OPINION COLUMNS

It happened to me, too

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Me, too.

My Facebook feed was flooded with these posts this week. Me too, me too, me too, all sharing stories of sexual harassment suffered by the poster, mostly women.

Well, me too.

I feel the need to put in the disclaimer here that although I think I’ve kept my descriptions tame, obviously the subject of sexual harassment is a heavy topic, so proceed with caution.

Racey Burden

I’ve been groped in the middle of a crowded street, and I never saw the face of the person who did it. I’ve had sexually explicit things shouted at me by men in cars, inappropriate jokes made about my name (Racey sounds like racy, get it?) by much older men who didn’t know me at all. I remember a man in a position of power over me rubbing my shoulders when I was a teenager; at the time I thought it was creepy, but not something to tell someone about. I was once followed by two whistling, catcalling men through a dark parking lot. I was alone, and I was afraid.

Others have had it far worse. I saw friends, men and women alike, telling the stories of when they were harassed, abused, belittled, objectified. I could bet many more have those stories and keep them to themselves, which is understandable.

This stuff happens so often that when it happens to you, you think it’s not that big of a deal. I’ve even joked about some of the things I’ve listed above to others, even though none of those incidents were ever really funny to me. It’s a way to distance yourself from what happened. “Ha ha, some guy grabbed my butt in New Orleans on New Year’s. That’s typical, right?”

It probably is typical. But it shouldn’t be.

Harvey Weinstein was recently revealed to be a monster, and two weeks ago I wouldn’t have known his name. But I’m sure we all know people like him, or know of people like him. People who use positions of power or strength to prey on those beneath. Those people exist everywhere.

I’m sure that every woman I know, and plenty of the men, have stories that they could start with “me, too.” Maybe it’s time we listened. Maybe then more people would feel safe to speak up. Maybe then there would be less Harvey Weinsteins in the world.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter.

One Response to “It happened to me, too”

  1. says:

    Thank you for your openness and vulnerability. For too long our society has objectified other human beings created in what I believe to be the image of God. As a culture we need to take a good long look at the value systems feeding this frenzy of treating other people, especially women, as property to be used for pleasure with no regard to the cost to the one being used. Shame on us. We need to do better, and breaking the silence is a good step in the right direction.

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