The past week, the hashtag #MeToo has been trending. What is #MeToo? It’s men and women detailing their sexual assault or sexual harassment and letting others know that they are not alone. It’s showing how we can come together to deal with the everyday problems that are becoming all too normal for our society. It’s expressing the volume of how prevalent these acts of violence are and how many choose to stay silent for whatever reason that may be. It’s showing others that they can be brave and speak out against their attacker. It’s telling us that as a society we can and should do better because no one deserves to feel ashamed.
We have seen it happen time and time again where those with more power use their power to maliciously get what they want. Unfortunately, that also includes rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The hashtag #MeToo explains to victims that their stories are valid, their feelings are valid, and that they didn’t ask to be hurt sexually no matter what the circumstances were. Those who use their position to hurt someone else often do it over and over again without repercussions. It’s time we start holding these individuals accountable for their sick actions. Many people do not speak up out of fear of violence, victim shaming, retaliation, or that it may cost them their career that they worked so hard for or hasn’t even started yet. This is not okay!
We should not be a society that teaches it’s okay to sexually assault or harass someone. We should not be a society that elects a man President of the United States who brags about grabbing women by the p*ssy. We should not be a society that is teaching our youth that this type of behavior is okay instead of holding those fully accountable and responsible for their actions. What kind of message are we really sending?
Most of us are taught right from wrong as children in our households but as we get older society teaches us a whole new set of rules. Keep quiet, don’t rock the boat, women are less equal than men therefore our feelings aren’t valid, don’t bring yourself negative attention by standing up for yourself. No wonder so many people choose to stay quiet and suffer in silence. It’s horrific to think that individuals as young as kids have to hide this deep dark secret of being molested, raped, or sexually harassed usually by someone they know and trusted. They have more fear about speaking out than they do about how this might affect them in the long run. What kind of society are we? The kind that condones this type of behavior or the kind that says enough is enough!
Field and Political Director
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.