In mid-October, I’d posted on Facebook that, like so many of my friends, #MeToo .
(I was sexually assaulted by a guy who broke into my mom’s apartment. I was 16 at the time, and ended up (thankfully) only severely beaten and concussed.) My experience is, in a weird way, “easy” to talk about (though it was hell to experience), as it seems so clearcut: I was sleeping and woke up with a guy on top of me. There’s no possibility of blaming me: no one (has yet, anyway) pointed a finger at me to say I “deserved it” in some way (as happens to so many other women), nor do people disbelieve me when I tell them about it (I had the black and blue, hospital records, and newspaper crime report to prove it).
Stop for a moment and reflect on how broken it is that the horrible, bloody, violent circumstances of my assault make it easier for me to share the story, compared to friends who were date raped or sexually harassed or molested.
yeah. Very wrong.
At the time, I didn’t post about all the other incidents — large and small — that had happened to me that were also sexual harassment. I suspect that, like most women, I’ve grown numb to a lot of it, and don’t notice it unless it is very pronounced. I also think that my one horrid thing eclipses all the other things in the same way that being in a coma for six months might eclipse breaking a couple bones. If you were sitting around telling injury stories with friends, and you had broken your leg skiing and been in a coma for six months due to an automobile accident, you might not mention the skiing injury.
But the skiing injury still hurt. And it still cost money. And it still sucked… and having Something Worse in your life, doesn’t mean that anything smaller than that isn’t of notice.
With that in mind, I’m trying to give more airtime to the rest of my experiences with sexual harassment and misogyny, as I think that cultural change will only happen when there’s greater understanding of how pervasive this is.
And with that as background:
I happened to go to YouTube last week (as opposed to watching videos inline), and noticed I had a comment on a video I’d posted a couple years ago about making templates for oddly shaped things. (The context was that I’d had to create a template for the Corian sink in our island, which is semi-hexagonal, and having discovered a clever way to do it, I thought I’d share.)
Here’s the comment (which has been removed):
For the men in my circles: can you imagine posting a video of something technical, in which you were wearing dirty work jeans and one of the two comments you got was “Nice dick”?
I know it happens (there are lots of terrible comments posted on all kinds of videos), but this struck me as particularly egregious as I’ve only posted a couple of videos to YouTube and this one was as far from “sexxxxayy” as humanly possible.
So, yeah. #MeToo then. And #MeToo quite recently.