You know .... if we want to talk about the normalization of sexual violence against women, #metoo can’t touch it. I’d have to type in so many #metoos, and seriously I can’t remember all the times I’ve faced sexual harassment/violence, and #metoo obfuscates that.
I don’t remember every time I was abused as a child, I just remember which men did it. I no longer remember every time I gave-in to “consensual” sex that was safer than refusal. I remember the rapes. I remember the boss that touched my breasts but I couldn’t quit ‘cuz I had rent to pay. I can’t remember all the cat calls, unsolicited ass grabs, slut and body shaming, and “I don’t need any more friends” language from men who pretended to be a friend until I didn’t want to have sex with them. I don’t remember all the times I was made to feel responsible for a man’s desire to go further than I was in the mood to, or the times that I was cornered in a bar and had to literally duck and run. So ya, me too. No shit. This stuff is fucking normal, and women’s lives are inundated by it. It’s prolific.
Pointing to the normalization of sexual violence and harassment against women and girls is not an attempt to deny that men are also victims of similar violence, or that sometimes women are the perpetrators of sexual violence. #metoo is not a denial that there is a unique silencing and emasculation of men who survive such abuse. These men need our acknowledgement of their experience, which I give freely because nobody should have to deal with that fucking shit. However, I don’t believe sexual violence against ‘masculine’ cis men is normalized the way it is against women, trans folk, non-binary folk, or men otherwise judged to be effeminate.
I want that recognition. I want a commitment to put that normalization to an end. I don’t know a single woman who could remember every time she was sexually harassed. It happens so often that we only count the really scary or really angry making events. It happens so often we sometimes don’t even recognize it for what it is!!!
So instead of collectively baring our wounds in a desperate attempt to be loud enough to be heard, let’s post our commitment to putting an end to toxic masculinity.
I hope someone comes up with hashtag for that.