Following a lot of the trending stories, news and hashtag, I’m talking about the #metoo campaign. Started in 1997 by a woman named Tarana Burke, whose sole purpose is to amplify the voices of sexual harassment victims. I figured this isn’t news to anyone at the moment. But it’s very impactful on every woman’s life. In one way or another, I truly believe that everyone of us has experienced sexual harassment. It can go from a nasty comment, to rape. And it takes a split second.
About a month ago, I was walking in Lisbon and counted 14 different man – of all ages – that said something as I was passing. One even gave me his phone number out loud. While a lot of people could say that it might feel flattering, it doesn’t. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I normally don’t stop or respond back over a slight fear of retaliation. And this is just a very small tip of the iceberg.
Even though, the #metoo is a reaction to the Harvey Weinstein story, I would also like to take a moment to focus on something positive. We tend to vocalize more the negative experiences we have. In hopes that someone else is going through the same struggle. Which is amazing – especially nowadays with all the platforms available. A victim of sexual abuse does not have to suffer in silence or alone anymore. We can simply try to write about it and wait for others to do it too.
But I also would like to focus on the positive experiences I (we) live daily. I have a father who is nothing other than an amazing paternal figure. A brother who’s always supported me and who I am best friends with. A husband who treats me with love, kindness and respect. And a handful of friends who I consider the best people I know. These, are the man who can help us fight these sorts of situations and spread the word. They should also be recognized as examples to follow, for millions of others who are like Harvey Weinstein.
Having that said, women around the world are being very brave. Coming forward, talking about it. Sharing the experience is not easy. I want to raise the questions, problems and talk about it. #metoo is more than Hollywood’s twisted world. #metoo is about all the girls who deal with sexual abuse and have no idea that’s what that is. Women who see their careers take a turn because they said no. Girls who think that’s what they deserve because they were wearing a short skirt. Share your experience. Always!