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Soapbox

So after this whole Harvey Weinstein thing, people have been coming forward with more allegations of sexual assault against mostly men and mostly people in power. Then there was the whole #metoo movement, asking people to post #metoo on Twitter and Facebook if they have been victims of sexual assault and/or harassment. A lot of my friends posted on Facebook (I don't do Twitter), and then a number expressed amazement and concern that so many people have been victims.

There were two other types of responses that also cropped up.

  • A few male friends posted horror at the number of #metoos and said, "I had no idea the problem was this bad! To my female friends, please, if I'm behaving like an asshole to you, let me know!"
  • A few female friends posted, "Yes, I've been a victim, too. I work in a male-dominated industry, and when I got into my job at (company), a couple of my new coworkers, both male, told me that they didn't think a woman could do the job. But that didn't stop me and I went on to prove that I was just as capable as any man. It took a lot of work, but I turned those men around."

All I could think was: Please stop diluting the message. We're talking about sexual assault here, the invasion of a person's body and dignity and the fact that some people think it's acceptable to do such things or to gate opportunities and career advancement with the receipt of sexual favors. Yes, gender discrimination is still a problem, but don't try to equate "You can't do this because you're female" to being groped, exposed in public, forced to have sex with someone to secure your job, or raped. The more you muddy the waters, the less likely society is going to hear the cries of those drowning at the hands of people like Weinstein and our President.

And to the men thinking the first thought: we do appreciate that you worry that you're not treating us as well as you should be (and by "we", I mean men as well; people should be kind and respectful to everyone, not just women), but the fact that you're worrying about "being an asshole" probably means that you're not grabbing women and forcing them to have sex with you. Look outward rather than inward. Don't worry about your own behavior, but try to teach others what's right and support the victims.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
flowsoffire
Oct. 21st, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC)
True—that's what happens when such deep, often-disregarded issues suddenly come to the surface, sometimes people just get everything mixed up, what's most serious and the other issues that absolutely deserve recognition, yet are just not the same at all. Anything that can bring people to speak out is good, yet one has to admit that social media tends to go all over the place…
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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