The "Me Too" campaign has worn me out.
If you don't know, the Me Too Campaign was an effort in social media to shine a spotlight on predatory behavior against female bodied people.
The Me Too campaign was initiated originally by Tarana Burke, an organizer and youth worker who's a sexual assault survivor herself, has been working on "me too" since the mid-2000s — particularly with young women of color — as a means of what she calls empowerment through empathy. Then Alyssa Milano started amplifying it on Sunday.
Me Too puts a spotlight on those who are sexual abuse survivors. An article in The Atlantic leads this way:
"About 10 years ago, after I’d [Sophie Gilbert, author] graduated college but when I was still waitressing full-time, I attended an empowerment seminar. It was the kind of nebulous weekend-long event sold as helping people discover their dreams and unburden themselves from past trauma through honesty exercises and the encouragement to “be present.” But there was one moment I’ve never forgotten. The group leader, a man in his 40s, asked anyone in the room of 200 or so people who’d been sexually or physically abused to raise their hands. Six or seven hands tentatively went up. The leader instructed us to close our eyes, and asked the question again. Then he told us to open our eyes. Almost every hand in the room was raised.
For a long time, most women defined their own sexual harassment and assault in this way: as something unspoken, something private, something to be ashamed of acknowledging. Silence, although understandable, has its cost. A decade ago, I couldn’t have conceived of the fact that so many women had experienced sexual coercion or intimidation; now, I’d be surprised if I could find a single one who hadn’t. On Sunday afternoon, the actress Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words #MeToo. In the last 24 hours, a spokesperson from Twitter confirmed, the hashtag had been tweeted nearly half a million times."
Can we recall the Brock Turner case? Brock Turner was involved in raping a young woman and his sentence was very light - six months, and he only served half of that. He was caught in the act by two witnesses who held him until the police came. Later, he attempted to start a college campus tour on the topic of "Alcohol and promiscuity" because he believes that the alcohol his victim consumed gave implied consent. This is why female bodied individuals never ever feel safe.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted these statistics:
- Do you know 5 women? Odds are at least 1 of them has been raped. Do you know 3 Native women? Their odds are 1 in 3.
- Transwomen and other members of the LGBTQ+ community are 3 times as likely to experience sexual assault and rape than ciswomen.
- Women with disabilities are raped and abused at a rate at least twice that of the general population of women.
- 97% of rapists are never incarcerated.
- 54% of rapes are never reported.
- 3% of men have been victims of sexual assault or rape.
Please note the significant difference between female bodied and male bodied: 25% to 3%.
Yesterday, I experienced men trying to make this about themselves. And you know what? Sexual assault is horrible, against all bodies. I was crying scrolling through the long list of "Me too's" in my Facebook feed. But dammit. You. Do. Not. Need. To. Own. Every. Space.
What space will you claim today?
The complete practice today includes:
- Centering with BIBO,
- Breath prayer,
- Music from Mersi Stone
- Reflective quote from Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
- Links to scripture in the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions
- Prayers for the world
- Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--roar! (repeat a few times)
Breath prayer (repeat 3-5 times):
(inhale) Ground of being,
(exhale) Create space.
12.7 million people are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners in one year. That's approximately the population of New York and Los Angeles combined. That's 24 people every minute. Because it's someone you know.
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, please share!
“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent.” The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up. I encourage you to fill this in however you see it.
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while mourning for the desecration of hope.
This week we pray for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
the mercy workers working so hard to put out the fires
those faithful who practice nonviolence and peacemaking
the rains that come to refresh the land, especially hoped for in California
our political leaders, that their hearts may be softened and sensibility will prevail
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
those seeking food and shelter, especially those whose homes were destroyed in wildfires
those affected by hurricanes, especially Puerto Rico and the threat of withdrawn support
those who have been harmed by violence, especially those harmed by gun violence
those who suffer in systems of domination, especially the earth
those who will suffer when their healthcare is withdrawn
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to, we pray.
For the transformation from ME to WE, we pray.
Let peace prevail on earth.
So mote it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.