Okay gentlemen, it’s time to talk. It’s time we touch on the issue of your involvement in the #MeToo movement and everything else in between.
Recently, a fantastically powerful woman I know was harassed at the store. She was minding her own business, just trying to treat herself, which she deserves to do. But, she was rudely interrupted by a grown man, who insisted she give him his phone number. Repeatedly. Even after she asked him multiple times to stop, he incessantly harassed her, even going as far as using “hard headed bitch” to describe her resistance to speak to him. Lets put this in perspective, this man was well into his 50s and she is in her 20s. Not that age should even matter here, considering she told him “no” multiple times and that should have been enough to deter him. It wasn’t.
However, I don’t want to talk about the man who was harassing her. I DO want to talk about the FIVE other men standing in that store, watching her be repeatedly harassed, who said NOTHING. Including the clerk behind the counter. Now you can go ahead and claim it’s not your business. But here is the fact. It is your business. Some men, not all, are already resistant to this movement, but there are also some men who are involved in it. Women have been asked to remember and speak for these men in the world who are “good guys” and to mention that “not all men” act this way. Okay, we’ll give you that, Not all men act this way. That’s not the point. The point (and problem) is that there are still men that do. If you want us to do you the favor of standing up for the “good guys” than the rest of you need to STAND UP for us. You want us to believe that not all guys act this way? Then put your actions where your words are. STAND UP for women you see being harassed, STAND UP for women you see being mistreated in the workplace, class room, and public places. STAND UP for the women you claim to respect. And say something to the guys who do act this way. We’re not asking you to ride in on a white horse with a sword, we’re just asking you to speak up.
Orrrrrr if you’re not prepared to do that, then take one page from Matt Damon’s book and “get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
I’m not trying to group you all together or hurt your feelings. But I am enlisting your help. We can do it by ourselves, trust me on that. It’d just be a little easier if you guys played your part too.
Finally, in the words of Janelle Monae:
2 thoughts on “Its a two way street, not a one way road.”
This. Exactly this! Thank you so much for writing this piece. We can’t say this enough! We need men to police other men’s behavior to make these changes happen. This can’t be viewed as exclusively a “women’s” problem, when men act as both the perpetrators and the bystanders. Speak up, gents! Call other men out on their bullshit.
Love this – yes! I think the notion of having the marginalized always doing the work is a huuuuuuge misunderstanding of breaking down the walls we’ve built up. Inclusion and equality must be granted by the oppressors – so that means we need their help too!! https://medium.com/@schmutzie/why-it-is-not-my-responsibility-as-a-marginalized-individual-to-educate-you-about-my-experience-915b4ec08efd This piece does a great job of breaking down why we need SO BADLY to have help from the “inside,” if you will. Great job! No more letting locker room talk be locker room talk, and letting men harass women publicly.