Today’s post was going to be something else. After all, I just experienced a career milestone this past Friday— appearing on The Today Show. And I will come back to that this week. It’s sitting in our ‘drafts’ folder on the backend of this blog.
But for today, running a women’s empowerment blog, I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t not support it. I couldn’t not address it.
You’ve probably seen in by now.
More than 30,000 people have come forward using the hashtag #MeToo on social media to show that they too, have been sexually harassed or abused.
“In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, the words ‘me too’ are being used to show people just how widespread sexual harassment and assault are.
American actor Alyssa Milano who starred in Charmed with Rose McGowan, shared a screenshot of the suggestion and asked people to reply with the words “me too”. (The Guardian).
Thousands of women AND men had replied to Alyssa Milano’s tweet by this morning and thousands more have posted the words ‘me too’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. My Facebook feed is flooded with these haunting words, that my friends too, have not escaped sexual assault. It is like ‘National Coming Out Day,’ which ironically, was last week, only today’s coming out is about a different kind of sexuality. The horrific, inexcusable, kind of sexuality – abuse.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) October 15, 2017
Me too https://t.co/ScX67Kmmiy
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 15, 2017
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) October 15, 2017
I have two short phrases… I believe you. I stand by you.
And I would like to expand further on this point.
We are left asking ourselves: What is the answer?
Well, awareness and stepping forward saying, ‘me too,’ is the incredible brave start. But we must take it further from here.
For all the victims of sexual abuse who have come forward, we see you. We hear you. We believe you. We know you cannot go back. We know your wounds from the past haunt you, and you are constantly trying to heal yourself. But we can all do something about the future.
I shared this picture two days ago in light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, and this is the caption I wrote:
“I’d like to explain this and then be honest. I think we often brush things off as, “Oh, boys will be boys” when they f up. Or, “It’s a boy thing.” Hell, I have definitely done it myself.
But I seriously think we are entering dangerous territory when our boys (teen boys, even young boys) say things to disrespect others (and sometimes it’s experimental or age appropriate behavior to act out) and not call them out on it or hold our children accountable.
We need to change the dialogue with them and how we interact with them. I joke with my boys a lot, and then if I catch them making an inappropriate joke, aren’t I to blame, because I was being the ‘cool mom’ introducing them to an edgy vocabulary? It’s a fine line between joking around taking life lightly sometimes, and what our kids are really internalizing. Our brains are fully developed and know the difference— theirs aren’t.
I am really going to be more mindful about what comes out of my mouth in front of my kids. I know they are respectful and good boys, but I’m going to be more vigilant in conversations with them. How they grow up to be adult males is how they are raised by us now.”
So, the first step is what the world has done today. And that is, taking away any stigma of shame associated with being violated. We now see the magnitude of the issue by the sheer numbers today. And we know that women are the strongest when we stand together.
It’s on us
But the next step is on us. On me as a mom, on my husband as a father, and on you – parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. We are raising the next generation of men… NOW.
If you don’t know what to do, perhaps take a look at Mayim Bialik’s video for inspiration. I think she has some sage advice for us all.
If you are ready to take this one step further, the question becomes: How do we then raise boys to respect and not violate women and raise girls to be assertive and speak up for themselves? It’s complex. And I tried to tackle it this morning on Global News.
So, if you wonder why #MeToo is trending today, it’s trending for good reason.
Love and blessings,