Al Franken. Louis C.K. Roy Moore. Kevin Spacey. Mike Halperin. Harvey Weinstein. A little more than a month ago I would’ve thought this was a list of high-profile men spread across different industries. Now we read these names with utter disgust.
Yet these names aren’t what we should be focusing on. By focusing on the individuals, we’re treating these men as if their actions are unique or unheard of. The truth of the matter is that our culture has systematically accepted this behavior for years.Via Daily News
Women have merely shed light on the misconduct and for once, we’re being heard. But what about the men responsible for sexual misconduct that aren’t Hollywood stars or big executives? How are regular people who aren’t going to make newspaper headlines held accountable for sexual misconduct? Multiple women accused Louis C.K. prior to the news outbreak and yet none of the allegations were taken seriously until an extended account was published in a national newspaper. What happens when we don’t have backing from a major newspaper? How will we be heard as a silent majority within America?
This isn’t to diminish the progress we’ve made as women. The recent #MeToo campaign may one day be seen as a watershed moment in the feminist movement. But this momentum has to continue. As a feminist, I can’t rejoice until we’re on stable ground. The same culture that began the “Me Too” campaign voted in a president who has multiple sexual assault allegations against him along with a recording where he brags about kissing women exclaiming, “I just start kissing them…I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy.”Via Public Health Watch
This also comes at a time when Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has rescinded guidelines Obama placed toward preventing sexual assault on campus. She believes it favors victims, criticizes the school administration too much and lacks due process for those accused by overturning “basic elements of fairness.” to those accused with a bias toward women.
Still, others have called the outbreak of allegations beginning with Weinstein to be a mere “witch hunt.”
This makes the voices of brave women who have spoken up to be undermined by a systematic power imbalance; thus forcing women into whisper networks for protection.The truth is this issue is deeply embedded in our society, but nearly invisible to identify. Fortunately, we can do something about it.
Concerted efforts to teach children about sexual harassment prevention needs to begin early for both sexes. Not only should men be held accountable for sexual misconduct, but men who ignore it must also be responsible. We need to recognize this for what it is. It’s a social and personal issue that demands the re-examination of masculinity and the correction of perverted attraction rules that pervade our culture. Via Vox
For women, we need to accept that we can’t and shouldn’t be expected to solve this problem alone. For years, Lady Liberty has been tipped against us. As Melinda Gates states in a recent op ed, “Anyone who attempts to excuse any mistreatment of women by saying ‘what’s acceptable has changed’ is missing the point entirely. Discrimination, harassment and rape have never been acceptable. They’ve just been accepted…we haven’t had an equal chance to determine what kind of world we live in.”
If another woman you know was raped or assaulted, don’t assume they’re victimizing themselves or overreacting. We’ve been taught to bring each other down, but just imagine what we can accomplish by supporting each other. If a woman doesn’t want to publicly discuss these matters, don’t force it. It may be a role they don’t want to be cast in. But if a woman chooses to speak up then listen.
Related: Why I Choose Not to Post #MeToo
via Mother Jones
As a society we need to look past party loyalty and do what’s right for our country. James Baldwin once said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
Dissent can be patriotic if the intent is progress. Speak up against inequities in the judicial system. Arbitration laws, public figures who denounce women’s authority and victim protection deserve to be examined. Progress has begun and we need to continue tipping the scales in our direction. “By raising our voices we protect one another.” So don’t be silent. For too long we’ve been the silent majority and it’s about time we speak up in whatever capacity we deem fit.