#MeToo, from a man’s eye

Another sensitive subject: the abuse of women. I originally wanted to write this post when the whole Weinstein story came out in October 2017. At that moment, plenty of women decided to tell their stories through the #MeToo hashtag. My wife shared her story on her blog, I invite you to read it here. I decided it was not my place or the right time to speak. But the publication of a new sex abuse scandal in America (a US Olympic Gymnastics doctor abused hundreds of girls while massaging them), I thought it was time to write it.

I thought about it quite a lot, because it is a complicated subject to write about as a man. I’m going to speak for myself, but I guess most men would agree: this is not something I know much about because I have never experienced it. Indeed, it is extremely hard to imagine what you would feel and think during these situations. However, now I’m writing these words, I realize that I probably witnessed it multiple times in the street (to a certain level), but never paid much attention to it. Taking all that into account, I’m not here to judge or find excuses to justify those horrible things, because it would be inappropriate (and nothing can justify it anyway). I’m just going to give my opinion and point of view on the subject.

Men are stupid

Like I said, this is something I don’t know much about. I’m not talking about rapists or sex abusers, I’m talking about the “little” harassments women are victims of in their daily lives. There are things that men don’t even notice but are real issues and can cause lots of stress for women. To be clear, I’m talking about whistles in the street, looks or winks that make women feel uncomfortable, inappropriate comments or gestures etc.

Let’s be honest, every single man on this planet, me included, has already done at least one of those things. Men and women are different for many reasons… and the way we behave and talk about the other gender is really different:

  • When men talk about women, they can be loud, dumb, insulting, dumb, arrogant, pretentious and dumb. They make bad jokes that should not be heard by everyone. Also, we have a different way of treating each other. Between men, we can be quite harsh and tough… even if we are just kidding, we can go far and be mean.
  • Women seem to be more, exuberant. I can’t say anything for sure, but I guess they talk about lots of subjects just like men do. But they don’t go as far as men… they will stop before the insulting limit. Girls can be mean to each other (worse than men actually), but not in the same way… when men just joke, women usually mean it.

So when both genders meet each other, well there can be some sparks! A mix of dumbness and hormones can bring men to say and do stupid things. They can try to joke and be funny, without knowing where the limit between joke and harassment is. And if they act with women like they act between men, things can turn bad. A bad joke about another man’s body could just stay as a joke, the same about women could be understood as harassment. Men need to keep in mind that men and women have different reactions and a different way to interpret and react to some words. So in some cases, I don’t believe men are being horrible to women on purpose, they are just being dumb.

Obviously here, I’m not talking about assholes using their power to abuse women… those ones just deserve to be severely punished and they don’t have any excuses.

How the society treats women

Our current society needs to totally rethink how it treats women. It looks like things are moving forward, but we could observe plenty of remains from the old-fashioned time when women were just there to cook and be mums.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • The obvious one is salaries: for the same job, companies pay women less. And I’m sorry, but there isn’t any possible bullshit reason for that! A job should pay the same, whatever the gender or race.
  • The one I hate: a man going out and sleeping with plenty of women is a Don Juan. He will be envied and admired like a prince. A woman going out and sleeping with plenty of men… is a slut. WHY?!?!
  • On the same subject- you will notice something next time you listen to or read about something like that: often, passive sentences are used when something happens to a woman. “A woman got raped”, “she has been abused”, etc… why don’t we say “A man raped a woman”, “this man sexually abused her”. It’s like those horrible things just happen to women… but no one did it! Why not point directly to the aggressors rather than victimizing the victims?

“We talk about how many women were raped last year, not how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenage girls in the state of Vermont got pregnant last year, rather than how many boys and men impregnated teenage girls.” Jackson Katz

The system does everything the wrong way

I feel like the system should improve to change the situation.

  • First, a real equity between men and women. Again, there is no reason why that isn’t already the case.
  • Second, justice. A lot of abused or beaten women are often too scared to go to the police. Things need to be done so that those women would trust the system more, to go and denounce those bastards. Currently, they have to justify themselves and prove to the police they were being abused… it’s like they are treated as liars when they are the victims who need help! Also, even if it’s hard to justify violence or murder, I honestly find it crazy when women are convicted because they defended themselves against their crazy husband! Some women have been punched every single day of their lives, then one day they explode and kill their husband… and they are convicted… I don’t know, I’ve got a problem with that in a way.
  • Third, education. Just as I insisted in my previous post on how we should educate people differently to respect our differences, we should educate children differently. Basic example: rather than telling girls “don’t wear this skirt otherwise boys are going to pester you”, why don’t we say to boys “be nice and respectful with the girls, whatever they wear”. Pretty simple, isn’t it? Why can’t a girl or a woman be herself (wear what she wants, put on the makeup she wants, sleep with who she wants, etc) not to be insulted!? Why can’t men just be f*cking respectful and that’s it!

I’m going to finish with something that makes me so angry… people closing their eyes. After the Weinstein’s story came out, multiple celebrities – men and women – claimed they knew about his behavior for years and years. Why didn’t they stop it? Probably because if they opened their mouths, they would have put a cross on their career… selfishness at its best! How can those people look at themselves in the mirror, knowing an asshole abused girls and women who could be their daughters or wives? All that for some money… like they don’t have enough (I’m thinking about writing a full post about that actually)! Maybe we should eventually consider how much power we give to some people, especially dickheads, and spread the wealth in a better way. It could avoid situations like that (which probably and unfortunately happen way more than we know about every single day).

“A woman is not an object. She is not something; she is someone. You treat a woman with respect. She is not your toy. She doesn’t owe you anything just cause you are a man. When she comes to you for comfort, you listen to her; you don’t make a move on her. Grow up and start treating women how they deserve to be treated.” Anonymous

“Love and respect woman. Look to her not only for comfort, but for strength and inspiration and the doubling of your intellectual and moral powers. Blot out from your mind any idea of superiority; you have none.” Giuseppe Mazzini

*Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

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