[We’re sort of on holiday until about January 3 or so, so I’m re-posting some old stories from last year. Enjoy, and if you can spare a dollar or two, or a million, please consider making a donation. We’d be very grateful.]
Hey, Me too, but this is statistically unsurprising and not my responsibility to reveal. What we need — rather than countless women confirming what we already know, that men routinely harass and assault us — is for the people who are actually responsible for these atrocities to speak up.
Men, where are you? Where are your #metoo’s? Why haven’t I seen “Me too, and I won’t do it again”? “Me too, and I won’t brush off your experiences again”? “Me too, and I won’t doubt you next time”? “Me too, and next time I won’t stand by?”
Maybe, instead of women feeling the need to come forward and present their personal trauma for the Internet to ogle and so the magnitude of the problem is clear, we need something else. Maybe we need to hear from all the men who have assaulted women, harassed women, and been complicit in other people’s mistreatment of women. Maybe they are the ones who should feel the need to expose themselves, to open themselves up and be judged in the eyes of their social media followers, to subject themselves to humiliation and scrutiny for a change.
All too often, issues of harassment, assault, and other forms of sexual violence are regarded as “women’s issues.” People say things like, “We need to put a stop to violence against women.” The problem in taking this tone is that it’s passive. It leaves out a key player, the only active player, in fact, in these violent moments: the perpetrators.
It’s not just violence against women, it’s violence committed by men. It’s not a woman’s issue, it’s an issue with men who think that women’s bodies and lives exist for them, and that they can do and say whatever they see fit to us.
The work of ending sexual violence should not fall on the victims; it should fall on the perpetrators. And these perpetrators need to be named.
Men, do better. You too.