Insinuations legacy of ‘#MeToo’ campaign

Insinuations legacy of ‘#MeToo’ campaign

Photo courtesy of Joan Doyle

Once meeting a friend for a drink I opened the conversation; “Do I talk to women’s tits?” She assured me not. This thought had been sparked by a very high-level meeting the same day where I’d spent two and half hours with a woman obsessing over her own cleavage. As I sat talking to a spot on the wall, I wondered is this really my problem? Or hers? Why did she wear such a top and chose the couch seating if she was going to feel this uncomfortable? This was the first in a series of experiences as a gay woman which would raise questions in my mind as to how male counterparts feel in such situations? Did it make it better or worse when the woman would come out later? I didn’t feel any less hurt by the incident. Probably more. It made it seem more personally offensive to me. I’ve always been an advocate of women treating women better than men. Hence my distress to my female heterosexual friend. 

As the ‘#MeTo’ hashtag campaign broke I felt serious misgivings. It felt like a witch hunt. I wondered what the lasting implications of such a campaign would be? Unlike many others, I’ve had extensive interactions with women both personally and professionally who’ve experienced abuse. This leaves you in very vulnerable tainted mindset. Your boundaries have been crossed. You’ve been violated. You rightly feel vulnerable. You feel society has failed you. It’s very difficult to take the barriers down again. It takes a lot of work and self-awareness to create a healthy mindset to human engagement again. I worry within the ‘me too’ campaign it’s too easy to promote the damaged unhealthy space many abused people find themselves within after such trauma. I saw first hand how women who’d been assaulted jumped to support allegations of others. And they are just allegations. We can’t trial people by social media. 

Have you ever sat in front of a teen boy who’s tried to kill himself 8 times already in the last few months and is carving his own body up in self-hate? All because he made a stupid show of attention to a girl in school. One which if she’d deemed him attractive would have been fine. Have you ever heard of teens being talked into the sharing of exposing photos for them to be shown to the whole class? Have you ever dealt with a young adult male who’s been wrongly accused of sexual assault? Watching his whole life disappear in a drunken haze of greyness? If you are both that drunk is sex consensual? I worry that all these grey events can now be trialed by social media. We’ve set the tone. It’s easy as an adult to look at these situations and think how did you ever get yourself here? But the exposure on social platforms for your innocence is terrifying. 

But is there any more clarity on what is sexual harassment, assault or just unwanted attention or teenage incompetence? 

As a gay woman who naturally forms deep connections and bonds with those around me, of both genders, I’ve experienced some caustic reactions in my life. However, never from men. At points, I wrestled to still engage openly with women. I’ve become obsessed with light, wholeness and being able to shine brightly with a lack of fear for any consequences. I think it’s taken me years to realise that many other’s interactions are all based on a credit system. One I haven’t been counting. Why else would you care about another human except if you had an expectation from them? Many seem to be assuming that sexual favours have to feature. I’m left feeling gullible. 

I finished my degree in self-imposed isolation. I joke it’s why I got a first. I’d been friends with someone. I just assumed it was pure friendship. No hidden agendas. Then I found myself on the receiving end of a wave of horrible emails. I’d not seen the undercurrents that had been playing out. I began to wonder if pure friendship between women was ever possible? 

But more a frightening wave has started for a younger generation. It’s now so acceptable to make accusations. Just throw out whatever you think will hurt the most. I wonder how many of you have had the ‘text-by-jury’ message? And not realised? I’ve had a few over the years. I’m thinking there are multiple voices here and very little of the person I’m texting. It’s interesting I’ve often found when you seek clarification amongst the innuendo you will find people running for the hills. Then you are just ‘ghosted’. In the silence, you are left to sieve over your own motivations and integrity. You’ll never be given clarity. 

These cry wolf accusations come at a great cost to human interaction. One which is not even currently being counted or acknowledged. Most people don’t have as much life experience as me in dealing with such a spectrum of people. They haven’t listened to all the stories and combinations of pain in others. Their day job is not analysing human behaviour. They don’t have the tools needed here to cope. 

If I’m left with scars. How are others feeling?