Monday, October 16, 2017

Me too--My Eight Word Response

Lately on FB, there has been a new trend going around.  People, mostly women, have been posting "Me too" as a status if they experienced sexual harassment or assault.  The idea is to draw awareness to the problem and hopefully show that it's incredibly more widespread than most people's comfort levels would like to admit.
However, like all "awareness" campaigns, this one has had a bit of backlash.  First off is "what about teh menz," usually uttered by guys who have never been assaulted, but are pissed off that they're being left out of the spotlight.  The answer to that is easy and straightforward.  If a man has experienced sexual assault, please feel free to post "me too."  You have my utmost sympathy.  No one should ever have to experience sexual abuse. The first person I saw post this statement was a transgendered male.  I'm on your side, guys.
Then there are those who say, "why are women bitching about harmless catcalling and compliments?  Grow up!"  You are putting the "ass" in "assumption."  Most women who post, I'm sorry to say, have experienced far worse than a few catcalls.
But the worst response has got to be the "virtue" response.  The "guess I'm just not pretty enough to rape, huh?" response.  Unfortunately, this comes from women.  The variants on this are "where are my dick pics?" or "if you just (fill in the blank: dressed modestly, stayed out of the frat party/nightclub/bar, didn't drink so much/at all, didn't have that manicure/nose job/breast implants, didn't go to his suite, blah blah or blah), then this never would have happened to you."  A demonstration can be found here.  This is called the "just world" fallacy, and it makes me see every shade of red.  Because the only thing that separates rape victims from those who haven't been raped is bad luck, and nothing more.
I posted "me too," and have written about my experiences.  Like Ms. Bialyk, I decided to develop my mind instead of my looks, finishing college at 19 without ever going near a frat house.  I'm not pretty (there's a reason my FB profile picture hasn't looked like me in years), dress very modestly, and spent several years as a religious fundamentalist.  I even covered my hair.  None of that protected me.  I was at home and stone cold sober, wearing no makeup and plain, cheap clothes.  That didn't protect me either.
When I have the spoons, I usually end up screaming profanity at the person expressing this viewpoint while hoping they never find out for themselves how wrong they are.  But usually I don't.  So I give my basic eight word answer: Long skirt.  Turtleneck sweater.  Covered hair.  Raped anyway.