How to Move #MeToo Forward
I remember being asked a question once in a group therapy session. The question was: “Do you feel that being a woman is the defining aspect of who you are as a person?” I didn’t know how to respond because the answer was so obvious. No matter what I would like to imagine myself as, or what traits I would like to attribute to myself, I am nothing but a woman.
I thought for a long time that fighting against particular injustices I have experienced as a woman would help me evade this feeling. I realized for the first time this year how little speaking of these things had impacted me in any way. I realized it when the repercussions of the Harvey Weinstein affair began to actually take effect. Men were being pilloried, fired, and investigated for their sexual transgressions. Aside from a removed feeling of relief for their particular victims, those individuals, I felt nothing.
Surely this is what we—I—had wanted all this time: for there to be real and measurable consequences of sexual harassment, assault, and rape? I kept on expecting to feel something, seeing the high profile humiliations and condemnations. But it never came—the relief, the decompression.
It often seems absurd to me that women are expected to be placated by legal or otherwise formal responses to their abuse. We should not have to shoulder the burden of the long and horrific history of inadequate legal procedures. There are many abused women who are well aware of the brutal, racialized inhumanity of prosecution and of prisons—there are many abused women who abhor the police. But we are forced to work within the legal system because there is no other obvious barometer with which to prove how obscenely common and devalued acts of sexual violence are.
Source: How to Move #MeToo Forward