I think the men who are being out-ed now for being assholes (even from actions 20-40 years ago) should most definitely be out-ed.
I also think there is a spectrum of harassment and asshole-ry onto which many men, if not most, fall.
Those who are on the “stood by while my peers made nasty sexist jokes or told about asshole sexual activities” side of the spectrum may simply need to face the truth that they have been complicit and stop being so passive in the future. Hopefully all of this new public discussion will help them be more courageous. “Why is that funny to you?” is a great response to awful jokes and “that sounds like assault” is a good response when hearing about sexual assault.
Those who are on the “shoved my tongue into her mouth even though she didn’t want to kiss” area of the spectrum should be called out in public and given the opportunity to face the truth about their assaulting behavior. Those who pose for photographs grabbing the breasts of a sleeping woman should also be called out in public and given the opportunity to face the truth about their assaulting behavior. If a pattern of behavior shows the offenders still think such behavior is okay, they should face the consequences similar to those I describe in the next paragraph.
Those who repeatedly made sexual advances toward teenaged girls or repeatedly showed their genitals to unwilling women should be called out in public and given the opportunity to face the truth about their assaulting behavior and also should be socially ostracized, including but not limited to being fired from jobs and being refused membership in communities of decent people. It should be socially acceptable to say “no, you can’t play or work here anymore” to those men.
Filed under activism, sexism
So many of us—I most definitely include myself in this—are having to relive traumas over and over as more and more people are finding the courage to speak out about sexual harassment/abuse/assault. In my newspaper column, I wrote about Trump’s election being like “a punch in the gut” because I’m a sexual abuse/assault/harassment surviver. It’s gotten worse lately, even though I’m sure that more people speaking out is better in the long run.
I’ve just realized that for my own mental health, I need to unplug from all the various social media sites for a while. I need to regain some control about how often and when I am exposed to conversations about assault and abuse. For a while, that means turning off twitter and Facebook, and not posting here.
My Bangor Daily News column in October was about being kind to people because you never know what they are going through. So many of us are being forced to relive traumas and, speaking for myself, that means I’m especially tender and vulnerable. Let’s all be gentle with each other, okay?
(I’m cueing this up to post later, I’m stepping away from the non-work computer use for a while.)
I wish people would stop using the term “pedophile” so recklessly. See this twitter person’s explanation about why the distinction matters:
Most people feel embarrassed when they don’t know stuff that it seems like everyone else knows. I recently tweeted about how when the Trump/Russia stuff started coming out I had to google to find out why Putin was so bad, why the Russians were so bad — and, really, were they actually? wasn’t that kind of Reagan-like or something? could it be old stereotypes?
I did a bunch of googling and found that, yes, Russia wants to be a threat to our country. There are lots of articles out there, but this article from Vanity Fair was the one I found most helpful: “THE SECRET SOURCE OF PUTIN’S EVIL It’s not the K.G.B., or the Cold War. It’s decidedly more Pushkin-esque, or Peter the Great, than that.”
Putin’s goal is not just a little more turf. Russia has a lot of that. His telos—his endgame—is the destabilization, the overcoming, of the whole Western order.
One of the reasons I love Quakers is without doing it perfectly, we try to live by Jesus’ example. I was recently reading a “minute” from New England Yearly Meeting, 2016 that I want to share. From, https://neym.org/news/2016-yearly-meeting-minute-white-supremacy:
“This minute is an important instance of speaking Truth to power. This minute represents the hard truth of Friends of color. The largely white Yearly Meeting is the power that needs to receive this Truth.
We want to grow; we want to become whole. We have received this minute and have been exercised. We want to invite others into the same experience. With our hearts broken open we approved the following minute; uniting with it with both joy and pain. This is the truth God has brought us to at this time. We feel the Love in these words.
We are complicit in white supremacy. We at New England Yearly Meeting have been “colonized” by our white supremacist culture and fall short of our full potential as a gathered body of Quaker Meetings because of this colonization.
We commit to engaging in interrupting white supremacy in ourselves:
- within individuals
- in our meetings
- and at all system levels of NEYM
To start this, we ask Permanent Board to explore an external cultural competency audit of New England Yearly Meeting.
We support Friends General Conference, an organization of which we are a part, in its efforts to interrupt white supremacy in its organization.
We commit to support fundraising by the New England Yearly Meeting FGC committee to raise $4,000 from our membership and our monthly meetings by the end of 2016. These funds will be available to FGC towards the cost of an external cultural competency audit if FGC decides to have one conducted. If more than $4,000 is raised, we direct the Permanent Board of NEYM to find use for the additional funds to support the work of interrupting white supremacy.”