This Isn’t Partisan

Sexual harassment is not partisan.
Sexual assault is not partisan.
Rape is not partisan.
We will find men who have been horrible to women (and others) — criminally horrible — in every aspect of society. We will find them on either side of any political aisle. The “test” of how society reacts to somebody like Harvey Weinstein is significant, but he wasn’t widely liked. The real test is when we discover such things about somebody who is more widely popular, because that will happen. It already has.
We have to account for this whenever it comes up. Doesn’t matter if it’s somebody we like or not. Doesn’t matter if it’s “only this one accuser” (and yes, some of the accusers will be men).
We don’t need to “not all men” this issue. Everybody knows it’s not literally all men, or we’d be having a different discussion. If it was literally all men, then no men would care. Equivocating that some men are decent undermines the importance of all this. It’s *enough* men that *all* women have to deal with this on some level. It’s enough men that pull this shit, and more than enough men to turn a blind eye or excuse it.
And yes, ALL MEN are given garbage influence, all our lives, because we live in a society that has ignored and even approved of bad behavior toward women. Whether we consciously push out the worst of it or not, all of us are affected. It’s in our media, it’s in our stories, it’s deep within our very language.
There flatly is no witch hunt here. Of course these cases are cropping up everywhere. We all know damn well we live in a society where sexism and bad behavior are widespread. These stories aren’t coming up in so many places because of a bandwagon effect. They’re coming up everywhere because this shit is SOCIETAL.
There are further intersections of this in race, in orientation, in the non-binary nature of gender, in religion. That list goes on. I don’t want to ignore those other intersections by focusing on this. That stuff is all real, and it matters.
At some point — hopefully now, because years ago would have been better — at some point, we men need to accept that a lot of what we were taught is garbage. We need to sort through that. If we really care about our fellow human beings, if we really want to be good people, we’re going to have to reckon with that.
We can either make the effort to be decent people, or we can blow it off because it’s too hard or because we don’t like what that effort says about ourselves and where we came from. I would rather deal with this garbage than wallow in it, because the stench has been awful for far too long.

2 thoughts on “This Isn’t Partisan

  1. Mark

    What’s the old saying? For evil to exist all it takes is for good people to do nothing? Well, I think society has finally had enough of this behavior and the victims are finally getting support. Much of the upheaval we see today is society struggling to grow up. Changing social norms is painful but necessary, and in this case long overdue. Well said…

  2. Paul Carroll

    It doesn’t take much thought really. While Marko’s point about changing what is acceptable behavior is good, in the long run this is not complicated. The Golden Rule pretty much covers things.


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