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Here's How to Reply to All Those Irritating, Ignorant Responses to #metoo

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Here's How to Reply to All Those Irritating, Ignorant Responses to #metoo

Yup, me too.

My #metoo post from  Instagram

My #metoo post from Instagram

I didn’t just decide to participate in the #metoo movement because I want to speak my own truth (although I do, and that matters). I decided that I wanted to share because none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Since I’ve shared my own post, I’ve seen such an array of really irritating, ignorant responses. On the one hand, it’s so heartening to be a part of something that is prompting powerful conversation in our society. This movement has brought me hope, because it’s a stunning, visual outpouring that shows me I’m not alone!

On the other hand, it’s exhausting to have to field these replies, on top of the emotional burden of picking the scab of recalling these experiences in my own life. Can I live, please?

So I decided to assemble the greatest hits of the responses I’ve had to craft over the past few days. Hopefully these will serve you on your own journey with #metoo! And if you’re one of the people out there saying this stuff, please reconsider your approach.

“But Sexual Assault and Harassment Affect Men, Too!”

Agreed. Sexual assault and harassment don’t discriminate based on race, age, gender, income bracket, educational level, physical attributes, or your level of agency within society. We are ALL vulnerable when even one of us is vulnerable.

Unless you’re out there campaigning on men’s behalf every other time of the year, I think it’s a cop out for people to say, “Oh, but it happens to men too,” in response to this movement.

Let’s face it―if your response to a bunch of women publicly sharing that they’ve been affected by sexual assault and harassment is to say, “But it happens to men, too,” you’re more than likely using that argument to silence women and shame them for speaking up.

So yes—it for sure happens to men too. So those men that have been affected are welcome to either join in, or take a long, hard look in the mirror. The widespread nature of this problem is not a reason to oppose or abstain from #metoo. Women & men (cis & trans), Z, and other all deserve to move through this world feeling safe in our bodies.

“Why is this the first time you’re saying something? You should report it when it happens.”

It’s a fallacy to assume that those posting as part of #metoo are doing it “for the first time.” For my own part, this isn’t the first time I’ve spoken out about what I experienced. But like many, when I spoke out, I was encouraged (and in some cases, threatened or intimidated) to keep a lid on my experiences.

“They’re a family member, and we don’t out our family members on this stuff.”

“You don’t want to be known as a whistleblower.”

“No one will hire you or want to work with you.”

“You’re just going to be labeled a basket case, it’s better for your own sake to stay silent.”

These are the types of things that people have said to victims to keep us quiet over the years.

This movement is a great thing because it’s bringing us all out of the shadows, and allowing us to speak our truth in full view. Brené Brown has said that “Shame needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgement.” #metoo is abolishing shame around this topic, and that’s a super empowering thing!

“Okay, so you’re talking about it. Now what?”

PLEASE STOP ASKING “Now what?” in reaction to #metoo.

Would you say that to a gay person after they’ve come out?

“Great, you’re gay. Now what?” No. Because that would be insanely disrespectful.

It’s just as disrespectful to turn that question on a community that is speaking out about really painful, traumatic stuff. Stop asking this question and applaud the fact that the conversation is happening! That in itself is a major step forward.

I can’t emphasize enough the power and progress that is reflected by the simple act of speaking out. There is so much shame and secrecy surrounding these experiences, and many (though not all) of us have been living in the shadows for a long time. So “merely” being able to “out” ourselves is important.

For now, that might be enough. Instead of everyone pointing the finger at the victims of these acts and asking, “Now what?” perhaps it’s time to turn our gaze to major employers, thought leaders, and prominent figures in our society, all of whom have contributed to this culture in one way or another. It is up to them to show us, as a society, how they’re going to take action to make the spaces they have influence over safer for all of us.

“Are you going to share the details of your story?”

I’ve been speaking up about many experiences with my body over the past three years, as a plus size model and a blogger / influencer. I’ve written about the physical trauma that lead to two major surgeries, and being medically discharged from the Navy. I’ve written and spoken in front of Congress about my eating disorder, which developed in the military.

This week, I’ve posted about the fact that sexual assault and harassment have affected me too. But at this point, I can’t say if I’ll be publicly sharing the details of those experiences. It doesn’t necessarily serve anyone for me to make those stories public, and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that.

It’s not a cop out. It’s an act of self care for me, or anyone else, to take this slowly. I don’t owe anyone the gory details just because I decided to join the #metoo movement. But there is tremendous value in us all speaking out, and holding space for one another.

So there you have it. That’s my cheat sheet on replying to irritating, ignorant comments in response to your #metoo posts.

Whatever you do, don’t let the haters get you down, or stop you from speaking out. It’s time to raise our voices, not just as victims. But as a unified society that has had enough. I’m not going to stand for it any longer, and I won’t stay silent on behalf of those that do.

What do you think? Have you seen responses like the ones I listed above? Need some support? Hit me up on social media and let me know. I’ll also be live on Facebook Friday at Noon ET talking about this with a rad community of women. Tune in for Body Love TV to join that conversation!

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This is what the #healthyatanysize movement is all about!

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This is what the #healthyatanysize movement is all about!

For years we've all been told the same things:

Melinda Parrish, creator of the #healthyatanysize movement.

Melinda Parrish, creator of the #healthyatanysize movement.

  • Eat less
  • Eat less sugar
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Lose weight
  • Gain muscle
  • Hit the treadmill

These things are the key to having a body you love. Because loving your body is all about changing your body, right? But what if I told you that you've been lied to?

What if I told you that behind these messages is a billion dollar diet industry that wants to keep you locked in a perpetual pursuit of a "perfect" body? A definition of perfection that doesn't exist without expensive surgery, supplements, and access to an arsenal of nutrition and fitness professionals.

The key to transforming your relationship with your body is actually something much, much simpler. It doesn't come in a pill form or require you to subscribe to a weekly workout regimen. The secret to loving your body isn't changing your body--it's changing how you feel about your body!

Once you do this, you can learn how to really take care of your body, not just grind it out in pursuit of an unattainable standard of perfection.

I'm Melinda Parrish, a plus size model and body positivity advocate. I'm also a lifelong athlete and former Naval Officer. I went on my first diet at the age of 7.

I’ve had food issues since I can remember, and I've struggled with binge eating disorder and bulimia. For years, I beat my body up trying to become the kind of woman I thought I needed to be in order to love my body, and have a life I loved.

I treated my body this way for decades. After multiple back surgeries, my disordered behavior around eating, and trying every diet under the sun, I've learned that the old way--the way we were brought up believing--is a lie.

We need a revolution!

This isn't just about liking what we see in the mirror. Feeling bad about your body as a woman can hold you back in every single area of your life.

Studies have found that 85% of women are opting out of life experiences because of how they feel about their bodies. This is a Body Love crisis!

You were not put on this earth to stand on the sidelines of your own life, waiting to be good enough to get in the game and start living it.

Stop fixating on changing your body. Transform how you feel about your body instead! So that you can step into the life of the woman you have always dreamed of becoming, and have a relationship with your body based on love, respect, and appreciation. Not self-loathing, fear, and deprivation.

Holding back on life can stop right now, today. Ditch your hang-ups with your body, and start living at full amplitude!

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