The Me Too movement began as a result of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October, 2017 — women chiming in with the phrase all over the internet, Me too, me too, me too. I myself chimed in after a little hesitation. I don’t like doing things en masse, but #MeToo seemed like a worthy cause, considering the rough moments with men I’d experienced in my life. The first occurred when I was a girl of sixteen at the beach with a friend and her father. The other girl was someone I’d met at summer camp, not a close friend, and we were spending the day together at Jones Beach.
The surf was a little rough and when we went in the water I noticed her dad, a quiet, unassuming Jewish man in his late forties, hung onto my hand while he quickly let go of his daughter’s. Was I imagining this? No, the guy swam close to me, so our limbs were touching, and when his daughter wasn’t looking, pulled me toward him for a kiss on the mouth. I was totally creeped out. I had the day ahead of me with these people and I wasn’t getting away from them till my father picked me up from the friend’s house after dinner that night. This was before cell phones and the situation was tricky. I couldn’t say anything to my friend — “Ew, your dad has a little pedophilia,” would have gone over like a lead balloon. It was a bright sunny day but I felt as if a dark cloud covered me, and I stayed as close to my friend as I could to avoid any kind of intimate situation with her father. Still, the man kept trying to get alone with me and managed a few more kisses and gropes before the day was out. When my father picked me up that night I said nothing. What had happened was embarrassing and unmentionable, so I never told anyone. But the memory remains — a man the same age as my father molesting me while he thought no one was looking, and that creepy day became part of my history.
There were other creepy memories — a doctor touching me inappropriately after he’d mainlined valium into my system to insert an IUD, and then there was the date rape that I always felt was my fault because I shouldn’t have gone to the guy’s apartment. But it’s a different side of the Me Too movement I want to talk about, one that first showed its ugly face here in Austin in the ecstatic dance community.