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MeToo: Notes on a Movement

My Thoughts on My Reaction.

Photo Credit: Dawn Quaker.  Bracelet: Levi's, 2005.

I struggled for two weeks with how to react to #MeToo — not politically, as much as personally.

You see; I’m a founder and community builder. It’s who I am and what I do, but #metoo was a trigger because I’m also a survivor of sexual assault and rape.

Day 1: my reaction was to empower myself by sharing on social media.

Day 2: it was others, and share my feelings about how assault for women is dealt with in society as a whole publicly.  But, I wasn’t there yet, and that was hard to accept. 
 
I lost track of time. 
 
Sharing at a larger scale to me by Day 3 or 4 meant that I not only accepted my own circumstance, but those of others and my place in their stories. The old friends who had felt it necessary to hide abuse for years when we were kids. How do I help them now and how do I ensure no other human feels shame at speaking up? 
 
And, where do we learn what’s the threshold for one another in nuanced situations with close, romantic partners? What’s our comfort with our partner — even if you haven’t been triggered for months or years?

Day 12: I realized it had to be about communication. 
 
I accepted that I wasn’t there yet in terms of starting the conversation within my community, but saying that I ‘wasn’t there yet’ out loud to whomever I was talking to, as soon as I could, when the subject arose, made me feel like part of the solution. Each time when the situation felt right inching further and further into my own narrative.

This is why #metoo in my opinion will remain a movement, not simply a hashtag. It took 10 years and unfortunately, countless assaults for it to rise again, but I realized that by speaking up in conversations when and if I was ready, I could find a way to be part of the solution: mine and others. 
 
We have a long way to go. We have to find ways within the frame of where we’re at personally to educate and empower all people. Sometimes, it might just be leaving a room and walking into another one. It’s okay to not be there yet. That action means something in this world.

A world where women all over the world took a stand on social media and reignited a movement.

Also, I just want to say thank you to the people who stood beside us and note that assault, itself, is not a gendered issue. That fact does not negate systems of oppression, however, it does allow us to open up the narrative to all identifiable genders.

Everyone needs allies, and everyone needs friends.

Originally published at medium.com

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