Me too. These words started popping up on my Facebook wall over the weekend. I didn’t know its message at first, but later a few posts offered an explanation.
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted
wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the
magnitude of the problem.
Women wronged by men. Each incident much more complicated than it was to type the words me too on a single post. Or maybe, as these women typed the words me too, it was the first time they’d publicly acknowledged the haunting experience. Admitting these hidden truths is certainly complicated too. Further, some of the women felt led to include the culprits and the circumstances. Youth leader. High school health teacher. “I was standing on the verandah of my home in the city and I still remember that strange man.…” Suddenly, each one gave me pause. I hurt for the women and acknowledged the bravery it took to make this public statement. We all seek community.
One wise woman thought to add a warning. Recalling these memories, daring to place oneself back in these moments, could be triggers. The me too was affirming, but soul care was needed. She asked women to take time to get outside and enjoy the fall colors, grab a book and a blanket, sit at a table and sip some hot tea. It’s also healthy to let your mind process these times when you were treated with such ill regard.
I felt an urge to respond to every post proclaiming the bold “me too,” with two different words also containing a wealth of power.
I’m sorry. And three more words, “I see you.”
It seems our society has forgotten the practice of human decency. In the words of Jesus found in the gospel of Luke, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
To the brave women who responded this weekend, these incidents should not have happened. You are loved. There’s a God who sees. We cannot undo these terrible things that happened, but we can live a better way. We can listen to these women, and we can handle these confessions gently. We realize we need those words in many areas of our lives as well.
Everyone carries burdens in life. Sometimes it’s things from a distant past, while other times it happened in our homes that very morning as we started our day. Be kind. Be a good listener. Respect others. Live with awareness. Take a moment to step away from your to-do list, and make a difference in someone else’s day. Finally, be thankful when someone takes the time to do these things for you as well.