As I joined the rally cry #MeToo… I dreaded you know all the ways I allowed creeps, losers, weirdos, and perverts – somehow define me.
Instead of rage of electric femininity or pride in everything I know to be true of me, I slunk away or laughed like it was somehow okay.
The fine line is easily blurred by a media powerhouse that tends to the atrocities on Wednesday morning, but by Saturday Night, caters to a live audience demanding to be entertained.
A woman who should champion the cause, like Chelsea Handler, does her due diligence and joins in, “That’s not funny!” And “#metoo!” Then tucks tail and brutalizes accomplished, educated, and brilliant woman – who she deems unattractive or brutish.
Oh, but it is easy when you have a filthy mouth, millions of dollars, writers, and a prime-time spot to jest.
Alas, it is confusing to you… my girls… and to you, my sons.
Right is right.
Wrong is wrong.
No means no… unless… Never unless. Still, somehow the lines are blurred. In some huge frenzy of comedy, political un-corrected-ness, or feats of strength, sometimes, it is funny.
At my worst I allowed an abusive boss tell me I wasn’t allowed to hire aerobics instructions as “fat as me.” Said nothing when he pinched, grabbed, or said disgusting things. I pretended his remarks weren’t scary, humiliating, or degrading.
At my best – I reported him, gave sworn statements against him and shared text message snapshots with all of his victims, while he removed his belongings from the premises.
All too little, much too late.
And to you, my girls, I pray you are stronger, louder and more empowered than I. But to you, my sons, please… don’t be that guy.
I can encourage my girls to rage on, rally up against the discrimination and cruelty. Dig his eyes out in a brawl. Drop your weight. Never go to the second location. Fight, even if you lose… fight babies.
But to my sons, my plea is greater, don’t be that guy.
Don’t cross that line.
Don’t say it’s just for fun.
All in good humor.
If you wouldn’t say it to me, your mother… don’t say it to her.
Keep your hands to yourself. Eyes up here. Do not bark, whistle, or holler, unless you are calling a dog. Do not touch. Do not joke. Just don’t.
If my greatest failure was to myself, by not having the voice to yelp NO! Let my greatest accomplishment be that my sons would never.
Never demand a woman be disgraced so that you might have what you want.
Better still, respect woman, treat them with dignity and esteem.
Never as an object, never as a plaything.
Be humble enough that your ego doesn’t even flinch if you must answer to her.
Be brave enough to stop that which you know is wrong, no matter what it costs you.
Be the guy that would never say the things everyone assumes you say and think because you aren’t that guy. No, not you “average” guy in some stinky locker room. No, never.
You aren’t those boys. I know you… you aren’t those men.
Above the fray, want, and burning desire, I know you are more than this.
I pray your sisters never type the words, that this is the dawn of a new time and place where they are safe from the hashtag… Me too.
But beyond that, the battle cry I rage is to my sons, please boys, #NeverYou.
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