I logged on to Facebook this morning to see a trend among the women on my friend's list.
It seemed like every post on my feed was about the same thing.
And it had nothing to do with pumpkin spice or a fall fashion.
These women, who all hold a place in my heart, were posting "Me too."
Most of these women don't know each other—I've met them in various places, from high school to college to past jobs—but they all have something in common.
In explanation, their posts continue, "If all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."
And it has.
I know for every woman that shares the status, I know there are many more who are afraid, embarrassed or simply not ready to do the same.
And even as I write this, more posts are appearing on my timeline.
It's easy to hear stories of sexual harassment or assault and think "yeah, but I don't know these women."
And somehow that makes it easier to swallow.
But you do know them, we all do.
They sit behind you in class and work at the next cubicle over at the office. They smile at you at the grocery store and wait on you at your favorite restaurant.
My friends are telling stories of childhood trauma, of sexual harassment at work or an assault they can barely bring themselves to talk about.
It's a show of solidarity and it's heartbreaking.
Amongst the "Me too" posts there's another, terrifying and heartbreaking trend.
Countless women are making posts that say, "Me too.
To be honest, I don' know a single woman who hasn't experienced sexual harassment/assault."
That's a tough thing to let sink in.
It's not one age group or economic class.
It's not a race issue.
It's not a partisan one either.
The sheer volume of women sharing in this isn't the only thing emerging from the flood of posts.
"Harassment is so normalized that I'm sitting wondering if my stories are 'bad enough' to justify the me too hashtag. This makes me sick.”
"I caught myself wondering, 'have I experienced anything bad enough to merit a 'me too' post? Does catcalling count? Would my participation trivialize the experiences of women who have been through worse?' And then I realized, that's part of the problem, the tendency this society has to dismiss someone's experience as 'not bad enough,' 'not traumatic enough,' or 'not real enough,' to matter. Nothing will change if we persist in validating and believing a few, under certain circumstances, and dismissing the rest. And people who have been abused, harassed, assaulted, traumatized, refrain from speaking up or getting help because they believe what they went through 'doesn't count.'"
To all the women who have raised their hands and said "me too" and even all the women who haven't—It does count.
It all counts.
Whether you reported it to your boss or not. Whether your family knows or not. Whether you turned him in or not.
I told a handful of people I was writing this column and was met with a chorus of "be careful."
Don't name names, they said.
Don't be too specific, and don't give too many details.
And that's part of the problem, isn't it?
Even though there's a sea of women bravely standing up and saying "Me, too. This happened to me, too." We still don't want to cause waves.
But for every woman (or man) who is subjected to this—there’s someone on the other end.
And when they are the boss, or a family member, or a respected member of the community–women don't want to make waves.
This time there’s a celebrity involved. And a media-covered social media trend. And a catchy hashtag.
But sometimes there’s nothing but silence.
While the Me Too trend isn’t a solution, and the world will likely move on to something else tomorrow, maybe it will cause just enough noise to get us one step closer to a solution.