How many #metoo tweets and posts have you seen lately? A lot, I’m guessing. A damn, devastating lot. Which was the point, of course. The campaign was started to demonstrate just how many women suffer sexual violence. As more and more women come out of the woodwork, we are seeing that so, so many women have experienced sexual assault or harassment. Like all of us, pretty much.
How many #metoo tweets and posts have you seen from men? The campaign, which began in response to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal in Hollywood (edit: apparently it actually began something like a decade ago, but was revived because of this scandal), was created to highlight the male-dominant culture that allows “everyday sexual violence” to be a thing in the lives of women. It’s become an opportunity for people previously silent about having experienced sexual assault and harassment to open up about it and relieve themselves of the burden of secrecy. That includes men, right?
The issue of whether or not men should be part of the #metoo conversation has become hotly contested. In some ways it has usurped the initial conversation this was intended to start, which by all accounts ain’t cool. But since I talk a lot about sexual assault and recovery on this blog, I don’t feel guilty taking a moment to examine the issue. Should men be included in #metoo?
I want to begin this post by offering my condolences to those affected by the recent Las Vegas shooting. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. I hope that you are able to access the care and support you need to heal as best you can from this traumatic event.
Whenever a tragedy involving a lone gunman and multiple fatalities takes place, we wonder why it happened. What went wrong? Our social media feeds buzz with conversations about politics, gun control, and mental illness. Often, we tend to center the mental illness discussions on what kind of mental health problems the shooter may have had, and what kind of treatment he did or did not receive. I haven’t seen the Las Vegas shooter accused of having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but past perpetrators of similar acts have been speculated to have PTSD. Is it true? Does having PTSD make people more prone to committing acts of extreme violence?