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The #MeToo hashtag went viral the world over in October 2017, after Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano launched the campaign to urge women to speak out against sexual harassment.
The #MeToo hashtag went viral the world over in October 2017, after Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano launched the campaign to urge women to speak out against sexual harassment. This was in light of Hollywood entertainment kingpin and co-owner of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, being dragged into the limelight by women who made allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.
As the campaign took shape, thankfully, people everywhere had the sensitivity to not forget men, children, and members of the LGBT community, who may have suffered sexual intimidation, assault, and harassment themselves.
#MeToo was – is – a call to solidarity. Experience of abuse, repeated or not, can brand a human being’s memory. It can scar them. It can subconsciously, or consciously, alter their perceptions of what relationships with others mean, and how they should be conducted.
Abusers of any kind are cruel, and apathetic. They seem oblivious to the fact that someone’s physical body is an expression of their life journey thus far. No one has the right to touch that body, as an excuse for expressing any kind of emotion, or desire, or ‘request’. Especially without permission. Nobody has the right to deface a temple, inside which are hidden years of past memories, present prayers, and future dreams.
Sex and sexuality are both a means of communication, amongst trusted intimate partners. When sexual vandals strike, it’s insulting, shocking, scary, and in some cases, very, very damaging. #MeToo lets people know they’re not alone in their nightmares.
But personally, I’d love to see another hashtag added to #MeToo. I’d like to see #GettingThere #MeToo trending. Oh, you can rope in all the friends, family, healers, doctors, and therapists in the world, to help an abuse victim. But as I’ve said before, each one’s body is their own temple. You can volunteer, but the Chief Curator responsible for maintenance is just one – the person whose body it is, whose mind and soul is giving them the courage to keep at their job.
Self-healing, especially when emerging from experiences and memory of abuse, is a very disorienting process. There are days when you’re raring to go. There are days when you can’t get out of bed. There are days when you look and feel spectacular. And, days when you’re drowning in self-loathing. There are days when you’re bursting with creativity at work, and then days when you feel the pipeline of ideas has dried up, and the vision on the horizon was just a childish game you were playing at, fooling yourself. Sometimes, you snap at your family and want to be alone. At other times, you can’t get off your brother’s lap; clinging to the only decent personification of manhood and masculinity you can see in the near and distant future.
I personally posted on my social media timeline about #YouToo: an ode to the abused who abuse others, because they think it makes for some kind of ‘payback’ towards those people who abused them at some point in their own lives. Abusers need to know that their victims know precisely who, and what, they’re made of. Abusers also need to ask themselves this question: Whatever it is that makes/made you abuse others, do you remember “asking for it” yourself?
It seems it’s the abusers who don’t know what their victims are made of!
“I’d put on 11 kgs of weight as a result of emotional and depressive overeating. I was 59 kgs. I want to be 47 kgs like I was before, so I can feel like myself.” #GettingThere #MeToo.
“It’s been 7 months since I escaped from an abusive girlfriend. Today, I kissed another girl, and I liked it!” #GettingThere #MeToo
“I can’t have a baby because of what my abuser did to me. But I’m the proud mother/father of an adopted child today!” #GettingThere #MeToo
Abuse victims need to start posting status updates like these. So that even if we’re not sure whether we can trust the systems and institutions around us, we can see examples of human endeavour that prove the cowards can come only this far, and no further.
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