By. Manuela Montañez Guerra

It started with a question; “Do the guys that did this to me know that what they did was wrong and inappropriate?”

After reading and sharing articles about #metoo and #timesup, writing posts and talking about abuse and consent with my friends and family, I decided to find out for myself. I started replaying specific moments in my life, from workmen catcalling me since I was 12 to that time a random guy at school asked me if I would let him lick my feet for $100 bucks. All of the moments that make me say me too.

Then I started thinking about the moments where the guy was no stranger, I started thinking about the men that are still in my life that make me say me too. I decided to reach out those who I still have in my life that put me in situations that make me say me too. I wasn’t looking for an apology. I wanted these men to understand what they did and how it affected me.

I decided to start with the moment that always came to my mind when I thought about reasons to say #metoo.

I hadn’t talked to him in over five years, so after some really awkward small talk I told him why I was reaching out to him. I told him that the last time we had seen each other made me say #metoo. He was in shock and told me that he was very sorry and that he remembered the last time as something consensual.

I asked him “What part about you pushing me into a couch, bruising my back, kissing me against my will, raising my skirt after I said no multiple times, telling me that if you had already kissed me what was the difference and holding my arms down was consensual.”

He fell silent. He felt embarrassed and apologized again. He told me he had been aware about sexual harassment for a while, that he has a baby sister and he would hate for her to have a reason to say me too; he had just never realized that he was a part of the problem.

I don’t believe he is a bad guy but he grew up in a society where boys will be boys.

This experience was very empowering for me and allowed me to have some closure. I encourage other women to do it, telling someone #itwasyou is liberating and makes men that need to check themselves aware that #itwasthem.  

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