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I join #MeToo rallying cry against sexual harassment
Janet Otieno-Prosper
Posted: 1 week 2 days

It all started with several sexual harassment allegations by an actress against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Then more actresses and other people in the industry opened up.

They alleged ills ranged from indecent assault, verbal coercion, to rape.

And then soon a hashtag #MeToo became a rallying cry by many women across the globe detailing how they had been sexually abused at some point. It was actor Alyssa Milano who started the hashtag to give people the sense of the magnitude of the problem of sexual harassment.

Since many women had decided to keep quite for a long time, it was a good thing that they finally came out strongly to encourage the next generation not to be ashamed about speaking out.

Their career

I read actress Lupita Nyong'o’s letter in New York Times detailing her ordeal in the hands of Weinstein. She states: "I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred”.

So you see men like Weinstein took advantage of this to disrespect women. He allegedly made women believe that the future of their career in Hollywood would be jeopardised if they did not give in to his advances.

Going by the expose, I can authoritatively submit that many women were suffering silently, not knowing how to speak out about sexual abuse, especially at the work place.

Often, some men colleagues frustrated women and made then believe that they needed to drop a skirt or two for them, or let them talk inappropriately to survive.

Some even shamelessly ogled women in their places of work from head to toe. At times, abusive men pushed women out of their profession. What about the nauseating stereotypical remarks about women that we hear everyday and do nothing about? Related content: Let's join hands and support our girls

Many women have been indecently assaulted in one way or the other, but were not willing to talk about it, fearing that they would be judged.

When you sift through the #MeToo conversation social media, you wouldn’t help but notice that women needed redress about these abuses.

Believe you me, if you have 100 women in a room and asked those who had been abused to raise up their hands, only a few would do so.

Are married

But let us do it this way, ask everyone in the room to close their eyes then ask women who had been sexually abused to raise their hands up.

Nearly all the 100 hands would go up. That is the magnitude of the problem. And at times, women were blamed for the abuse. For instance, people start asking questions like; “What were you doing alone with him? Why did you go out clubbing? Why did you wear a short skirt? You turned him on!” and all other kind of rubbish.

Why is it that when women are abused, the society tries so hard to justify the action?

If it is a spouse, they would say something like this, “you are married so it is not an issue, you are not submissive” and all other mean things.

I think there’s still a huge work to be done in confronting sexual predation in our society. As a woman, enough is enough.#Metoo.

@JanetOtieno

kikijanty@gmail.com