[cn: non-explicit discussion of sexual harassment and assault]
A week ago, there was the #metoo campaign. It called for people who had experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment to say “me too” on social media, so that we might realize how common it is. It swept over Facebook for quite a while, so presumably most readers have already heard of it; I’m just recapping so nobody feels left out.
I didn’t say anything on Facebook, but here I will say, “Me too.” I have been a victim of multiple counts of sexual assault, including rape. It’s not a big deal for me to come out and say this, because I have been open about it for years.
#Metoo was not a helpful campaign to me personally. I did not desire to participate, and I did not learn anything from it. I already knew lots of people have experienced sexual assault and harassment. I mean, I work on the Asexual Community Survey and produce graphs like this one.
The plot suggests that about 70% of the ace respondents to our survey will experience sexual violence of some kind in their lifetime. It will be somewhat smaller in the general population, because the general population has more men and is less queer. (In our own survey, the straight non-ace people had rates that were about 10% smaller.) But no matter how we cut it, we’re talking about a very significant fraction of the general population. And that doesn’t even include sexual harassment!
This is all to say, if you really want to know how widespread sexual assault and harassment is, you can just look those numbers up. Believe those numbers. Internalize them. Now just pretend that X% of your friends said, “Me Too,” and you can save them the trouble of actually having to do it.