A couple of weeks ago, as I was scrolling through Facebook – I saw this video ad created in Europe depicting the struggles of what women face almost every single day. I wish I can remember the name of the ad, I just about lost it when I saw it.
I guess it was a realization for me on how much fighting that I had to do to survive right here and right now.
With all the controversy that surrounds Hollywood right now with Harvey Weinstein, part of me understood it and part of me didn’t.
The one part that didn’t make sense to me was – WHY JUST NOW?
But, after reading and know what we all don’t know. Having a monster like him can either make or break a woman’s career. So, most of the women just kept quiet and suffered in silence.
I have never been raped. But, I have been violated multiple times. I don’t even remember.
Growing up in The Philippines, I thought it was just in a third world country that women have to literally fight for their right to not be touched or be judged.
Last night, I told my husband that I have been groped unwillingly three times without my consent. I remember back then, it was just my breast. It really shouldn’t matter – but it did.
There was even one incident when I was in college where a man just grabbed my breast and because I fought back – I remember ducking and shielding my face and my chest with my arms in anticipation of a bottle of coke about to hit me in the head – but all he managed to grab was some sand and some small stones. My friend who was with me started screaming for help and they all ran away. There were 3-4 men from what I remembered.
The sad part was whether it was true or not, I heard rumors that I got into that situation because I was “asking for it,” that my shorts were too short and I was wearing a sleeveless shirt.
We just came from a basketball game where I played. I was wearing long shorts, rubber shoes, and a hooded jacket.
And memories of having an umbrella on hand as a weapon as soon as I rode our train was also so vivid. I have felt one too many hands on my butt, my back and my chest.
I was so thankful when our government finally segregated the men and women when boarding our public train.
And the feeling of relief when my parents bought me a car to get to one place to another.
However, it didn’t stop there.
I went in for a job interview. The job description stated that they needed someone with a US tourist visa to act as a personal assistant for the CEO of tech company. I had the skills and was keen on learning the ropes.
It was late in the afternoon and I got to the third level – where the CEO himself was going to interview you. He went on with his expectations for his personal assistant. And then he also stated that…
“I need you to be my all around assistant. Yo know be like a WIFE.”
I was so embarrassed and scared at the same time, I just walked out and even forgot my college diploma from the HR department.
You felt like you were an object.
After that guy said that, it felt like being punched in the gut. It really did.
Life has become better now. I live in a city where I feel women are respected and being with my husband – I am more secure that wherever I go. I will be fine.
And just FYI, I also carry something in my purse that I can use – in case I need to protect myself. And I think all women should.
Your #Metoo should also mean #NotME.