“Honest Self-Evaluation”: Not So Much

So many women, for so many years. So many instances of use and abuse that happen so frequently they’re considered commonplace, expected, “part of life.”

It’s horrible to see the amount of women who have responded with #metoo: horrible because of the peace, joy, and security that’s been robbed from these lives; horrible because we all know the numbers convey just a fraction of women who’ve experienced this in their lifetime; and horrible because we’re not hearing very much from the other side of the equation. 

Women are strong and resilient. I am filled with admiration and love for every woman who’s spoken out on this issue, as well as for the ones who have kept it close to their heart. But I am afraid of this being shrugged off as just another “women’s issue”: an ultimately innocuous fad that the patriarchal culture will reverently espouse for a time, only to let it fuzz out into radio noise beneath the crosshairs of a porn-ravaged collective brain. A collective brain that just a couple of weeks ago was singing the praises of Hugh Hefner and all the ways he brought “freedom” into our puritanical culture. 

There’s been a disturbing lack of response from men, here. My inkling tells me that this likely has something to do with the fact that most men are consuming entertainment that conveys every abusive thing Weinstein did to these women – and worse, much, much worse. (I won’t even go into the stats regarding the percentage of porn scenes that depict rape, violence, and abuse against women: look into it for yourself.) In the interests of “honest self-evaluation,” these men are reticent due to one (or all) of the following reasons:

a) they don’t want to be two-faced;
b)they are secretly accepting of raping-groping-touching women with no regard for the human in front of them;
c)they don’t have any genuine resolve to stop consuming pornography that dehumanizes women. 

That doesn’t sound like honest self-evaluation to me. It sounds like cowardice. And unfortunately, as much as women would like to be able to turn the tide by raising awareness, things aren’t going to change unless men change. Unless men come forward and admit, “I am part of this problem. I have used, abused, and manipulated women for my own selfish ends. I have stood by silently in the face of this evil. I have chosen this evil again and again and have derived pleasure from it.” With admittance comes responsibility: the responsibility to change, to man up, to demand that women be treated as people – independent, complex people who exist apart from you, who do not exist to satisfy your cravings. 

I’m not saying women are expecting a culture of superhuman men who don’t have sexual urges – keep those urges. Just make them healthier, make them more human. Channel them in a way that doesn’t destroy, steal, lie, or wound. 

We need men who are ready to start dealing with their spiritual and emotional impotence – men who have the balls to admit their part (yeah, the word-play was intentional). The common good depends on it.

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