Me too.

Contains discussion of sexual assault and harassment.

I had planned for this week’s post to be about my fertility journey up until now, but then a hashtag about sexual assault and harassment took off on social media and I thought it was too important not to comment on.

Thousands of women across the world today have been writing ‘Me too’ on their social media to highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault. This comes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Even though the Harvey Weinstein revelations have been focussed on Hollywood, there are Harvey Weinstein’s in all industries. I can think of at least one workplace where a man used his position and power to bully and sexually harass female staff and was protected and it was the female whistle blowers who were forced to leave their jobs.

The #MeToo hashtag has been about showing just how prevalent sexual assault and harassment are across society. As one friend wrote on Facebook “I reckon I’d be more likely to find a unicorn than a woman who has never been sexually harassed or assaulted.”

Yet I still struggled to remember incidents*, especially of sexual harassment. I think there are a couple of things at play here, at least for me.

Firstly there’s a sense of downplaying the seriousness of things that have happened. Anything other than rape doesn’t seem as serious. To be clear I’m not saying that anything other than rape is less serious. I count myself as lucky enough to have never been raped so anything other than rape feels like a lucky escape and not as bad as what other women have gone through.

Secondly women often face varying degrees of sexual harassment on such a regular basis that it just becomes part of our everyday. And sometimes it’s not until much later that you realise that certain behaviour wasn’t actually acceptable and it’s okay not to feel good about how someone else has made you feel, either through their words or actions.

Today’s mass action has given me the space to acknowledge experiences I have had, and say that it’s not okay. It’s not something women need to accept as part of our lives. And it’s up to men to start believing us when we do disclose sexual assault or harassment.

To all the women speaking out today, and every other day:

I stand with you. I see you. I believe you.

Tash.

*I considered sharing some of my own experiences and I can think of at least three different examples that come to mind, including one of sexual assault, but decided against it. Quite possibly because I have tried to forget about the sexual assault in particular and therefore haven’t really dealt with it.

Not quite a mummy blogger

Just what the world needs another white middle class woman blogging about her fertility issues.

I know I feel like a cliché, but here we are. To make matters worse my reasons for starting the blog are fairly selfish. Turns out trying to conceive brings up a lot of feelings and thoughts. And for someone who doesn’t like to talk about her feelings that’s hard. Writing is my therapy, so this blog is my outlet for all these thoughts and feelings. So many feelings. Ugh.

I had actually started thinking about starting a blog before our fertility issues became apparent. We made a sea change* roughly 11 months ago and so I had vague ideas about writing about that. I even got around to setting up this blog but I never actually got around to writing anything. Not long after we moved I started a new job so was suddenly much busier, and while we love our new life by the coast it didn’t really seem remarkable enough to be sharing with the internet.

We started seeing a fertility specialist this year and that sort of took over my life. It definitely took over my thoughts. So it made sense to change the direction of my not quite existent blog. And suddenly I had lots of things to write about. Some of it kinda gross and weird, and some of it more serious.

This blog won’t just be about our fertility journey, but will cover other things I’m passionate about and other things happening in my life. 

Black and white floofy cat lying in the sun
Garfunkel enjoying the sun.

Like our cat Garfunkel. I imagine she’ll make frequent appearances because she’s the greatest.

And there will be lots of posts on women’s rights and women’s health issues aside from fertility. I work for a women’s rights organisation and am a proudly out feminist. My fertility struggles have also made me more aware of taboos around women’s health like periods, and even fertility and I’m interested in starting a broader conversation about this.

There will probably also be a fair bit of swearing.

Essentially I’m writing the type of blog I would like to read in the hope that it will resonate with other people. This blog will also hopefully also bring a fresh, or at least different, perspective on infertility and all the shit that goes along with that.

Thanks for sticking through my first blog post. The aim is to make them weekly, but we’ll see how we go.

Tash.

*An actual SeaChange – we live in the place where the classic late 90s Australian TV show SeaChange was filmed. Diver Dan be still my beating heart!