Artwork (c) Still Dancing – Jonathan Labillois, Listuguj Migmaq First Nation Band in Gaspe Quebec

I cannot self-identify without bringing recognition and attention to the thousands of women and female children who have no voice because their voices have been suppressed, shamed and mutilated by societal ignorance, culture, tradition and self-indulgent greed that has not slowed or stopped no matter how devastating the statistics.

So let me be counted with those who are silenced, daily assaulted, abused and murdered simply because of their gender, only because they are women, solely because they are girls and strategically because they are elders—so many– too many silent victims of this horrendous epidemic of misogyny and greed.

My “me too” is for the 1,017+ reported cases of women and girls identified as Indigenous who were murdered between 1980 and 2012—a homicide rate roughly 4.5+ times higher than that of all other women in Canada. There are no statistics for the women who have been crudely buried, missing and dishonored in the manner which they were disposed.

My “me too” is for the 800,000+ women and children who are trafficked across international borders each year housed in cages and filthy apartments some in plain view countless other—not.

My “me too” is for 188,380+ American women who were victims of sexual violence in just a single year

My “me too” is for the 84,767+ assaults defined as forcible rapes according to national statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and those cases ladies and gentlemen are just the ones reported. Why would any woman want to report a crime to a system that turns away from their suffering and pain?

My “me too” is especially for the very elderly, the unidentified victims of sexual assault and rape. The ones the U.S. Department of Justice describes as a subgroup of sexual assault victims—what? A sub-group? The elderly have been “hidden” from view, rarely, if ever, the subject of media attention, generally excluded from public policy designed to manage sex offenders, and neglected by scientists. These are our elders—why should they have to endure such degradation and dishonor in their golden years?

Me too, me too, me too.

I AM the voices of thousands and thousands of women, economically poor and some wealthy, women of all races, women of all academic backgrounds, women who are leaders and healers, women who are educators and doctors, women who are scientists and mothers, women of all sexual orientations and faith perspectives. Women who endure the rigor of bringing life in to the world including the very men who succumb to their own depravity to harm, the sacred giver of life—our women.

I cannot speak of my own pain and suffering unless I bring to light the pain and the suffering of those who have been silenced because I believe there is strength and healing in numbers.

Let us come together and raise our voices in unison for the voices buried and forgotten, for the voices still trapped and secluded.


Elizabeth Asahi Rising Sun Sato

Women in red: A stunning performance of the red dress jingle dancers honors missing women (Video)

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