For the most part, my relationship status with Facebook is set to “On a Break”. Yesterday I checked back in for my scheduled bi-weekly Facebook exploration. I set my timer for 30 minutes. I responded to the posts I had been tagged in, wrote a post or two, read a couple of saved articles from last week and checked on our Mother and Daughter Connection Day event, oh and posted on the same event page. That took like 7 minutes.
The rest of the time I just scrolled around.
I noticed a few things..
- I have awesome Facebook friends. I have such positive Facebook friends. SO many inspiring posts. SO many gorgeous pics of holidays. SO much damn awesomeness!
- I can use Facebook very time effectively if I focus!
- Oh and my god…I was blown away by the realness and rawness of #metoo that seemed to be all over social media. Completely saddened and completely touched.
This #metoo is both troubling and yet it feels like a collective exhale. Women who have been quiet in their shame because of a culture that says this kind of thing is ok are now finding their voices.
These women are bravely stepping forward and sharing their stories, their truths, their boundary violations.
This is not blaming men directly. We are all participating in the development of cultural norms. We are all responsible for how we choose to use the circumstances that life presents us.
And it seems for a very long time, women have brushed off ‘innocent flirtation’ and “Oh don’t be so sensitive, we’re just mucking around love” and “nice tits” and “wanna f*ck”? and “how about it love”? and bum slaps and boob grabs and groping and interpreting “No” as “Ah, you’ll be screaming yes before you know it…” as just part of our culture.
I have heard things said like, “it’s natural for me to behave this way”. I have heard others say, “think yourself lucky you get any attention at all”.
I learnt pretty early on, that if you wanted to be loved by a man, you have to be sexual.
My first sexual experience, sadly, was with my step father (who at the time I was lead to believe was my biological father).
I was 9.
And despite all the therapy and self help and personal growth and work I have done around this, it still creeps me out. It still makes me feel nauseous and I just caught my face and body tight as I type this.
That set me up for a distorted view of what it meant to be loved by a man. That sexual attention was actually love. So, that is how I sought love.
I have more #metoo moments than I care to write about actually. And while I know that none of those moments were my fault, I have come to see that people will go to all kinds of lengths to feel love and belonging.
So I can see how confusing it is for men and for women. Wounded girls seeing attention from distorted and culturally wounded boys.
I grew up in a culture and clearly a family that didn’t talk about healthy boundaries. About body awareness and care. About self love and acceptance. About what it ok and what is not okay. I never heard anyone speaking to boys about respecting girls or it ever really being demonstrated how to honour a woman.
I wonder why we didn’t?
Or perhaps our culture was talking about it, I just didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear it because I was still in a shame closet.
Regardless, this #metoo movement if that is what it is called is an opportunity for us all to pause for a moment and feel a collective outpouring of years and years of suppression.
And for me personally, it is a massive reminder of the absolute necessary education I want to provide for all of our children.
To our girls who will become women, to honour and own their sexuality, their power and their femininity and to set very clear ‘this is okay and this is not okay’ settings. To stand with each other, woman with woman and not woman against woman.
To our son, who will become a man, to honour and respect his own sexuality. To understand the power of his physicality and to understand what it means to be a man.
This #metoo-ness has woken me up to the desperate need for us to be not just talking about all the stuff that it is to be human, but sharing our stories. And in sharing, have our stories listened to and be really heard and seen. To lift the dark veil of shame. And collectively, come together to offer a compassionate space for all our hearts to rest.
I am also reminded that there is SUCH power in those two little words. ME TOO. To simply know that we are not alone in this, that we are not the only ones, is a lifeline that I know I have griped to many a time on my life journey.
If this #metoo has triggered feelings of discomfort and other emotions you feel overwhelmed by, please reach out. Reach out. There are people waiting to listen.