Now that I’m off the trail and still unemployed I find myself with an influx of spare time to write. So here’s a post that’s a bit delayed but I think still relevant.
I, like most of my friends, posted about #MeToo. In my post, I focused on how being sexually assaulted changed me, the effects it continues to have on my mental health, 6 years past the attack. But you see, #MeToo was relevant long before that incident.
#MeToo is that groping hand claiming my breasts as it’s own property on a busy Jerusalem bus at the age of 15 when I was too shocked and terrified to do anything but sit still and silent until arriving at my stop.
#MeToo is waking up in a host family’s home to find the father standing in the corner of my room, his gaze upon my body, clad only in tank top and shorts to beat the overwhelming heat of Israeli summer.
#MeToo is the roommate who found me drunk and heartbroken, quick to place a hand on my thigh and waist, too high for comfort and too insistent to brush off.
#MeToo is the woman who thought it was all “fun and games” to perch herself on my lap and shove her tongue down my throat in the name of Truth or Dare.
#MeToo is every time I’ve had to beg a friend to “save me” in a social situation from a persistent man.
#MeToo is the older men at the pool who find it appropriate to compliment my “fine young form” in front of my charges, loudly and embarrassingly.
#MeToo is the men who think that me existing in public spaces is an open invite to touch and stare and approach.
#MeToo is every man who has received a “no” and proceeded to try to turn that “no” into a “yes”.
#MeToo is every man who has ever thought it was his RIGHT to touch my body, to invade my space without permission, to use and manipulate and take advantage of any moment of weakness.
#MeToo is every man who has manipulated, forced, grabbed groped or otherwise assaulted another human being because they don’t understand the concept of “NO MEANS NO”.
This hashtag, this movement, they are powerful yet heartbreaking. To see how many of us, both men and women, have experienced sexual harassment in the most casual forms is devastating. It is EVERYWHERE and glaringly obvious that something needs to change and enough of us understand that this is a serious problem.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, let’s change it.
Let’s hold these people accountable for their actions.
Me and MY breasts (still not asking for it).