Rape. Rape culture. Sexual harassment. Gender discrimination. Unequal pay. Distasteful jokes. Sexual assault. Male privilege.
All words we men hate to hear but things that we fail to actively work to change.
This week, #MeToo has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter. Women have been sharing very traumatic, extremely personal experiences that center around them having been sexually harassed or assaulted. Some were in the workplace and others weren’t but, when you have situations like the stories of these fourteen women who were attacked after refusing the advances of interested men, an active stance must be taken.
From presidents of the United States to the college intern at a startup’s water cooler, men have gotten away with far too much for far too long. And it’s not just the frat boy-esq. 23 year old who is fresh out of college. Nor is it just the dirty old man who has bundles of money that he uses to purchase companionship. It is all of us. Every man in the world.
If the reason you stop is because it could be your mom or sister or daughter or best friend, it’s better than no reason at all but how about stopping for a better reason? Why not stop because she is a human being?
Honestly, crass jokes wouldn’t be so bad if they went both ways and there wasn’t a double standard. They’re funny, right? But when the environment is one that devalues those who make our entire existence possible, we have to reevaluate our self-proclaimed “progress.” All these jokes do is perpetuate a lack of respect for the women around us.
It’s 2017. Just as we shouldn’t have to say #BlackLivesMatter, no one should be saying #MeToo in response to the devaluation of women and blatant rape culture that exists.
Make equality in and out of the workplace a priority.