Isn’t it Obvious (to men)? #MeToo
If all the women I know who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “me too” as a status… and all the women they know… we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
Stop the silence. Stop the violence.
Feel free to copy and paste.
#MeToo is going viral, and I am so moved by everyone finding their voices and speaking up. Enough is enough.
The second-most common sentiment after #MeToo, is, “Isn’t it obvious (to men)?” and “now that they see, they can do something about it.”
I would like an opportunity to illuminate why Sexual Harassment and Assault has been going on for eons, yet it seems like (most) Men don’t know the depth of the, and propose actionable solutions for Men being our allies for our experience of safety.
(Side note: I say “most” Men, because I acknowledge that a) many men are preyed upon, especially as children, and we don’t talk about it either, and b) many Men do know, and haven’t taken action (also probably because they aren’t empowered with tools to take action that doesn’t make the situation worse, or didn’t know they needed to (see below)).)
The answer is this: Safety.
Men experience Safety differently than Women. The presence of Testosterone physically builds their muscles, bones, ability to see speed, and experience of pain differently then Women.
When the Tiger (danger) comes, Zachary or Severin will kick it’s ass.
When the Tiger (danger) comes, I have to run and hide, or have a group of people to fight.
But it never occurs to Zachary or Severin that my experience of Safety is different than theirs.
I offer you that NOT SEEING MY DANGER this is NOT a failure of MEN — it a symptom of being human.
It’s human to not understand or see something outside of your paradigm.
It’s human because before I had Lanaea, I forgot how long it took moms with kids to return a phone call (even though I was already a Mom, and did it before #momnesia), and judged plenty of Moms for “not having it together.”
PowerToFly Co-Founder and President Katharine Zaleski: "I didn't realize how horrible I'd been - until I had a child of…fortune.com
We all do it.
I offer you that NOT SEEING MY DANGER this is NOT a failure of MEN — it a symptom of being human AND I want MEN to see and respect what I experience as Danger.
In this Episode of Blue Bloods (I ❤ Blue Bloods! I can never decide who is my favorite.), we see Detective Baker being sexually harassed by a Sheriff, witnessed by a roomful of men, while her boss, Commissioner Frank Reagan, looks on with disapproval, but doesn’t say anything.)
In Fantasy Land, she is empowered to stand up for herself, and being a police officer, has tools to stand in her power (Note: Being a Police Officer does not except a Woman from Harassment. To be clear, I am talking about Fantasy Land.)
WOMEN: In real life, something like that makes us terrified. Our adrenaline starts pumping. Our blood is booming loud in our ears. We have to do everything to keep breathing because it is now shallow.
In this moment: Women know we have limited options — Fight with sarcasm or yelling, Flight — run out crying and lose the respect we’ve worked so hard to earn, and Freeze — doing nothing, and just letting it happen.
In this moment MEN have violated our SAFETY. Bottom line: If a Man gets upset with a Woman = HE wins.
Let’s go back to Fantasy Land — Why didn’t Commissioner Reagan say anything? (A) It didn’t occur to him as not safe (see above) and (B) It looked like she already had it handled, and stepping in would be insulting.
MEN: What you don’t know is that this kind of incident is mellow in comparison to when we are touched, asked out (over and over and over), given gifts when we barely know each other, or violated in even worse ways that I am not going to describe here.
MEN: I’m sorry you didn’t know. I’m sorry about the your news feed is flooded with #MeToo and that your whole life has gone by and you had no idea.
I’m sorry that you didn’t know and I need you to be our Hero.
But do your own research.
Ask us. Listen. Believe.
“When was the last time you were worried about your physical safety?” *
“Is there anything I do that creeps you out?”
“Do you ever wish I stood up for you?”
“What makes you feel safe?”
“How can I help?”
WOMEN: Speak up, tell them. Find your voice.
Women — This is a love letter for you:
I assert that most of the Women reading this article have an experience of MOST or ALL men being dangerous.
It certainly used to be true for me. I didn’t trust men for very good and valid reasons.
What I know is that MOST Men are Heroes. Most Men are Sheepdogs protecting the Herd (Especially Frank, Danny, and Jamie Reagan). There are only a few Wolves, and the Wolves ruin it for everyone.
I am so sorry about the Unhealthy Men, and Unhealthy People who attack your innocence. It happens. It is real. It is valid. I am so sorry.
And, If you are walking around the world feeling anything less than safe around Men, I offer you The Queen’s Code curriculum. It is possible to empower yourself, empower your voice, and get what you need.
I started my journey as an adult as a Battered Wife, continually choosing Men who are dangerous Wolves. I figured when I started studying Men that I would have to lower my standards, pretzel myself, and change who I am.
What I have found to be true is my standards are HIGHER, I demand more, tolerate less, and I do it in a way that empowers both of us.
Safety is possible, and you deserve to feel safe.
Men — I am sorry you didn’t know. I’m sorry you’ve been treated like a Wolf when you are a Sheepdog. Please forgive yourself for all of the times when you were an accidental Wolf. Please forgive yourself for not knowing how to solve the problem, so you took no action.
And, I need you to step up your game.
You are already compelled to protect us — just do it out loud.
The solution can be something simple as, “Dudes, this is not cool. Let’s cherish women,” a statement that you have ready at the moment you witness something like what happened to Detective Baker (or worse).
Thank you for being a Sheepdog.
Thank you for being our Hero.
*Footnote: Scroll Down to “Connection and Safety.” Listen the whole way.