We are living in a time that is gradually becoming enlightened about aggression and its effect on our culture. In previous Facebook posts the “Me, Too” campaign has received a lot of press and probably some very interesting discussions within our community and across the country. The good news is that as a nation we are taking steps to quell sexism, racism, misogyny, prejudice…..
Compared to the harassment of the seventies, these days seem somewhat tamer with less evidence of aggressive male sexism, (which was always dominated by the least understood male in the crowd.) This aggressive stance, exhibited most often by the boy in the group who misunderstood many social interactions, almost always filtered down into the entire high school population….Their actions also affected 90% of the other men/boys who were also in harms way.
Thankfully, many of us feel empowered enough to speak up whether in agreement with silence being complicit or otherwise. Years ago boys continued to be assaulted by priests, coaches, teachers and they rarely had a voice ~ same is true for girls. We endured similar types of harassment coupled with the daily ongoing dialogue about our breasts, our weight, our appearance, our clothing, our sexual experience. Because of the types of discussions happening via Harvey Weinstein we all get a chance to speak up. Never in my lifetime has there been such an awareness and freedom of speech concerning what might or might not be considered sexual harassment. And, let’s face it, harassment can be the tip of the iceberg eventually leading to sexual assault and possibly rape.
If we all continue to be vigilant with our awareness of this topic perhaps the taunting, bullying and fear will diminish. It will never disappear. When we are willing to speak up ~ in the heat of the moment ~ then we can celebrate how far we have come. That to me is the key ~ people often cower from potentially hostile situations. Can you blame them. I have seen several examples where well meaning, gentle men speak up only to be slammed. So, silence does not mean you are complicit.
I’m not getting on my high horse here ~ because had I ever been raped, I’m sure my anger would be concealed by my fear. I might be silent.
Surely the climate of harassment, bullying and shunning will be replaced by others who speak out for the victim. That would be a move in the right direction. That is our task in the future and after reading several posts on the “Me, Too” site, it appears this is very likely! Let us not twist words of well meaning individuals who are actually in agreement with the march ~ we need to stick together. If you asked me to name 10 men who I feel need to be “outed”, I would have trouble coming up with one name. People who post on Facebook amongst our friends are generally not going to stay quiet in the real situation.