#MeToo is not just for women as women. It’s for queer women. Indigenous women. Racialized women. Women with disabilities. Women with invisible disabilities. Old women. Young women. Trans people. LGBTQ+ people. Genderqueer people. And all combinations of those identities.
The other day, I decided to take just 10 minutes to write down all of the #MeToo moments I could think of in that time that I’ve experienced as a woman, and as a queer woman. So here we go.
As a woman, I have experienced:
- Having my ass grabbed by strangers in public.
- Being told by a boss that he’s worried I’ll meet a guy and have kids and then won’t be as useful in my job.
- Having a strange man walking towards me reach out and flick my nipple as I walked to work in London, England, at 9am.
- Having people tell me that that sexual assault is no big deal; it happens to all women.
- Having a taxi driver tell me he wants to ride me long and hard.
- Having a taxi driver in a country I don’t know tell me he wants to marry me as he’s driving.
- Having a bus driver who helps me with my suitcase tell me “they must be making hair dryers heavier these days.”
- Having a taxi driver tell me it’s fine for me to travel alone when I’m single, but not once I’m married (to a man).
- Being told I’m too emotional.
- Not being believed or taken seriously about health issues by a male family doctor and by people I love.
- Being told to smile.
- Listening to music or pretending to listen to music when in public to ignore the comments said to me by men.
As a queer woman, I have experienced:
- Being afraid to hold my partner’s hand in public in certain places.
- Having derogatory remarks or gestures made towards me while holding my partner’s hand.
- Feeling the need to turn down a potential family doctor because she believes homosexual sex is a sin.
- Having to explicitly ask potential family doctors if they are LGBT friendly.
- Being told I’m a sinner and will go to Hell, especially online.
- My uncle arranging an airport pick-up and needing to tell the driver I’m arriving with my “friend.”
- Constantly needing to come out to people who assume I’m dating or married to a man.
- Pretending to be attracted to men in case it’s unsafe to come out.
- Interviewing an LGBT activist who was later murdered right where I interviewed him because he was an LGBT activist.
- Having a taxi driver ask me if I’d still sleep with him even though I’m a lesbian.
- Being told it’s not such a big deal pretending to be straight, by straight people.
These are not all big things. They’re not all sexual assaults or rape or hate crimes. Many of them are microagressions. But they add up. And they happen. Every. Single. Day.
And I can only imagine what the lists would be if I was a woman of colour, indigenous, or living with a disability.