We have come to this point in our society where we are seeing more and more men being outed for sexual crimes. I would like to say I’m shocked when I see a new famous guy is a sexual criminal. But none of this shocks me anymore. I am never like. “OMG! You too?” Usually, I’m just sad.
Almost every woman I know has a ‘Me Too’ story. Not all of them are spoken about. But every one of them hurts.
I too have my stories.
I could tell you the story about how a man jumped into my bed. I could tell you about having panic attacks, not knowing where to run. I could tell you how I cried. I could tell you this type of thing happened more than once.
These stories can still make me cry. I’m not going to publicly out anyone only because they have been privately outed and that’s about as far as I can deal with it. But there are also those who have never been addressed. Like the school teacher who harassed me when I was fifteen. Like the ‘uncles’ and cousins, the ones who were inappropriate, the ones who built up a fear of men inside me.
I don’t think all men are sexual harassers and assaulters. But I’m suspicious none-the-less, of most men. You would think that since I have the most respectful role model for a man in my dad, that I would be hopeful about men. But most of all I’m scared. I was angry for a while and hurt. I dealt with those feelings, but the feeling of being scared that someone could hurt me never goes away.
They say it takes a village to raise a man. We are all that village. This ‘Me Too’ movement is hopefully making men scared of women. Scared of violating women. But we can’t run this show with fear alone. No matter how it sounds, the oppressor is also oppressed by his own violence. We have to teach little boys and even grown men that being violent hurts them as well.
So how do we convince men that they don’t want to become violent rapists or even sexual harassers? How do we shame them into thinking that they don’t want to be that guy? We need men to lead this movement. They say a good man is hard to find, well it shouldn’t be. Because good men are all around us. We need them to work with women.
You don’t have to call yourself a feminist, whether you are a man or a woman. It’s not about labels, it’s about action. RIght action, doing small things like teaching your sons respect for women. Teach them by showing them how much you respect women.
It’s not that hard to be good. But to raise a society of men that are good, is harder.
Time’s Up for women to have to feel shame and guilt for things that are clearly not their fault. Time’s Up for tolerating sexual violence. ‘The Times are a Changin.’