RSVP for #StopSexism Weekly Calls
Yooo, it’s your boy DudeBro here. We haven’t really talked much since the Planned Parenthood thing, but we apparently need to have a chat again.
So, you may have noticed on Facebook that all your lady friends having been posting “Me too” and maybe sharing a story about times they’ve been harassed or assaulted. You may also have been thinking,”Yo, that’s a LOT of me tooing out there… There’s no way everyone woman I’ve ever seen has been sexually assaulted or harassed, right?”
Except, wrong. It’s actually totally plausible that every single woman you’ve ever come in contact with has been harassed or assaulted. First… let’s just for the sake of argument here remove the possibility that there is a percentage of people out there that lie for the sake of lying. In a universe of infinite possibilities, there are undoubtedly instances of people who want to feel included. And like voter fraud before it, we must have a congressional inquiry into these .00000003% of instances of false reporting of harassment.
OR, we could take a minute and look at what is being said and think about every interaction we’ve ever had with a woman and really, truly, look at our own behavior and decide how probable it is that we’ve participated, even unknowingly.
“But Dudebro,” you say, your eyes already boiling with rage, “I’ve NEVER, and I would NEVER rape anyone.”
First of all… rock on, my dude. Don’t rape people. Rape isn’t ever the fault of the raped, and vowing never to rape someone will undoubtedly cut down on the instances of rape. Good first step. But we’re not talking about hiding in an alley with a ski mask here, we’re talking about other ways of using your male power to unduly influence sex, and it’s also infinitely more complicated than just not raping people.
While writing this article a friend of mine send me a text that read “The first time I was raped, I didn’t even call it that. I didn’t realize it had happened. It was messy and weird and gray”. The sheer horror of any sentence that begins “The first time I was raped…” from someone you care about is gut wrenching on its own, but it also brings us to a larger point. Sexual harassment and assault are not easy things to put your finger on, even to those assaulted.
For example, as men, we’re often larger than women. This isn’t a commentary on the capabilities of women, this is a biological norm within homo sapiens. The male of the species is stronger, larger, and more aggressive by nature. Our biological role, if one compares it to similarly structured primates, would be that of protector and propagator of our community. Generally, the largest of the males become the dominant force in its local area and runs off other weaker males to ensure he alone gets to mate with his community.
However, at some point, our ancestors figured out that they can bend their thumbs and hold things, and that maybe you can see better over grass if you stand up on your back legs. After that, some early man had this idea that he exists in a world that is comprised of more than food and sex and that since he thinks, he, therefore, must be, and the whole system of dominance based on size collapsed around him. But here’s the kicker, bros, we didn’t get any smaller and women didn’t get any larger and while we may have developed a slightly more complex social network than “Me big, you small, let’s bone,” the physical dominance didn’t disappear, it just became less important to us as men while remaining as intimidating for women.
So, now you’re saying, “I’m a big dude, I can’t help it. That doesn’t mean I am a bad guy with bad intentions.” I’d like to point out that this is also the argument of that giant guy showering next to you in County lockup, but we don’t talk about those things because prison rape is supposed to be funny.
Now, I’m 6’2 and bulky, depending on how hard I hit the holiday buffet I’m either an imposing figure or a young Santa Claus, I absolutely get this. But you don’t have to have negative motivations to be seen as dangerous and we’re talking about perception here, not motivation. My sheer strength and social standing as a male provide me with a perceived power that women are not born with and is easily used to press my will.
This idea is really the crux of the “Me Too” event. It’s not just that some men are going around dragging women into bedrooms after chasing them in open bathrobes, or grabbing women by their lady-bits because they’re famous. It’s not just comedians drugging drinks for 50 years of under the radar assaults, or music producers holding female artists hostage. It’s all of us. It’s you.
It’s even me.
Let’s get serious for a minute and elaborate with an out-of-character Dudebro tangent:
I have sexually assaulted at least one woman that I know about.
Even as I wrote that sentence, I had to pause and think about my willingness to say that in a public forum. There are professional concerns to publishing that sentence, and there are personal concerns and consequences. I am a harasser of women because of my intentional actions and their unintentional consequences, and I am a harasser of women because of my unintentional actions and their consequences. I am a harasser because I’ve been accused of harassment.
Whoa, back up. If Dudebro is a harasser because he’s been accused of harassment, what happened to being innocent until proven guilty?
It’s because harassment is a crime of perception, not of intent, and we can talk about the difference in another article. My story, however, is about assault.
I’m at a bar with some friends, we’re heavily drinking and flirting, end up back at my house and fall asleep in the same bed. I heard from another mutual friend that the woman told her that as we slept, I continued to fondle her breasts and kiss her. I do not remember doing so.
Was my intent to sexually assault this woman? Absolutely not. However, as I can see no upside to creating a false narrative for this woman, I, therefore, must assume that the incident occurred and my motivations, intent, or even consciousness do not change its occurrence. In fact, my having no memory of the event says less about my personal absolution and more about the overall commonality of the event and others like it.
I shared this story, my dudes, my bros, not because I’m proud of having sexually assaulted a woman. I share this story because I want you all to get on the same page that the sheer number of our lady friends posting that they’ve been harassed or assaulted isn’t the entirety of Facebook falsely claiming to be raped. It’s an expression of how frequent events like this occur, every day, without thought, without malice, simply a part of the fabric of our gender relations.
The woman, whom I’ve left nameless intentionally, posted “Me too” yesterday on Social Media. We’re still friends, we’ve talked about the event and frankly, I’m pretty sure I am way more upset about having done it than she is about having it done to her. The reality for most women is that events like this are so commonplace that, specifically for the woman in my story, often times full-on sexual assaults can be brushed under the rug.
Now, this wasn’t brought to my attention by the woman in question. This was brought to my attention by our mutual friend who had heard the story. When I approached the woman I assaulted she blew it off, told me it was fine, that we were drunk, that she wasn’t concerned, that her friend was blowing things out of proportion. Again, I feel the necessity to point out that this isn’t absolution, this doesn’t make it better, but I put it in to illustrate that, like my friend said earlier in the article, this is all messy and confusing. One person’s assault is another person’s average Wednesday, and we have to operate in uncomfortable shades of gray in order to make the whole system work.
So, I know, you’ve never done what I’ve done, surely. Every interaction with a woman has always been above board, respectful and careful. You’ve even made sure to get verbally stated consent before every sexual relationship. And that’s awesome, that’s so rad. More people out there need to be like you. But for the rest of us, we have a responsibility to look at the things our female friends are saying and really, truly, ask ourselves what we’ve done to further this problem and how we can stop it.
Like the time you pushed too insistently that a woman comes home with you when she’s said no. The time you tried to compliment a sweater, but kept staring at the lovely lady lumps contained within. The time you were out dancing and you repeatedly thrust your hips into a stranger who didn’t want you to. The time you almost crashed your car looking at a woman walking down the street. The time you called a woman crazy because she wouldn’t date you. The time you groped a woman without her consent for the crime of getting drunk with you.
It’s all gray, it’s often easily explained with “I didn’t mean it like that. I didn’t know it upset you. I don’t remember assaulting you.” It’s all so easy to explain away the reasons.
But it doesn’t mean that you didn’t do it and it doesn’t mean that she wanted you to, and it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen if she didn’t say anything. It doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful just because you didn’t intend it to be.
We can’t fix the world by ourselves, my dudes, but we can fix ourselves.
We are proud of our SOCIAL INTEREST GROUPS—WEEKLY PHONE CALLS to help discuss and help solve some of the most difficult challenges the world has today. Calls are for Members Only (although you can join the first call for free). Not yet a member of The Good Men Project? Join now!
What Now? Participate. Take Action. Join The Good Men Project Community.
The $50 Platinum Level is an ALL-ACCESS PASS—join as many groups and classes as you want for the entire year. The $25 Gold Level gives you access to any ONE Social Interest Group and ONE Class–and other benefits listed below the form. Or…for $12, join as a Bronze Member and support our mission. All members see the site AD-FREE!
Please note: If you are already a writer/contributor at The Good Men Project, log in here before registering. (Request new password if needed).
Your ANNUAL PLATINUM membership includes:
1. Free and UNLIMITED ACCESS to participate in ANY of our new Social Interest Groups. We have active communities of like-minded individuals working to change the world on important issues. Weekly facilitated calls that lead to execution of real world strategies for change. Complete schedule here, with new ones starting all the time. We now offer 500 calls a year!
2. Free and UNLIMITED ACCESS to ALL LIVE CLASSES. Learn how build your own platform, be a better writer, become an edit or create social change. Check out our training sessions. As a Platinum member, you can take them all.
3. Invitation to the MEMBERS ONLY Good Men Project Community on Facebook. Connect with other members, network and carry the conversation no one else is having one step further.
4. Access to our PREMIUM MEMBER LIBRARY with our recorded ConvoCasts and classes. ConvoCasts are a new form of media—and you are in them! Only Platinum Members get access to our recordings. And recordings of our classes are really valuable for those who do not have time to take the live classes or just want to review.
5. An ad-free experience. No banner, pop-up, or video ads when you log in.
6. Weekly conference calls with the publisher and other community members. Our weekly calls discuss the issues we see happening in the world of men in a friendly group setting.
7. PLATINUM member commenting badge. Your comments on our website will appear with a platinum member badge, signifying you are a part of our core community.
Price for ANNUAL PLATINUM membership is $50/year.
Your ANNUAL GOLD membership will include:
1. Free access to any ONE Social Interest Groups.Try them out! We have active communities of like-minded individuals working to change the world on important issues. Weekly facilitated calls that lead to execution of real world strategies for change. Complete schedule here, with new ones starting all the time.
2. Free access to any ONE of our live classes. Each month, we have the following: Learn how to be a Rising Star in media, build your own platform, become an advanced writer, become an editor or create social change. Check out our classes here. RSVP for any one class—if you want to take more, just upgrade to an Annual Platinum Membership.
3. Invitation to the MEMBER-ONLY Good Men Project Community on Facebook and all Weekly Conference calls with the Publisher and community. Connect with other members online and by phone!
4. An ad-free experience. No banner, pop-up, or video ads when you are logged in—as long as your membership is active.
5. GOLD commenting badge. Your comments on our website will appear with a gold member badge, signifying you are a part of our core community.
Price for ANNUAL GOLD membership is $25/year.
Your ANNUAL BRONZE membership will include:
1. Invitation to the MEMBER-ONLY Good Men Project Community on Facebook and weekly conference calls with the publisher and community. Connect with other members, network and carry the conversation no one else is having one step further.
2. A listing on our Friends of The Good Men Project page. Your support of our mission is noted and appreciated. See the page here!
3. An ad-free experience. No banner, pop-up, or video ads when you are logged in—as long as your membership is active.
4. BRONZE member commenting badge. Your comments on our website will appear with a bronze member badge, signifying you are a part of our core community.
Price for ANNUAL BRONZE membership is $12/year.
We have groups and calls 7 days a week:
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
Price for ANNUAL BRONZE membership is $12/year.
“Here’s the thing about The Good Men Project. We are trying to create big, sweeping, societal changes—–overturn stereotypes, eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, be a positive force for good for things like education reform and the environment. And we’re also giving individuals the tools they need to make individual change—-with their own relationships, with the way they parent, with their ability to be more conscious, more mindful, and more insightful. For some people, that could get overwhelming. But for those of us here at The Good Men Project, it is not overwhelming. It is simply something we do—–every day. We do it with teamwork, with compassion, with an understanding of systems and how they work, and with shared insights from a diversity of viewpoints.” —– Lisa Hickey, Publisher of The Good Men Project and CEO of Good Men Media Inc.