Being a woman is really hard. While the #MeToo movement can be our time of reckoning, it is also a reminder of the constant onslaught of sh*t women have to go through on a daily basis. And it can take a toll on you.
Today I posted a tweet about a political party standing by an elected member who had had multiple accusations of sexual harassment against him. These accusations were mostly related to the member making inappropriate comments and touching women when alone with them in elevators. In return I was told by a random person on the internet that my "twisting of the #MeToo movement was disgusting." As someone who has been alone in an elevator with the member in question, he does not understand what is appropriate and what is not. While I did not experience the same levels of harassment that other women have, he came very close to crossing that line. After sharing this experience with the individual online, they decided to delegitimize my experience by telling me that I had never been in an elevator with the member and that my "attack" on him was "a truly disgusting act and throughout tactless." Instead of talking to me, this user then blocked me.
Someone who didn't know me and hid behind an online avatar decided to question my experience and tell me that it never happened. That the momentary fear I felt anytime I saw that member following the incident wasn't real. That anytime I rode an elevator without another woman I wasn't planning my escape route the entire time.
I've been come after before on social media for political comments I've made, but this one hit me in a way the others didn't because someone tried to tell me that what I felt and experienced wasn't real. That it was all in my head. Sound familiar?
As tempting as it is to just sit in the corner, shut up, and not say another word (and believe me, I spent hours after the exchange doing this), that is not how we create change. We cannot let people delegitimize what we know is the truth.
So to all of my sisters and brothers (because sexual harassment can and does happen to men as well) out there: nolite te bastardes carborundorum, don't let me bastards get you down.