Earlier today, my husband and I were driving home from the grocery store. I casually mentioned the "Me too" movement in response to the recent spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual assault and harassment that women and men face.
I commented on how brave the women were to step forward, that each time I saw a colleague, a friend, a schoolmate's status read "Me too," I felt red, angry, and proud of their ability to speak out. That, for so long, just the idea of being vulnerable and allowing myself to cry in public over something beautiful, or something sad, made me feel anxious, even scared.
"Will you make it your status? Will you say, 'Me too,'" my husband asked. I said I didn't know. That it felt like too much. That it wasn't something I wasn't ready to admit.
The act of writing those two words were on my mind all day today. Yes, it was me, too. I was fresh out of college, working at a crappy factory as a receptionist, and I had a creepy supervisor, only a few years older than me, make upsetting, inappropriate, and sexual comments to me on more than one occasion. Even as I thought about updating my status, I thought, "Well, it was never so blatantly terrible. Thankfully I was never assaulted. There are people who have experienced worse." At that point, I knew I was, in some way, excusing the behavior, and even feeling guilty about another person's behavior. I knew the guy was wrong but I couldn't admit it publicly somehow.
About thirty minutes ago, a co-worker of mine updated her status, and it said "Me too." I teared up but at that moment, felt the strength I needed to update my status. The fact that I know so many women and men who have updated their status with the same refrain, is alarming, upsetting, and eye opening. We have each other. We need to be vulnerable, to show the world, as cheesy as that may sound, that this type of behavior, the act of hurting another person because some people feel they are entitled to abuse their power, is not ok. That we will support one another, be vocal, and not ignore the inexcusable behavior of others.
Tonight, I am extremely proud of the women and men who have stood up and said "Me too." You gave me the strength to add my voice, and you have no idea how much that means to me.