In the Wake of #istandwithher and #metoo

Note: I wrote this post on Facebook back before I had my blog, while the Ford/Kavanaugh controversy was raging. However, I feel it is worth a share because the subject matter is still relevant. Please also note that this post is not about bashing men. It is about raising women up, showing them equality and respect – and most importantly, believing them and supporting them in the wake of sexual abuse. It is also about showing that same respect to men, and not using “boys will be boys” as a cop-out and excuse.

Because I believe that feminism is not synonymous with man hating. Because I believe that “boys will be boys” is a myth. Because I believe that men are not always guilty.

Text with "Boys will be boys" and "boys" is crossed out to say "Boys will be good humans"

Feminism is Not Synonymous with Man-Hating

~Because a woman supports women’s rights and/or supports Ford, it does not mean she hates men. It is possible to support a movement without hating the other side. Feminism is not synonymous with man-hating. That’s the beauty of adulthood – as an adult, we are capable of complex thoughts. The world is not black and white. It is possible to support a movement, to support a person, to support a thought, without showing disrespect or contempt for the other side.

The Majority of Women Are NOT Lying

~Are all accusations made against men true? Of course not. We are humans after all and that means that some people lack judgment, make bad decisions, or have questionable motives. HOWEVER, only 2% to 10% of accusations are false. That means 90% to 98% of women are telling the truth. A rape culture is one in which we don’t believe the majority of women because of the minority. When have you ever wanted the 2% to 10% of anything to decide something for you? I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing never.

Be Respectful

~Supporting the allegations women bring forward and taking them seriously does not automatically make the men guilty. Let me repeat that. Supporting the women and taking their claims seriously does not automatically make the men guilty. Our legal system states someone is innocent until proven guilty. Let the justice system do its job (Not happy with the justice system? Then vote, or do something to change it – but that’s a topic for another post). Until the justice system has done its job, you can support the woman, believe the woman, and take her claim seriously while still also believing there is a second side to the story. If someone came forward reporting a murder, they would be believed and an investigation would take place. Women are simply asking for the same process – that the same due diligence be applied – without name calling, shaming, or a huge show of disrespect.

The Minority Should Not Outweigh the Majority

~Men can be equally impacted and have their lives ruined by false accusations. However, to the first point I made above, we can appreciate that fact and understand it, without diminishing the way we treat reports of sexual abuse. A statistic that shows that 10% of men are innocent does not carry more weight than the one that shows that 90% of women are telling the truth and have been sexually abused. It is a difficult matter – it is incredibly complex and has no easy solution. We can appreciate that fact without mocking it or feeling that the 10% are more deserving than the 90%.

Boys Will Be Boys is Degrading

~I have great respect for men, but what I am seeing circulating around on Facebook right now is that men don’t respect themselves. The saying “boys will be boys” is a cop-out. That is allowing your gender to dictate how you see yourself and how the world sees you. Boys can be many things – respectful, loving, decent human beings. The saying “boys will be boys” is not implying any of those things – it is implying that men are incapable of self-control simply because they are male. Guys, give yourselves some credit. Most of the men I know are able to show self-control. They are capable of showing respect, love and being amazing members of society. So why do you allow the saying “boys will be boys” to continue infiltrating our society?

What You Post Reflects on YOU

Little boy grabbing a little girl's bottom with the saying "Well Billy, there went your chance to be on the Supreme Court!"

~On a similar subject as above – stop spreading overly simplified memes. The little boy grabbing the little girl’s bum, the boy sitting in a car wanting to kiss his girlfriend, but being afraid to for fear of facing a sexual abuse charge. Those are oversimplified memes and while trying to be funny and prove a point, they actually do two other things. First, they make light of a very serious subject (I’m sure if someone you loved was sexually abused you would agree that it is a serious matter). Second, it makes you look simple-minded – like you can’t see beyond the oversimplification and how ridiculous the argument being made is. What you post says more about YOU than it does the subject matter of what you are sharing. Think about that and let it sink in. Have some self-respect and hold yourself to a higher standard.

Sexual Abuse is not a Trivial Matter

~Regardless of how you feel about the Kavanaugh v Ford trial, you do not need to minimize sexual assault. You can disagree with the trial, you can even believe Ford is lying, but that does not give you free reign to mock and make light of a very serious subject matter. I know with all of the politics flying around it can be hard, but maybe just focus on the real issue being presented – that sexual abuse is something that impacts more than 1 in 5 women during their lifetime, that it is not handled appropriately in this country, and that it is time to change that.

Women deserve respect. Women deserve equal rights. Women deserve humanity. Giving us that does not strip it away from you. It simply puts you in a position to show that boys can be more than boys. That boys can in fact become men who are capable of showing empathy, respect, and support for a very serious issue.

#istandwithher #metoo

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