It trended last week on twitter and FB. Thousands of women and men posted, #MeToo as an indicator that they had experienced sexual trauma. I am left wondering what kind of impact it made. Do social media trends actually change people?
I think about the women’s march on Washington last spring and wonder what happened when all those women returned home. Has any real change manifested? Did the women advocate for policy change; or get active in their community to focus on issues that affect women? What really happened as a result?
Social media and marches create a sense of solidarity that can be deceptive. We think that if we posted something or participated in a march that we have done an action that creates change. I question if it really does. Is it just a passive way to feel better about ourselves?
Does “liking” something compel you to think differently? Does it influence your behaviors? I am not convinced that it does. I would treasure hearing from you what you have done differently because of these movements.
I want to utilize the trends to propel a movement. I am done with awareness! Let’s move into ACTION! My question: Now that the #MeToo phenomena has died down, how do we leverage it to shift the focus to stopping sexual trauma in the first place?
I want deep, authentic change. Change requires you do something different.
I offer this short list of things you can do in your personal life that could have a ripple effect.
· Watch for and shift language about women and girls. Labeling a teenager a slut is destructive. Recognize victim blaming. In conversation recently, I heard the comment, “How did she let it happen?” You can bet I challenged that perspective
· Interrupt and challenge offensive sexual innuendos. Do not laugh at jokes or comments that demean women and present them as sexual objects. Speak up and label it offensive.
· Take a hard look at how we raise our boys. Watch the documentary “The Mask we live in”; it is available on Netflix. Then challenge yourself to make the appropriate adjustments for the boys in your life.
· Be aware of our “power of agreement.” In your silence, you are offering your agreement and propel the hurtful behavior. Take that power back and respectfully disagree with stereotypes and mindsets.
Add to my list of suggestions. Maybe we can create our own movement!
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