This is our truth, tell us yours
The formative experiences of my life between the ages of 11 and 13 were that first a man, then men, and boys, including a classmate from school, were involved in sex with me.
In the jargon of today, there was a paedophile sex ring. In my life, there were men who had cars, and power, and influence, and I co-operated, in a way that only a foolish youth, male or female, could.
Coping with those experiences required me to look, carefully , at the ways in which I idealized some of the men involved, and to understand the extent to which my exploitation took place in an environment that was about power within our community, and about my admiration for those men, and my desire to be friends with the cool kids who were their periphery.
I will not say #metoo.
Here’s why. My experience was specific to a time, a place, and a religious culture.
#Metoo is a hashtag about patriarchy, about the power of men who control industries, employment and opportunities.
I have no desire to excuse the men who abused me, but they were not offering me a role in their latest film. I did not get to be the lead soprano in the choir because I was an excellent cocksucker. I may have been targeted because of my position or role, but I suspect that man, and his friends, identified something intrinsic to me as a lost boy that had nothing to do with my voice. The men I encountered were hyenas or wolves, lurking behind the herd until they identified the easy targets.
Harvey Weinstein and his ilk are the exact opposite of those men, If you focus on the men, like Weinstein, who abuse their position, you will miss the men who walk through the forests like wolves, looking for the lame, the weak, the lost.
I have no desire to take up the space that women who want to use the #metoo hashtag require. Their experience is of a form of abuse that is economic, and cynical. It puts men in positions of power, and allows them to require sexual services as a means of access to the networks and hierarchies that enable power and career advancement.
That was not my experience. That is why I will not say #MeToo.