Probably the hardest thing to admit when something is so humiliating. But women everywhere are revealing their unifying secret. In the wake of the New York Times story on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment, the #metoo movement has gone viral. What started it? Actor, Alyssa Milano, tweeted,
Suggested by a friend: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Scrolling Facebook, you might have seen the same status come across your feed several times. Within 24 hours of Alyssa’s tweet, more than 25,000 responded.
That’s the power of empathy, honesty and vulnerability.
Empathy has a way of changing the mood. When someone is empathetic toward you, you can’t help but break down your walls. And with walls down, everyone can come together without anything in the way.
Now we’re witnessing a breaking down of walls in Hollywood and beyond. Women are uniting everywhere around a similar theme.
I found myself glued to news stories on this topic yesterday, up late reading article after article. Probably because it hit home… I was sexually harassed at my job less than 10 years ago. And that wasn’t the first (or last) time. It was very obvious and very crude. I didn’t allow the experience to traumatize me, but I do remember the incidents clearly. It made me feel like that type of behavior was possible in any person, no matter the prestigious position.
I saw through the title down to the man.
Coming from a place of empathy, having gone through it myself, the #metoo movement strikes me as a beautiful response to an awful situation. Something Mother Theresa would give her blessing to.
Rather than the blaming (even though that’s there), there’s a softness and a simplicity to the statement. A surrendering, a letting go of the shell, the hiding.
The Motion Picture Association of America and The Weinstein Company did some decluttering of their own and fired Harvey for the 30+ accusations that came against him within the last 10 days.
In response to women’s cry, men are responding with “I will.” They will be men of honor and respect.
There’s a lot of other things we could be saying “me too” about. And that’s where we find gratitude; the appreciation that we’re not alone.
We find peace and love in coming together, in being sensitive. Not in the finger pointing, but the letting go of self-hate, shame. The tearing down of walls.
If we continue this way, we’ll share the #metoo of fearlessness.
The Sexual Assault Hotline is 800-656-4673.