In light of how massively the #metoo campaign has taken off, I just wanted to share a few thoughts/things with you.
Let’s start by putting out there the fact that this can be a pretty exhausting thing for survivors to be exposed to, and there are resources and supports for you if you need them. For everyone at Uvic (and in the Victoria community, too) we have drop in support hours and also can do sessions by appointment. Info Here.
We’re located in the basement of the Student Union Building, B028
To all the trans and gender nonconforming/variant folk out there:
“Just a gentle reminder that trans and gender variant people experience a lot of sexual violence as well. I’ve been struggling a bit with some comments and posts I’ve seen over the past couple days because much of the conversation hasn’t really acknowledged how these issues impact trans people, especially those of us who are transfeminine. It’s important to recognize how the voices of transfeminine survivors are often silenced or ignored through a narrative that undermines our identity and labels us as “men” and sexual predators, when the reality is that we are far more often the targets of sexual violence. It’s important to recognize the nuance of these issues and to avoid reducing the conversation to something experienced by a single identity.”
(Contributed by Ashe Haigh)
For all the survivors out there who are participating in this campaign:
- You are amazing.
- You do not owe your stories to anyone. They are yours, to do with as you see fit.
- You are not alone.
- We believe you.
For all the survivors who are not participating:
- You are also amazing.
- You are not obligated to share anything with anyone if you don’t want to.
- Your survival is also resistance.
For all the survivors who are wondering if they can/should participate:
- You are not expected or required to do anything you don’t want to do.
- Your experiences are real. This is not a matter of if they are real or severe or ‘bad’ enough. If they happened, that’s enough.
- Here’s a pretty good article on why some folks are not participating (CW: descriptions of sexual assault)
To all the guys out there:
A couple things; if this is all very surprising to you, then it’s maybe time to wake up and have a look around at the world you’re living in. People have been making a lot of noise about this for a long time, and this shouldn’t be news for anyone. If this is bothering you, then it’s time to start doing something. There are a lot of posts that are also circulating about what you can do to help. Read them. There are groups and resources you can access; seek them out and start learning. I might suggest EverydayFeminism as a good place to start, or come check out the Uvic Men’s Circle every second Wednesday.
A number of people on my facebook feed have been bringing up another really important point here; we really need to start talking about perpetrators, too. There are people out in the world, who are mostly male, who are doing these things, and they need to have the light shone on them. Centering and supporting survivors is amazing and important, but we also need to pay attention to the people committing violence so we can really start holding them accountable. Guys, this is our problem, too. Time to show up and start putting in some work.
And finally; to all the male survivors of sexual assault and harassment out there; we see you, too. You are real, your experiences are real, and you are deserving of the same love and support as anyone else.
– Written by Taisto Witt, with contributions from Ashe Haigh, and support from AVP