The “Me Too” social media movement continues to reveal just how painfully ordinary sexual assault is.
As the sad truth goes:
>> Every 98 seconds, an American woman is sexually assaulted.
>> One out of every six American women will find herself the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
>> Twenty-one percent of trans or gender non-conforming students report being sexually assaulted while in college.
>> Seven out of ten rapes are committed by someone the victim already knows.
The statistics go on and on, demonstrating that rape culture is out of control, as almost every woman has experienced some form of sexual assault.
However, the strength and solidarity I felt coming through the comments of Elephant Journal‘s very own “Me Too” post brought me to tears and gave me hope. The sharing of words, experiences, and understanding seemed to give all women a moment of relief. A moment of not feeling so alone. Because we are not alone in this fight. There is strength in numbers, and there is strength in our cause. We will invoke a change and demand that our voices are finally heard.
Me Too: A Poem.
Have you ever been followed when walking alone,
Frightening you enough to have 9-1-1 dialed on your phone?
Ever been catcalled on a late night run into the store,
You’re all alone, but the catcallers are in groups of four?
Had a superior creep his hands down your back,
Making you feel small and oddly attacked?
Power walked to your car, fingers laced through keys
Praying none of these strange men who are staring like what they see?
Have you ever found yourself powerless, screaming for him to stop,
And after it was over you were too embarrassed to call the cops?
Ever had your body exposed without your permission,
Everywhere you went feeling lingering suspicions?
Had a man grab you because of the bit of skin you were baring,
While those around you whisper,”But did you see what she was wearing?”
Have you ever posted a selfie when you were feeling cute,
To later check your inbox to find an influx of unsolicited nudes?
Ever held your friend crying over what she has been through,
Hearing others question her on whether or not it’s true?
Have you ever been threatened or called a b*tch,
Just because a certain man wasn’t your niche?
Ever filed a complaint of sexual harassment
Just for your management to stay stagnant?
Have you ever said “no” to a man you love,
To find that his needs will always rise above.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Image: Ken Walton/Flickr
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis