Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come
Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come

Holly O'Neill

How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback
How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback

Colette Sexton

The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection
The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection

Sarah Finnan

A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Letter From London: When #MeToo Feels Wrong


by Kerry Buckley Barnes
30th Oct 2017
blank

“Ugh not another #MeToo post!”

“I know, it doesn’t count if a builder wolf-whistled at you on your way to work.”

A bit controversial but really not what I expected to hear from a banker and barrister in a wine bar down one of those tiny, cobbled lanes near St Paul’s Cathedral from women slogging away to forge careers in male-dominated industries. Industries where women notoriously have to work four thousand three hundred and twenty seven times as hard as men to earn the respect and recognition they deserve. Industries where sexual harassment runs rife and where girls likethese have definitely encountered their very own “Harveys”. But maybe they had a point?

We were discussing all things Weinstein and got to talking about #MeToo. The hashtag was used 12 million times but far from everyone joined in the online conversation. My feed was completely bereft of them.

As I scrolled through, I saw just the usual cute animal videos, engagements, holiday snaps and ads (ads that show FB has ABSOLUTELY been spying on my googling habits. How else would they know I was in the market for one of those giant wine glasses that fits a whole bottle in it?). Blatantly missing was #MeToo. Not one of my friends had posted it. Was everyone I know really lucky enough to have escaped this sort of behaviour? Not one of them a victim in some sense?

I pressed the girls in the wine bar that evening, and others over the next couple of days, about why they hadn’t posted. Surely their experiences were no different to the multitudes taking part in the conversation. Various responses came back. Some serious like “I was raped, that can’t be summed up in a hashtag” or “I’d be too embarrassed – I didn’t do anything about it at the time so why now?”; but most were light hearted along the lines of “Oh it’s very un-Irish, isn’t it?”; or “I just go on Facebook to look at pictures of cats and Jessica Abrahams’ holidays”.

Later, when someone turned the question back on me, I had to admit that I hadn’t posted as anything I could write would trivialise the more serious stories that other women had shared. I just don’t consider myself a victim.

I didn’t feel like a victim in New York when I stood in a lift with a man who masturbated beside me for 14 floors (he realised that too as the doors opened on my floor and I erupted laughing, squealing “so tiny”). Was I a victim two months later when “lift guy’s” even creepier mate left an unpleasant white stain on my coat on the subway (although it was definitely awkward when the dry cleaner didn’t buy my story)? How about on the mornings men rub against me on the tube or stare for a fraction too long on the bus? I notice it but I don’t feel victimised. I’m not a victim when a man makes an inappropriate comment about my appearance in a meeting – because I am straight back in there with a comment on his new tie, asking if his wife bought it for him.

Those of us that didn’t get involved can be accused of turning a blind eye and letting down the side. And while everyone will agree campaigns like this open people’s eyes to the extent of the problem, I fail to believe they can or will radically change behaviours.

Everyone has their reasons for taking part or not. I didn’t post #MeToo because I believe my stories would belittle real victims and their anguish. And I’m lucky enough to be able to look back and mostly actually feel a bit sad for the creepy men…… Except the coat guy. He owes me $25 dollars in dry cleaning expenses.

Also Read

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Vegan
EDITORIAL
Delicious vegan-friendly spots to try for a weekend brunch in Dublin

Check out three of our favourite vegan/veggie-friendly spots in Dublin worth trying this weekend. The best bit? Chances are, even...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We have not heeded the warnings sufficiently’: The health emergency we’ve ignored while focusing on the pandemic

The climate change debate has been going on for so long its become white noise. But this week, the effects...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Nutritionist Daniel Davey’s harissa squash with giant couscous

This is a perfect lunch recipe, and the harissa does an incredible job of bringing the squash and chicken to...

By Meg Walker

Sleep cycle during Covid-19
EDITORIAL
How to get your sleep schedule back on track during lockdown, according to a sleep technologist

Many of us are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Covid-19, explains sleep technologist Breege Leddy. But there are...

By Katie Byrne

blank
EDITORIAL
‘In a public health emergency, why does so much of the post-pandemic talk revolve around drinking?’

No other European country is having the same public order challenges our capital city is experiencing, writes Amanda Cassidy I...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy