…It’s time we have ourselves a Fucking come to Jesus chat.
If you are looking for one of my usual funny blogs you’ve come to the right place, but at the wrong time. This isn’t going to be funny. Not at all.
I’ve been pissing some people off for a few days now. I suspect I will continue to piss them – and more – off as time goes by. Why? Because I am fed up. This could be about politics or just about anything else, but it’s not. I am fed up with societal norms, and I am fed up with myself, and I am fed up with men who won’t take two seconds to listen and instead choose to perpetuate the societal norms I am fed up with.
Me pissing people off isn’t new. I have opinions and while I tend to play a lot of them close to the vest, a few that I am very passionate about get released into the wild. The recent #MeToo campaign is one of those hot buttons for me. Believe me, I have thought about this a lot. A LOT. I’ve wondered why it is such a hot topic for me personally. I’ve come up with some ideas. Maybe they are the impetus, maybe not, but the long and short is that I am glad this is a hot button. It’s long past due.
So, here’s my thing… Maybe I am so passionate about this because I know the stories my wife has told me about the two sexual assaults she suffered when she was younger, as well as the harassment she has suffered, AND the proverbial “glass ceiling” that has given her a concussion over the years. Maybe I am so passionate about this because I found myself standing in a middle school office after emailing every member of the school board because I found out that my daughter – as well as many other female students – had been inappropriately felt up due to the boys in the school declaring it “grab girls’ asses” day – AND, because I inadvertently found out that after the apparent “success” of this particular Friday Gropefest the boys had already declared the following Monday to be “grab girls’ tits” day. Maybe I am so passionate about this because I know the horrific stories an ex-lover told me about the rape and abuse she suffered throughout her childhood at the hands of so-called father figures and others.
And I could go on, but I think I have successfully drawn a picture for you, but if your sunglasses are still on your face, the point is, maybe I am passionate about this because it hits so close to home. HOWEVER, anyone with two brain cells to rub together can simply look and see that the sheer number of #MeToo posts by Women worldwide means it is close to home for each and every one of us. I should also note that it really shouldn’t matter whether the #MeToo comes from your wife or a complete stranger – NO ONE should have to ever post a #MeToo. I guess maybe our culture of “I’ve got mine” has been too ingrained in me, as well, but I’m getting over that particular blindness. Everyone else should too.
Now… I have made several Facebook posts pointing out my feelings that men need to step the fuck back and listen. Be supportive. Don’t be vultures. DON’T BE “that” guy who co-opts this movement. Maybe that’s just my take, who knows? What I can tell you for certain, though, is that there are still too damn many of you out there who aren’t listening. How do I know this? Because I keep hearing, “not me,” “not all men,” “I shouldn’t be compared to Weinstein,” etc.
Fuck that. Fuck that and fuck you, too.
Here’s a slice of reality, DudeBros – and yeah, some of the DudeBros are people I have know for a huge chunk of my life – Every fucking time you say “not me/not all men” or “how sad that I am going to be lumped in with THOSE men” you are THAT GUY. You ARE one of those men. Why? Because you aren’t fucking listening to what the women around you are saying. You might think you are, but you are not. You are too goddamn caught up in covering your own ass. Saving your own rep. Wanting to be the “good guy.”
Guess what? You don’t get to decide you are the good guy. If women want to tell you that you are not like the rest, fine, but you don’t get to decide that for yourself. That’s akin to you insulting someone and then telling them that you didn’t insult them. How the fuck do you know? You aren’t them. You don’t know how they feel. You AREN’T FUCKING LISTENING. If you are busy saying “not all men,” then you haven’t taken time to look at the things you HAVE done to hurt the women in your life. Moreover, you just might not have the guts to admit it to yourself, much less anyone else.
Me… I know damn well I have done stupid ass shit. I’m a flirt. I admit to being a flirt. Guess what? I don’t mean anything by it – But how in the hell is a woman supposed to know that given the society we’ve all grown up in? I look back at times I have flirted with women servers at restaurants and at the time I saw it as all innocent joking around, but what did the server see it as? Just another asshole hitting on her? Maybe. Did she flirt back because she was just having innocent fun, or was it because she figured I would stiff her on the tip if she didn’t? Or, that I would be a big dickhead and complain about her to management and get her reprimanded – or worse, fired? Or, that I would be pissed and waiting for her in the parking lot because she had spurned me? And, on that last one, she probably had to wonder if I would be waiting in the lot for her whether she did or she didn’t reciprocate. She was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. Who knows how many times a woman got to her car on the other side of the parking lot after having served me dinner at a restaurant and let out a big sigh of relief as she locked her doors and thought about how she had dodged a bullet because that overly friendly asshole wasn’t waiting for her? She had no way to know that I was joking around. It’s really damn likely I made each of these women feel uncomfortable, threatened, or just sick to their stomachs that yet another swingin’ cod was hitting on them. You have no clue how ashamed I am of myself when I think back on that.
I have other shit to be ashamed about, too. I have a friend who was abused by her ex-husband. As she tells me there was only one case of physical abuse – which I did not see – but there was plenty of emotional and verbal abuse that I did witness on multiple occasions and it often centered around him being “the man” and what the man says, goes. I looked the other way. I didn’t get involved. I didn’t say to him (and HE was my friend at the time as well), “Hey, you need to cut that shit out. She’s not property. She’s not beneath you. Stop calling her stupid. Stop ordering her around. Quit being an ass.” But, I didn’t. I looked the other way. I’ve since apologized to her, but you know what? That apology, though accepted, will never erase the fact that I LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.
I am taking heat for saying that ALL men are complicit in this culture of misogyny, but I don’t care. I usually say YMMV (your mileage may vary) or Just My Opinion, but not this time. I’m right, and you are fucking wrong if you disagree with me on this. I will lay hard money down that there is not a single man out there over the age of five who has not at the very least looked the other way, or made an inappropriate advance, or maybe said something to a woman that was – whether conscious or not – an exercise in male privilege. Yeah, maybe you aren’t Harvey Weinstein. Maybe you didn’t grope anyone, or rape anyone, but you’ve damn sure lived your male privilege and not complained one iota about it.
So yes. If you are a man, you are complicit. Like it or not. Whether active or passive, you are part of the problem. And if you stand on the fucking virtual – or physical – street corner spouting NOT ME or NOT ALL MEN, you move from passive to active status in a hot second.
To paraphrase John McClane – “You’re either part of the solution, or part of the problem. Stop being a fucking part of the problem…”
That’s the end of my rant for now, but don’t worry, you can expect more. I thought I was awake before, but I’m wide fucking awake now and I’m done being a part of the problem, which means I’m not going to look the other way anymore.
More to come…
This post first appeared on Drippings From The Warped Mind Of Writer M. R. Sel, please read the originial post: here