At present, sexual assault disclosures are a feature of the news cycle:
Speaking from a place of personal integrity and principles, and not from the modern incarnation of “-ism,” politics I say:
Men have to do better.
I say that concerning our discussions of events and our mental view of things such as sexual abuse, pedophilia and domestic violence. Said simply, it’s not a joke. Instead of reaching for examples of false alarms (of which there are many) can we not do our part to examine the situations and types of men who commit these acts? Can we not use introspection to see how we may have been complicit in such acts or promoted ideas which feed this disgusting appetite in others? These men are not all of us and we need not defend them or attempt to destroy the women who come forward. But what we need to do is stand firm on grounded principles that wrong is wrong and that certain actions deserve scorn, hate and no helping hands. Perpetrators of abuse disgust me, and I support none of them, no matter what they look like or where they come from.
The idea of a man becoming more aware to such issues if/when they have a family is an old one. Even more pressing is the change in worldview that many men undergo if they have daughters. I’ve personally always despised any person who uses their power to oppress, subjugate and consume the bodies of those unable to resist or avoid them for whatever reason. Of course there are cases where a person could have done more to bring their truth to light or to not continue to serve the desires of some sick S.O.B., but that doesn’t negate the proactive agency shown on the part of the perpetrator. That person DECIDED to take these actions and inflict pain upon another person. Other cases of abuse are examples of naked power, threats and nepotistic protection that the perpetrator is aware of.
That being said, how we ‘feel’ about abuse, rape and molestations effect our thinking and analysis of them. How often in all-male circles does someone make a joke, make light of, or attempt to ameliorate a discussion on these matters? Are men cursed with a bicameral mind concerning these issues? Does the great god of “The Man Code,” still hold so much sway that we can’t see how horrible these acts are in general and that our families are just as susceptible to attack as anyone? Maybe people’s reactions to this topic are colored by their pasts, that I do not know, but I do know we can do better. It’s not a game, it’s not a joke. The reality of wide spread sexual, physical and emotional abuse by men of power upon men, women and children is real and it’s something we all must SERIOUSLY engage in order to make a better world. If you don’t do it for your mother, your sister, your aunt or your wife, do it for your friends mother, your brother’s wife, your sister’s friend and your daughter’s friends.
Just, do it.