The Beat of a Butterfly Wing
How many times have I heard that kind of locker-room talk, thought it went too far, uncomfortably smiled to be “one of the guys” and didn’t stop it?
I don’t know, but it’s more than once. And that’s one too many.
At first, I justified it to myself by saying, “but I’m not that guy.” And I’m not. But every time I don’t stop it, I come a little closer to being that guy.
And every guy who is “that guy” and is not stopped at the moment it goes too far is emboldened. Every time he talks about a piece of ass, or how he tapped that, and the guys around him don’t call him on it, that’s another small reinforcing moment where society tells him that it’s ok to behave like that.
And he communicates that to his friends, his colleagues, and his sons and daughters. And the cycle continues.
The next time I think about just not joining in and walking away, I’m going to remember this feeling and I hope that I’m brave enough to speak up, and make some jackass pretty uncomfortable.
I told my 17-year old daughter today that if any man asks me if they can refer to her as a “piece of ass,” I would punch them in the face. My wife worked in the sexual assault field for many years, and she recounted stories today.
It’s not harmless, and it’s not just locker-room talk. It’s triggering, It’s sexual assault. And it’s the beat of a butterfly wing that leads to the storm.