Currently, our Facebook newsfeed is full of "#MeToo" global trend hashtag to speak up about sexual harassment (aka. verbal harassment) and sexual assault (aka. physical harassment) we are all facing on daily basis. And Egypt has joined this global movement few days back to empower females to speak up as we are not alone. And males are showing support through the same hashtag too. And here we are not ostriches hiding by burying our heads in sand, on the contrary we are facing the problem bravely.
Between supporters and opposers to the hashtag, the hashtag is creating a real social media buzz now a days. I do believe this hashtag aims to create a buzz and an emotional support to women to believe that they are not alone in this. Maybe this hashtag is not magical, and yes a hashtag wont do any good. However, this hashtag gives the needed emotional support. And YES we are not alone in this. Moreover, it shows that the problem is not a local one it is an international one. The hashtag came from Hollywood to the whole world.
It all started when "Alysaa Milano" has shared the below tweet, asking all women to write #MeToo in case they have experienced sexual harassment to give a magnitude of the crisis we are in as numbers give power to the discussion. Millions of girls worldwide started posting #MeToo for around a week now, to show that it is far from shame to experience sexual harassment. It is their shame not ours.
If this hashtag is going to do one good thing, this thing is to show how often we do experience harassment! And as cliche as it may seems each and every female has experienced this before whether it is verbal or physical. Harassment spectrum do starts with a stare and ends with a rape. So, yes everyone has experienced this whether it is a look or a word or a touch.
The stories may go for forever, on daily basis we all do experience this un-innocent looks and catcalling. And as simple as it may seems, it feels like shit! Wherever I am waiting for my dad to come and pick me (no matter if the sun is up or down), men driving their cars stop to offer their services! or men walking on their foot stare at me as if they are fashion designers designing my upcoming piece! or even it get worse when children starts to catcall me!
No excuse ever is accepted, because all categories of males are doing this to all categories of females. Females with any kind of education, jobs, looks, and clothes do experience this at anytime and anywhere. And males with any education, job, age, financial status, and relationship status do this. It is never a matter of where you are or who you are or what are you wearing!!!
No one will ever imagine how uncomfortable it feels, to have total strangers looking at you with no valid reason, moreover talking together and pointing at you. Sexual harassment is a daily routine! and we all do need to do something regarding this, we have to break the circle.
Because of this daily routine, I am always feeling discomfort to walk down the streets. I am always feeling discomfort to ride a taxi alone. I am always feeling discomfort to wait for my dad to pick me home. I am always feeling discomfort to sit in a restaurant or a cafe by myself. I am always feeling discomfort to go to the mall by myself. I am always feeling discomfort in concerts. Every single normal act makes me feel discomfortable, and it is not me alone.
Please don't teach your girl to keep quite whenever she is experiencing something that feels wrong, she has to stand up for herself even if she has nothing to do more than a sharp look. Teach your girl to be strong, and teach your boy to be a gentle man and to support girls in need.
As a girl being raised in a conservative family, I do feel speechless, as I am afraid of his reaction to my reaction!! I am quite because I know no one will support me, and I am the one to be blamed. I choose to look him in the eye, to show him that I do reject this and to pretend being strong. Then, I leave him behind trying to walk through a parallel road while feeling helpless, speechless, and discomfortable.
This hashtag wont change anything by itself, but at least will create awareness around the real magnitude of the problem that became a daily routine that we are trying to accept instead of rejecting it. Let's support each other. And please don't believe that your grand ma, mum, sister, wife, daughter, or any other female in your life didn't experience this at least once in her lifetime.