Unless you’re living under a rock, you have seen atleast one post this week with the hashtag #MeToo. #MeToo is going around to show how many women have been sexually harassed or assaulted, in the wake of the issue around Harvey Weinstein where several women have come forward and exposed him for the rapist that he is.
The first thing that really hit me with #MeToo is how many women have used this hashtag. How many women are sharing their stories. There have been far too many victims, and that is just from the ones who have spoken up – think of how many more there are that are too afraid to come out and tell their story.
The second is this: I don’t blame the women who don’t speak up. I don’t blame them because this society that we live never works in favor of a victim – rather, it consists of people who will find one way or another to put the blame back on them.
“You went out late at night”
“You were drinking”
“Why were you alone?”
“Look at what you were wearing”
As someone who has, with my own ears, heard a policeman say that women who wear small clothes and drink “deserve to get raped,” I’m no longer confused by why victims do not come forward.
We, as a society, need to do better. We need to stop defending the assaulters and do a better job protecting the victims. We need to stop promoting rape culture, and instead of letting assaulters get away scot-free, there needs to be a better justice system in place that helps victims.
That does not start with telling your daughters how to dress or act, but with teaching your sons the importance of consent. Teaching them that they are not entitled to anything, especially a woman’s body.
Earlier this week, Mayim Bialik wrote a disgusting article filled with victim-blaming. To get a little gist of the op-ed, she basically states that women wouldn’t have these problems if “they weren’t pretty” or if they dressed modestly and didn’t flirt with men.
While I can go off about how many different things in that article proves she is definitely not a feminist (which, by the way, she claims she is), what’s more troubling is her implying that women who look or dress a certain way can get away without being assaulted.
I can guarantee that every woman I know in my life has faced some sort of assault or harassment in her life, regardless of how they dressed or whether or not they’re considered “conventionally pretty.” Bialik’s statement is not only false, but it is so harmful to the women out there who were raped regardless of how they look, the women who were raped even when fully clothed.
Sexual assault and harassment can happen to anyone. The concerning part, however, is how often it occurs.
To the women who shared their story, I’m with you. And to the ones who couldn’t share theirs, I’m with you. You are not alone, you are loved, and it is not your fault. Please remember that.