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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

#MeToo

With the recent scandal of Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconducts, the hashtag #MeToo has been mushrooming across various social media platform to encourage women to speak up about their experiences with assault. 

Warning: This post is going to get emotional. Read at your own risk. 
#MeToo has encouraged a lot of women to speak up and after a long consideration, I have decided to speak up hoping to raise the awareness regarding sexual harassment in workplace. 
It happens not only in Hollywood but everywhere. Even in the university/school which is supposed to be the safest place for students to acquire their knowledge. 

It was a school holiday and I accompanied my friend to go to school. As I passed by his office, he called me in. As he was like a father figure to me, I didn't think of anything. 
The door was opened and we had a short chat as usual, he then passed me souvenir from another country before I excused myself. As I was about to leave his office, he gave me a kiss on my cheeks. I was a bit panicky as it is not in our culture for people to kiss you on the cheeks to say goodbye. As I turned around and leave his office, he gave me a slap on my butt. 
My mind was empty as I couldn't process what just happened. 

It is always humans nature to forget about things that hurt us and bring us negative emotions. Same goes to this. I forget about the incident quickly after that but that was not the end. 

One of the advantages of the advancement of technology is that human get to keep in touch without any hassles. We kept in touch through Whatsapp as per usual but the conversation went on with a totally wrong direction. 

It went on for a while until one day one of the staffs in the school actually noticed something was not right in the interaction between us and went on asking for it. 

Luckily or maybe unluckily for me, I got my closure as he got a 'proud retirement'. Some action was taken and he left. 

I was too ashamed of it as I felt that to some extent I was responsible for his behaviors. I blamed myself. I felt guilty for causing him to lose his job. 
It was only after that I realized that it is never the victim's fault. We live in the victim blaming culture where the victims are being blamed and hence are afraid to speak up. It is not uncommon for the victims to feel isolated, blamed, silenced and doubted themselves. 

Hereby I encouraged you to speak up if you were once a victim. You are never alone and it is never your fault. Do not be afraid to speak out. 
I have done my part, will you? 

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