Darcy Keenan, columnist

Over the past week I have seen the words “Me Too” on social media platforms more times than I can count. This started after people began coming forward about the way that movie producer Harvey Weinstein had abused and manipulated them over the past few decades.

Many women and some men are using these simple words to speak out about the sexual assaults they have experienced in the past. Some are adding their stories to their posts, and others are letting the words speak for themselves.

Obviously, it is terrifying how many women have already shared and how many will continue to share. There are too many people who have experienced such awful events.  The mass amount of people coming forward brings sexual assault statistics to life – according to RAINN, every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in America; every eight minutes, that someone is a child.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that not every person who has been assaulted will come forward and publicly declare “Me Too .”

One reason someone might not share their stories is they do not believe their assault was “bad enough” to warrant a “Me Too” post.  They do not want to invalidate those who have gone through something traumatic with an event that has left them with no emotional or physical damage.

Veronica Ruckh wrote an article for the website Total Sorority Move that accurately depicts the thought process that many women go through during and after their sexual assault.  Ruckh discusses the multiple times she has been assaulted and why she cannot bring herself to say “Me Too” even though she has been assaulted.

Another reason many women refuse to partake in the movement is because they fundamentally disagree with it. They will still support those who are participate, but they find it unfair that the responsibility to end violence against women is once again falling onto those women who are being attacked.

This isn’t about women. This is about male violence…How about the attackers post ‘I ignored it and I won’t anymore’ instead?” writes Heather Jo Flores of Independent.

Angeline Chapin of the Huffington Post writes, “Women can turn the whole internet into a list of ‘Me Toos,’ but it won’t make a difference until men ― all men ― acknowledge how they perpetuate misogyny and commit to making a change.”

In both of these articles the writers admit that yes, sometimes women are the perpetrators and sometimes men are the victims.  But as a whole, men are allowing violence against women to continue happening, if they are not partaking in it themselves. That has to stop.

I fully support the Me Too movement, but I can see where the ladies in the articles mentioned above are coming from. We are a long ways away from true equality and the end of violence towards women, but maybe this can help us close the gap.

keenandm@miamioh.edu

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