So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again. — Oprah Winfrey
An influx of these two words flooded our feeds some weeks ago. At first, I scrolled past, not bothering to learn what these words were about. Eventually, I became curious, and googled “me too.”
My heart hurt at the thought that so many of these women were speaking up about having dealt with something like this. Sexual harrassment and assault. I remember thinking to myself, “my god, I’ve been so lucky.”
I felt lucky because I didn’t think I’d ever dealt with anyone that would warrant a “me, too.”
Until I saw one of my friends, and we talked about one of our not-so-fond memories of a night out three years ago. I had been “seeing” (see: one or maybe two dates, a few kisses when we saw each other out, nothing further than being best friends on Snapchat… Keep in mind that this was when the “top 3” was a thing, and I was number 1. So, you know, pretty serious.) a boy, and we met up in Civic. He had been stringing me along for a bit and, naturally, I was pining for him and he knew it full well. I don’t know if many of you know the antics of a 20 year old me, but long story short, I didn’t antic.
This night was the night I decided that he was actually a prick and I didn’t want anything to happen with us. We kissed in one nightclub, I told him I was going to the next one, and he wandered off to talk to a different girl. Cool, dude, see ya later.
I had lost my friend in the next club, and I was sitting down by the side. He walked in and made a beeline for me. Asked if I wanted to go home. I said no thanks. I said I think it’s best if this ends. He said, “You’re being stupid.”
I looked him square in the eye and told him never to call me stupid again.
He kissed me. I pushed him away. He said “I love you.” I said, “What the fuck?”
He said, again, “I love you.”
We had known each other for a month.
He grabbed at my arm, and I pushed him away again.
“Leave me alone.”
He tried to go in for a kiss while pinning my arms to my side. This was in a nightclub, surrounded by people. No one bat an eyelid, because they thought we were together. I assume, they thought we were a couple having a small drunken tiff.
I’m a thin person. He was not. He had very strong arms. I wriggled and I couldn’t move away and I yelled in his face to let me go. I was completely sober by this point. The push and pull of trying to get away went for several minutes and I was close to crying. My arms were sore and he wouldn’t let me go.
Finally, a family friend of mine had realised something was not right. He came over and asked if everything was okay. I said no, it’s not. He said, yes, it’s fine, fuck off mate. My friend, thankfully, took my word for it.
I don’t know what happened between the two of them from that moment onward. All I know is that my friend and his brother took this boy outside. I don’t want to know what happened from that moment onward. All I know is that this boy and I never said another word to each other.
I have downplayed that night to anyone I’ve ever mentioned it to since. It didn’t scar me, it didn’t hurt me (although I bruised a little), and I’ve been emotionally hurt more by people who haven’t physically handled me more than I was by that situation. But I figured that’s what makes people shy behind the things that happen to them. I didn’t feel like I needed to shout it from the rooftops, because it was just a bad situation.
Nor am I downplaying the truly heartbreaking situations people go through. Fuck, no, because I know people who have gone through that as well. I know people who weren’t surrounded by other people. I know people who didn’t have another man around, one who was strong enough to pull him away and do what he may.
I’ve been in situations where my partner won’t listen to the difference of “please don’t stop,” and “Please. Don’t. Stop.”
I know multiple people who, when I share this, knowingly nodded their head, silently agreeing, without a word saying to me, “me too.”
Things need to change and we need to stop downplaying.
Now, I guess, I want women, and men, alike, to read this, and realise it’s okay if they say “hey, me too.”
The fact that he used his size to hold me in place, hoping I would stop squirming and change my mind. The fact that he tried to say I love you, in hopes I would melt at the words and give in to his every desire. The fact that he called me stupid because I had finally realised I didn’t want to be with him. Using his power as a man to get what he wanted, because in his opinion, I was just a weak woman. One for the taking.
You’re not alone.
And, honestly, I was afraid people would claim that I was telling it for “attention.”
Jokes on you, kids — I just post a selfie when I want attention.
And it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “me too.” And every man — every man who chooses to listen. — Oprah Winfrey