“Everyone’s got their chains to break
Were you born to resist or be abused? Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?” Foo Fighters
So – I wasn’t going to comment on this campaign but.. I couldn’t help but reflect on the discourse going on before me. Many strangers and friends have been posting the #metoo hashtag on twitter and Facebook. Male friends stating their shock and support at the amount of people coming forward. And getting ‘likes’ in double numbers.
The ‘Me too’ hashtag isn’t just about creepy dudes in bathrobes, you know.” (The Independent)
Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that this is coming to the forefront and being discussed. However. I started to reflect a bit deeper on the movement last night. Why is it that men or women posting in support are suddenly being congratulated on supporting the sexual assault campaign? Shouldn’t that support be standard anyway.
The #metoo campaign has evolved after concerns to Harvey Weinstein – a ‘once’ powerful Hollywood producer, who now faces allegations of sexual assault/harrassment. This allegedly also includes two of rape.
Some of these allegations – made by some of the most powerful female celebrities/icons/models on our screens today lead back to more than two decades ago.
So I came to thinking. Of the Jimmy Saville scandal – and of the widespread public disgust that arose from that.
When asked why nobody did anything, Mr Lemmon said: “I suppose because it was Jimmy.” (Telegraph)
And I ask myself the question – WHAT HAS TAKEN SO LONG????!!!? For the world to listen? If even the most powerful women in our society have fought so long to be heard.. (over two decades) what does this say for the rest of the population who have suffered such trauma (male and female).
The #metoo hashtag was actually created by 44-year-old activist Tarana Burke ten years ago. She founded the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities. As a way to connect with #survivors with #survivors. (Ebony Mag)
I look to the Hollywood actors and actresses speaking out and starting a much needed conversation as well as many other celebrities that have made their stories of sexual violence known by using the “me too” hashtag, starting a much needed domino effect. And I commend them. And you!
Because it’s an uncomfortable topic. That is ignored all (most/a lot) of the time.
I recently read the recent post on The Independent which offers an interesting alternative perspective on the matter talks about “being shunned as a whistleblower”.
It seems very easy to write disgust at assault on Facebook and get a few hundred likes but. What will actually change?
Whilst Facebook is a powerful tool – and writing in solidarity is great and that the ‘me too’ hashtag is a good start, I worry that it could dangerously minimalize the importance of the topic if not careful.
And I mean, by forgetting those that suffer in silence. Those whose first validation of exposure – at rape or sexual assault – who might write a ‘#metoo’ post.. that it might be ignored. Or passed by. And those that are perhaps even too ashamed to write the first letter ‘M’ on their social media site.
“According to a study by the NSPCC on young people (aged between 13–18), a third of girls and 16 percent of boys have experienced sexual violence and that as many as 250,000 teenage girls are suffering from abuse at any one time. 12 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls reported committing sexual violence against their partners.” (Wonderslist)
And those that have had to face their perpertrators in court. That are too afraid to speak out. That don’t get their voices heard due to not being passed through the CPS system. Those shunned. Those so overwhelmed with shame to say anything. Anything at all. Despite knowing verbally that it wasn’t/isn’t their fault. And those – too young to even know the words that fit the description of what is happening to them.
“we love celebrities because they are an integral part of culture. They have made it in the worldview we are so entrenched in. By worshipping them (to an extent), we feel as if we are participating in this hugely important cause/belief system. And that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, and like our life matters” (Pyschology today)
And I question – as this mirrors the whirlwind of the Jimmy Saville scandal once again – why has it taken a case like Harvey Weinstein’s to get something like this moving? Does it feel more close to home the further away it is? What about the girl or boy next door. Or indeed in other countries.. where women can be sent to prison for being raped.
“With an estimated of 500,000 rape cases every year, the country has one of the highest rate of Rape Crimes in the world. It is estimated that more than 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime.”
And I find myself pondering – perhaps – it is those that are famous and on our TV screens – that can actually really change things. And I accept that, that is the way society is built. And I commend the bravery coming from those places. For whilst, these men and women might be ‘famous’ I’m sure the evidence that appears; of the length of time that even the most powerful amongst us struggle to be heard – well. That is very telling. And aren’t we all simply humans?
And so as someone said to me once “you have shamed shame”. And to you I urge… Keep it up. For the path to victory, is rarely linear, let’s hope the Weinstein case will be a change in history for millions of women and men around the world.
And as a friend posted on Facebook after disclosing ‘not that it will actually change anything’. I feel her anger and I too, can quite often retreat into a state of despair. But like he say’s in #shawshankredemption
“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” #ohDearyme
Peace and love.
I follow other #survivors on Twitter campaigning endlessly for better rights for #survivors – including Ian McFadyen , Sammy Woodhouse , David Lean who tirelessly campaign for the rights of #survivors and I commend their work.
It is not aimed to offend – just a blog about the general confusion that quite often appears in my head.