this is not a happy, strong, uplifting post.
okay, deep breath.
two words is not enough to explain the magnitude of this problem.
I get the impetus. I really do.
but I’m tired.
physically, emotionally, mentally.
so, excuse me if I have little faith in convincing people who have dismissed survivors time and again that two little words will change their minds, make them more compassionate, let them understand even an inkling of what it is survivors go through.
I’ll say this.
On the one hand, it makes me a little happy to know, to be able to see how not alone I am in experiencing some of this stuff. But on the other, it makes me excruciatingly pained to know that even half of what I have felt has been felt by another human being. How on earth do I find solace in that? How do we find strength in knowing 1 in 4 womxn on a university campus is a victim/survivor, depending on how she chooses to define herself that day? How do I face the people on my newsfeed who have said “me too” in real life? Am I supposed to be happy that we’re part of this club together? Am I supposed to feel empowered and not live in fear anymore? I don’t have an answer to any of it.
Saying “me too” can be reassuring in safe contexts. But the world is not safe and it has never been for a good many of us. For those who are unable to join the chorus of “me too”, I hear you and think of you and am still you, at least in part. It is not fair that you were forced to hold a secret by no fault of your own. It is not fair that you are unable to scream it away or weep it away with friends over pints of ice cream. For whatever reason you are unable to say “me too”, I hope that one day you will be in a place with people who will accept and love and nurture you to the point where you can say “me too” without fear of rejection, judgement, and hurt. I am not there yet, but I am trying.
There is a large chunk of me that knows that by saying “me too”, I am opening myself up to silent condemnation, to assumptions of victimhood by friends, strangers, acquaintances, family–people I shouldn’t have to report to, but now will.
From a practical standpoint, I know these two words will not do much to achieve justice–whatever that means. If countless stories, if police reports, if witnesses, if statistics and investigative journalism, if all those things haven’t done anything, how will two words blasted into cybersphere do anything?
But, here I am, writing the words (and a lot more words), in hopes of something other than what we have been given. It is a pessimistic optimism that keeps me holding on and feigning bravery. I am clinging to a hope that humanity will win and we will one day live in a world where we won’t have to silently hold our tongues and wait for judgement to pass.
All this to say…
even if he didn’t think so,
even if our friends said he was still a good person,
even if I tried to forget,
even if I keep having to explain and qualify and make
It is an unfortunate truth that
I will have to always say “me too” and nothing can ever erase it.
But, if it brings someone some sense of knowing they are not alone, then I will say it again, louder, more frequently. Even if it hurts and even if I am ashamed.