I’ve been ranting and raving about the Weinstein situation ever since the news broke. I’ve written about it here several times, and I’m sure I’ll be writing about it again in the future. This post is not about Weinstein, not directly, anyway. In the wake of the whole debacle, a day of ‘me, too’ emerged on Facebook. The point was to write ‘me, too’ as your status on FB if you’re a woman who’s been sexually harassed/assaulted, etc. It started, I assume, to model itself after the #MeToo on Twitter, which I didn’t see while it was happening. Please note: I know men are sexually assaulted, too. I would have been supportive of any man or nonbinary individual who stood up during the day of ‘me, too’. However, the microaggressions and sexual harassment that happens on a daily basis are more common for women, much more common, so that’s what the focus of ‘me, too’ was. I just wanted to get that out of the way so there won’t be a derail. Yes, men are abused, too. Yes, women are abusers. On with the post.
I didn’t participate in the day of ‘me, too’ except to click the sad face emoji on women’s posts. Why? It’s not because I haven’t experienced sexual aggression/harassment/abuse; I have. I’ve written about it on my blog several times. I’ve been very honest and open about it in the past. I am not ashamed of my past (well, not as much as I used to be. I’m still working on it), and I have no problems with discussing it if asked about it. It’s not because I haven’t talked about it on FB; I have done that as well. I have no problems with posting statuses about it, especially in connection with whatever current event is happening (see, Weinstein assholery). I’ve ranted on the mean Twitter streets ad nauseam about my experiences and railed against the inequities of our society that allows this bullshit to continue.
So, in theory, when I saw the ‘me, too’ posts on Facebook (I didn’t hear about the #Metoo on Twitter until after the fact), I should have been the first one to write a passionate post about it with a ME, TOO shouting in the lede paragraph. I should have written about the sustained sexual abuse, the date rape that turned into an abusive relationship, the friends who’ve cornered me while they were drunk and pawed me while I waited for them to let me go. I should have written about living in the East Bay when I used to walk everywhere, and I couldn’t leave my house without getting hit on. I especially remember one drunk white dude coming up to me when I was stretching before my walk, pressing close to my body, leering at my tats and showing me his. How he laughed at me as I ran away, and how my heart was pounding because I was afraid he’d follow me. In broad daylight. I should have written about when I was in Thailand with my college and staying at a hotel. There was a worker who started hounding me whenever I was in the lounge. Asking if I had a boyfriend. Hovering. Not going away even though I studiously ignored him. Making suggestive statements. I stopped hanging out in the lounge. When I later told my teachers about it, they said maybe it’s cultural* and brushed it off.
I should have written about how I used to have an avi of my chest tattoo on Twitter, but I took it down because I was tired of guys sliding into my DMs to compliment me on my ‘tattoo’. Side note: I have learned the difference between an honest compliment and one that is dripping with sleaze. Most women can see behind the veil of plausible deniability, and it’s just annoying. I should have also written about being on Craigslist and explicitly saying in my personal ad that I don’t want anyone with an Asian fetish or dick pics and having So. Many. Dudes. disregard either or both of those requests.
You know why I didn’t write that post? Because I’m tired, damn it. I’m tired that this is still a thing and that victims still need to lay themselves bare in order to be taken seriously. I hate that all these amazing women have gone through this shit, and I know that many of them (if not all) still carry at least some residual scars from their experiences. I hate that society tells victims they’re to blame in a myriad of ways. By policing what they should have/shouldn’t have done/said/worn/went. By diminishing what the abuser did. “Oh, he didn’t mean it.” “It was a joke.” “He’s socially awkward.” Or outright denying it. “Bitches be cray” is still a thing, and I remember when Jian Ghomeshi posted his FB status trying to do damage control ahead of his victim speaking up, he painted her as a crazy ex-girlfriend for this very reason. I hadn’t heard anything up to that point, but the minute I read his FB post, I knew he was guilty.
I’m furious that the worst thing that will happen to Weinstein (probably) is that he’ll be excommunicated from Hollywood and treated as if he never existed. I highly doubt he’ll even reach a day in court (but I will be elated if I’m wrong), so the only place to try him is in the court of public opinion. I want him to be a pariah in Hollywood. I want him to be shunned if not spit on, but that’s not going to happen. He has friends like Donna Karan defending him by asking if women were asking for it by being so sexy (no, Donna. The answer is no, you big, fucking hypocrite), though she did later apologize and say she was in shock. He has assholes like Woody Allen shrugging it off saying it’s no big thing (h/t @BeeEssBee on the Twitter Machine), and can we talk about Woody fucking Allen for a minute, please? He’s a prime example of a powerful man getting away with sexual abuse in Hollywood, and it wasn’t even covert this time. He married the adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend, for fuck’s sake. Yes, he waited until she was an adult to do it, but come the fuck on! I don’t know why his opinion is asked on, well, anything, but especially this. Of course he would fucking stand up for a fellow predator! Just like Weinstein championed for Roman Polanksi. Oh, you thought I forgot about him? Hell to the fucking no. And, of course, the lovely Bill Cosby. Funny how his predatory behavior was an open secret for decades, but it took Hannibal Buress making a joke out of it for it to actually get traction. Pay no attention to the women who’ve said something, oh no. We need to hear it from a man before it means something.
You know what? I’m throwing Bill Clinton into the mix. It especially chaps my flat yellow ass that many liberals gave him a pass because he’s a Democrat. I can’t tell you the minimizing I heard at the time from people who supposedly should have known better. There are still Democrats now who loudly defend him, and I give them the massive side eye. What he did was an abuse of his power, and it’s not just a blowjob, chuckle, chuckle. I also don’t like how Dems through Monica Lewinsky waaaaay under the bus. Making fun of her weight, calling her a slut, saying she was the problem. Whether or not she pursued him, she was a young, starry-eyed intern. He was the fucking president of the United States. It was up to him to set the goddamn boundaries if she wouldn’t.
I’m tired of watching this society condone sexual violence over and over again. Every time something like this comes up, there’s a surge of, “We have got to do something about it.” Stories of abuse, harassment, rape, molestation, etc., are told, but then nothing changes. I’m so glad that victims can receive support through social media and by knowing they’re not alone (sadly, so very not alone), but it feels like shouting into the abyss. We keep pouring out our stories and our pains, and what is changing? Nothing. That’s not completely true, though. The fact that victims are becoming more emboldened to speak out is a positive. With this Weinstein debacle, there is an energy buzzing in the air that I haven’t felt prior to this. A universal anger that we have to do this AGAIN. Is it enough to be the tipping point? I don’t know. In the gun control debate, I thought Sandy Hook would be our tipping point, and when that didn’t change anything, I knew we had lost that particular war. Yes, the Las Vegas shooting was big news for a day or three, but that was only because of the scope of the damage. It’s only been a few weeks since it happened, and no one is talking about it any longer.
Me, too. Me, too. Me, too. What can we do so that this doesn’t need to be said any longer?
*No. It’s not cultural to harass people from other countries. Even if it were (which, again, it’s not), they still should have acknowledged how uncomfortable it made me.