I am putting my Reclaiming Our Power series on hold this week. I’m adding my two-cents to the #metoo campaign. I’ll be brief.
This is not my original post. The first draft was ranty, inflammatory, and all over the place. Directionless writing at best (or worst). I listed all the reasons why this movement won’t change a thing, and that despite our best efforts women will always be at the mercy of men. #metoo is eye-opening, but an egalitarian society where all are respected regardless of gender seems nowhere in sight. I know, quite a defeatist attitude. I’m grappling with a lot of emotions right now.
Like so many of you, I’ve been revisiting the times in my life when I was harassed by men, the times they treated me like an idiot because I was “just a girl,” and even the orthodox religion that drilled rigid gender roles into my soul while demanding absolute submission to male authority – whether that be the all-male clergy, or my future husband. So yeah, I have baggage. I feel hopeless from time to time. I wonder how and if it will ever change.
Under closer examination, however, there are 5 things I take away from this movement.
- There is strength in numbers. As more women speak up, there is a better chance we will be heard, and that our voices will reverberate through time.
- #metoo has included courageous individuals of both genders: women and men from every walk of life.
- Toxic Masculinity is coming to the forefront of the discussion.
- Yes, Bill Cosby was acquitted. Yes, R.Kelly is still making music. Yes, a self-proclaimed sex offender is running our country. But, Weinstein did lose his job, his company, and his credibility. Courageous men and women are naming names.
- Greater awareness: Some companies have already revisited their policies and are making changes to expose workplace harassment. Enablers are also being called out.
That is empowering. We have a long way to go, but maybe this is the beginning of the end of business as usual in the boys’ club. At least for now. The wheels of change move slowly, but maybe progress can be made. We just have to keep up the momentum, and make sure #metoo doesn’t fall by the wayside like so many other causes de jour.
Can we do it?