Is anyone else still feeling the feels from the #MeToo campaign? Because, holy smokes, I still get chills every time I think about it (yup, just happened).
I’ll never forget my Facebook feed looking like the social media version of a broken record repeating these two little words. Five letters is all it took to carry the weight of disclosure and the dire necessity for change.
In less than a day, we illuminated the size and scope of a societal problem, and simultaneously unearthed the magnitude of the army ready to address it. The whole thing was somehow devastating and emboldening all at once.
One day, we were distracted and divided, addicted to baby goat videos just to get by, and the next, someone asked us who was sick and tired of harassment and assault being the norm and we all stopped, looked up and engaged in something meaningful.
We looked for what we had in common — and we found it. The reason for our likeness isn’t awesome, but that’s why our coming together is all the more critical. We went from water to ice. From manipulatable to bonded. We became stronger. More united. One.
Of course, as time has passed, we’ve seen many a critique of how people engaged, who engaged and why. Some wondered why men participated. Others wondered why more men didn’t participate. Some called for more than just a social media status to fix the problem. Others asked for the respect of privacy and the freedom from judgement if they didn’t disclose.
I think much of it is valid, and I presume all of it is well-intended. But while I appreciate the expectation or hope that we could all engage perfectly, I’m deciding to cut my fellow advocates some slack, so I can keep my eyes on the prize.
To me, men who have been harassed or assaulted and want to share in the empowering moment of taking a stand against victimization aren’t the problem. In fact, the more the merrier in this cadre of justice seekers (like my brave colleague, columnist Robert Gehrke who shattered the silence of his assault last week.)
And it doesn’t bother me if some people didn’t know until now about Tarana Burke’s original “Me, too” campaign (admittedly, neither did I). What a great opportunity to learn some intersectional feminist history and pay new deference to those whose past work set the pace for today’s momentum.
The bottom line is this: I don’t care if you are more or less oppressed than me or more or less woke. No matter what, I want to fight your oppression. My oppression. Any oppression.
Because a fist slamming down into a puddle of water is going to displace a lot of individual droplets, but a fist charging into a massive iceberg is going to be stopped dead in its tracks.
I want to chill, come together, and stop injustice in its tracks.
Marina Gomberg’s lifestyle columns appear on sltrib.com. She is a communications professional and lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org.