Essay: Me, too, Emma

Essay: Me, too, Emma

A Story by Marie Anzalone
"

in response to Emma's brave poem. You are not alone, my dear. Never alone.

"
I posted this on social media as part of the "Me, too" movement last week. I got a lot of silence. Some questions. Some criticism. A few, "so whats?" And a HUGE outpouring of genuine kindness, and much dialogue. I heard from women who said they related way too much. I heard from many men, who freely admitted they did not even know where to start. 

"Me, too.

Groped as a child. Groped by classmates in junior high. Emotional incest victim. Raped twice when I was 16, once when I was 18. Sexually harassed at three of my first jobs. Filmed without my consent in college. Ridiculed and ostracized over my sexuality. Three exes threatened my life. Three incidents of men following me on the street, masturbating, three different countries. Attempted date rape at age 38. Again at age 41. Followed for miles by men on motorcycles, men with machetes, men on hiking trails. Groped by an associate on a bus. Groped dozens of times by strangers on the bus. Groped in the street. Called a liar and threatened with death for reporting child molestation. Had private details shared without my consent. One attempted kidnapping. Had taxi drivers take me to secluded locations asking for blowjobs instead of taking me home at night. Had to hide in farm fields walking home to escape drunks. Daily street harassment. Denied several jobs for being a woman. Onlne harassment and targeting. Witness to worse events of child abuse, child exploitation and child groping/ molestation in my work and even in my friends' homes. Witness to almost weekly incidences of women being beaten in the streets. Personal E-mail hacked by two intimate partners. This is just scratching the surface."


I followed up the first post, with this one, the following day. I could have easily included the harassment I faced on this site 3 years ago, and the lack of response from the moderators. However, once again, I was warmly surprised at the outpouring of love and support. Are we maybe finally ready to start having this conversation at a larger scale? Will it come in time? 

"Following up on my long post from yesterday regarding the "Me, too" movement:

First, sincere appreciation for all of those who have reached out to me and others; and sincere admiration for all who shared their stories. To the ones who did before me: I want you to know, you gave me courage to expand on mine.

Second, I have four quotes I want to share with you, relating to my own experiences, that I think help illustrate how entrenched the situation is for us:

1. When an ex got engaged shortly after out breakup, and I asked him, "so, are you going to emotionally and verbally abuse her, and threaten her, too?" and he responded with, "No, because SHE doesn't deserve it- but you did."

2. When a potential client cornered me on an inter-city bus, and kept trying to grab me, fondle my intimate places, kiss me, lick me, and proposition me- and I kept telling him "NO! Stop it!" and pushing him away, and he kept asking what my f-ing problem was. I invented a romantic relationship that did not exist, with a mutual associate, and he said, "Ah. ok. NOW I respect you."

3. A few weeks ago, when someone on a closed site for perverts in my city, started sharing my name, address, contact information and pictures with men looking for hookups. And I messaged the site administrator after finding out, demanding to know who was doing it and why, and that they cease and desist- and the actual response I got was, "No. We need to protect the privacy of our members." And when I asked, "what about MY right to privacy and courtesy?" I was told, "You gave that up by having a FB account as a woman."

4. I was at a professional conference last year, and went to say hello to a former co-worker, for whom I had gotten a job- and whom I had been asking for help with my own job search when my contract was terminated. His wife grabbed me by the arm, and told me, "Single women cannot speak in public to married men." Essentially, that I am denied all professional networking opportunities because of my gender and marital status."




© 2017 Marie Anzalone



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Even now i see something strange.. you've had eighteen viewers to date and not one message box used! Seems the odds are against you, even here. OK, we all know that stories or articles are not especially approved on sites like this.. but, how come people can skate over subjects such as yours?!

It's hard to respond to what you say above, primarily because i'm lost for logical and polite words. That today, in the so-called modern age, women can be treated like dogs, verbally insulted, hurt in so many physical ways is beyond me. We are supposed to be civilised. Our faiths teach us to show respect for mothers, for the fragile, for.. all

In many but not all countries, education is being given to young females.* Primarily to wealthier youngsters however. Certain restrictions have howevr been lifted in some places but.. only some. Yet, evil behaviour still contues because of ignorance and custom .. .. * Mind you, seems to me, to many, that it's the men who ought to be educated, taught how to treat their 'possesions', women, as human beings. But there again, they probably prefer to stay as ignorant as they've always been . It's easier to hide behind custom.

That you have had reports of women being harrassed not only by strangers but people known to them, is beyond understanding! (Have to add it happens in many countries.. tragically.) What you report is more than evil and frightening. it shows complete indifferenece and lack of respect for what is physical frailty, the females body and mind.. and right. Yet again, i repeat, women are seen as objects, possessions, inert nothings. .

Your examples weep situations, thoughts, actions.. they are an insult to the word HumanKind.

How to stop all this? No quick solution, not even one that we can guarantee will stick. Education takes time; respect and open heartedness takes even longer. So.. what to do without opening self, as you have done, only to be hurt in every way possible.

Women have fought wars, have done things when men have been at wars. Have suffered to give life, to perpetuate it. Have loved and forgiven. Have been treated as slave, molested, beaten.. and still somehow survived.

For eons, women have given birth to men-babies.. in many countries, maybe most, those men treat their animals better than women. if women were to beome sterile - our planet would be devoid of life..

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Sad to be a woman, but we are great just the same x
but we are strong and courageous just like you to tell the tale. You are a strong woman.
stay strong sister x

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie.... god.. am out of words...
Yes, its very true being a woman the world looks at you as you are some one created for their entertainment...
and assume... we take that role...
lot of times made fun of just because of our gender..and the work place yes ... at home your relatives... i even have never wanted to have a girl child just because am so scared of the world ... how can you even breath peacefully...when you know the whole world at some point is hunting you...

emotionally , physically, verbally... so many forms... we did not choose this life or be treated like this...

As a mother of a boy child... i intend to teach him to learn to respect and to protect any lady... to look upto them and to share the work at home equally... i wish i can do that....

we need to start at our home... its first from parents the kids learn how to treat others... and then just because he is a guy in our country they are forgiven for many mistakes and pampered... i really do feel the need of change.. can't we?
each home if we try i think we can ...one step at a time...we all can try...

even about rape victims..they say just because they were not dressed or covered it happened..is it...what about the kids isn't it.. how are they not dressed properly...it makes me sick to the core when i think of it ... to think of us living in such unsafe world...

Hope we can bring awareness and hope in all those around us, to share to open up...to stand against the crime and to a shoulder to who needs help...

thank you for sharing this with all of us... just opened up a lot of emotions inside me... (((Hugs)))

thank you to Emma for sharing this with me...

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Even now i see something strange.. you've had eighteen viewers to date and not one message box used! Seems the odds are against you, even here. OK, we all know that stories or articles are not especially approved on sites like this.. but, how come people can skate over subjects such as yours?!

It's hard to respond to what you say above, primarily because i'm lost for logical and polite words. That today, in the so-called modern age, women can be treated like dogs, verbally insulted, hurt in so many physical ways is beyond me. We are supposed to be civilised. Our faiths teach us to show respect for mothers, for the fragile, for.. all

In many but not all countries, education is being given to young females.* Primarily to wealthier youngsters however. Certain restrictions have howevr been lifted in some places but.. only some. Yet, evil behaviour still contues because of ignorance and custom .. .. * Mind you, seems to me, to many, that it's the men who ought to be educated, taught how to treat their 'possesions', women, as human beings. But there again, they probably prefer to stay as ignorant as they've always been . It's easier to hide behind custom.

That you have had reports of women being harrassed not only by strangers but people known to them, is beyond understanding! (Have to add it happens in many countries.. tragically.) What you report is more than evil and frightening. it shows complete indifferenece and lack of respect for what is physical frailty, the females body and mind.. and right. Yet again, i repeat, women are seen as objects, possessions, inert nothings. .

Your examples weep situations, thoughts, actions.. they are an insult to the word HumanKind.

How to stop all this? No quick solution, not even one that we can guarantee will stick. Education takes time; respect and open heartedness takes even longer. So.. what to do without opening self, as you have done, only to be hurt in every way possible.

Women have fought wars, have done things when men have been at wars. Have suffered to give life, to perpetuate it. Have loved and forgiven. Have been treated as slave, molested, beaten.. and still somehow survived.

For eons, women have given birth to men-babies.. in many countries, maybe most, those men treat their animals better than women. if women were to beome sterile - our planet would be devoid of life..

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 21, 2017
Last Updated on October 21, 2017

Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

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