Why I don’t want to #metoo

I understand why #metoo is trending. I acknowledge it is an excellent way to highlight sexual assault or abuse. I’m just struggling to add it to my posts.

It’s not that I don’t qualify, most readers know I have a past. So why not add it and lend my voice to the roars?

I’ve been trying to figure out that one myself and I think I have the answers.

You see the thing that upset me most about the Harvey Weinstein revelations was<img class="size-medium wp-image-13502 alignright" src="https://1tric.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/5103209989_1b80ed5dd4_n.jpg?w=300" alt="photo credit: val.pearl Secret via photopin (license)” width=”300″ height=”200″> not the number of girls who have been attacked and forever affected, but the length of time it has been an open secret. At least three decades. Why were so many who knew silent? Why did so many not speak up for the victims?

Statistics tell us that one in four suffer sexual assault or abuse in their lifetime. That is a fact. Why are so many so shocked at the number of victims? He is not the only abuser in Hollywood. There are many more, not only in Hollywood. There are victims working in every industry, in sport, in schools, in homes.

It upsets me to think we must advertise that we are one of the one in four, in order for the world to understand what that statistic means. And, even if society does appreciate the numbers, what will change? Will people speak of their suspicions? Will they voice their concerns or wait for someone else to?

While I am happy to see the #metoo  give a visual reminder of the numbers affected in a lifetime, my beef with it is, it highlights a victim. As a hashtag I don’t feel it conjures up the vision of a survivor.

If I were to put up a hashtag I’d like it to be something which tells my story and the story of every man and woman who have added it to their tweets or posts. The stories of hurt, silence, courage and for most… survival.

My preferred hashtags would read…#wounded #warrior #survivor #Iwon. I’ve also a few more colourful ones especially for my abuser, but I think it’s better if I leave those to your imagination.

photo credit: val.pearl Secret via photopin (license)

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42 thoughts on “Why I don’t want to #metoo

  1. Great points Tric. It’s great to see awareness spreading, but there definitely could be a better choice of hashtag. Hopefully it will help more people speak up in future though.

    1. I think it does help victims realise they are not alone, but it just doesn’t really work for me. It’s hard to criticise something which began for such a good reason.

      1. I really connected with this post Tric. I still can’t voice my not wanting to do the metoo but was so …. relieved (not sure if that’s the right word here) to see your post. It made me feel ‘okay’ about not wanting to use it.

  2. What a great post. You have verbalised thoughts I have struggled to identify. As a child who was abused by the village ‘dirty old man’ (or one of them) I was uneasy about giving him the upper hand, the victory, and about admitting that he damaged me and made me his victim. I prefer to go and spit on his grave when the opportunity arises. (My father was horrified to see me actually do this on one occasion). I was not believed when I reported the abuse as an eight year old. Now, I spit and I tell everyone about him even though he is long since dead.
    Thank you so much for this.

    1. So sorry you went through that so young and were not believed. I completely agree. I too didn’t want him to be acknowledged in any way or to be connected with me. I love the spitting. Again it shows how far you came since #metoo I wonder if it had been a hashtag all about us and what we’ve achieved would we be happier to add it?

      1. To answer your question, I am not sure if I would be happy to add any hashtag. I am astonished at the collusion of all these strong women and men who knew all along about these predators. THAT is what is wrong.

        1. Yes it’s incredible and I’m not sure much will change in years to come, but I live in hope. Maybe things like this will help, or just push it underground.
          I think times have changed somewhat, if eight year old you were to speak today I’d like to think you’d be believed and cared for.

  3. I think, for me, the “me, too” has been a way to show all of the good men in my life (and there are SO MANY!) that problem is far, far wider than any of them knew. This is a cultural problem, a human problem, and women have been too afraid to speak out for most of human history. Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with it shouldn’t post it: part of the power of the idea is that we all know that for every woman who posts, there are probably three who don’t feel ready to come forward.
    I wish us all healing and power and strength. I wish our daughters and granddaughters a life where this kind of common event becomes uncommon.

    1. Yes it has done a lot to highlight what the statistics look like I agree, it’s just not saying enough for me personally. I suppose any publicity which helps the cause and generates conversation is good.

  4. yes, i’ve had some of the same thoughts recently. i love your alternate hashtags and i have read about this on your blog, through your stories and your ‘letters’ from readers. i wish for all who come after us, not to have to suffer these heinous experiences.

  5. Though it doesn’t apply to me I felt somewhat uneasy about the hashtag and couldn’t put my finger on it … You did… it made me think victim rather than survivor , I agree with the message it’s trying to send but agree in hindsight a better hashtag could have been used. Great post

    1. Thanks. I suppose as long as it was begun with the best of intentions I understand the choice. It just wasn’t for me, although I do enjoy wondering what alternatives I’d put up. Some of them are a little too creative!

  6. Like others I also felt a little uncomfortable about the hastag and haven’t posted anything on my page, though I did think about it. I have been “lucky” in that I haven’t had any really bad experiences, harassment plenty and minor incidents but I therefore felt like me posting something might take away from people who had it much worse.. if that makes sense. It did lead me to have a conversation with my husband about what it is like living as a woman and the sort of things we have to put up with. He was shocked as had no idea how prevalent harassment is and I spoke to him about how as a man he needs to be aware and protect women around him.

    1. Well that was a great result to get you discussing it with your husband so it’s already made a difference in the world!
      I don’t think it matters what happened to anyone in terms of scale of assault, harassment or abuse it’s the mark it left which matters. I know of some who had a lesser event happen than the years of abuse I had but who are a lot more troubled since than I am and continue to struggle. The fact it makes some wonder was theirs high enough on the scale which I feel is one of the issues with it.

  7. Speaking up about it makes it less of a taboo to speak about, the more survivors speak up the more empowered they/we are, and the less empowered the abusers are, and the more likely is society to hold abusers accountable. Agreed with your wish to shame the abusers as opposed to drawing attention to the victims; however, breaking the taboo of speaking up must be the first step. I hope.

    1. Yes I know what you mean about the silence around abuse, however for me I don’t think it was because I felt it was taboo to speak, it was the fact I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to share it with anyone. It took years to be able to, but I do think if others see it they my feel less alone, whether they ever speak out or not, although I do worry that they feel a ‘pressure’ to join in.

  8. I wish there was an I LOVE button instead of just the like button. I agree with your sentiments, I love your personal hashtags. I think I am going to edit my post from just the #Me Too to #Me Too, #I Won. I have recently spoken to friends I grew up with and even now most of them never knew. I thought our family was an open book and everyone in town knew about our secret. As much as I love and miss my home state, I don’t think I could ever really live there again, at least not comfortably. I am healed and in a place in my life that I can speak about it and share with others and not develop stress hives. My heart goes out to those that still remain locked in the silence and continue to live in their nightmares. Thank you for a different take on this important issue.

    1. Thank you Charlene. You certainly have a lot of hashtags at your disposal, especially, #warrior and #Iwon.
      I saw your family photo on FB and some of the comment it generated. I thought that was both brave and wonderful to see. I often think we have arrived at similar destinations.

  9. I commend you for following the crowd. I can’t quite pinpoint myself why this campaign bothered me. The intention behind this campaign is good, but I’m not mad about this kind of social media campaigning, the implication that if you don’t join in, you don’t support the cause. Also, does it really count if change doesn’t go beyond a hashtag followed by a few letters?

    1. Yes, all your concerns are valid. I suppose bottom line is that it has generated comment and it’s shown how many are involved, but yes I do think it may put pressure on some and as I said seems to put an emphasis on victims rather than survivors or warriors.
      Hopefully it will make a difference, even a small one, if not to society but to those who are affected, but it will have to do so without me.

  10. Very well said. It is difficult to find the right words to describe such terrible things, when it happens to you or someone you care about. I have found myself in both positions struggling to find the words to express how I feel about what happened to me and to find words of comfort and support for those around me when it has happened to them. I don’t like being thought of as a victim (I don’t know that anyone would) and think it’s important to have these conversations.

  11. It took me a long time to even acknowledge I was the victim of abuse. I wasn’t able to join in the #MeToo at first, and I didn’t think I ever would. But the Kevin Spacey allegations pushed me to write about my own story. I understand how difficult it is. Thanks for writing this.

    1. I’m so sorry you were abused.
      It’s a very strange thing I think, in that many of us struggle to ‘feel’ it unless it was a single traumatic event, and there are so many different ways of coping.
      I hope by writing your story it has freed you up in some small way. I know abuse is for life, but we don’t have to always remain victims.
      Well done you. It’s a club I’m sure you would never wish to be a member of, but look around you and be proud of the strength you have within you to have come this far and the many club members who are by your side.
      Thank you for getting in touch.

  12. I had a hard time sharing #metoo also. Not only feeling that it would make me seem like a victim but also believing it wasn’t enough. It doesn’t show the whole problem. Sometimes #metoo has been very obviously traumatic and damaging. But what about those times when the harassment has been as simple and passing as a father-in-law quietly letting you know that it’s a good idea to start loosing weight now “for your husband”. probably more often than not, it’s both. But I knew I wouldn’t post it when I saw a friend post and I guy who is well known for making sexist statements tell her to “hang in there”. I wanted to shout “you are part of the problem!”. I think my alternative hashtag would be #IcallBS because the truth is that being disrespectful and sexist towards women is so very normal. Sometimes I think there should be a hotline like the Mary Sue Rejection Hotline that would be the Awareness Hotline for Stupid Sexist Statements. It would be like the whole world was part of a Bill Engvall joke, Here’s your sign.

    1. Thanks Mandy for your comment. I love your alternative hashtag it is indeed very apt.
      I’m living in Ireland and the whole thing is going a bit mad.
      I think there are two different scenarios here one of sexual assault and the other sexual harassment. I think the underlying issue is that for too long men have been allowed to objectify women and women have tolerated it. Hopefully it’s time men and boys learned what is and is not reasonable behaviour but I think we all know there are many for whom it’s too late to teach them anything.

      1. Yes, Two scenarios but the same underlying issue. As a woman who has dealt with both, sexual assault as a child and sexual harassment as an adult, I would say it’s all part of the same attitude. I think one of the most ridiculous things iv’e seen here in the US so far is the notion that if women just start sexualizing men, we will all be even.

  13. I’m so glad I came across your blog, tric. I just started a new blog as I feel like blogging is safer and less stressful than Facebook. The #MeToo campaign has been so triggering for me–and this after writing a memoir about my childhood abuse. I wanted to continue my story about the aftermath of childhood abuse, how it sometimes leads straight down another disastrous path of more abuse. Only, as an adult, the shame is so much worse, and you feel responsible then for putting yourself in those situations when you should “know better.” You can become such easy prey. I’m thankful for all of those who are coming out now, who feel they can say something because of the #MeToo, but boy, does fear rear its ugly head again!

    1. Thank you Mandy. I tried to visit your blog but it says it’s no longer available. Well done on completing your memoir. I agree blogging is a much safer outlet than facebook. I’ve met nothing but support over the years.
      The me too campaign has done a lot to increase awareness it just wasn’t for me.

        1. Thanks so much (again) Tric for letting me know. I think (hope) I’ve fixed the link! I just set this blog up-still working out the kinks. dingbatsinthebelfry.wordpress.com

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