Me too

The Metoo campaign has been all over the internet, unmissable. As a parent of girls, I find it makes me angry. I thought it didn’t apply to me personally, until I started reading the posts…

It does. As a girl, I refused to wear skirts because the boys tried to lift them up and the pat response then was “boys will be boys.” I got into trouble for defending myself. I wore jeans. Till I was seventeen.

As a teen, I was cat called, men said inappropriate things, ogled the girls in the field-hockey skirts, you know the kind of thing.

As an adult woman, I have had men talk over me, or assume that because I am dressed in a skirt and heels that I am looking for something. I have had to deal with the idiot who doesn’t understand that no means exactly that. And then the comes the inevitable expletive or comment about being a tease or worse. You know the kind of thing…

At work, I had co-workers who made comments about my body, suggested a shorter skirt, you know the kind of thing…

Chances are good that if you are a women you know the kind of thing I am talking about only too well. My stories are mild. I know others that are worse, much worse.  I had never brushed it off, but I didn’t let it bother me that much because they were not actual assaults.  These events were harassment.

We all, men and women, are responsible for making this change. Women need to continue to have the courage to voice their stories and men need to voice their support and show it with actions.

This is a social issue, not a female or male issue. It can and must change. We, as a society decide what is appropriate, what we teach our kids, what example we set to our daughters about what is acceptable, and what we teach our sons about what is appropriate.  This is about respect.

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