#MeThough, not just a sorry but an answer to #MeToo
19 Oct 2017
Being a man
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.Albert Einstein - Theoretical physicist
It’s great to see the #MeToo campaign grow each day. The women who were once believed to be quite and who were silenced by fears and shame have now decided to speak up. The conversations of these women, which were once private between their peers over a coffee or a chat has now become a loud noise. Maybe not everyone is raped, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to know that many of the women who have still not spoken have also gone through an abuse, an assault or a harassment of some form be it verbal or physical, with a low or high intensity.
The phrase ‘me too’ was originally coined by Tarana Burke in 2006-2007 but actress Alyssa Milano encouraged the use of the hashtag after accusations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced in 2017. The hashtag #MeToo then went viral in October 2017 attracting many tweets and posts by many notable individuals as part of an awareness to give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. This is a great way to start breaking away from the chains confining women. By telling their #MeToo stories, women feel being able to speak up which is the first step to address the problem, not just find an escape route when it happens. Some do not want to talk about it yet, because they might think that by publicizing the harassment and abuse they only re-traumatize themselves and as it may not serve any purpose telling about an incident that has already happened.
#HimThough and #HowIWillChange
Some women also expressed their outrage by hash tagging #HimThough to tell the world that it’s not just the magnitude of the problem to be seen but also to extend the campaign to make men realize that it’s them who are the problem. This is what you do when you feel vulnerable. Some kind hearted men started responding with the hash tag #HowIWillChange by telling what they would do to bring about a change. Many have already started pledging that they would no more be a silent watcher in any of the harassments in the future. Some also pledged to protect other women from being harassed. Overall, this is a good progress so far.
#MeThough, as an answer to #MeToo
I still feel that, as men, we are far more responsible to address this issue than we think. While #MeToo, #HimThough and #HowIWillChange works, I still feel that men can go an extra mile by starting to confess #MeThough if they had been a cause for any abuse or harassment to any degree. With #MeThough, men should be bold enough to confess to have caused a harassment or an abuse, verbally or physically to any extent. While it may not be the end of the problem, I think the best way for men to respond to a #MeToo and a #HimThough is to start with a #MeThough and then continue with a #HowIWillChange.
Why #MeThough works?
#HowIWillChange is a good idea, but I feel that it doesn’t make someone responsible for an action. It generally goes to convey a meaning that everyone else except me is a problem and how I will go about protecting women from others. If most of the women are posting a #MeToo, I think it is obvious that most of the men are a #MeThough.
Many wouldn’t want to confess to have committed such an act fearing a possible hit on their reputation they have built over the years in the society. Everyone makes mistakes. If we realize them or not is what matters. It wouldn’t be too bad tell it out loud, even if that’s going to break your reputation. It’s surely bad only when you don’t tell it. In fact, we should be brave to own our story of shame. Whatever shame you go through when you acknowledge #MeThough, it is only temporary. It will give you more freedom and responsibility to bring about a change. This is the only practical way to get started to seeing a change.
Telling your story of #MeThough doesn’t mean that you will have to share every minute detail of the incidents. That would be another worst harassment by itself! By just acknowledging you break yourself free in your hearts to make way for a better action.
I will start with myself
I would like to start by confessing to have harassed and abused women more than one time in the past. I’m NOT saying I MAY HAVE. I’m clearly saying, I HAVE. So, for all the #MeToo women out there, I’m one of the #MeThough. I believe that I wouldn’t have to run into details on what/when/who/how. However, I still regret for what I have done but would like to take this opportunity to apologize publicly to those I’ve harassed and abused and to all the other women also. Since there is no way I can undo what’s already done, I have for long time now already started giving back to the community of women by working on women empowerment and encouraging women to never settle for anything less.
When I realized my mistakes, I started looking at women from a different perspective. Ever since, the woman, as I have known has greatly changed. I started with acknowledging my mistake and then continued with doing something for the society. My actions did not stop with just women. I also often get into conversations with men to bring about a change on how they should look at women. I’m doing whatever I can to set myself an example for other men to follow, on treating women. Now I have no guilt to carry and I am seeing many men and women inspired by my life.
There is nothing like it if you are bold to count on yourself as a #MeThough. It is perfectly OK if you can not at this moment. I’d still encourage you to share your story of #MeThough, or at least mine to be of an inspiration to others.