What Sexual Assault Survivors Think About Those Who Blame the #MeToo Movement

Jessica

If you've ever been personally offended about allegations against your favorite movie star or singer, this article is for you.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4ePijL_0YP50gYn00Photo by Florian Lidin on Unsplash

Trigger Warning: this article contains conversations of sexual assault, abuse, and violence that may not be suitable for all readers. Please read with care.

I am a victim of sexual assault. I've written about it many times over the span of my writing career, and it never ceases to amaze me when someone leaves an ignorant and insensitive comment on an article, proving yet again that people don't actually know much about sexual assault. Sexual assault can look like many different things; strangers are not always the perpetrator. It can happen at someone's work, in someone's home, and yes, in public places.

For me, it happened when I was working at an insurance office. My abuser was my supervisor. The incident(s) happened, and I never reported him for many reasons; the primary one being the fear of losing my job.

I continued working alongside my abuser in silence for months until the anxiety of being around him became so overwhelming that I finally quit my job.

I never told anyone it happened until I started writing about my trauma, years later, in the hopes of finding some answers, some comfort, and some peace. Through writing, I have found it. I’ve found a community of support from other victims who are also suffering from anxiety and PTSD from their trauma.

And then, the rise of the #MeToo movement happened, and I was in awe of how many victims spoke out.

To the media and to other survivors, they were fighting for themselves and for every other victim. For the victims that can never speak a word of their abuse for their own safety. For those that can’t find their voice, not yet, or not ever. For those victims that are still a part of the movement, even though they might never come forward, and we cannot forget them.

I consider myself a part of that group because although I write of my experiences here online, I never reported my abuser, and I don’t think I ever will for many reasons that are part of my personal healing process.

And for anyone that is lucky enough to have never faced the predicament of reporting their abuser — they will never understand.

But as the #MeToo movement grew, and more and more claims came forward about famous musicians, actors, producers, and politicians, I noticed a really ugly pattern — online and in the people I knew personally. People started blaming the movement, and the victims, for ruining the reputations of their favorite movie stars and childhood idols.

I was dumbfounded. Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But when there is proof — witnesses and confessions to said criminal activity, screenshots, and text conversations — people were still upset at the wrong person.

I heard people say, “Now I feel weird listening to this song. I wish I didn’t know what he did,” or, “My favorite song/album/movie is ruined now!”

Well, imagine what the victims must feel like.

We have to make this clear. #MeToo has been a source of hope; a voice for victims everywhere. It has helped so many people; myself included. #MeToo hasn’t done anything to your favorite musicians or movie stars — they did that to themselves.

If it upsets you when a victim speaks out and ruins the image you once had of your favorite comedian, actor, or musician, please take this the wrong way when I say, you have some reevaluating to do.

Because to you, your biggest problem might be that now you can’t listen to your favorite artists when they play on the radio. Or, that you feel conflicted because you love their movies, but now you feel weird when you watch them, and sometimes you wish “you didn’t know what they did at all.”

But to their victims, their biggest problem is so far beyond your level of comprehension that they wish the biggest problem in their life was not being able to listen to that one song that reminds them of high school prom (or whatever nostalgic excuse people use to continue to support abusive artists/actors.)

When your favorite movie or song feels “ruined” because you have learned that the person who created it is in fact a rapist facing time in prison, that’s normal. Because it should feel ruined. But the blood does not lie in the hands of the #metoo movement, or the victims who have come forward.

The fault is of the person who engaged in criminal activity.

The fault is of the rapist, the abuser, the assailant, the perpetrator of the crime.

Stop blaming, bullying, harassing the brave individuals who speak out.

You are in fact participating and contributing to rape culture when you complain that you can’t listen to your favorite song anymore. Even worse is when you acknowledge that the artist is an alleged rapist...but you just don't care enough to stop listening to them.

Because it doesn't affect you right?

Well, the ongoing damage of rape culture intertwined in our everyday society does actually have something to do with you. It has something to do with all of us.

So I ask you, please, on behalf of all sexual abuse victims, stop saying that you wish you didn’t know about this rapper’s abusive past or this comedian’s racist rants, or this famous movie producer's track record of raping actresses that work for him.

Sure it’s uncomfortable to think about but guess what?

Abuse isn’t pleasant. Gaslighting isn’t pleasant. Violence isn’t pleasant. Rape isn’t pleasant.

If it’s uncomfortable for you to think about the bad things someone has done every time you hear their music or watch them at the movies, put yourself in the place of their victims, and imagine what they must feel. If your biggest complaint is that you can’t listen to your favorite artist anymore, then consider yourself lucky. It could be so much worse and for so many people, it is.

© Jessica Lovejoy 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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I share my life through stories about relationships, healing, self-improvement, and pets. Sometimes, I write articles that online trolls can't resist.

Los Angeles, CA
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