Monday, November 19, 2018

Microstory 976: #MeToo Campaign

This series is meant to be a list of things that I love. I love disco, and chocolate, and Stargate. But I can’t say that I love the #MeToo campaign. It’s on this list because I’m glad that this, and related movements, are finally happening. For too long, women have been silenced. They’ve been expected to do not make waves, and to just move on with their lives. Men are conditioned to believe that they are entitled to their thirst for sex and power, and are charged with chasing those dreams relentlessly. I’m horrified every time I hear a new story about some kind of sexual misconduct, or abuse. Each time sounds like a surprise, but if you read deeper, you find that it’s not a surprise. People knew what this man was doing for a very long, and the only reason we’re hearing about it now is because it’s what’s trending. It’s not that all these twisted men got together, so they could coordinate their attacks. This is a systemic problem that has been going on forever, and it’s the revelations of them that are happening all at once. I once made this morbid joke that the only men I would be shocked to hear about doing something like this are Tom Hanks, Colin Hanks, and Jason Ritter. There are more people out there who aren’t abusers, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to trust in that reality. Like any social media movement, it has not come without its faults, or criticisms. It is unclear to some what the hashtag is supposed to accomplish, besides raising awareness, because awareness does not always breed action. It’s important to recognize that a hashtag, no matter how much it’s spread is not capable of truly transforming society. Each case must be examined independently, and abusers have to experience true accountability for their actions. Judges must stop passing out “get out of jail free” cards because their crime happened in the past, and there’s nothing we can do about it now. Could you imagine if we did that for every crime? “Well, we didn’t catch you before your murdered all those people, but the law says we have to let you go. It’s only illegal if you haven’t done it yet.” The entire justice system, in this country at least, needs to change. Statute of limitations is a legal concept; not a moral one. There is no limit to the amount of pain a traumatic event can cause a survivor. One does not simply get over it because enough time has passed. I can’t use the hashtag myself, because I have never experienced anything like this, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing I can do to help. I can start with #IBelieveHer, and I can continue to listen.

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