Disclaimer: I am not a victim. I have never been sexually assaulted. But if my heart points toward something through this past year, it’d be toward sexual harassment. This will be an issue I hold close to my heart from now on.
Two simple words have triggered a sense of magnitude of sexual harassment and assault: “Me Too”.
For those of you who have just heard about #MeToo, let me draw a little background. Following up further allegations of rape against Hollywood producer: Harvey Weinstein, a number of women including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan, made accusations against him including rape and sexual assault.
So there we go – a prominent hashtag #MeToo has been used more than 200,000 times around the world to show solidarity among the victims.
I scrolled through the tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag, and found so many heartbreaking stories about sexual harassment – both men and women as victims.
Again, I am not going to tell a story of how I was sexually harassed and how I emerged from it.
But last year, I had watched someone broke down and cried her story to me. I couldn’t do anything except to encourage her to tell someone prominent and influential to stop it. But the most heartbreaking thing is how she blamed herself for what happened – and she knew the minute she speaks up, people will blame her for what happened too. She feels powerless in the face of man in the position of power, and he abused that power.
It terrifies me how sickening this is – and #MeToo has proved that this issue is experienced by only one person, or ten, or fifty – but by thousands and thousands of women and men out there.
This is exactly the reason why my heart fights to expose rape culture: so that this issue does not diminish rape and sexual assault by blaming it on the victims, or even questioning the honesty of the victims. Our society questions the victim, not the abuser. We tend to believe the abusers, not the victim – and now we wonder why the victims choose to stay quiet.
This has got to change. I stand with all of you.
Dear my friends, if this happens to you, I encourage you to speak up #MeToo. Please remind yourself that this is not your fault. This is not the way you dress. This is not you exaggerating. Stop means stop. No means no. I don’t want to means no. I’m not ready means no.
You did not ask for it. You did not deserve this. I am with you. I believe you.
Make-up by Morin
Photo by Mr Hendra
Outfit by Louis Vuitton