Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few months, you have probably heard of the #Metoo Movement. If you haven’t heard of it, #metoo is the hashtag for everyone out there that has been the target of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or assault. It is a method to show how prevelant sexual abuse is in this country, and to hopefully help start the conversation to ultimate healing for all those affected.
On October 15, 2017, Alyssa Milano highlighted this hashtag, that was actually initially created by Tarana Burke in 2007.
Recently, I was talking with my mother about the #metoo movement. I explained how many people I know on Facebook have actually shared this hashtag. I was almost shocked by how many strong women have been the victim of sexual abuse in some shape or form. It’s not just something that is happening to other people, this is and has happened to many people in my life.
I explained to my mother that I did not realize that I was one of the lucky ones. I have never been the victim of sexual abuse. My mom said that she had the same conversation with my sister, and my sister was also one of the lucky ones. But when my sister was talking with a table full of women, they had all been victims in some form. This shocked my sister, as it shocked me.
This really made my family wonder, why have we been so lucky? I have definitely put myself in situations where something could have happened, much more than my sister, but still I have never been assaulted.
I do strongly believe that most of it is luck. No one does anything to deserve sexual harassment or assault. But I do believe how I was brought up, may have helped a little. And because of this, I hope to raise my kids in many of the same ways. Below are the lessons I want to teach my girls and boys. And yes, I said my boys as well. This needs to be conversation that we have with all of our kids.
Lesson 1: It is okay to be a strong independent woman.
Lesson 2: There is nothing wrong with being suspicious of new people.
Lesson 3: Stand up tall, with your head up high, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Lesson 4: Never question your own self-worth.
Lesson 5: We all deserve to be treated equally.
With Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and many many others being in the headlines, it is pretty obvious to me that this behavior has been ingrained in our society for much too long. Now that this topic has truly come out of the shadows, we can finally start conversations that, in recent history, seemed taboo.
I hope that these basic five lessons will help my kids stay cautious and safe. But ultimately I have to pray and leave it in the hands of God. And if the day comes when one my kids become part of the #MeToo movement, I will be there for them in any and every way I can.
As a mother, I am so glad the #MeToo movement has come to the forefront of the media. So often, kids think they are invincible, and none of these things can happen to them. With the prevelance of #MeToo all over Facebook, I think it’s clear that kids are starting to listen.