Me too.

It started over the weekend. The statues updates with all my friends standing together to shed light on their own experience with sexual assault and harassment. There are plenty of my friends who I have heard their personal stories, and plenty more that I have not. The first few posts caused sadness in me, later a little shock, then guilt. I wanted to change my statues to ‘Me Too’ but felt unworthy. I knew some of these stories first hand, they were dark, sad, unjust, cruel. My own stories felt pale in comparison. I told myself the girls sharing were braver than I. Their stories worthier of a voice, a spotlight, a statues change. So, I decided to let them do their thing and not take away from the magnitude of their tales.

Then this morning I woke to find more had posted ‘Me Too’ and began to wonder… Why did I feel this way? Why did I feel I couldn’t share? And then I realized, because these are the lines we are fed all our lives. We are taught to brush it off. To let it go. To let boys be boys. We are taught that we asked for it with our dress and mannerism. We are told to dress modestly, to control ourselves, and if we do then we will keep the boys pure. But what about me? What does that teach me? That my body, that my personality is dirty, impure, wrong.  And that is why we stay silent.

We stay silent because we are taught we asked for it.

We stay silent because we do not want to get blamed.

We stay silent because it happened and we know we did nothing to provoke it.

We stay silent because other’s stories are harder than ours.

Because we don’t want to relive what happened.

Because we don’t want anyone to know.

Because we don’t want judgment.

Because it is easier to stay quiet and pretend it never happened than to put a spotlight on it.

Me too.

I never asked for it.

I am not responsible for it.

It happened.

My story is different than yours.

You cannot judge my experience because it did not happen to you.

Me too.