It is about time that people in power who take advantage of those who look up to them have their actions questioned. They have gone unchecked far too long and that is wrong. Harvey Weinstein has been accused. He tried to quash the stories but they came out. Speaking of coming out, Kevin Spacey did just that when he was accused. Effectively coming up with something completely new to the LGBT world; a wrong time to come out. All these stories are, in my books, success stories. Someone who had been violated found the strength to say what happened to them. Say it and make an impact. Say it and allow others who had had the same happen to them find the strength to say what had happened to them. It is sad. It is beautiful. It is empowering.
But no. This is not that kind of post as you may have guessed from the title.
If I had to name them, the women who have accused men, powerful or otherwise, of sexual abuse and had their narratives dismissed as a call for attention or a search for fame or a quest for a big cheque or the myriad of other excuses that we come up with, I would be listing names for a very long time. A very very long time. It took Kevin Spacey’s very problematic coming out for me to say this. The reaction we collectively have when a man says he has been violated is completely different from the reaction that we collectively have when a woman says she has been violated in the same way.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way condoning what the man allegedly did. It was horrible. It should not ever happen to anyone. Yet it is happening. To men who just want to get a foot on the ground. To men who are simply seeking to be loved. To men who are trying to ensure that the love they are made to believe exists is reciprocated. It is happening. I am not condoning this at all. All I am saying is that we need to check our privilege. As ugly as this is, we need to see it as it is. That a woman will be violated and we will say, “Well, she shouldn’t have placed herself in that situation.” And when a man is violated, we instantly ostracize the accused.
We need to check our privilege. And while we are checking that privilege, we need to acknowledge the fact that we are all trash. Now I know that this will not go down well with my fellow penis havers, but the fact that it took one of my kind, in more ways than one, being accused to have me say this makes me trash as well.
It is not equality I am speaking for here. It is basic humanity. When no consent is given or when consent is coerced or when consent is withdrawn, none of us has a right over the body of the other person. THAT is basic humanity.
So yes. Men are trash. And please don’t say, “Not all men!” That just makes you trash. Be a man. Acknowledge your privilege. And then stand up for what is right. Speak up for the woman in your life who is being treated oh so differently because of the fact that she is a woman. Understand that she really doesn’t need you to speak up because she can very well do that for herself only problem being that you and your privileged self, shut her down. Note that while you may not personally play a part in shutting her down, you do nothing about those who do. Admit that by your very existence, you are one of the oppressors. Accept that you are hating me so much right now for calling you out.
Once you are done being trash, do something to make a difference!