views on women, when they’ve never lived as such.
You need to think for yourself and other women and reject any idea men present about you. For they do not know.
Disclaimer : These are personal views based on my observations. For more conversations, contact me here.