It started as a response to the Hollywood sexual assault scandal involving mogul Harvey Weinstein. Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted to her 3.24 million followers, “Suggested by a friend. If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
In response, hundreds of thousands of women posted “Me too.” Some left it at that, and others shared horrific stories of assault and abuse.
For those of us that use Facebook or Twitter, we saw friends and family members join in the movement. It became personal for many, with our feeds filled with women sharing, Me Too, Me Too, Me Too.
And yes, me too.
I shared on both my personal and professional feed. I wasn’t sure at first if I would. I don’t like feeling obligated, or forced into something. And it feels particularly icky when you feel “forced” into sharing your own experience of assault. It was a tricky situation, and I am sure I wasn’t the only woman feeling a mixture of emotions this week.
Still, I decided to share because I wanted to join in support of the hundreds of thousands who shared along with me. I wanted to be a part of the battle cry.
At the end of the night, I sat down at my computer and felt defeated. Was anybody listening? Was change coming?
Instead of melting into a puddle, I decided to simply write:
Me too, says your neighbour.
Me too, says your co-worker.
Me too, says your sister.
Me too, says your best friend.
Me too, says your daughter.
And yes, me too. It happened to me too.
Me too, over and over and over again.
Until it all become meaningless and I became empty.
These two words have become our battle cry.
A loud and thunderous anthem.
A warrior song.
And in the shadows.
Those of us who cannot show our faces.
Whispering, Me too.
Because we cannot form the words.
And no, we owe no explanation.
Until all is silent.
And we wait.
Braver, as one.
And we wait some more.
And just like yesterday, and just like tomorrow, what do we hear?
It’s 2017 and we are only now starting to notice that most women have been assaulted or abused. It’s taken this long for us to simply be seen and heard.
And what of our daughters, the women of the future? Where does this leave me as a mother to three girls, and what can I do in their three individual worlds?
One of my favourite books, The Red Tent by Anita Diament, contains a nugget of truth and wisdom for all mothers. Diament writes, “The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life… the stronger the daughter.”
And yes, that is all I need. These words assure me that sharing my story and being open about my hurts and sorrows is a transformative experience, for both my daughters and all the girls of our next generation.
Let’s keep opening our hearts and showing our wounds. The next generation needs us.