#metoo

Moderators: Enigma, Sonic#

Post Reply
User avatar
Sonic#
member
member
Posts: 5261
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009
Location: Georgia, US

#metoo

Post by Sonic# » Mon Oct 16, 11:35 2017

I saw the statement spreading first on my Facebook feed yesterday. Friends of mine - almost all women - were saying "me too," often with a short note about acknowledging instances of sexual harassment and/or assault. Sometimes it was by itself. Sometimes it contained one or more details about the incidents that occurred. This article has a bit more context about where the idea came from.

There were more this morning, sometimes with a new note: people who acknowledged it would be difficult for some people to speak up. That really made me think. Unlike many shareable memes of the past (the Ice Bucket Challenge; KONY 2012), sharing "me too" required a vast number of personal admissions out of its participants. Once again, women are doing the emotional work to tell everyone (esp. the men they know) that sexual harassment and assault are common, normalized experiences. I wonder what will happen in the next few days.

It seems effective in at least one sense: I've seen comments from women about how they had at first not connected their own uncomfortable experiences to these broad patterns of harassment.

Have you noticed this? Who do you think the hashtag is most likely to reach, audience-wise? What do you think of the related concerns about emotional labor, negotiating "outing" oneself*, and so on?

*When I wrote this phrase, I realized how fucked up it is that people have to worry about being questioned and doubted for admitting they've been abused. Simultaneously, it is important (and not contrary) that onlookers realize that telling the whole story, part of the story, or none of the story is a choice that the storyteller consents to.

User avatar
Enigma
member
member
Posts: 3868
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 10:22 2004
Location: Canada

Re: #metoo

Post by Enigma » Mon Oct 16, 12:31 2017

I thought this was kind of cool and participated but I wasn't surprised at all. Women share these stories with each other. And you're definitely right that it's emotional labour that would probably do nothing really. The thing that got me was a couple of my male friends sharing the #Ibelieveyou hashtag. I mean it was friends who I already knew would be supportive but it still made me tear up which surprised me.

Also a thing that affected me: a fb friend shared that she had encountered her rapist again in public the day before and was feeling terrible but woke up the next day and saw these on her feed. For her it was really comforting to feel less alone in that moment.
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

User avatar
melsbells
member
member
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 6:45 2014
Location: Finland

Re: #metoo

Post by melsbells » Mon Oct 16, 15:45 2017

I can see this as growing a certain sense of solidarity, but I would be surprised it if reached beyond those who already know. I don't think I know any women or feminine presenting people who haven't been sexually harassed or assaulted. Participants in the hashtag show the enormous amount of people affected, but doesn't really get at the frequency, which I think it part of the normalization. I feel uncomfortable with the seeming contradiction that participating could be
Sonic# wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 11:35 2017
"outing" oneself*
at the same time as being an every day normal occurrence, but I know they're both true. Many twitter users mentioned people using the hashtag but only sharing stories they can stand to share, but I would be surprised if there weren't for the majority, more incidents than they bother counting, only a few stick out and of those some might be too difficult to share. Even if everyone used the hashtag, I don't think it would get at how pervasive sexual harassment and assault are.

User avatar
DarkOne
member
member
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Apr 6, 5:42 2015
Location: US

Re: #metoo

Post by DarkOne » Tue Oct 17, 4:59 2017

melsbells wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 15:45 2017
I can see this as growing a certain sense of solidarity, but I would be surprised it if reached beyond those who already know.
That last statement is along the lines of my thoughts: the hashtag is preaching to the choir. Call me cynical, but whoever doesn't think sexual harassment or assault is a problem will, at best, roll their eyes at the latest feminist nonsensical bandwagon. At worst, they will flat out disbelieve people who use the hashtag and knock a point or two off that person's credibility score. Maybe, just maybe, a few fence straddlers will see the post from a trusted or respected friend and become enlightened. But I would expect those to be few and far between.

Ugh, I really need some anti-cynicism therapy.
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

User avatar
geldofc
member
member
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Apr 3, 2:00 2016
Location: California

Re: #metoo

Post by geldofc » Wed Oct 18, 5:57 2017

i like the #metoo hashtag but didn't participate other than supporting friends. i like how it's bringing out some obvious misogyny in reaction to it. most men irl haven't been paying attention at all.
:gf: :devil: :syringe:

User avatar
Nachos
member
member
Posts: 4767
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 6:42 2004
Location: Next Tuesday
Contact:

Re: #metoo

Post by Nachos » Thu Oct 19, 13:35 2017

I saw the #metoo trend and wasn't sure if I wanted to post or not. I don't usually even do facebook trends. But in the end I decided I wanted to share, not too much of a personal story but to acknowledge that this stuff happens and my experience is important and others are not alone. Lots of female and even some of my gay male friends posted a #metoo. I even saw my aunt post a #metoo.

I just went back and checked the likes and comments and they're mostly from other women and some of my gay male friends. Straight males don't seem to have much to say right now.
Ugh, I'm tired of my signature.

User avatar
spacefem
member
member
Posts: 8076
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 1:37 2002
Location: Kansas
Contact:

Re: #metoo

Post by spacefem » Fri Oct 20, 5:53 2017

I haven't participated. I feel weird about it. Maybe this place can help me understand why. Part of it is I just don't love trends. The echo chamber DEFINITELY annoys me... are we changing anybody's mind? And finally, I just don't like sharing stories about myself where I'm the vulnerable one! Casual harassment stories where we can all laugh at that dumbass at work, sure. But the "real" stories, times when I felt genuinely scared or had to physically push a guy off me and run not walk away, are not stories I want everyone in my facebook feed knowing. They'll never make it back to the perpetrators to make them realize that what they did was wrong, those men are long out of my life. So the cost benefit analysis ends there with me.
bork can eat steak with a spoon.

User avatar
Enigma
member
member
Posts: 3868
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 10:22 2004
Location: Canada

Re: #metoo

Post by Enigma » Sat Oct 21, 0:07 2017

I should say.. I participated in that I put the hashtag in my post and shared a link about how men can help. I'm also not comfortable dropping stories like that where everyone can see. Only one of my Facebook friends posted a story, most just put the hashtag alone.
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

Taurwen
member
member
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Jul 2, 9:33 2016

Re: #metoo

Post by Taurwen » Sun Oct 22, 11:24 2017

I went back and forth, but after a discussion with my mom's group I decided to post it to. It was important to me to lend my voice, but I didn't share any stories.
It did get me thinking of the stories we tell though. Everyone I have a passing acquaintance with has heard the story of the time a car almost hit me while I was getting of the street car. A fairly decent portion of my friends knows my worst cat calling incident. Now, only a small group of semi-annonymous women from my mom's group knows the real story of my assault. Why? Is it just not wanting to share stories of me in vulnerable positions? Is it because I couldn't make them funny stories? Is it because I'm worried people will judge my actions (and reactions) in sexually charged situations? I'm not sure. But I think it's bullshit.

User avatar
Sonic#
member
member
Posts: 5261
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009
Location: Georgia, US

Re: #metoo

Post by Sonic# » Mon Oct 23, 13:42 2017

Spacefem wrote: I haven't participated. I feel weird about it. Maybe this place can help me understand why. Part of it is I just don't love trends. The echo chamber DEFINITELY annoys me... are we changing anybody's mind?
I am suspicious of trends too. And I'm not sure how large the effect of #metoo will be. I will say that I've seen two productive things come out of it:
1. Some talk that breached the echo chamber. Some of my more socially conservative friends started using the hashtag too. While small, it showed that they were at least thinking about how widespread sexual harassment and assault were.
2. Some discussions on the dangers of being open with these stories, from multiple angles. Someone I know was deeply (and negatively) affected by reading some people divulge their attacks with considerable detail. They started a discussion that wasn't easy for them or for people who felt a need to share. I won't say much more here (it's not my story), but for my part it was challenging in a good way and a reminder of your last point: there can be many reasons why one would not want to share, and one benefit of the trend was also thinking about why that'd be the case.

User avatar
rowan
member
member
Posts: 9699
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004
Location: US

Re: #metoo

Post by rowan » Tue Oct 24, 15:09 2017

I was away when it happened so I'm not sure I would have participated or not. I did read some interesting discussion by some frirends about how they weren't going to post but then they started reading other posts and realized that yeah, they really did expereince a lot of harassment. It's true for me too, I haven't been *assaulted* but the sheer amount of bullshit harassment I work my way through and let slide off / forget because it is just *so ubiquitous*

Hell even as I write this I realize I did *yet again* this morning in the one time I went out of the house, and once again I'd let it slide off and forgot about it. (it started as one of those "compliment" things at the gym but it was really skeevy, like, look, dude, I seriously am just here to lift weights ok go away. fortunately it was personal training day so I had someone else to engage with/reason to ignore)
spacefem wrote:All your logical argue are belong to us!

Post Reply