The #metoo Campaign

Cover for metoo campaign

Late last night, I sent out the monthly T.O.F.U. newsletter. I had debated waiting until today to do so as I had been hit with some nasty food poisoning earlier that evening, but recent online events had me wanting to say something in the moment. So, I wrote, triple-checked things, and then called it a night.

Typically, the newsletter is just my way of recapping blog posts and other T.O.F.U. stuff that folks may have missed, but every now and then I take the opportunity to comment on something bigger. Luckily, folks have responded well to this.

So, since someone took the time to copy my email and share it through Facebook, I thought I would post it here in case others found something in it as well.

TW: Discussions of rape, sexual assault, and violence.

If you haven’t seen it in your social media feeds yet, then maybe your friends and you are just lucky. Of course, if you identify as male, then you should know that luck has been on your side this whole time.

Springing from the latest round of news of a man in power using his position to sexually assault, intimidate, and rape numerous women, the #metoo campaign is meant to increase the awareness of just how prevalent the problem of harassment, assault, and rape* is in the world.

Although it’s proving to be incredibly popular (sadly because so many people have similar experiences to share), many are also questioning whether or not the latest viral campaign will make a difference when so many past efforts have failed to do just that, and a part of me certanly doesn’t disagree.

To be clear, I support those who are brave enough to share their stories and take part in spreading awareness in an effort to try and promote change, but I also know that little will come of it until we** start to really act.

Even within the vegan and animal rights community, there is plenty we can do to help change the culture of toxic masculinity and violence towards women. I’ve written numerous times about campaigns that should be questioned, and the harm that can come out of being silent about them. Plus, numerous other vegans provided examples within the issue that focused on sexism.

Along with problematic campaigns and messages, accounts of males within our community being no different than Harvey Weinstein are also prevalent, and it is up to us to support those who come forward while also making it clear that the abusers will not get a pass just because they give passionate speeches or their direct action campaigns can be found everywhere online.

To top it all off, I’m honestly waiting for the #mootoo campaign to start to derail the conversation from violence against humans to violence against non-human animals, and if you can’t see an issue with that, then I recommend you google “why ‘all lives matter’ is problematic” and think about how it might relate.

Obviously, I could talk more about all of this, and I promise I will through future blog posts, articles, etc. However, it’s almost 2AM here, and I’m still recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning that hit me earlier today, so I think I’m going to leave it at this. I actually debated simply going to sleep and writing this tomorrow, but if people are sharing some of their darkest and worst experiences as I type this, the least I can do is show my support and commit to trying harder to ensure that hashtag runs out of source material at some point in the future.

In hindsight, I probably could have called it a night sooner, if I had simply copied the post I made on my personal Facebook page earlier today, but I felt like saying something more substantial. That being said, I will end this with those words:

Sadly, I’m not shocked by all the #metoo posts I’m seeing. However, I am amazed at just how many wonderful people I know who continue to put love, compassion, and hope into this world despite all the experiences they have that suggest they should do otherwise. Your strength and courage are astounding, and I hope someday soon the world treats you the way you deserve to be treated.

Love and solidarity,

* In regard to these acts of violence, I’m also including those who may not identify as women and may consider themselves to be in many different areas of the gender spectrum.

** By “we”, I overwhelmingly mean male-identified (or passing) individuals as those outside of this identity continue to do the majority of the work to try and dismantle a system that we benefit from.

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