Oh I know, off color jokes have been around since the dawn of time. I’ve even laughed at a few completely inappropriate things myself. I’m not immune. But here’s what I would like you to consider the next time you see or hear someone mocking the #metoo movement…
It hurts like hell.
I’m not made of Teflon. I feel the vibration of your laughter coarse through me like razor blades. I’m already in the thorough of having to prove my case to a jury…I don’t need to be reminded just how utterly devastating it is to come forward as the victim of rape or sexual assault. I’m living it. While you’re over there making jokes and snide comments I’m over here STILL trying to scrub the memories from my skin.
For every eye roll or head nod you make in solidarity to the men who fear that their actions may be perceived as sexual assault you are ripping at the fabric of what I know to be true because I was there. I experienced it first hand.
My story can be found here…
Every 98 seconds in America a sexual assault occurs and every eight minutes that victim is a child. Those children grow up to be adults who have survived sexual trauma. Those are the people, the men, the women and children you continue to traumatize with every off handed joke, every stupid, ill-conceived comment, every exacerbated sigh.
Every time you sit idly by while someone else jokes about it and you say nothing because it’s too uncomfortable for you or you don’t want to “make a big deal of it” you are complicit. You are helping perpetuate rape culture. You are saying it’s okay to make light of these atrocities.
I’m telling you, it fucking hurts.
Do you know how many times I have been surrounded by friends who use the phrase me too in quotation marks? How diminishing it is to those of us living #metoo, how wholly dismissive it is for us to see that phrase “in quotes” thrown around by people too ignorant or too self-absorbed to even attempt to understand what that does to our souls.
Ask yourself this question…
Would you, when talking about war make air quotation marks around the word “combat”?
Would you ask our brothers and sisters in arms to describe their “combat” to you in great detail so that you could determine whether or not YOU deem what they went through as true “battle”?
Would you mock or roll your eyes at our soldiers? Would you ask them to justify their actions to you? Would you laugh as your friends or family members or hell even your highest elected officials taunted and made light of our veterans plight?
Oh wait, some of you have…and did and still do.
It fucking hurts to sit and listen to the people around you make light of something so personal, so damaging, so painful.
I didn’t ask to be a part of the #metoo movement, that decision was made for me by my rapist. I’m just trying to survive everyday. And some days are better than others. But I will tell you this…on my worst days, on days I can barely hang on I am still assaulted by watching videos like this…
and listening to the laughter in the background makes me hate the world I live in today. It makes me wonder what happened to humanity. It makes me wonder when we began to find the pain in others a source of amusement.
So the next time you look in my eyes picture me struggling for air beneath the weight of someone who outweighed me by over one hundred pounds and towered over me by 18 inches, those aren’t exaggerations those are actual facts/dimensions. Picture me fighting and crying and pushing with all of my might to no avail. Picture me begging and pleading for him to stop. Picture me bleeding and bruised, fleeing and calling 911… picture me in “quotation” marks…and then make your jokes.
What you see…
What I feel…
It fucking hurts.