09 Nov When I Say, “Me Too”
For those who are unaware, in mid-October, actress Alyssa Milano shared on Twitter: “Me too. Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.“
I share today not merely to jump on a social media bandwagon but because as I scrolled through my news feed a few weeks ago, the stories of my own friends who said “Me too” moved me to tears. It is powerful for people who have been victims of sexual harassment and abuse to have an open door for their voices to be heard. The sharing of difficult moments in our lives can serve as part of a healing process for many people. That day I wanted to just write a simple “Me too” in my status, but for some reason, the words wouldn’t come.
A few days later during my time of daily prayer, my thoughts on this subject poured out. I have personally chosen not to share the specific details of my own story not because they aren’t important but because I would prefer for the attention of this post to center on the hope I have in Christ and the healing I have received on my journey. I don’t think this topic will ever be easy for me to share about. But I will share because some things are worth speaking up about:
Yes, I can say, “Me too.”
And when I say, “Me too,” there is the pain of remembering moments when I was not treated as a fellow human being,
as a girl made in the image of God,
but as an object of a man’s lust.
There is anger for the shame that I carried on my shoulders for years for actions I never gave my consent to.
There is grief for the thousands upon thousands of women and men who have their own stories.
Stories of harassment, violation, abuse and all the aftermath that comes from it:
Broken hearts, wounded souls, degraded self-image, unbelief in unconditional and pure love, lack of trust in healthy, authentic relationships, lack of peace of mind.
But when I say, “Me too,” I can also speak this truth: What has been done in the past to me in this regard is part of my story and always will be….but it does not define who I am as a woman.
I can say out loud and on paper and in my heart that what was done to me was wrong and it was not my fault.
I cannot control what has happened to me in the past, but I do have control of the perspective I will take of my future and how I will allow what has happened to impact me today.
I have made a choice to live today and every today that God will give me without shame.
I live today filled with hope in the power of God’s beautifully redemptive plan for my life (Romans 8:28).
I live today without bitterness towards those who have wounded me.
I have chosen to forgive those who have sinned against me – not because they deserve it but because Christ has forgiven me for my sins.
I have also chosen to forgive because forgiveness sets me free to love others and not close my heart to humanity.
And when I say, “Me too,” I am also saying two other words: “No more.”
No more should the objectifying, degrading, harassing and abusing of people be looked over, brushed aside, swept into the closet, ignored.
No more to the acceptance of using advertisements, images, and media to objectify people and thus make harassment and abuse seem acceptable.
No more to people of influence using their power to harass and demean others without being called to account for their heinous words and acts.
Until “all things are made new” there will continue to be “me too’s” because of the sinfulness of mankind.
And while this saddens me, it will not stop me from doing what I can:
to teach my children of their worth and value and of the worth of every person.
to teach my children to be intolerant towards harassment and abuse of any kind.
to teach my children to speak up and take action if they witness acts of harassment or injustice.
to pray for those who have been deeply wounded – that God who is near to the brokenhearted may bind up their wounds.
To all of you who also said “me too” publicly or in the privacy of your heart, may the Lord be with you, bringing light into every dark place and healing to every wound. May He fill you with His love – the only love that is perfect, always unselfish, steadfast, gracious, and totally pure. And may He empower us all to be voices of truth, wisdom, love and justice to and for the next generation.
Let’s each do our part – that there may be fewer and fewer “Me too’s” in the days and years to come.