I’m late to the #MeToo conversation surrounding sexual harassment, but I’ve encountered fewer men weighing in than I’d expect. I know this is a time when men should often just shut up and listen. (Bad timing for some man-splaining?)
But I also think dads and sons and brothers should be part of the conversation.
This isn’t the time for anyone to ask, “but this all happened so long ago. Why bring it up, now?” (Because it still matters. Even you, Keillor.)
This isn’t the time for postulating, “Yeah, it was bad, but should it really ruin someone’s life?” (Well, Spacey, maybe you should’ve thought about that before thinking with your groin. You weren’t 13. You were in your 20’s. You knew better.)
Women: I’ll probably put my foot in my mouth wading into this delicate issue. So maybe I should just be speaking to the menfolk.
But I have to say: I’m loving this.
I love this zero-tolerance-for-douche-baggery moment we’re witnessing. And I hope it changes our culture for the good.
Several female friends of mine have voiced their cynicism that “nothing’s gonna change. We have so far to go.”
But that was before Lauer and Keillor and Simmons.
I’m so pissed at the people I admire – Franken and Keillor. Do I think their transgressions are as “serious” as Weinstein, Moore or Lauer? Not really. There’s a difference between stupidity and sickness.
But it’s all under the same umbrella of objectifying and exploiting women.
Being a member of the non-douchebag elite, (of which I think a majority of my fellow men are card-carrying members), I’m glad pigs are going down.
I’m happy that the shit that riseth to the top masquerading as cream is being scooped out and exposed.
And I hope there’s more of them, because that’ll cull positions that should go to more women and more men who aren’t entitled douchebags.
And it’ll teach our sons they can’t be creeps and our daughters that they don’t have to tolerate creepiness.
I’m happy that even Franken is on notice for thinking it’s “okay” for him to even joke about harassing a sleeping woman; because that was first-rate douchebaggery.
If a few people (beloved or not) have to take the fall to make society an egalitarian place where women do not feel objectified or exploited or belittled or unsafe, then that’s ok.
NO MATTER THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO GO DOWN.
Because a systemic cultural sickness that has allowed sexual harassment to be excused for (thousands of) years is worth changing; no matter the sacrifices made or how many supposed role models are scandalized in the process.
For all the Louis C.K.’s and Roy Moore’s that go down (please may Moore go down, Alabama voters, please), someone more talented and less likely to have sexually harassed someone else will replace them.
And that makes the world a better place.
It may be lots and lots of women filling those shoes.
And that’s a good thing.
All you have to do is not be a douchebag. It’s simple.