#IHave and #MeToo

#IHave and #MeToo

For the last 10 years, I feel like I’ve become a decent, respectable human (imho). But until the outpouring of #metoo shares I’d forgot who I had been.

I’m guilty. And thanks to my friend Michael Fenchel and many other men for stepping up and leading the way, I realized that my failure to own up to my failures makes me complicit.

The world is evolving. And it is time for us to evolve, too. For men, this means owning the significant role we play in subserviating women. For me, I came from a culture that saw women as a challenge, a game. On a handful of occassions I can admit to being aggresively forward in the pursuit, even though there was always consent. I can recall conversations with other guys discussing who our next pursuits would be. And while I’d love to chalk it up to being young and stupid, I’m not proud. I believe those beliefs I grew up with are no longer useful to the world we’re trying to build — a world built on equality, compassion, and love.

Men, whether we like it or not, we’re complicit in so many ways. Take music that degrades women. I tried listening to the Global Top 50 on Spotify recently. The current #1 song by Post Malone starts “I’ve been f*ckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies / Man, I feel just like a rockstar.” #Metoo is an amazing opportunity for us to reflect on our conditioning, what we want to support, and what we want to be.

Thanks to the women and men who have felt compelled to add their voices. I don’t think this moment is a fleeting trend; it’s the crescendo of a wave of equality that is going to come crashing down. And whether you like it or not, the world is changing.

As I listened to Macklemore’s White Privilege II for the first time yesterday, four words reverberated through my body.

“Silence is a luxury.”

Silence is a luxury for me, a white person. A male. A middle-classer. An American.

I don’t want to stand silent. I want to own my guilt. My shame.

This is an apology to women, to the world. This is an ask for forgiveness. This is a simple act of penance for which I expect nothing, except maybe a little weight lifted from my soul. This is another voice added to the brave and upstart masses that are willing to change the conversation. Thank you.