Sexolve 124: The Triggers, Doubts and Rage of #MeToo
If the #MeToo movement is triggering any anxiety, doubts or rage about past or present experiences that you need help with, write in to Harish Iyer.
If the #MeToo movement is triggering any anxiety, doubts or rage about past or present experiences that you need help with, write in to Harish Iyer.(Photo: iStock)

Sexolve 124: The Triggers, Doubts and Rage of #MeToo

Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.

If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, which you can’t seem to deal with, or need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to sexolve@thequint.com.

This week’s Q&As below:

‘I Want to Forget It Happened’

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been wondering about this for a long time. I have kept it within me. I didn’t muster the courage. I thought it was not happening. But it is coming out now. I feel chills down my spine when men touch me, I feel angry about my father touching my shoulder as well. This bloody #MeToo is triggering every thought. I want to forget. I really want to forget. I don’t want to be a social trend. I don’t want to trend. I don’t want to remember that I was raped.

Regards
Just a girl

Dear Girl,

I know how difficult it is when the horrors of our past appear in front of us. I can understand that sometimes we would wish that they don’t appear in front of us at all.

Sometimes we would want our past to be disjointed from our present. We would want to imagine that our abuse did not happen in the first place. We may want to dream of a life where we are not the consequence of our past but the essence of our present and the conviction of our future.

But it would be better that we don’t imagine the impossible.

We cannot undo the past. We can accept it. We can park it where it belongs. And we can move into our present. But sometimes, these tasks seem really difficult.

Though we all processes hurt differently, I can say that I understand how challenging it would be for you, because I am a survivor.

That’s why I would want you to visit a counsellor. Please visit one. Seek help. There are people who are trained in trauma counselling. There are listeners who are lending their ears to listen. Let your thoughts flow.

Just as we vomit to get something out of our system, we need to vomit our words to get it out of our system. And just as we have a doctor for our health, we need to have a counsellor for the fitness of our mental health.

I suggest that you work towards that.

I can help you with some numbers basis where you live. Please feel free to me.

Love
RainbowMan

PS: You are as human and as loving as you are.

‘I Was Raped by a Woman When I Was a Teen and People Think It Was Fantasy’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 24-year-old man who has been raped by a woman when I was 15. I hate the fact that I am always questioned “did you like aunty”, “ did you enjoy with aunty”, “why do you cry about this, you should have enjoyed the f**k at the young age. You lucky bas**rd”. I am fed up. Really fed up. Why is my rape not rape? You tell me. You tell me as someone who has been raped by a man yourself, do you think that boys who get raped by women are not raped? I know how you guys f**king think. You all want to do #MeToo that’s only men to men to men to women. You all are fake liberals and fake woke people who seem intelligent and empathetic but are actually just unidirectional in their thinking.

Angry Man

Dear Angry Man,

Thank you for sharing such a difficult part of your life with me. I believe you. I trust children regardless of their gender. I trust survivors regardless of their gender. The burden of proving the truth should not be on any survivor. It should be on the one who is accused.

Yes, boys get raped by women. I know of men who were abused when they were boys by adult women. I know this happens. I trust you. I repeat, I believe you.

I understand your anger. I understand the need for representation. When I spoke up as a survivor of child sexual abuse, 20 years back, my story was doubted. I was asked “since you are gay, did you enjoy it”. Abuse is abuse irrespective of the gender of our perpetrator or that of their victims.

Even the law, Protection of Children From Sexual Offenses Act 2012, is a gender neutral law that recognises all genders are probable perpetrators.

I may not qualify as a liberal in your eyes or even as someone who is woke. However, if you would like to speak to someone, who is a fellow survivor, I would have my ears open. If you would like to speak to a counsellor, I could help you with a list.

Please take care.

Regards
RainbowMan

PS: Anger is not healthy. Love is. I have that for you. Not because of any sympathy, (I hate sympathy myself) but of “sailing in the same boat” syndrome.

‘I Have Been Insensitive In My Behaviour With My Ex-Girlfriend’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am using an anonymous account to write to you. I am sorry for that but I do not want my identity to be revealed. I should confess I have misbehaved with someone in the past. I didn’t rape or anything. I simply kissed my girlfriend and just verbally insisted on kissing once more and she broke up with me. Later, I did speak to her and apologise. How do I rectify it so that it doesn’t come as a #MeToo story tomorrow?

Worried Man

Dear Worried Man,

It is good that you realised that you should not insist someone to do something when they clearly say no. Be it sexual favours, or be it even regular everyday work. We need to respect consent. We need to respect authority.

Though you may or may not have thought that you are infringing on her right to say no, how she would feel is totally her prerogative.

You can govern your actions, you can’t ascertain her reactions. She will react the way she would want to react. She has every right to react negatively even after many years.

I understand that sometimes, in relationships, these lines are bleak. We need to remember though that a no is no.

If you realise you have done something wrong, or something that could be read as wrong given the fresh perspectives you have gained of looking at things, proactively issue an apology to her privately or publicly.

I wish you healing. And I wish you respect all your partner’s consent throughout whoever that may be.

Regards
RainbowMan

PS: Again, please visit a counsellor.

(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to sexolve@thequint.com.)

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)

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