In the #MeToo era…
With #MeToo and everything…
You can’t take a joke…
I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this article for a long time. I bet you were waiting for a personal essay, dusted with beautiful pictures and dreamy captions.
Get out of here. Now. You won’t get what you want.
The last couple of years have been marked with groups of women telling their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. Some are more horrifying than others. We particularly discuss the working conditions, yet stories about abuse in the out-of-work space are even more nightmarish.
28th April 2019 marks a year for me since I had one of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve ever experienced. It lasted for days. The case of “La Manada” had been in the news again, resulting in the assailants being charged with a minor offence. My heart stopped. All the stories flowed back into my mind – Brock Turner, La Manada, actors, directors and producers and other political figures were given a slap on the wrist unless their actions were too heinous to even think about.
I couldn’t breathe.
The anxiety attack eventually passed. I pulled every trick in the book – meditation, Marconi Union’s music, deep breaths, crying in the shower, talking about it – and eventually, I was able to reconcile myself with the overwhelming fear that had come over me. Because that was the crux of it, I was terrified of being alone and at risk.
Once the public outrage calmed down a little, the devil’s advocate came to stir things up.
I won’t link to them, but articles ranged from dismissing millennials for being cry-babies who can’t get a grip to accusing women of not being assertive enough. That’s when I read it.
Are we a bunch of puritanical morons?
I could feel anger building up inside me.
This was not the first time I had heard a baby boomer call millennials “puritanical”. Just to clarify, that means boring. We’re not kinky enough. Apparently. One of my lecturers once complained that we weren’t having enough sex with each other and that we needed to be more experimental.
I know some who use the #metoo movement as an excuse to avoid conversation with women. I have heard men lament that, now, women can’t take a joke.
The answer to all of this is NO. We’re not puritanical morons.
We demand respect and call out those who violate it. We assert our right to not partake in an orgy when we don’t want to and to do so when we do. To have a serious relationship when we’re young. To find safety in people we love and respect. And to have our agency and consent respected and protected at all cost.
We assert the right to call you on your shit when you say something sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise demeaning.
I assert my right to not be the “Spicy Spaniard” at parties. To not be a “bubbly woman in marketing”. To be taken seriously.