News of Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein molesting and sexually harassing women not only shocked everyone but also started a conversation about sexual abuse on social media. Although its prevalence was never denied, the Weinstein episode ended up emboldening other women to speak of similar incidents in their lives. Alyssa Milano’s tweet urging women to speak about incidents of being sexually abused or harassed started an online movement of sorts when narratives of sexual abuse poured from all quarters with the hashtag #MeToo. Now, in almost step forward to this, Jennifer Wright, an author, put up a similar status on Twitter where she asked women, who have been flashed a penis to speak up on their experiences. And much like the last time, the response has been staggering.
More women have been through this than one would like to imagine and the stories are horrific. “Hey women: retweet if you’ve ever been shown a penis you did not want or expect to see,” Wright tweeted on November 10 and many women responded to this. While one user wrote, “The first time I was in second grade. He drove by me and called me over to his car. His penis was out. Second time I was 19, it was on public transportation” another wrote “Same here! I was nine. It was a neighbor in his station wagon. Didn’t even know what I was looking at.” Women, from different walks of life and strata have a familiar story to narrate.
This is the tweet that started the conversation.
Hey women: retweet if you’ve ever been shown a penis you did not want or expect to see.
— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) November 9, 2017
And this is how women responded.
The first time I was in second grade. He drove by me and called me over to his car. His penis was out. Second time I was 19, it was on public transportation.#metoo
— Mess-of-happiness (@nassimakflinn) November 9, 2017
Same here! I was nine. It was a neighbor in his station wagon. Didn’t even know what I was looking at.
— Christine Tutlewski (@tutlewskic) November 10, 2017
What a downright sad club to be a part of. And there’s millions of us, I’m sure. Men are trash.
— . (@mynejas) November 10, 2017
Unfortunately most of the unsolicited dicks I’ve seen have been in person, not pictures. Isn’t that sad and frightening? Life’s better now but damn it was crazy.
— Lorraine Hickman (@shortyblueyes5) November 10, 2017
16 year old me confronted by an old man casually masturbating in front of me as I’m trying to walk to school.
— Cara (@gooliegirlie) November 10, 2017
Happened a lot when I was very active on social media in my mid teens, late teens, and I’d get messages, occasionally from strangers, with pics in them. Unsolicited, and definitely unwanted – no one wants to see that. Made me sick and embarrassed. :\
— Miranda Doerfler (@docsaico) November 11, 2017
The first was a cyclist on his bike waiting at the top of a hill I was climbing with my nine old friends. It was hard and out of his pants.
— Jordie Welles (@Jordiew) November 11, 2017
There were also men who joined the conversation.
Jesus christ. I’m starting to think my not having flashed anyone unsolicited is an exception, not the norm.
— Ash Menon (@ashvinmenon) November 10, 2017