A meditation on what comes after #metoo
After a long few days I finally crashed like a brick last night. I am so tired. I am so tired of the groupthink onus being on victims of abuse, to rehash, to out themselves, to display their pain, to direct. What can you do? Figure out why you don’t actually care. Figure out why your problem solving skills, your observational skills, your creative solutions, your inventiveness, your ingenuity, is inaccessible to you regarding the topic of rape and abuse in yourself and your community. Figure out why, even though it is fundamentally imbibed in our society, even though it is everywhere, including in your own life and your own actions, you can’t see it. Figure out why you spend your resources and energy trying to invent external accountability incentives that don’t exist in a society that bred this into all of us and rewards it. Figure out why you feel entitled to victims having to attempt over and over again to convince you to leverage your power to choose to be accountable, to choose to be observant, to choose to question yourself — and to choose to question other men. Figure out what is stopping you from taking responsibility, what is stopping you from even wanting to pay attention when there isn’t a bi-annual mass movement of mobilized agony being shoved in your fucking face forcing you to look, what is stopping you from stepping in to take on your share of the labor in evolving YOURSELF and YOUR PEOPLE who benefit the most from how things are. Figure out why you see that lack of motivation as an answer you’re entitled to be given by someone else rather than the personal work of actualizing your own damn self. Figure out what the fuck is going on with you and then take action to address it. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Do the work. Do. Your fucking. Work.
I’m grateful for the positive outcomes and breakthroughs that came and will come of this, and future campaigns like this. And I am also thinking enough is a fucking nough
From my angle, #metoo is where we the privileged once again ignorantly twisted the existing healing work of black women, this time launching into another traumatic upheaval rife with the mass demand for further extraction of exhausting, gut-wrenching labor. We did it in the incompetent medium of a digital suckwound, in order to step, again, into the unattainable responsibility of educating and reforming the benefactors of our oppression, and those who are complicit in their behavior.
Did it ‘work’? Seems so. And, I am critical of the further damage being done to women of color in how the campaign was launched, how #metoo is being capitalized upon now by one of us without compensating the originator (that fucking disgusting hat!!), and the damage done to every abuse survivor that is ripped open again right now as a result. I am critical of the (irresponsible, frankly) mass reanimation of trauma I am myself experiencing and witnessing the consequences of. I just don’t think we have the fucking resources for that, the support network, and as I sit with it, I am coming full circle back to the deep roiling anger that motivated me to come back on fb, to participate, to inform my rage at being called AGAIN to say ME TOO, rather than stew in it from the sidelines.
Is #metoo a net positive? I’ll work to think of it that way, for my own sanity. But listen: There are better ways to be doing this work. Even online. Less painful, more connecting, more effective. I know it. And I know that it’s not Alyssa fucking Milano and her friends who know how to do it better.
White women: We share in our abusers grooming, at the very least as part of white supremacy. We share in the violence of oppression, the disconnection of hierarchy, and the familiarity of manufacturing agony in order to feel.
Why the FUCK are we still trying to lead this shit, y’all? Why are we still listening to the half cocked ideas of out of touch celebrities on top of that?
Where is OUR accountability?
Is our lack of it part of the reason we periodically enroll feminism in performing its suffering to all-but-guaranteed pain for dimished, shot-in-the-dark returns?
And how much of this gaping maw in my gut is really because we, I, us, ultimately, still, have yet to reconcile and address our own incompetence, our own culpability in our cultures abuses, even within our own movements?
Why are we still doing it this way?
Like how many more victim-centric campaigns gotta morf into victims-teaching-abusers, holding space for people who dont get it, doing all that work, before I act like I understand that my pointing my griefguts at perpetrator recovery ain’t being accountable, but punishing myself. One fucking day of going to bat with #metoo and I felt drained, disrespected, misunderstood and want to curl up in a fucking hole — and that’s dealing with the well meaning and not a single fucking troll. I wish it weren’t so hard to GET that I am worth treating myself better than this, but I think part of the issue is that I don’t see another way to handle the tension and energy yet. Just hearing #metoo was happening put me in a spin, fucked up my appetite, raced my thoughts, and called me back here. I care about this shit, but fuck man. The waves won’t stop coming, and I won’t stop caring, so I hope this last wave is the one where I finally learn how to be involved in this cause without putting myself through a fucking meat grinder every time.