Why is it always the woman’s responsibility to leave — the job, the bar, the subway car, the street where she is being treated in a shitty way? You could conceivably spend your entire existence constantly having to leave places where you have every right to be. What this movement has shown us is that this behavior is everywhere, in every industry and area of life. And if you think that standing up for yourself leads to solving these issues, you haven’t kept up with the headlines. Quite often it leads to being fired or otherwise further marginalized at work. On the street it can lead to being further harassed or even killed. The power of this movement is that it’s encouraging women to speak up in the moment and it’s making retaliation less possible.
People don’t get what they deserve. Just ask the 223 strong, able, women in national security who wrote an open letter about their experiences with harassment. Just ask the young Black men who have had the police called on them for dozing in a school common room or walking through a store minding their own business. #MeToo is not about taking on the mantle of victimhood; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you think that nothing bad has ever happened to you because of the way that you handle yourself, then you are seriously deluded. If nothing bad has ever happened to you, it’s because you’ve been lucky and failing to have any empathy for those who haven’t been so lucky will not innoculate you against the possibility that something bad could happen to you in the future.