I am going to do more than say “I’m sorry”

I am married to a beautiful woman.

I have a wonderful mother.

I have three incredible younger sisters.

I have three amazing sister-in-laws.

I have four adorable little nieces.

I have twelve fantastic cousins who are girls.

Beyond that, there are many other women — family members, friends, teachers, co-workers, and mentors — who have had a profound impact on my life.

Over the past few days I have seen many of you post on social media with the hashtag #MeToo and it breaks my heart.

I am so sorry.

And, just we are all on the same page… Your choice of clothing isn’t to blame. The man who assaulted you is.

If you chose to drink, that isn’t to blame. The man who assaulted you is.

Your choice to walk home late at night, be alone with another person, or do anything for that matter isn’t to blame. The man who assaulted you is.

You are not to blame. The man who assaulted you is.

I hope the reaction of men like me isn’t to just say, “I’m sorry for what you’ve been through,” although I think that being empathetic is important. I just hope we can do more.

As for me, I have three young sons, and this is what I am committed to teaching them:

  • Girls are incredible
  • Love your mother
  • Women are every bit as smart and capable as a man (in most cases, more so)
  • Treat women with absolute respect, in public and in private
  • Always be kinder than necessary
  • Being kind to a woman does not give you the right to make an unwanted pass at her
  • “No” never means “yes”
  • You will inevitably has biases (gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.), we all do. Figure out what yours are and make sure they don’t hinder your judgement
  • If you see a woman being treated unfairly, speak up
  • You are responsible for your actions

I know trying to teach my boys what’s right isn’t enough to make up for the pain you have endured, but I hope it can be a start.

James is the Editor of Life in Story.

You can follow James on Twitter at @iamjameskenichi.

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