It was just a few years ago, that this exchange happened:
Neighborhood boy knocks on our door to ask the girls to play. The girls head out to talk to him, I’m just on the other side of the door listening.
Boy: You guys want to play?
Girls: No, we are going to hang out here today, just us girls.
Boy: “I’m going to tell your mom that you are being mean to me, and get you in trouble, unless you play with me.”
At that point, I had to have a “no means no” conversation with a 9yo boy.
No. Is a complete sentence.
No. Is an acceptable answer.
The foundation of what led to the current ” #MeToo ” movement flowing through social media begins when girls feel as if they have no voice, no power, no choice. When they feel threatened to comply. Manipulated to comply. Coerced to comply. When others feel they can wield words and actions against them, without any repercussion.
The more people who are willing to share their #MeToo, the more we realize how widespread this is. But there are those who can’t post their “Me Too” story because their safety is priority, because they are still healing, because for whatever reason they can’t. They are still brave and strong, and survivors.
For those of us who say “Me Too” , we are not just speaking it for ourselves… but for those who can’t speak up yet.
I’ve shared some of my “Me Too” on Twitter. It wasn’t easy. And as I addressed the first, another came to mind, then another, then another. Oddly enough no matter how many situations and groups of people I have removed myself from, it still happens. For every one I shared, there were probably 2 more that I just couldn’t bring myself to bit “submit”.
Lord, that we would bring up our daughters with voices of strength, conviction, and resolve. That we would bring up our sons with compassion, mercy, and seeing women with such value that they would never mar her with words or actions.
A few days ago an image rolled through my Facebook memories, in essence it was a screen shot of a conversation that stated:
There should be some sort of unwritten code among women, that if a guy is making you feel uncomfortable that you can approach a group of women and whisper that a creepy guy is bugging you, and ask if they mind you pretending like you belong to their group.
1. No matter what ladies, if you are near me, there is always an empty seat with your name on it. We’ll laugh and pretend we’ve been besties since the womb. If you need a ride out of that place, I’ll make room.
2. We shouldn’t need such a rule.