Read, then Watch & SHARE the video below! #MeToo
THE #METOO MOVEMENT
At first I thought the #MeToo movement would fade away like virtually everything else in this not-even-24-hour news cycle. But I was glad to be proven wrong!
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
At this point, we have shown that 99.99% of women have experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. I know this came as a surprise to many men. They thought maybe it happened one time to some girl they knew in college. But no. This is, unfortunately, the way of life for women for millennia. There has been progress on many fronts, don’t get me wrong. But for women, regardless of race, class or looks, we have sadly come to “accept” that we will be harassed.
Some people are more vigilant in fighting against it, but at the moment of an assault, what you think you’ll feel or do is very often not what happens. Regardless of how “strong” you are as a person. Violence, particularly sexual violence, is something in which your reaction is often not what people think it will be, or should be.
So much shame is attached to sexual harassment, assault and rape. There is no shame in reacting however you react in that situation. And we should not judge how people react to it. Many people shut down, or go somewhere else in their minds. And way more often than not, the survivors don’t tell anyone after, and even fewer report it to the police. As for the crimes that are reported to the police, well, let’s just say our justice system doesn’t quite work perfectly…
Many people may not know that the conviction rate is that low. Or that in America, someone is raped every 98 seconds. Or what the long-term problems can be for survivors. People react in different ways to trauma, but one thing is for sure, it absolutely has some effect on the person and their future. Many survivors repress memories of the assault(s) for years, only to be haunted by them later. So at first, they may not even know why they’re experiencing some of the things that may happen:
The past few weeks, unlike the past several hundred years, we have witnessed quick consequences for sexual predators. Powerful men have been fired seemingly overnight after sexual harassment/assault allegations have come forward across the entertainment industry, other industries and politics (with one very glaring exception, and some other terrible exceptions as well). These predators have been kicked out of organizations, stripped of awards and more.
Suddenly female and male survivors feel that maybe our voices will be heard. Maybe it does matter that we’ve been hurt, shamed and dehumanized. After being silenced for so long, the feeling of being believed and having some kind of justice served can be overwhelming.
THINK IT’S TOO MUCH..?
If you’re inclined to think, “I’m sick of this sexual harassment stuff”, then you’re most likely coming from a privileged standpoint. Take a moment to think of something bad you’ve experienced. Then recall, or imagine, what it would be like to see someone punished for it.
When an injustice has occurred for a long time, sometimes when consequences come, they seem extreme. That’s usually because what was wrong had become accepted and integrated into everyday life. The casual cruelty was woven into society, and un-weaving it brings up things not everyone wants to deal with. Please try to have patience and support those who the movement is helping.
WHAT WE CAN DO NEXT
One of the things we can do in families across the country, and as a society, is to (emphatically) teach the concept of consent. This must be taught and reinforced for both boys and girls. In my opinion, it’s always better to be sure somebody wants something, rather than assuming.
There are so many pressures on teenagers to be “cool” and to get sexually involved, often before they’re ready. While both boys and girls need to be taught consent, in many cases it is the boys who must make sure the girl (or other boy) wants to do what the boy wants to do. I may get criticism for that, but it is pretty universally shown that it is more often the boy pressuring the girl to do something, not the other way around. Of course sometimes the boys do this because of pressure they’ve felt from men in their lives, or from society, to go after sex.
The ‘partner’ of the boy must know that it’s not only ok, but expected, that he/she will have his/her decision respected about what to do – or not do – next. I know for me, even though my parents let me know about consent, I still felt pressure and was unsure whether it was always ok to say ‘no’.
So consent must be reinforced. Over. And over! This continues into adulthood. It’s wise for all of us to pause, whether in a new relationship or a marriage, to make sure there is always consent on both sides.
INFORMATION AND EMPOWERMENT
I think one of the best ways to keep the #MeToo movement going is to keep providing information, and keep empowering survivors to come forward, to heal, to start feeling safe and to thrive! And of course to keep providing support for those who have experienced sexual harassment or assault.
On this front, I’ve created a video that does all those things! As a blogger, I am Zandra, but as an artist, I am Al-x. This video comes from my music alter-ego Al-x. The video not only informs, inspires and empowers, but it also provides resources to survivors and those who support them.
Please take JUST 3 MINUTES out of your busy day to watch and hit ‘SHARE’ to your favorite social network(s).
The message and momentum of the #MeToo Movement needs to continue! And you are ones who can make that happen. Also, feel free to make your own version of a video to “Fearless”! Tag your video with #FearlessToo. I’d love to see what you come up with! 🙂
Download your copy of the “Fearless” anthem HERE!
Thanks for reading & watching!