Ok-many of you will find this controversial…..

Many of the women I know posted “me too” on their social media platforms.  This is logical, because every woman I have ever met has been a victim of sexual harassment or assault at some point in their life.  It borders from disrespected to horrific in the terms of experience and none of these stories should be taken lightly.  We are all victims.  We should rally around one another and know that we are not alone- whether or not you want to publically share your story.  Everyone has the right to discuss, or not to discuss anything they want.  I applaud those able to share, and I silently commiserate and nod to the ones who don’t want to share.  It’s personal choice.

But……

Women have just exposed themselves.  Again.

When are the men going to take responsibility for their actions?

When?

When we women make them.

So here’s my plan.  I think every women goes to her husband, her father, her son, her uncle, her brother and makes sure that they all know what harassment and assault are- because chances are, they have all harassed/assaulted a women in their lives.  The men in the news did not harass/assault every women in the world.  This was done by fathers, brothers, uncles and sons.  I think the definition should be loud and clear.  Cat calling is harassment.  Saying nice ass at a bar is harassment.  looking down at a woman at work is harassment.  Anything other than yes, what we are doing is acceptable, is assault. No is no- end of discussion. I don’t think men get the definition.  I don’t think they understand that we are not dolls that can be manipulated and over powered.  They don’t get it.

We must make them understand.

We must make sure the definition is loud and clear.

And we should make them pay for their actions. My original thought was that every man should post on social media “I harass” or “I assault” or “I abuse my power as a man”.  My husband pointed out that no man is going to do this out of fear of getting sued.  So I was up all night revising my plan.  (not really- I thought of it before I went to bed)  Make men pay.

Pay.

Have every man you know (because let’s face it- if every woman has been involved, I’m going with every man has too- let’s me fair and equal about this) donate money to a cause for women.

Have every man make a donation to a charity that helps women in crisis.  Because when you donate money, it becomes real.  It becomes a tangible, tactile thing.  As they are writing a check or entering a credit card or putting bills into a collection- they are owning their misdeeds.  They are admitting that they are part of the problem.   We must figure out how to make everyone part of the solution.   And maybe with the money, we can help some women in need.

Man up.

50 thoughts on “Them too

  1. I totally agree with you! Until men change their way of thinking it will never stop. As one who is familiar with that uncle, neighbor, date, stranger and ex-husband, I am experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, I’ve met a not insignificant number of me that wouldn’t make the connections you’re assuming they’ll make just because something cost them a few dollars.

    That’s not me disagreeing with you, because I think you’re absolutely correct. Thy need to understand the consequences of their shitty behavior. They need to be accountable. For some, the dollars will definitely open up their eyes.

    For the others, I don’t know what the answer is. I hope somebody figures it out, and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can say with absolute certainty that not ALL men have harassed or assaulted a woman. I say this as a woman who has her own #MeToo story. There are genuinely good men in this world. I’m stupidly lucky enough to be married to one. To say that all men should take responsibility is equally as wrong as putting the blame on women. Men like my Hubby have so much compassion and respect for just being human, to lump him in with those that don’t care what they say or do does not do anything but turn this into yet another us vs. them issue ans solves nothing only generates more discord.

    “Cat calling is harassment. Saying nice ass at a bar is harassment.” While I do not disagree, I have to point out that women are JUST as bad as men when it comes to doing some of these same things. I have seen and heard some truly awful things come out of women’s mouths with regards to men. This is not a women vs. men issue, it is an issue of abusers attacking innocent people, gender does not matter. Yes, women statistically experience it more than men, but men do as well. Taking this hard line, making it black and white, does not help those men who have been abused feel confident about stepping forward and speaking out.

    I agree that just speaking out isn’t enough, but it is a huge step in the right direction. It has started the conversation and right now, that is all that matters.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Thank you for posing this perspective. All of it. There are a lot of us who can say absolutely…nothing. Which can be painful for anyone who wants to talk. And you’ve said it eloquently and fairly. Brilliant. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It isn’t my right to expect both sides of an issue. I was just reading and wanted to acknowledge the other perspective which I hadn’t yet seen. You know there’s been so much of it this week…it’s a lot to take in. It’s just my own personal experience and beliefs that makes some of it hard to read. It was not a negative, just appreciation for the points made 😔 Because I have no answers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the thing. We need to talk about it so we can come up with a solution. I spoke to a bunch of women who all felt harassed at some point in their life. But no man admitted to being a harasser, in any form….logically….that doesn’t add up. There has to be open dialogue….maybe men don’t fully realize what women consider harassment……thanks as always for commenting!!

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      3. As someone raising daughters and who has suffered greatly on both sides of this coin privately, I know the difference between right and wrong, but I still can’t speak for the totality. Only myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. What I like most about you and your blog is that you put yourself out there. You gave emotions and you feel. Yet, you also think….you consciously make an effort to understand. You see both sides of an issue…..that’s a rare combination.

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      5. I appreciate that, very much. Thank you. 😶 I have a huge fear of alienating myself from anyone inadvertently. But…deep breath, there’s so much. There’s always so much. Of everything.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My 15 year old daughter has been catcalled since she’s 12. When her and her tennis team exit the subway, men call out to them and make kissing noises and the like. They are 15 years olds with backpacks and tennis rackets walking to a court. They feel degraded and diminished and afraid. No woman should ever feel like that. Ever. It diminishes self respect and self esteem.
      Now, I know women are just as bad, I’ve actually thought about blogging about how women have become as crass as men, but that’s a whole other blog. It’s actually been on my to write list, but I’m trying to find the commercial that sparked that idea. But to be fair, I’ve never met a man that was afraid of being raped by a woman.
      I’ll give your husband a pass, because I’m guessing there are a few men out there that are completely respectful and always have been. But, with the amount of women saying he too yesterday, there has to be a lot of men responsible- and those men are people’s sons, husbands, fathers, uncles and cousins. The conversation needs to be open as to what is and is not acceptable.
      Thanks for great comment and alternate viewpoint!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Still gonna play devil’s advocate here, but… since when is rape confined to only between a man and a woman and if a man is raped, it is by a woman? Or a woman by a man for that matter? The difference between the fear women have and men have is that, for the most part, men don’t talk about it. There is a whole other level of stigma placed on male rape than what women experience. Because they don’t talk about it, they have not been conditioned to fear as women have (I recently wrote about something along those same lines). No, most men do not walk around with the same level of caution and fear that women do, but you have got to think about how, because of that lack of fear, because of the fact that most men do not even consider it a possibility for them, how differently devastating their experiences with rape are. That is a conversation that absolutely needs to be happening if we are going to talk about sexual assault and harassment. Their experiences are just a s real as what women go through, they are not less, they are just different. As a woman, I don’t believe I will ever understand the full scope of the damage a man goes through emotionally and mentally because I am not a man. I can only compare to my own experience and, at best, guess.

        While I do believe, wholeheartedly, that there are an awful lot of men that have participated in and perpetuated the harassment culture we live in, I’d bet you’d be surprised at how much lower that percentage is than you think. Yes, the hashtag has blow up like crazy, highlighting the number of women subjected to this, but you have to realize it is NOT a 1 to 1 ratio. Men that do these kinds of things do so to pretty much EVERY woman they know or meet because they believe it is their right. Think about how many women that 1 man comes into contact with. Yes, this issue absolutely IS a huge problem. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be talked about. Parents need to do a better job of raising their boys to think differently. Blaming the majority population of men does not solve anything. It just plays into divisiveness.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ok. I won’t blame all men. But…I’ll give you another example. 1 guy does something harassing. His 4 friends know it. They don’t do anything about it. Are they complicit? But….more to the point, how do we stop sexual harassment? Because at the end of the day, that’s the issue. How do we stop it?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. The best I can come up with (and sort of how I’ve been dealing with my own issues with this) is what each of us individually can do. If you have kids, teach them differently. Keep talking about the issue, about all sides of the issue, honestly, as best we can. If you hear some jerk going off, speak up or report it (as long as you feel safe doing so). Change can only happen one person at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. We need everyone to think like you do. So, that’s why I made a grand sweeping statement…..because if you don’t make a grand sweeping statement no one gets in the discussion. Everyone needs to be accountable. They need to make sure their spouses, their children, their siblings, their parents are all hell accountable for their actions. We can argue about how many people are harassers, what sex they are, but at the end of the day those arguments are moot, because they’re not working towards a solution. We have a problem. How do we solve it. Instead of #metoo, it needs to be #iwillthinkabouthowmyactionsaffectothers

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Really wonder how many men will own it up. If they do, good.
    And it is important for them to put up a “I won’t anymore” as their status.
    We don’t want our kids to go through the kind of trauma that we have gone through. It can be an inappropriate look, remark or act. None of the little girls and boys deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Personally I believe we need to teach our children through our own actions that to treat people without respect is not acceptable. Sadly dear friend children are sometimes brought up in homes where the parents show little respect for each other never mind people outside the family. Morals and standards don’t seem as important anymore. 🌹

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I like your idea! I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, but I get what you’re saying and I totally agree. Any man, including my own family members if they have been guilty of harassment, should be held accountable. Maybe if they had to open their wallets, they would think about how what they say impacts someone else next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember us having a conversation very much along these lines at a support group I went to many years ago, before social media had taken off and it became acceptable for us to speak publicly of our experiences. It’s easy in light of what is happening now to focus on how bad things are, and they aren’t good, but they are improving, the more women (and men) can speak out about what is done to them the less their attackers will get away with it. There is also the fine line with some harassment where some on both sides find it harmless fun while others find it unacceptable. This has to come down to people being human beings and reading their audience and knowing when to apologise if they cross that line. I am someone who takes a lot of comments as banter, but lay a finger on me without permission and I will flip out. I also don’t think all men do this, while some very well meaning ones do. Plus women are just as bad if not worse when it comes to harassment. Get a bunch of women fuelled by alcohol in a bar and heaven help the poor men in their vicinity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All great points. But sometimes you have to go a little over the top to get people’s attention. How do we fight harassment? It only stops if people stop doing it. Men and women. But we have to talk about it. Somewhere men and women are harnessing people. It has to stop.

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      1. I totally agree talking is the way forward. I was groped earlier this year and very loudly called the guy out in the middle of the crowd, completely humiliated him, made sure everyone knew what he had done. After he had gone running for the hills, another woman whispered in my ear he had been touching her aswell but she didn’t feel like she could do anything, I want us to be in a place where anybody feels confident calling someone out for that kind of thing, no matter what.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the reasons I did post “Me, too” was because I am married to, mother of, sister of, daughter of men who would never do these things. Still: until we ALL posted, they didn’t have the same sense of how universal this is that my daughter, my sisters, my mother and I have all had. I just wanted it to be a roll call, rather than a demand for change. To me, that comes next.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to say, I’ve never harassed a woman. I also wouldn’t be friends with any guy who felt it was ok to cat call or whatever you call it a woman. Simply ridiculous and immature.

    In fact, I probably go too far to avoid the perception of harassment. I don’t think I’ve ever complimented any woman except my wife or someone I was with before my wife. Not even an innocent compliment. Meanwhile, I’ve been told by other women on many occasions how nice my eyes are, or how tan I am, or how nice I look in reference to what I’m wearing.

    I feel that these compliments are normal and nice. I don’t read anything into them, in fact it makes me feel like a jerk that I never return the compliment. I guess I choose the label of jerk over a guy who harasses women.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were discussing this at dinner….it depends on the intention. A general compliment is fine. A guy telling you your doable is not. I’m old at this point, and guys still make lewd comments at me. They do it to my teenage daughter. This is wrong. I know people who talk to female clerks and waitstaff with innuendo and I cringe. When I tell them it’s wrong I get told I’m a prude. I made a grand statement of all men, because I needed to get people’s attention. We all need to learn to respect one another. I wrote a few weeks ago that we all need to learn respect and empathy. Harassment stops when people stop harassing. Thanks for great commentary

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  9. Yes, men do have to change their behavior I agree, but women have to learn to stand up for themselves and say no to things that make them uncomfortable not just jump to court or charging someone with stalking for instance. I have both a son and a daughter and have had to talk to them both about their actions and how it might be perceived, they both know my history and this probably has shaped them in some way. I have seen good men who have done nothing wrong branded and hounded out of jobs working with young women because a young woman didn’t like her advancement, her playing time(college and high school sports)etc so she took it out on the man. I want everyone to be honest about things but look we are dealing with humans and at best we are an imperfect species.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh….I totally agree….(I wrote a companion to this piece on Friday where I state that men do get blamed for things that aren’t their fault). But, at the end of the day, we all have to take personal responsibility, stand up for ourselves, and respect one another.

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