There is a campaign now (a hashtag campaign since they work so well) to have women who have suffered sexual harassment or abuse to use the hashtag #metoo to indicate they were victims. The issue with this campaign is that it includes people who were the targets of something said (disgusting but not as horrible as what physical abuse entails) and the tag gives this impression that everyone around has been physically abused. It would be helpful if there was a response that said #notme.
I am in no way minimizing the abuse that monsters like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton have done (done rather than said you could do like the current occupant of the White House) because these abuses, whether they be on women, men or children (and that is the next big thing that will break out of Hollywood) are horrible and should not be tolerated.
Actress Alyssa Milano started this campaign to have women speak up if they have been victims and that is an issue because it relegates these folks to victim status. It is horrible that it happened but being a victim is not empowering. Having women disclose to everyone under the sun that they were victims also takes away a privacy they can never get back.
I think it is just as or maybe more important to be a survivor rather than a victim. Hashtags, if that is the way to go, should include things like #neveragain, or #notme, or #ifoughtback, or any number of other slogans that indicate that the subject is not a victim.
Speaking of being victims and empowerment how about these vocal advocates push for less stringent concealed carry laws? Imagine the outcome had one of Weinstein’s RAPE victims had a firearm. There might not have been so many victims. I will also point out that many victims remained silent about the abuse and emboldened Weinstein to continue his predatory ways. That is not to lay blame upon them but to point out that saying it happened WHEN IT DID is vital to ensure there are no other victims.
It is not enough to say you were a victim (and maybe counterproductive). You MUST indicate that you are a survivor and that you will never be a victim or never be one again. Powerful people knew of the abuse, engaged in the abuse and facilitated the abuse. Some of the abused went along in order to further careers and others stood up to the monster but remained silent.
It is not lost on me that the people who hashtag metoo are the ones who ignored the women who claimed Bill Clinton raped or otherwise sexually harassed them. I also think it is likely that if Hillary Clinton (who likens Harvey to Trump rather than her own husband) had won the presidency we would not be hearing about Harvey Weinstein, #fogeddaboudit.
The victims, of course, are not to blame for the behavior of people like those mentioned in this piece. But it is difficult to scream about the sexualization of women while dressing in clothing that, well, sexualizes you. Dressing that way is NOT an invitation to being abused or raped but it does take away any claim that Hollywood sexualizes you or that you don’t want to be thought of that way. Talking about your sex life, what you like or don’t sexually, who you have or would sleep with and your fantasies coupled with clothing that exposes more than it covers sexualizes you. That does not mean you should be attacked in any way shape or form but it removes the argument that someone else sexualized you or is at fault for people thinking that way. Your sexuality empowers you and is an important part of the human experience but it is not a reason to be attacked and certainly not an excuse to be a victim.
If you want to be empowered then get away from the victim mentality and fight back. But fight back when it happens, not when it is convenient or trending and make sure you hold all abusers to the same standard.
If the reaction to Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby (at the time of their actions) had been as intense as the reaction to what Trump said in a recording (not what he did but what he said you COULD do) then it is likely these men would not have abused for so many years. The same outrage Hillary [and the I’m with her liberal crowd] had for Trump when the tape was released should have been the outrage she had when her husband was diddling an intern nearly the same age as his daughter. Her response to the allegations of rape by her husband should have been as strong (or stronger) than her response to Trump. She and the movement lose credibility when the response is selective outrage.
So hang tough and be empowered. Do not be victims. Yes, you can tell us #metoo but let us know #iamstronger and #neveragain. Let us know so it is not just a #politicalstunt.
And if you have not been a victim let us know #notme. Your strength might help others.
Never surrender, never submit.