I’ve been following the stories on #MeToo, listening and talking to a lot of people, and have been trying to gather my thoughts.
First, no one should ever have to feel unsafe. Ever. I’m so saddened to hear all the stories and testimonies, women being treated unfairly, as less worthy or as just being there for men’s entertainment. Why I’m so grateful about #MeToo – despite all the terrible stories – is that it has finally gotten to a point where everyone is listening. Where women feel brave, empowered and supported enough to share what has happen, to dare to say no.
I’ve also been thinking through my own actions over the years. To my knowledge, I’ve never harassed or intentionally treated anyone unequal, but if there have ever been situations where I’ve made any woman feel uncomfortable, not seen or awkward, I’m very sorry. I know I have been young and made stupid jokes, and that while I personally haven’t done anything bad, I haven’t stood up properly when hearing other men talking about women, using a demeaning jargon.
Some believe that with all the attention #MeToo gets now, people will also become opportunistic. There will be false or exxagarated claims, and that a certain vigilante mentality will follow and people will be judged before things are confirmed. I understand the vigilante worry, but at the same time, women have tried for such a long time to get help and not getting it. So this is what they have to do to get heard. The other part is that – according to studies – when it comes to claims about sexual assault and harassment, there are only a few percent that turn out not to be true. So with all the data we have, we have to make sure the victims get listened to, and that they get their fair chance to have their cases tried.
While I’m grateful to live and bring up my daughters in Sweden – one of the most gender equal countries in the world – there’s still a long way to go. But I’m happy to see all the #MeToo demonstrations going on in Sweden, and so many people working together and supporting each other to move in the right direction.
From my side, I constantly strive to treat everyone equal, and to make sure to speak up when I see or hear bad things. In my professional role, I work hard to make sure we have a good and representative gender balance at events, and that everyone feel safe and welcome.
But this is not about me. It’s about all the women who have been treated badly and unfairly, who have felt afraid or have not gotten the same opportunities as men.
Enough. Let us all build a better and more inclusive world together.