An Open Letter to my Brothers in light of #MeToo


Dear Brothers:

Have you noticed it? We’re entering a sea-change. For generations, our unconscious actions and ways of being toward women went unnoticed, were accepted by default, or even celebrated.

But in the public sphere, the tide is turning.

These altered currents arguably started with Bill Cosby. Then Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, and Bill O’Reilly (“the conservatives”) crested the wave. NowAnthony WeinerCorey Feldman’s stark warnings about Hollywood pedophilia, Uber, and most recently Harvey Weinstein (“the liberals”) have crashed on our shores.

Clearly, we men have a behavioral problem: All of us. Conservative, progressive. Religious, spiritual-but-not-religious, and even atheist. And if we’re not actively sexually harassing or assaulting women, our ignorance and silence are enabling it. And this general culture of enabling is hurting women (obviously) and is also having negative social and vocational consequences for men who actually care and strive to not treat women like things.

The world is asking: Where is this going?

If you haven’t paid as much attention to the above-cited news (and you can be forgiven – with mass-shootings, devastating hurricanes, racist marches and tensions escalating at home and abroad, it can be challenging to keep our empathy trained on any one tragedy at any given moment), I doubt you’ve been able to miss your social media feed:

The nigh-ubiquitious presence of the simple phrase – or hashtag – #MeToo.

The typical version of the online prompt reads thus:

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. #MeToo

A (helpfully) expanded version reads like this:

If all the people – especially women, trans and nonbinary folks (as all these are some of the people most impacted by rape culture) – who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too,” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Please copy/paste. And if you can’t because it is not safe to do so, or you’re not ready, please know you’re still seen and held. Safety and survival come first.

What started as a response to the latest reports of sexual assault and harassment by men in power has mushroomed into a global phenomenon of truth-telling and solidarity. This sea change has washed upon the shores of our everyday lives.

(Haven’t seen the posts yet? Just look here. Or here. You should read a few, or a few dozen. I’ll wait.)

The question is, brothers, how are we to respond?

Let’s be quick to listen and (very) slow to speak.

It should go without saying that we’re not to minimize, justify, or even too-quickly jump in with our own stories of harassment. (In other words, let’s not #AllLivesMatter this one. Right now, we’re focusing on the experience of women.)

But if you’re a relatively conscientious guy (like me), who thinks of himself as a feminist (like me), you’re probably not going to fall into that ditch. Awesome. But what can we proactively do that will actually be helpful?

Please, whatever we do, let’s not interject our easy ally-ship virtue signalling; our words matter, but our examples and actions matter more.

Could we have a conversation among ourselves?

Let’s dig in deep. Have you ever stopped to wonder…

Why do we so often feel that women are ‘our’ blank canvases, on which to paint:

  • Our loneliness
  • Our feelings of inadequacy
  • Our social proof
  • Our stress relief
  • Our aggression
  • Our need for emotional or physical validation
  • Our craving for acceptance, adventure, and conquest
  • Our personal legend?

What in us makes us think that we get to do that with – and upon – these other human beings?

I’m not here to shame you, guys: Our needs for companionship, mastery, belonging, peace, healthy expression of anger, emotional and physical validation, acceptance, and adventure are 💯 legit.


But for God’s sake – and our own soul’s: These needs are first and foremost an inside job. These needs are to be witnessed without condemnation, fully felt, and then sought: In our God, path, and/or integrated self – pick your remedy, and work it.

But let’s not transmit our unchecked, disowned and dis-integrated shadow on these precious femme, female-bodied, and feminine beings who share this planet with us.

Women. Are. Not. Our. Canvases. To be painted (or scribbled) on, then thrown away.

I’m really not $#!tting all over you, fellas. I’m enrolled in this remedial men’s school, too. I misstep. I screw up.

(Want a through-line to my unique flavor of failing the feminine? Being adopted from birth, I have two amazing mother figures in my life, biological and adoptive. They’re both awesome, and have given their very best to life, but despite it all I’ve inherited abandonment wounds from one and feelings of being smothered/over-protected from the other. I grew up longing for and being fascinated by feminine energy, only to experience it as elusive most of the time, and overpowering in those moments when I landed squarely in its (Her) grace. I’ve experienced a lifetime of push/pull, at times projecting manic pixie dream girl personas on various women in my life.

A few years ago, I was on a small retreat with a trusted circle of friends. During our time together, we put ourselves in a prayerful and receptive state to get in touch with what was really real for each of us. During this time, in the woods, I found myself planted face-down in the mossy space where a large tree met the earth. It was here that I clearly heard a feminine emanation of the Divine – for biblical and personal reasons, I don’t hesitate in using the term Goddess – speaking to me clear as day:

There is no earth-born angel / Who will save you from what ails you.

And there it is. Salvation – in my cosmology – arrives from God alone, and is worked out in generous grace via real effort amid daily life, here and now. This is an inside job, and I’m still learning the truth of what I heard that night in the woods. I’m also still learning how to best honor, consider, support, appreciate, and be nourished by the women in my life in open-handed, non-co-optive ways.)

Brothers, we can help each other out. I encourage you to check out a pro-men, pro-women men’s work group, if you haven’t already – like The ManKind Project or Illuman.

If you have sons or are willing to mentor boys, please check out Journeymen and Boys to Men – these communities are like Boy Scouts with emotional intelligence/flourishing merit badges!

Join #MeToo original campaign creator Tarana Burke in her MeToo Support to amplify the voices of sexual assault survivors.

Finally, check out Men Can Stop Rape and Stop Street Harassment for some straight-to-the-point remedies to this madness.

Please reach out in the comments if you want – I can likely connect you with a circle of compassionate, brave, truth-telling men in your area, if you don’t find communities here or here.

Because women shouldn’t have to bear the burden of overcoming toxic masculinity alone. Healthy, flourishing masculinity exists, and we can be part of it.

Will you join me in this quest?

 

Other Voices By and For Men on #MeToo and Sexual Harassment & Assault: 

#MeToo and Rape Culture – Carlos Rodríguez

To The Men on the Other Side of #MeToo – John Pavlovitz

How badly have traditional Christian sexual ethics failed? – Morgan Guyton

The invisible men – Brett Fish Anderson

To my Friends and Sisters – Omid Safi

Do you SEE me? – Jonathan Martin

A Plea to Women for Forgiveness – Michael John Cusick

#MeToo: Don’t just say sorry, smash the patriarchy! – Mike Frost

Initiate This! My Journey into Authentic Manhood – Mike Morrell (the kickoff for a series I wrote a few years back on recovering or forging pro-feminine, real-rooted masculinity.)

65 Responses to An Open Letter to my Brothers in light of #MeToo

  1. Alan Brehm October 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    Thanks so much for these thoughtful insights

    Alan Brehm, Lincoln, NE
    Pastor, Hickman Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)

    • Mike Morrell October 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

      You’re welcome, Alan. The problem of male abuse and harassment of women is massive, but I think we have access to massive heart and resources to shift this, too. The opportunity is here!

      • junayd October 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

        …yes,, it’s definitely time to ‘man UP’… so to speak! <;~]

  2. Leckey Harrison October 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Having been sexually assaulted twice in my young life, and having done the healing work necessary to come to a place where I can talk about it, it was easy enough to say Me Too when asked for the scope to expand.

    I believe that the rape culture is ours to fix, as men. We need to heal and be men, we need to speak against sexism, wherever ewe find it First step: let’s stop watching porn. .

    • Mike Morrell October 18, 2017 at 1:15 am #

      Hi Leckey, I completely agree: Rape culture is ours to fix.

      And I appreciate you naming your assaults, too – I’m so sorry this happened, and I’m glad you felt free to weigh in here. Elsewhere, on social media, some were concerned that I was telling men who have been abused, essentially, to ‘sit down and shut up.’

      Far from it. What I was advocating for, above, however imperfectly, was for men to avoid deflecting the real pain women have been reporting via #MeToo by retorting, generically, “Well, men are abused, too.”

      I never had in mind an overall moratorium on men sharing their stories of abuse – as if I have the power to dictate such terms anyway! :p – but was instead inviting men to hold our peace for a beat as we focus on a specific suffering – the suffering of women. And that if we men wanted to speak, to speak about why we might be objectifying women as bit characters in our stories of significance, rather than honoring their inherent dignity.

      All this said, I’m hoping to turn the spotlight onto abuse and harassment suffered by men next week – highlighting the excellent work of organizations like 1 in 6.

      Thank you for engaging!

      • Leckey Harrison October 18, 2017 at 11:41 am #

        I didn’t get the idea you were saying “sit down and shut up.” Oh contraire. Not that I would have listened.

        I was in the Mankind Project for a while, right about the time I came out of freeze into anxiety and then I had to step back. I’m a fan of the Masons credo: Making Good Men Better, though I’ve never walked with them on that path.

        I’m all about having this conversation with men. It needs to be had, and my personal take is a lot of it is about trauma, be it sexual or not. That’s how I came into this freedom to begin with, by healing my trauma. It took a couple years, but the afterwards has been so worth the descent I did experience.

        • Patrick DonEgan October 20, 2017 at 1:34 am #

          sorry to hear you could not find the support you needed from your local ManKind group.
          Ours on the big island of Hawai’i are top notch.

    • Sue Mason October 18, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      Yessssssss! My heart is full to breaking reading this. Yes.

      • Leckey Harrison October 18, 2017 at 11:05 am #

        I carried that pain for almost 6 decades. Thanks for the response!

  3. Sue Mason October 17, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    I am sorry that there are crickets in the comment section so far There shouldn’t be. But maybe we shall give it some time? I am willing to share this in hopes of someone else (men!) reading it.
    I especially loved all of the links and, the best part? The credit that is given to Tarana Burke, who may have had to wait, but the time has arrived for her to have her voice elevated.
    Thanks for this.

    • Mike Morrell October 18, 2017 at 1:36 am #

      Hi Sue – thank you for commenting! I’m not too worried about the relative crickets, here. While I’d love for blog posts to carry conversations like they did in 2004, these days alot of that commentary happens where posts are shared on social media – see, for instance, the conversation unfolding on The Mankind Project Facebook page, or my own FB profile.

      I’m glad you loved all the links! I tend to make my posts link-rich, and it’s always nice when someone else appreciates that.

      And yes, re: Tarana Burke. Her good seed-sowing is finally bearing much good fruit.

      If you don’t already, please consider subscribing to my Opti-Mystic Meditations newsletter. You’ll be directly served all the best writing from the site, and you’ll get a complimentary bonus chapter to my book on spirituality and relationships, written with Richard Rohr!

  4. Existential Punk October 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    Love mostly what you say. Thank you for opening the conversation and challenge to your male readers.

    My only problem in how I read this:

    ‘…these precious femme female-bodied and feminine beings…’

    What I hear is that only femme women are sexually harassed and raped. Many women, like myself, are more masculine and butch and we get sexually harassed and raped. Feminine connotes feminine and I’m not at all feminine and I have been sexually harassed several times. There are masculine, butch women who strap their breasts and still get sexually harassed and raped.

    Also, there are feminine men.

    So, I encourage you to think about language.

    Thanks.

    • Mike Morrell October 18, 2017 at 1:25 am #

      Hi there, Existential friend!

      Thank you for weighing in, here. I appreciate it, as I was choosing my language very carefully – or trying to. I’d like to share my thinking in using this phrase – “these precious femme, female-bodied and feminine beings” – and see if it resonates with you in that light. If it doesn’t, well, my ‘edit’ button still works. 🙂

      In my open letter generally, I wanted to highlight the harassment and abuse frequently visited by men upon those whom would broadly be named ‘women.’ But in doing so I wanted to make explicit my inclusion of transgender women, female-identified, and nonbinary folks, as they are often assaulted and harassed at the same or higher rates as cis women. In naming these designations, I certainly didn’t mean to exclude masculine and butch women. In my thinking (which can certainly be limited!), “female-bodied” includes everyone from butch to lipstick lesbians!

      With that said, please tell me if any additional language would be clarifying.

      Thanks again for caring and weighing in!

      • Existential Punk October 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

        Just saying women is enough. Feminine also connotes traits one has. We all have masculine and feminine traits. You have the feminine trait of being responsive and listening, so thank you. Not all non-binary women are feminine. So to reiterate, just refer to us as women. Thank you!

  5. Cheryel Lemley-McRoy October 18, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    Mike, having learned from biblical Hebrew that the Holy Spirit not only is feminine, but also Her verbs and attributes, I am thrilled to hear that you had an encounter with Her.
    I have one request, however. We no longer call women waitresses and stewardesses because it was demeaning. For that reason I don’t call the Holy Spirit Goddess. She is fully God. God the Mother. Mother God.
    And I wonder how it would affect men to realize that the God they worship is as female as the women they demean?
    I am also grateful that you are part of a growing number of men speaking out to raise their brothers’s awareness of the plight of women’s reality. Thank you.
    And may She bless you richly.

    • Carol Wimmer October 24, 2017 at 9:48 am #

      And I wonder how it would affect men to realize that the God they worship is as female as the women they demean?

      This question should stop people in their tracks! Perfect!

    • James November 9, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

      I don’t know which God you’re talking about, but the One I worship is God the Father. Not a female.

  6. Keli Johnston October 18, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    This is beautifully written and I cannot express how grateful I am to see it!! My perception it that it comes NOT from the perspective of “we ought to dim our light so as not to outshine the women” that I’ve seen SO much these past few days it hurts my heart and soul, but rather from a place of compassion and proactive, “let us band together to heal our minds and JOIN the women in healing this planet!!” I don’t know you, but I want you to know that I love you and I deeply value your contribution. Thank you!!

  7. Gabby October 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Thank You! I can not express enough how much your words mean to me! Reading through the comments I think it’s important for people to understand that feminine is not just being girly.

    I have so many men in my life that love and respect me and it makes me sad that some people might see this as an attack on men. It’s not its an attack on an outdated mindset. This recent social awareness is a way to evolve for the better

  8. Ana Abendroth October 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    Mike, have you considered a “TedTalks” thing at all, to help get the message out there?
    Btw, I feel so comfortable and so safe, listening to what you have to say. Goddess bless you.

  9. Jan October 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

    Thank you Mike!
    Another amazing resource person is Jackson Katz. He’s visible today 10/18 due to an article in Fortune and the deluge of #MeToo posts. But he’s been doing profound work for years, including a TED talk. One example: “we talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women.”

  10. Brenda October 19, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    I am speechless Mike. For the first time in my 56 years of living on this planet I feel like I have been heard and validated and as I read your words I noticed my whole being relaxing and allowing and now I am crying. I have never realized how ‘on guard’ I have walked this planet until now. I am grateful for the exposure of this very toxic and damaging cultural practice that has been promoted and kept hidden. I want to scream ‘yes’ and ‘finally’ to your blessed and wise and deep rooted soulful words. Thank you for your awareness and courage to speak up for us women and for all the beautiful heart-filled men in the world. This will allow the troubled souls to take a look at their part in all of this and hopefully choose another way. I am going to share❤️❤️❤️

  11. Rick October 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    This needed to be spoken out!
    The bane of separateness plays out within the masculine and feminine arenas, so unecessarily.
    It is time for us all to comprehend and practice connectedness, that we are all in this together, interdependent, interconnected and as one human family.
    These wounds can be healed and raising our individual and collective consciousness is the universal salve.

  12. Meri October 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

    Thankyou thankyou. … this actually brought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. Is the message finally getting through? Could saying the words sexual harassment finally be seen s something other than I hate men? Is it possible the message is finally getting through that the one does note mean the other? Perhaps soon real dialogue and solutions can begin without the usual defensive vitriol. You give me hope for harmony.

  13. Tyler RIchards October 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve been so torn up about all this, to use a southern parlance. I’m one of the guys who has been reading all the articles about male culpability in this sexual assault problem and has been screaming, NOT ALL GUYS! I realize this kind of thinking isn’t helpful to the conversation. Like at all. I think that you’re right that men need to take a look in the mirror and see how we’re contributing to things, especially male Christian leaders, like myself.

    While I’m not aware of anything I may have done to contribute to the issue, and while I’ve tried to work against the issue, I still feel there’s more that can be done. I appreciate you bringing these resources to light and calling us all to a greater level of accountability and conversation.

    Tyler+

  14. Joe Carson October 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    I come from a different perspective – our sexuality evolved in a much different place and time – and with the objective of survival of a species whose young took 16 or more years to mature.

    I look at us – humans, particularly in WEIRD societies as ours – somewhat as polar bears transported to East Tennessee. In some ways, we’re still adapted, but in many ways “not so much.”

    So I suggest that you have not properly diagnosed the causes of the endless “battle of the sexes” and see sexual predation, rape culture, as not being completely dissimilar that the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, opioid addiction and other ailments of our WEIRD society.

  15. Susie Survivor October 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

    Mike, I can’t thank you enough for your wise & inspirational words & Leckey, I thank you for your courage….You said you carried that pain for nearly 60 years…I understand. Our society blames victims of SA for not speaking out sooner-but then too often ignores, diminishes, denies, or even hides the truth when they do. As for harassment, I wouldn’t know how to begin to count…the same with sexual assaults…But I can say there have been no less than 10 perpetrators in my life, and at least eight by the age of 14-which included doctors, a teacher, a neighbor, a stranger (a predator who actually jumped me & tried to strangle me), and four male members of my own family. I can tell you that familial abuse was worse-not only because it encompassed most of my entire childhood-but the broken trust at that level-& such a young age is profound. I can also tell you that not a single one of my perps ever went to jail or suffered consequences-excepting to their own souls & society as a whole. You see, everything that happens to one, will eventually effects us all in some way or another. Seldom (actually never) do I ever speak of my own abuse on my regular Facebook page, yet in this #metoo campaign, I did not receive a single “like” or any response at all to my FB #metoo status post (or later cover page) out of more than 200 friends (some of them even old friends or relatives who knew). The silence is deafening & telling. While this campaign has been considered a breakthrough for some…there is much-much more work to be done.
    Leckey, I am very glad that you mentioned we need to “Stop Porn”! I would also include “Stop the sexual objectification of women & children (& men) in the media”! Not all people who look at porn are sex abusers but almost all sex abusers look at, & are addicted to, porn-which does not satisfy but only heightens their desire for more victims (like me). Yes, more needs to be done. We have an epidemic and we need to start by each of us taking personal responsibility & saying “NO More”! Let’s also remember that men, & especially young boys are it’s victims too-we all are. Thanks for listening & May God Bless You for sharing & caring…. PS: By the way after more than 50 years of Silence (though “I had told” when I was young-almost an entire community shut it’s eyes or even colluded)…I am Susie Survivor & I will be Silent-No More!

    • Leckey November 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

      You’re welcome. However, don’t be too concerned about responses. Some people see it, some don’t. Some are feeling awkward, some aren’t. I simply wanted to raise awareness.

      Kudos for not being silent any more.

  16. Palika Rewilding October 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    Grateful for your response. Here are invitations I’ve been making to the brothers for 3 days now. https://www.facebook.com/palikaji

  17. Benjamin Ady October 19, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    My initial response to your piece was a feeling of being grossed out. It feels pretentious, unctious, prescriptive, preachy, very-much-falling-into-the-very-traps-you-describe, excessively holy, jargony, some weird combination of Portlandia crossed with taking yourself excessively seriously. I could sum all that up in one word, really–American. It feels American.

    I want to say that is pretty much the most brutal reply I’ve ever written to a blog post. I’m not a troll. I don’t know why I felt compelled to leave a comment outlining my genuine feelings in response to the piece. I’m not a troll, and probably my response in 99.9% about me and .1% about something else. My apologies.

    • Mike Morrell October 19, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

      Hi Benjamin – I know you’re not a troll. Thanks for speaking your truth.

      Or…does that also sound like an excessively holy, Portlandian thing to say… :p

    • Steve October 20, 2017 at 10:18 am #

      Benjamin, I agree. The article seems to say:
      Women are just as strong, respectable, & honorable as men. Allow ME to stand up for them…
      🙂

    • Sharon October 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

      Benjamin, are you merely upset with the tone, or are you also upset with the ideas?

  18. Patrick DonEgan October 20, 2017 at 1:30 am #

    Wow – you are really full of projections.
    I hope you can heal that.

    • Mike Morrell October 20, 2017 at 1:34 am #

      The irony of confidently asserting that another person is full of projections… 🙂

      • Tim October 20, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

        Maybe you should listen instead of being smarmy.

    • Sharon Danley October 23, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      Oh dear – this is a perfect illumination of why women are so afraid to speak out. Not only is it tough enough with the original assault(s), then bullying takes place when its voiced.

    • Sharon Danley October 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

      Oh dear – this is a perfect illumination of why women are so afraid to speak out. Not only is it tough enough with the original assault(s), then bullying takes place when it’s voiced.

  19. Ben Croker October 20, 2017 at 2:25 am #

    Thank you Mike, for speaking this out publicly. Yes, I agree from my own experience and the experience of other men that the tide is indeed turning, change is in motion. It may be hard to see from the outside and it may be too slow to appease the many justifiably angry people out there, but I can confirm that we have started doing our work. More importantly, essentially, I am doing my work, and part of this is showing other men, by example, that it is up to each individual one of us to do our own work.

    There are, as you have pointed out, many men’s groups out there, ready to support us in our individual work. We are not alone in this journey, yet we cannot outsource or externalise the responsibility and dedication it requires.

    As a European, I don’t see this as an “American” or even as a “western” issue. It is, ultimately, not even a men’s issue, but a human issue of our time that we must come face to face with, in unity and with kindness and integrity.

    Thank you again for your brave and touching words.

  20. Arwen October 20, 2017 at 5:34 am #

    This is really beautiful. Thank you. #MeToo

  21. Manuella October 20, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    Yes we understand and we forgive..in the name of all the women.. and .for those who can’t forgive, for those who died or suicide . we are ONE ,Blessings and better Life for the New Men

  22. Retta Flagg October 20, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    The real freedom that we are approaching is the release of the male and female archetypes and cultural mores to become the true essence of the divine. Oneness is being made manifest as we shed our identities of being human and move forward to accept the inner divine as spirit made manifest in form. Both women and men remain shackled by the illusion of separation as long as we hold on to roles and culturally embedded gender models. What we are witnessing is the evolution of humanity to the next level of spiritual connection.

    Don’t just listen to women. Examine the structures of being male and female that hold you in the patriarchal paradigm and embrace the change rising up from the release of the illusion as the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine realign in our psyches as Oneness and Unity.

  23. Daniel October 21, 2017 at 2:13 am #

    A storm is coming. Or rather a giant Witch Hunt is coming.
    Men who’ve done wrong one or twice, learned their lesson, and changed, bad men who never learn, and good men who’ve never thought they did anything wrong will soon find themselves being accused of sexual assault. Mob mentality and unchecked power will unite people together to in support and even to bare false testimony against the accused. It will be Salem for Men.
    Our laws currently treat a woman’s claim of abuse as undeniable truth, and men must prove themselves innocent…even after 10 or more years have passed, and memories become faded.
    I will never condone any human being forcing their will upon another for sexual favors/advancements. If I ever see anyone doing such, and it’s obviously unwanted, I’ll stand up for the person being wronged to ensure their safety. But the fact of the matter is that men are not inherently evil. We weren’t born as rapists. However, society would have you believe that because you own a penis, you are a monster, and deserve to be shamed, condemned, and thrown into a prison. This is not something born of enlightnement, but the opposite. Ignorance.
    An Enlightened society would look at the Why’s behind why men are behaving a certain way, What ways there are to correct this, How to impliment it, Where the solutions would be most effective, and then Evaluate the results.

    What is happening instead is blind outrage and bloodlust for events which may have been minor infractions or unconsequential when they occurred, but in this feverpitch of unquestioned power and the assumption that all accusers are honest, those memories will be revisited and judged to be suddenly more traumatic than the most horrific nightmare. –And what defense does anyone have against sudden outrage?
    If your hand accidently rubbed up against someone’s prosterior in an elevator, years later, it will become “I was groped and sexually assaulted, and no one said anything and allowed it to happen”. Where as, if it were an exchange between two men it would be, “Did you touch my butt dude?” “Yeah…sorry, my hands are full and I can’t move them.” -And that would be the end of it.
    No emotional trauma. No court hearings. And No hearing about it years later because someone had to go to therapy over an accidental butt touch.
    Men and women handle these things very differently, and there needs to be an open dialog as to Why we handle these things differently. There also needs to be severe punishment for anyone FALSELY accusing another of sexual assault. I don’t care what sex someone is, lying about something like that could damage a person’s freedom and their whole life.
    Absolutely no one should go to jail over a false accusation, based upon the word of one person.
    However, that’s not the country we live in.

    I will not stay silent on sexual assault. I won’t condone it, and will be quick to convey exactly how serious the issue is.
    However, given the pattern of events, the current state of our legislature, and the sharpe increase in frequency of new reports of men committing “sexual assault”, I can see the logical next step. And it’s like something straight out of a sci-fi novel.
    Men will start to have to wear body cams for our own protection. Not because we’re forced to, but because it is the surest means of proving our innocence against false accusations.

    • brett fish anderson October 23, 2017 at 1:52 am #

      Daniel,i encourage you to pick any three women in your life and without trying to influence their response in any way, simply ask them to share their #MeToo stories – your comments read like someone who has no clue what the majority of women go through on a daily basis – even just the stories from my wife that happen regularly are enough to go around and yet i have heard story after story after story from girls and women and older women and this stuff is not being made up – you may feel like you are one of the good ones [as do i] but there are enough bad ones out there for us to have our hands full with the work that needs to be done and if you refuse to listen and just run with your opinion here then you are doing women everywhere [and men] a disservice, cos you don’t seem to have any clue at all…

    • John October 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

      While I agree that there is a problem with unwanted sexual advances and harassment- i feel as though in this supercharged environment- truth is getting lost in the fog of war. Things are all getting lumped together as being on the same scale as Harvey Weinstein.

      Now I see calls for men to confess and admit they are part of this- this smacks of religious fervor- mea culpa- as if we are all Harvey.

      Front page of newspaper today in my hometown- a prominent restaurantuer is being accused to fostering an atmosphere that allowed for sexual harassment. He has been forced to resign- there’s calls for a boycott of his businesses- all based on allegations. what happens if they turn out to be untrue? Doesn’t matter- the damage is done- his reputation is ruined probably for life. This is my problem with all of this- you can eviscerate someone’s life work, his family life- by simply accusing them.

      I see friends of mine being tagged on social media – accused if sexual assult. They now are unable to show themselves in public.

      this is modern day Salem. This is madness. As with all such witch-hunts- they eventually go too far- someone finally will say what they said to McCarthy ” at long last, have you know left no sense of decency? “

  24. Martin October 21, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    I wish all the men out there the courage, strength and compassion to shed the ego off and open their hearts, their inner wisdom and love that is ‘snoozing’ within. It’s not a difficult task and it’s so much rewarding. The peace and truth it brings in ones and others life (specially in relationship with women) is priceless. Men’s groups are a great start. Guys…go and shine your light…please 😉

  25. David George October 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    The world population of people is peaking. There is no need to conquer, or even to discover much any more. War is about rape and robbery really.

    The rules and boundaries are changing, as we speak. Adapt or die, inwardly, at least.

    The world has to move beyond mere sustainability to enhancement of our world our lives and our surroundings. People can do this together. In fact there will be no other way.

    Our legacy to future generations is to have future generations. This is important. Family is essential. A wider sense of what family is may help out.

    pob bendith/ many blessings.

  26. Synthy October 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

    Yeah, the fact that we’re not allowed to contribute to this conversation when it’s about sexual abuse, period. Reframing this being strictly about women undermines the root of the problem and limits the conversation rather than furthering it. Making it strictly about women takes away, it only makes more victims because apparently men aren’t allowed to be victims here. Instead of looking at the science and making this a productive debate, we’re focusing on emotions, because apparently emotions are more important than stopping more people from becoming victims.

    The biggest problem with male victims is the cultural indoctrination that we’re not allowed to be victims, or when someone else is brave enough to start the conversation. Unless it’s another man, we’re not allowed to contribute? The only way we’re going to understand sexual abuse better scientifically and emotionally is just talking about.

    This guy is talking about people being ass holes and dominating the conversation. WHICH F***ING SHOCKER WOMEN CAN DO THAT TOO! It’s social ques being missed is the root of this conversation when it’s such a sensitive topic, which I totally encourage that conversation. But once again the only way we’re going to learn more, is by listening and hearing more. Nobody is telling Terry Crews to stfu about his story coming up related with Whinestein. That’s because of who he is, people instantly accepted that he was contributing to the conversation and that it’s an endemic problem that is much bigger and affects a broader demographic than we’d ever possibly imagined. His story didn’t take away from anyone’s else, it contributed.

    The bottom line is we need more contributions than more silence.

  27. Chris Alan October 21, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    With all the authority given to me by the Church. F**k you!

    • Mike Morrell October 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

      You kiss your congregation with that mouth, Chris Alan?

  28. Duncan October 22, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

    The recent “me too” trend also reminded me of my own childhood dealing with weirdness, https://accidentalfarmerbywater.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/the-shark-tank if your interested. But where I went wit it was realizing that while I could outgrow and leave, for many women this is reality. For me it was one predator, who once I became a 6′ 6″ man could be managed, sort of. There weren’t others.

    For women though it’s everywhere. My wife got an invite to attend a UN conference. We were talking about “where is safe in Manhattan” which is like saying “Where can I go and not get raped”. Despite being familiar with Manhattan I am not familiar with how not to get raped. For women it is every new town, every new man met; is he a decent guy or will he try and roof my drink? It really put my own past into perspective.

    • David George October 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

      I hear from women about rape and coercion. And the ever present threat of rape. But I am not a party to that. Why should I get it in the neck! Literally. It is stressful!

  29. Sharon Danley October 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    Thank you so very, very much for this article and its rich resources. It has been an absolute salve for me. I have shared it in my social media and will be doing a video on a woman’s response to this. I simply can’t express enough at the moment, how men stepping up, speaking out and acknowledging, has such a deep and soothing impact.

    I’m a survivor of some pretty nasty and unbelievable sex abuse and betrayals by the men in my life and I’ve worked at it for decades to overcome. And part of that healing has been in helping other women. So I’m thrilled to bring this to them. Thank you so very much.

    • Susie Survivor November 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

      Sharon, I hear you, I thank You, I believe you & believe in you…I admire your courage…

      Strength in numbers-Strength in Truth….

      Love, Susie

  30. Nacht October 31, 2017 at 5:21 am #

    “Clearly, we men have a behavioral problem: All of us. “.

    Speak for yourself!

  31. Susie Survivor November 1, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Wow! What a bunch of “phony baloney”! While it seems that many here (with the exception of Daniel) have jumped on this recent “MeToo” Bandwagon, appearing all sympathetic, but it’s mostly all just a load of crap! I mean, You may actually “want to be” all thoughtful & compassionate here on this topic-but it’s obvious you haven’t a clue! Perhaps Benjamin, in his earlier assertion, was most astute in his perception of “pretentiousness & prescriptive”.
    Here’s a woman, named Susie Survivor, writing in (amidst all your male “testronian” compassions-while you discuss the prevalence, & silence, of sexual assault) who not only thanks you for your seemed compassion but then “bares all” & tells you that “#She-Too” was sexually assaulted throughout her own childhood by no less than ten separate perps-including her own father…She also tells you a little about her battle with the silence of others on this issue; and how do you respond??? After an entire week not one of you-not a single one-had even the courage or courtesy to ever respond. Perhaps you didn’t believe her? Perhaps you wanted proof? Perhaps it’s just a bit “over the top”& too difficult or “uncomfortable” to even acknowledge? Well, “Welcome to the club”…Your own silence spoke volumes…
    While it’s rather obvious that Daniel (with whom it’s hard not to be offended at his ignorant comments) has some serious denial issues, you are all part of this horrific “problem”. In fact, it is the apathetic silence which is most damaging. If you really “want to” care, I suggest starting with a little research on facts:

    http://www.rainn.org/statistics, http://www.d2l.org/the-issue/statistics/, http://chauciesplace.org/child-sexual-abuse-statistics, http://endsexualviolence.org/, https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/pages/welcome.aspx, https://www.smart.gov/pdfs/NSOPWFactSheet.pdf, http://www.smart.gov/nsopw.htm, http://www.facebook.com/survivorsnet/, http://www.facebook.com/susie.survivor,

  32. Duncan November 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    I think your comment assumes that we are supposed to comment? I for one did not see it as my place to validate her statement because it is valid already. I am sorry if my silence was equated with denial but I assure you that was not the case. Perhaps in this format it is hard to tell active listeners from deniers but I for one was listening

  33. Dominick Quartuccio November 3, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    Mike,

    I’ve done years worth of work on myself and towards my relationships with women. I’ve participated in men’s groups like you’ve recommended (The ManKind Project). And I even lead other conscious men in their pursuit of redefining their relationships with women through coaching and retreats.

    But I’d never contemplated the powerful insight you shared that hit me like a ton of bricks:

    “Have you ever stopped to wonder…

    Why do we so often feel that women are ‘our’ blank canvases, on which to paint:

    Our loneliness
    Our feelings of inadequacy
    Our social proof
    Our stress relief
    Our aggression
    Our need for emotional or physical validation
    Our craving for acceptance, adventure, and conquest
    Our personal legend?”

    I’ve only just begun my contemplation of depths of your inquiry, and it’s already awakened a new sense of understanding and illuminated so many of my own blindspots.

    Thank you, wonderful man, for who you are and how you champion a new voice which deserves to be heard.
    -Dominick

  34. James November 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

    I get what you’re saying, but there is no such thing as “toxic masculinity.” Toxic masculinity is not a thing. Bad behavior and mistreating women have nothing to do with masculinity. Secondly, men who are victims of sexual assault (such as Terry Crews) have every right in the world to speak out about it. Men who have been raped in prison have every right to speak out about it. Even men who were sexually assaulted by women (yes, women can rape men, too) have a right to speak out about it. No man should keep quiet about it for the sake of women. And by the way, all lives do matter! It’s sad that you don’t seem to think so.

    “Clearly, we men have a behavioral problem: All of us.”

    Speak for yourself, buddy! Some of us men actually know how to treat a woman right.

  35. James November 9, 2017 at 11:29 pm #

    One more thing! We need to specifically define what sexual harassment and rape are, and not go by what feminists and SJWs have redefined them to be. Feminists have made it so that a man can’t even say “Good morning” to a woman without being accused of sexual harassment. If a man pays a nice, non-sexual compliment to a woman, it’s sexual harassment (unless he’s stunningly handsome, of course). When a woman labels all men as sexual predators, anything he says or does can be considered sexual harassment.

    Women also need to understand that you cannot withdraw consent 24 hours after you’ve had sex with a man. If you regret having sex with someone, that’s on you. You cannot suddenly withdraw your consent hours afterwards and then claim that you were raped. It doesn’t work like that. There have been many horror stories about men who honestly thought they were having consensual sex with a woman, only to find themselves being arrested for rape, accused by the very women who fully consented to sex with them. Women like that make it that much harder for actual victims of rape to come forward and to be believed.

    Yes, we should stand against rape and sexual harassment. We should not, however, demonize all men in the process.

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