One of the Guys

I went to bed sad Friday night. I woke up sad Saturday morning. I have been, for lack of a better word, triggered by Donald Trump’s words on the bus. One in four women has been raped; nearly all of us have been sexually assaulted (I haven’t seen stats on it but I’ve never been in a conversation with another woman where this came up and she didn’t have stories). Ask the women in you’re life that you’re close to. ALL. OF. US.

I’ve worked in politics for 14 years now, I went to business school, I grew up in the least PC place on the planet. I have heard my share of “locker room talk.” I have laughed along, uneasily, when men in positions of power over me talked this way. I have made my share of bro-ish comments and tried to be “one of the guys” in desperate and futile attempts to fit in and not be shut out of friendship and business dealings in bro-centric environments. I have observed many, many sweet men doing doing the same thing, beta-wolf style, compromising their own values to awkwardly laugh along with some predatory alpha. I get it. We are all trying to survive.

Alpha creeps are a powerful force. I listen to Donald Trump and I instantly see other men I’ve known, I bet you do too. These guys are scary, they’re intimidating, and all too often they’re writing the checks. But you know what? There are a lot more of us than there are of them. We have to band together. We have to be strong. We have to stop laughing uneasily and start saying “whoa, that’s not cool.” We have to realize that the same men we say are “just joking around” go out and actually assault people. We know this because as women, and a whole lot of men too, we have been assaulted. This has gone on for long enough. We can change things. We have to stop this. All of us.