me too
October 16, 2017 8:30 AM   Subscribe

If every person who has been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Me too is sweeping across facebook and Twitter. Note: this is a post about sexual harassment and assault.
posted by theora55 (240 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite


 
There are a hell of a lot of “me too”s in my Facebook, myself included.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


Mine too.
posted by 41swans at 8:43 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


Come on ladies, I'm sure this is the hashtag that'll make men finally listen. We can do it!

#metoo
#yesallwomen
#whyistayed
#rapecultureiswhen
#everydaysexism

posted by phunniemee at 8:45 AM on October 16, 2017 [82 favorites]


My facebook lit up with Me Too updates, and then they all vanished from my feed. It's unnerving on a couple levels.
posted by Shutter at 8:47 AM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


I really resent the compulsion to publicly perform victimhood. I determine who gets to know my stories and why. The personal is political, but the personal can't be the only thing that is politicized and I shouldn't have to offer myself up as political fodder for things to change. Yes, I've been assaulted. Yes, I've been harassed. But if it takes me saying "I've been raped" to get the men I know and love to care about the societal structures that enable assault and harassment, they probably don't really care all that much about women and equality in general - otherwise they would have been paying attention and outraged and fighting to change things already.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:50 AM on October 16, 2017 [256 favorites]


I shared some very personal stuff on a female friend's FB feed last night because the gut punch of seeing this was too real. I repress a huge chunk of my life because I am sickened by what happened to me and maybe if I don't say anything, it didn't happen and wasn't real.

It was. It did. And I still wish I could excise that period of my life from my brain entirely.

Me too.
posted by Kitteh at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2017 [25 favorites]


this is the hashtag that'll make men finally listen

I like Tony Porter's comment (paraphrased; here's the 1A episode) that paying attention to women aside from sexual conquest is not part of current definitions of American manhood. "We have to re-educate around socialization."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:53 AM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


I've seen some discussion about this online, about how much it seems to demand that huge numbers of women do extremely painful emotional labor in order to convince men that a problem exists that men should already know exists.

It has been a bit of a shock just to see how many people in my social media are me tooing. On one end, I expected as much, on the other hand, holy shit. A fair amount of men are among them as well. I guess I should too — I had a Terry Crews' style experience of a man I knew, a guy who ran a conference I worked for, reaching behind and just quickly fondling me when I was at an event with him.

I don't know that men who don't get it will get it because of this, or if it will cause a sort of groundswell of general awareness of how profound and pervasive the problem is. It is worth men going back and revisiting their histories, because even if we are not Weinsteins, a lot of us unwittingly participated (and may still participate) in creating a hostile environment with our behavior, straight white boys texting-style, which I know, with considerable humiliation, that I have also been guilty of.

I don't know how many men will do any sort of reflection as a result of this. Some, I hope.
posted by maxsparber at 8:55 AM on October 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


I commented "Me too" on a similar post in the Pantsuit Nation group, and 50 other women did the same in a matter of the few seconds it took me to turn off notifications for the post.

And every time I see another one of my seemingly light-hearted, fun, loving female friends has posted "me too", it's another punch in the stomach for me.
posted by orange swan at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2017 [15 favorites]


Proposition: For every #MeToo, there conversely must be at least one (not necessarily unique) #IDidThat.

Where are they, what are they doing, and what do we do with them? I don't use the hashtaggy thingies like Twitter or Facebook. Is anything happening?
posted by runcifex at 8:58 AM on October 16, 2017 [49 favorites]


Super progressive guy on my FB: "Based on what I'm seeing on Facebook, -all- of the women I know have been victims of some sort of sexual abuse. I am sorry. I had hoped we were better than that as a species, despite ample proof to the contrary."

While I understand the impulse to decry hashtag campaigns, and public victimhood, I've also seen more than one post like this -- people who otherwise simply did not get it until they could actually count the number of people (men included, I know several men who posted a simple "Me too" as well) who stood up and said "Yes, me. Specifically me."

So, its a mixed bag. I feel awful for the people for whom it stirs up pain. But I do feel very strongly that there are many, many people out there who find it easier to believe that it happens to other people - not their friends, not in their circle.

So, to that end, a few posts on a Sunday may make something of a difference. Event he smallest step is a step forward.
posted by anastasiav at 8:58 AM on October 16, 2017 [36 favorites]


Actually, if there is a single woman who exists who hasn't been sexually assaulted or harassed at some point in her life, I would be shocked.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 8:58 AM on October 16, 2017 [96 favorites]


A friend on facebook made the good point that once again it's focusing on the survivors and not the perpetrators. All/almost all of those 'me too's have a man that actually committed the assault, and yet we don't see them, we don't wonder who they are among our friends, we don't consider their part in the problem.

I think the 'Me too' thing is definitely good, and hearing women's stories is 100% of the reason why I was able to look past a lot of my blind spots and become way more feminist, but it makes the story 'a woman was assaulted' rather than 'a man assaulted a woman'.

My thoughts haven't really settled out in a way that feels conclusive, and I don't mean to disparage the women who are taking part, but there's a part of me that's a bit sad that once again it's women being vulnerable in an attempt to protect each other, and men aren't really being called out (though of course calling out men is never easy or safe or necessarily effective either).

(I'm wondering/half composing something to post in a response to this, that will be more of a call out, but I'm not sure what it is yet, or how it will look).
posted by twirlypen at 8:59 AM on October 16, 2017 [17 favorites]


I really resent the compulsion to publicly perform victimhood.

Like I saw on twitter earlier today, "social media is a filth tank of pain porn addicts. You > The Discourse"

We should not have to keep laying ourselves bare to get men to stop harassing us. It is not our job to dredge up awful things and spell them out so men can gawk at our pain, so men can read them and think to themselves "well at l didn't do that so I'm okay" and "I've never seen a man I know do that so my friends are okay, I don't have to do anything."

To be clear, I hold nothing against the women participating in this tag. Friends, you are brave for doing so, and I believe in the strength of shared catharsis. This one just isn't for me.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:03 AM on October 16, 2017 [25 favorites]


Actually, if there is a single woman who exists who hasn't been sexually assaulted or harassed at some point in her life, I would be shocked.

Hi! I've been insulted plenty of times but never in a specifically sexual way. You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze, a choice open to us all. (hat tip to Solnit)
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:07 AM on October 16, 2017 [26 favorites]


Come on ladies, I'm sure this is the hashtag that'll make men finally listen. We can do it!

One of the men in my feed remarked on how shook he was by how many "me toos" he was seeing and said "this is the most effective social media campaign I've ever seen."

I pointed out that "yes all women" was just ONE YEAR AGO, in the exact same place, and was just as large, but that it looked like he had already forgotten all about it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on October 16, 2017 [56 favorites]


Do you feel pressured to post me too? I have not felt any pressure, and have had interesting conversations. I did not and will not post details because I don't like to be that personal in a public space. Of @75 fb posts, 1 woman has posted a not me, with love and solidarity for the me toos.
posted by theora55 at 9:09 AM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


I was just really effing furious at ALL the #NotAllMen.

Like, can we not have one goddamned cathartic experience without a dude needing to jump in to show he's empathic or gets it or not him or also him or whatever?

Am I a total asshole for feeling this way??!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2017 [11 favorites]


Hit post too soon -

.....Upon reflection, actually, I am seeing a LOT more acknowledgement from men this time around. And in a couple cases, I've even seen a couple of my male friends say "if I am the reason some of you are saying 'me too', I am really sorry. Please call me on it so I can do better." THAT is something I don't remember seeing before.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2017 [38 favorites]


I pointed out that "yes all women" was just ONE YEAR AGO, in the exact same place, and was just as large, but that it looked like he had already forgotten all about it.

That one had "women" in the hashtag. Obviously it wasn't intended for men. How can they know to pay attention to something, if you mark it as a woman thing? You have to identify it as an everyone thing. And then remind them it's about women, too. Only without using any feminine terminology, because then they put it in the bin marked "femstuff" and ignore it.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


Do you feel pressured to post me too?

Yes. Even though it would be a lie. I felt the same way about #yesallwomen last time.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


The only thing that comforts me is that my wife's "me too" is dead.
posted by Talez at 9:14 AM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


it makes the story 'a woman was assaulted' rather than 'a man assaulted a woman'.

Can you imagine every woman posting a list and naming names (the ones they knew anyway)? Boy howdy, that'd shake shit up.

Of course, in reality, it would probably result in the posters getting fired, ostracized from friends and family, all the other reasons we keep quiet about this stuff. As much as I wish the Harvey Weinstein signaled a turning of the tide, I know it's just something the entertainment industry had to finally do because it couldn't cover for it any more and we've finally gotten to the point where society at least claims to frown on such things.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:16 AM on October 16, 2017 [27 favorites]


phunniemee: Come on ladies, I'm sure this is the hashtag that'll make men finally listen. We can do it!

I think that, like so many problems of people, there is no silver bullet, no single thing that will change the status quo all at once, so it' takes a ton of repetition from all sides, which in the case of sexual harassment and assault of women, means something needs to come from men, too. I think for every "me too" FB movement, and every story of a Harvey Weinstein, more men realize that they were or could be such a perpetrator, and change their ways and speak out against the words and actions of other men.


EmpressCallipygos: One of the men in my feed remarked on how shook he was by how many "me toos" he was seeing and said "this is the most effective social media campaign I've ever seen."

I pointed out that "yes all women" was just ONE YEAR AGO, in the exact same place, and was just as large, but that it looked like he had already forgotten all about it.


I, as one guy, feel that "me too" is more of a personal statement than "yes all women," and the sort of thing that is harder to deny (though, yes, the world is full of rotten people who will do just that, or try to minimize the scope and impact of reality). But that's just my naive view on this.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze

This is what I look like right now and literally just about a week ago I had some dude I do not know, some complete stranger who I was not speaking to or inviting attention from, tell me he prefers girls with long hair. Sure, I get less attention (positive or negative) now that I'm older and chubbier and rolling a conventionally un-alluring look, but it doesn't stop men from being shits.

When you're female you can't just be a particular way and escape this.
posted by phunniemee at 9:18 AM on October 16, 2017 [76 favorites]


I respect everyone who's endured sexual assault and harassment, and I respect this #metoo campaign, but it is also INTENSELY TRIGGERING and I resent that I've spent the past ~18 hours waffling about whether I should join or ignore the whole thing and simmer on the sidelines.

I resent that I am feeling pressured to do still more emotional labor to get men to pay attention, using my body and my voice (which have, tbh, been through enough already), and I resent the fact that friends of mine are re-posting old accounts of their assaults. Old accounts they already posted during other social media awareness campaigns for sexual assault. They've been through the wringer not once, but every time this comes up and they/we have to beg for people to a) listen and b) remember.
posted by witchen at 9:18 AM on October 16, 2017 [33 favorites]


So I just returned from a 4 day retreat for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to see #metoo. Not like I'm triggered already or anything... I can't do it though. Sexual assault and harassment sucks but frankly right now, #metoo seems like such an understatement. My whole innocence was lost. I have rage 24 hours a day when I'm not dissociating or actively meditating. I have to stay mindful constantly to keep myself in my body and keep my job. I don't do any of my harmful coping mechanisms anymore (bulimia, self harm) but the flashbacks, migraines and depression come on like a tidal wave...#metoo is a fucking joke in my life. I wonder how the rest of the women at the retreat reacted to coming home to #metoo.

BTW - I don't want to minimize anyone's experience. I am not saying your sexual harassment was less than or not as bad. I just want to put that out there.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:19 AM on October 16, 2017 [23 favorites]


Came here to post what Flannery Culp said. Thank you.
posted by Melismata at 9:20 AM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm also giving massive, muscle-straining side eye to all the men who are acting all surprised. Might they be surprised because nobody trusted them enough to tell them? And/or are they "surprised" so they can deflect attention and say "oh hey I'm one of the good ones," even though they know perfectly well that they are not?
posted by witchen at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


Hi! I've been insulted plenty of times but never in a specifically sexual way. You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze, a choice open to us all. (hat tip to Solnit)

See, I consider this sexual harassment too, insulting women because they aren't sufficiently "sexy" enough. It's just another facet of it. And I've experienced it too.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2017 [35 favorites]


I don't know any of the names of men who have assaulted me. Otherwise I would name names on my friends only fb feed. I think I would be too afraid of typical online harassment/bullying to go completely public.
posted by emkelley at 9:23 AM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Men! Are you wondering what you can do? Check out Helen Rosner's 20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us! Some good stuff in there, not just for men.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:23 AM on October 16, 2017 [20 favorites]


phunniemee: When you're female you can't just be a particular way and escape this.

In high school, a friend and I, both young men, had long, blond hair. I was walking a few paces behind him once, and I saw him get oggled by a random guy who could only see a young person with long hair, so I assumed that guy thought he saw a young blond-haired lady. At the time, we laughed about some dude thinking he was eyeing a young lady, not thinking "this must be exhausting for women."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM on October 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


I haven't figured out if it's worth my posting or not - I was one of the lucky kids who thought the older guy (who in retrospect was clearly grooming me) was a bit creepy, had the option of not going back to the activity again, and stopped going before anything happened. I never told anyone. Does it count? I mean, of course it does, but not if it diminishes anyone else's stories, which I know are almost certainly worse than mine.
posted by Mchelly at 9:29 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


insulting women because they aren't sufficiently "sexy" enough

I agree that's sexual harassment but it isn't part of my experience. Too talkative, too quiet, uses too many big words, cries easily and therefore is ripe for mockery, is into unusual things that are stupid and you are stupid why would anyone like that and liking things unironically is also stupid (now we're into the 90s), and also remember that thing you said your first day at a new school that we all thought was dumb? Let's remind you of it again five years later.

No sexual harassment or unwanted touching, though, so there's that.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:29 AM on October 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


Also, the end of that first comment was meant sarcastically. The Solnit reference was to her commentary on the Weinstein mess:
It is also the soon-to-be-divorced Mrs. Weinstein’s fault that her husband is an alleged rapist, except that it is Hillary Clinton’s fault, except that it is the fault of the victims for choosing to be small, young female victims looking for work at the outset of their cinematic careers instead of being Matt Damon, a choice open to us all. Why are you not Matt Damon yourself? This is your fault.
Enough of me, though. It has been deeply depressing to see nearly every woman I know post "me too" this morning.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:38 AM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


I posted.

But not using a hashtag. And only on Twitter, not on Facebook where my family is. Because I'm still hiding and I would like to not hide but I'm not there yet. And no details; those stay with me. But I am glad I posted, as insignificant as one more "Me, too" on twitter is. One step into the light.
posted by rewil at 9:38 AM on October 16, 2017 [14 favorites]


Implying that being fat or awkward or nerdy or unpopular are protections against assault and harassment is REALLY hurtful to people who are any or all of those things and yet have still been harassed and assaulted.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:39 AM on October 16, 2017 [66 favorites]


I'm sorry. Tone is hard to convey in text and I've miscalibrated mine. Feel free to flag for deletion.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:46 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Acknowledging and talking about my sexual assault is incredibly empowering for me. I recognize that it is not that way for everyone, and I am truly sorry for any hurt that this "campaign" has caused. While some of you felt like participation was being demanded and performative, I hope you realize that for some of us, it's an opportunity we see as taking back our power and opening the eyes of some people who have not been paying attention (willfully or not).

A handful of men friends and relatives on my facebook feed have started posting "I believe you" on every "Me too" post that comes up in their feed. Let's hope they don't forget this time around.
posted by cooker girl at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2017 [20 favorites]


The dude who said "this is the biggest social media campaign I've ever seen" (who I then told "uh, dude, we did this exact same thing last year") just posted something new.

He's a college professor, and he just announced that today, all day, in each of his classes, he's calling a time-out on the syllabus and is discussing sexual harrassment instead. He points out that the student body ratio, as well as the faculty, skews heavily male, and "we should take a look at ourselves to see how we can do better."

He said that it was "a small thing," but I was impressed and told him so.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2017 [62 favorites]


i completely agree with ChuraChura. the onus shouldn't be on women to publicly announce their trauma to get people - especially men - to believe them and act on it to find a solution. i appreciate the solidarity that women (myself included) are finding as a result of this, but at the same time it feels like women are being forced to expose very difficult, private experiences just to try to get people to understand the scope of the issue. i hope that this at least opens some people's eyes but man i really wish this burden to educate wasn't placed on the victims and survivors
posted by burgerrr at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


I resent that I am feeling pressured to do still more emotional labor

Witchen, come stand with me. It's okay. Let it go. I could post a "me, too" but it makes me tired. I am doing plenty by paying attention, posting things that hopefully get people to think, supporting people that need the support and fucking voting for women.

Men, the single most important thing you could do is quit being so goddamn objective and just vote for women. Vote for women, vote for black people, vote against white men. I know, you want to be fair and smart and weigh the options and not be driven by any one force or another but fuck all that. You're being driven by the patriarchy just like the rest of us. Recognize that you are voting in your own best interest by voting for the disenfranchised and any other narrative is just propoganda.
posted by amanda at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2017 [57 favorites]


metoo, but I'm not posting it because I cannot just facebook that assault, let alone the harassment....

Thanks to those who can and are willing to go to the effort.
posted by mightshould at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Reductress: "Woman Posts Another Facebook Status in Hopes That Men Will Learn to Be Human Beings"
“Every time something like this comes up, I’m overtaken by memories of my personal trauma,” Stein explains. “So I’m going to do what I can: Post an emotional Facebook status and hope that men decided to start having basic human reactions, like empathy and caring.”
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2017 [43 favorites]


My favorite tweet so far has been: “For those carrying their #MeToo with them silently, you are loved, cherished, and believed. You do not owe your story to anyone.”

The "You do not owe your story to anyone" really resonates with me, after reading this thread. Do what you want and are able to, but it's your story and if you can't or don't want to share it that is also perfectly valid.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 10:09 AM on October 16, 2017 [68 favorites]


Here's what I wrote today on Facebook:

Let's be honest, dudes. None of us are surprised by “me too”, and you know why? Because a huge number of us, even the most woke who go to sleep every night with a clean conscience and a loving partner, remember when we were young and drunk and did something that would haunt some other young woman or man for years to come. Even if like me you can weakly protest “but I never actually DID anything, I just said some stupid shit a long time ago” you still made someone feel powerless and worthless, and it had a lasting impact. I'm not telling you this because I want you to feel guilty (unless, like, that's what will get you to change your behavior). I'm saying it because we need to own up to the ways we went wrong if we want to help make a better future.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:14 AM on October 16, 2017 [41 favorites]


BTW - I don't want to minimize anyone's experience. I am not saying your sexual harassment was less than or not as bad. I just want to put that out there.

I can firmly say that the sexual harassment I've endured has been less, and less damaging, than many women I know. The main result of my being raped was changing how I flirt at conventions. (Result: a lot less.) I think part of what we need to talk about is that harassment and sexual assult happen on a spectrum, and it's not all life-shattering events.

Most of us have been involved in car accidents. The ones that flip the car aren't the only ones that matter. If I come home and say, "some asshole in the parking lot scraped my fender because he was trying to get into the space before I was out of it," I don't think it's reasonable for the reply to be, "well, at least you walked away!" or "are you SURE he was crowding you? Maybe his foot just slipped off the brake for a moment."

A lot of men would like to believe that any harassment that doesn't result in PTSD and years of recovery isn't "real" harassment. So when they start looking for solutions to long-term abuse and serial torture and rape, they're missing 2/3 of the picture - the part where every minor assault was ignored as background noise.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:19 AM on October 16, 2017 [45 favorites]


Is it okay for queer men to me too? Because I did it today. Somehow I vainly hope that straight men will get it. Men do this to men too. I don't know.

I've never said anything about being sexually assaulted to anyone. And it wasn't even that bad (lol). But I think about it probably once a year (it happened like 15 years ago.) I'm upset right now thinking about it.
posted by Automocar at 10:19 AM on October 16, 2017 [27 favorites]


I was 'pleased', even though it sucks, to see women on my feed explicitly say "me too, but I hesitate to post it because I don't know if mine was "enough" to count."

So for all the me toos you're seeing, there are even more women who "just" got called a name, or just got their ass grabbed, or "just".... something that to them they are hesitant to even claim as "real harassment" because it happens all the time and they know so many other women have been through worse. Me, too.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:20 AM on October 16, 2017 [24 favorites]


My timeline has been a sea of metoo's, and every time I see a woman (lighthearted, funny, accomplished, genuinely caring) post it, I feel another tiny fragment of my heart breaking. I'm not sure why, because the numbers are exactly as I'd expected them to be - EVERYONE. I wanted, really wanted to believe that someone, anyone, escaped. At least in India, where I am from, that just doesn't seem to be true.
And for the first time, I spoke up about enduring sexual abuse as a child, and the many, many, many ways it has fucked me up and my understanding of consent.
I'm so tired. I'm happy about everyone speaking up, but...I don't know. I wish I could believe it would help at least a little.
posted by Nieshka at 10:24 AM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


Automocar--I just had a conversation with a non-binary friend who was really struggling with whether or not their experience counts and how they feel about the hashtag movement. Yes, your experience counts. My opinion is that if you feel comfortable, you can post #metoo. If you aren't comfortable or feel unsure, that is okay. Regardless, of what you choose know you and your experience matters. I'm sending you good vibes.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 10:25 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


I have a lot of friends who are not participating and are raising really good questions about the emotional labor of survivors, about the passive focus on us instead of focusing on our abuser(s), about hashtag campaigns in general, about issues of white feminism trying to flatten intersectionality, etc. I respect them and even agree with them on most of it.

I still posted 'me too' on facebook. I did it because i grew up in a patriarchal insular religion where my abuse was met with extreme pressure to keep it silent. I did it because most of my family is still in that religion and the only way we really talk anymore is on facebook. I did it because their sons and daughters are also on facebook. To me it's important to say out loud to that community "me too." Then something happened I didn't expect really - a few women I knew as girls liked my status and then posted their own. It shot me straight back to sitting in cold church rooms, long hair, long skirts, modest to no makeup, and when someone would say something sad - like hearing that our leader's child was in the hospital - we'd reach over and squeeze each other's hands. We never ever talked about the abuse we were suffering at the time, but today it was like we got to squeeze hands again and remind each other we're still here.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:25 AM on October 16, 2017 [31 favorites]


I think anyone who is a survivor should absolutely engage and post if they want to. I am NB (afab) and felt no reservation about posting. I wish honestly we were better at welcoming survivors who are men into these conversations. It's one of those places where the patriarchy is especially rough on men and the price for disclosing is much higher usually.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:27 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze

I was all of these things and (not that this makes any difference) a man, and I was groped.
posted by wotsac at 10:35 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I actually just added to the "me too" spectrum just now - because I haven't had any "i'mma hit that" kind of harrassment at work, fortunately (street harrassment is another story), but I've had plenty of instances where my opinion were judged/belittled/dismissed because of my gender. Like, oh, the time that an actor overheard me in a heated conversation with a director on a play and qupiped that I must be "on the rag".

Seriously - it's not always hormones, women can be angry for valid reasons. Like when an idiot of a director wants to use live rounds in a starter's pistol as a sound effect backstage. (FYI - this is an INSANELY DANGEROUS thing to do, and I was telling the director exactly why.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 AM on October 16, 2017 [11 favorites]


My mom follows all my social media accounts, and my 11-year-old nephew follows my Twitter, and I also really have no desire to post this and invite people to ask about it. I am really torn between appreciating this thing and really, really hating it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


Is it okay for queer men to me too? Because I did it today.

I just saw a director I once worked with post both a "me too" and an "i did it". My heart is breaking for him in both cases.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


I've been fairly open about my history, more so because my PTSD defined my life for so many years.

Me too feels complicated because my history is long and depressing and knowing it isn't about a phrase, because you really don't know any more about me.

Everyone's story is important and I encourage people to share if they want.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


If appearance had any correlation with harassment then by definition Muslim women who cover themselves would never be harassed. And we know that’s not true.

I think of harassment by men as a freeway filled with traffic and all of us have to try and run across it every day. You’re going to have that odd person who never gets hit by a car, and sure they can look at themselves and try and figure out if it’s because they always run at the right time or they wear bright colors or because they duck and weave. But lots of other people do those things too and almost everyone gets hit by a car eventually. So it’s really just coincidence and luck.
posted by supercrayon at 10:47 AM on October 16, 2017 [31 favorites]


Someone I've known since 3rd grade posted some bingo-card rape apologia about Cosby on FB awhile back (the women were looking for money, etc). I argued with him, as did a cousin of his. He ended with a comment that white men have been getting away with rape for centuries, so black men should be able to get away with it for awhile. I was absolutely floored that a "liberal" man I'd known for 30 years had so little conception of women as people. It's sadly not unusual for men to focus on how rape accusations affect men, but I didn't expect it from him. I unfriended him and he deleted the whole thing. He texted me a couple of days ago, "hey, how are you doing," and I unloaded on him. He hasn't responded. Anyway, I haven't posted "me too" for a lot of the reasons discussed here, but I've been thinking about this guy a lot lately.

P.S. He's an HR director and has been for . . . 15 years?
posted by Mavri at 10:50 AM on October 16, 2017 [24 favorites]


Is it okay for queer men to me too?

I was going to, but I didn't-- several women in my facebook feed explicitly requested that no men participate. I've been groped and harassed by gay men, and that has sucked, but the experiences that caused the real trauma that I still see the effects of 30 years later are the two assaults by women. I hope that someday the conversation about sexual assault will include all genders of attackers and victims.
posted by conic at 11:10 AM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


Proposition: For every #MeToo, there conversely must be at least one (not necessarily unique) #IDidThat.

Along with the #metoo posts, #Ihave has been making the rounds on my Facebook, accompanied by men talking about either times they have pressured women to go further than they wanted to, times they have hit on people when it was probably unwelcome, times they have not believed survivors, or have stood by and done nothing, or have contributed to rape culture, etc. I haven't seen anyone outright admit to rape or anything, but men standing up and saying "I am part of this problem and I am going to do better" seems like a good thing. Even if it is performative, it's still a useful shift of focus.
posted by aka burlap at 11:11 AM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


From Dr. Chuck Tingle: "MESSAGE TO BUCKAROOS: when ladybucks post on harassment and say 'me too' or other ways THAT IS THEIR TIME AND SPACE you dont need to butt in"
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2017 [35 favorites]


I unloaded (as politely as possible) at a college classmate who is a consummate Nice Guy who responded to my FB "me too" post with "I'm sorry you were harassed." I get where he was coming from and I know it was with the best of intentions. It is also 100% missing the point of this particular bit of viral meme. Don't apologize. If you think you're blameless, then spend your energy making sure other men aren't doing this, and that you're not implicitly condoning the behavior that enables this by remaining silent. I appreciate the sentiments, but I literally cannot even with the "oh dear, I didn't know, I'm sorry" - don't be sorry for *me*. Be sorry for the sheer number of women in your feed all saying the same thing and bloody *do something*.
posted by olinerd at 11:20 AM on October 16, 2017 [11 favorites]


I am not posting this anywhere but here, but: me too.

All the incidents I can remember are relatively minor, but they have tainted my worldview in a way that often makes me miserable, and sometimes means that I overlook similar things happening to other people and think, "oh, is that it? That's not so bad." and I hate myself for even thinking that. It gets under your skin, the way it can feel so casual, and it makes you think that's just how the world is, so why even bother complaining. (Or worse, start to think that there's something wrong with you if you haven't been harrassed on the street, because that's what happens to women in this world and what does it mean if it's not happening to you?)

I just finished reading Sex Object by Jessica Valenti and it's just so bleak. I can't really recommend it - aside from the subject matter, it doesn't have much of a narrative thread holding it together and that didn't work for me - but it's partially a memoir of "me too", and maybe that might help someone here.
posted by minsies at 11:22 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


This will be long.

First of all, here's what I posted on FB and Twitter:
ME FUCKING TOO, from the time I was old enough to be chased by boys on the playground. For I am a woman. If this surprises you, wake up.

I am weirdly fatigued by the #metoo thing. Part of me doesn't want to dismiss it because consciousness-raising/speaking out is good. But.

I've been assaulted or harassed continually my entire life long. By my cousin in the swimming pool. AT MY GRANDFATHER'S FUNERAL. The best man at my sister's wedding was still drunk from the night before. He literally greeted me by rubbing my breasts.

I've had men follow me in the street demanding that I talk to them. Men mutter "bitch" in that familiar voice when I don't look up.

I've been raped. Harassed by bosses. Cornered by men in book stores and libraries. Just the other day I hurried up to join my partner in the grocery store when I realized a guy in the aisle I was in was trouble. I knew.

I AM NORMAL. I am a normal American woman. My experiences are entirely run-of-the-mill.

I hate that this surprises anyone. I hate that this is part of being a woman. I hate that I consider this normal.

But I do.

If anything, the many revelations of this week are nothing but a litany of the pain women all share. They're not isolated incidents. The only difference is that people are taking some of those allegations seriously. And I'm not even a woman who experiences harassment because of my race, religion, or skin color.

So, yes. ME FUCKING TOO.

US FUCKING TOO. I guarantee you there is not a woman alive who doesn't recognize when a man is about to harass her. We know who makes our skin crawl. Which of our male friends' friends creep us out. We don't always know, true. But there's a run-of-the-millness to this that I don't think some people recognize.

There is a concept in astronomy called the Cosmic Microwave Background. https://t.co/aM2lsC6G7C Essentially it's the afterglow generated by the Big Bang. It's electromagnetic radiation that's evidence the Big Bang happened. It's lingered around space for a ridiculously long period of time. For me, harassment and assault is my Cosmic Microwave Background. It has always been part of my life and that of women.

Imagine some of your energy always being used to determine if someone is about to rape, assault, harass, or belittle you.

Welcome! You're imagining the life of a woman. Our minds are always working on this. It fills me with so much rage. I HAVE TO DEVOTE PART OF MY MIND TO DECIDING WHETHER SOMEONE IS GOING TO RAPE OR KILL ME. Always.

Again: I am normal! I'm a plus-sized woman who wears glasses and (as many of you repeatedly note!) can not be called beautiful. I go out in public wearing frumpy clothes and get hit on. I go out wearing my best and get hit on. I don't want to be hit on. And yet.

I don't even register my fears of assault and harassment as fear anymore. It's just...there.

My mom taught me to walk through parking lots with my keys in my fingers in case someone tries to attack me! Did yours? My schools tried to get me to cover up so guys wouldn't leer at me! Did yours? Neither of those things actually protected me, of course. But they're a nearly universal part of a modern woman's experience.

Do I talk about this constantly? Not really. Probably more than some people find comfortable. It's just...there. It's life. 2017.

If you are surprised by this—I'm so glad you don't have to think about this continually! But many of us do. If you have never articulated this—welcome! I'm glad you are able to begin to think about this aspect of your reality. Truly. And I'm sorry.

This weekend I tried to think about all the times I've been harassed and I couldn't even count them. I'm still remembering times. This is what's so fatiguing about all of this. Because for each Weinstein and Woody Allen, there's some dude who never got called out. There are THOUSANDS of those dudes. Men who think they deserve my smile. Who tell me to "shake that ass" when I'm walking toward the store. Maybe there are millions of those dudes. And none of us ever even complained about it because it was part of our background radiation.

So if I sound pissed—it's because I'm pissed. And if I sound tired—it's because I'm tired. Because ME FUCKING TOO. Forever and always.

One final thing: I'm not trying to demean those who have said "Me, too." I appreciate their revelations/identify with their pain. But I think it's important that our conversations go beyond revelation and into why it's acceptable for this to be part of women's lives.
Second of all, so much of our conversation about rape/assault/harassment today assumes that we are several steps ahead of revelation. And what the "me too" thing is teaching me is that we're not. We're hardly at the consciousness-raising stage. We can hardly talk about this with one another, or to ourselves. And though that is everyone's personal choice, it strikes me how hard it is to even just admit to any of this, to talk about the weight of it and how much harassment there really is.

Third of all, even though I knew that everyone I know would post "me, too," I underestimated how much all of this would hurt. From friends revealing via private message that they were sexually molested to me rethinking some of my childhood experiences to just seeing the litany of me, too, me, too, me, too. It HURTS. It feels like so much to bear right now, and I know that I have so much less to bear than some people in the world. But this just fucking hurts and that's where I'm at right now. So I really appreciate this conversation.

Sorry this is so long. I have a lot I need to say, apparently.
posted by mynameisluka at 11:25 AM on October 16, 2017 [65 favorites]


Me too, of course, because I am a woman (despite my username) and because I've left my house at least once.

I too am just tired. Tired tired tired. It amazes me that men can be surprised by this, because the women I know sure aren't. Lately I've wondered if ANY men I know aren't guilty of some incident of harassment, assault, or rape. My default assumption is that they are. I'm quite sure at least one of the men who have assaulted me would never think of himself as a rapist, even though he is.
posted by john_snow at 11:34 AM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


There are women in this thread who have said that they are furious about the pressure to share publicly when they don’t want to; that they control their narrative.

I don’t for a moment challenge their statements of how they perceive this situation. I also don’t consider myself adept enough to [missing the word – a verb that is a much lesser degree of‘contradict’ or ‘challenge’] people more enriched in knowledge about how to speak well about these things.

But I wonder if instead they might consider a conceptualization of this movement as a safe space being created by virtue of sheer numbers, where women can identify who might not have before, especially in Facebook where it is usually among people who know each other.

In that conceptualization, it would certainly still be those women’s choice whether to come forward or not.

I have seen some women come forward this time who never have before, and other women, their friends, who then embraced and comforted them. If there are people finding catharsis by virtue of this moment, I am glad for them.

This conceptualization may be completely wrong, especially because, as a man and as someone who was not sexually harassed or abused, I am not feeling what they can. (I do have experience with harassment and abuse, but not sexual in nature.)

I will say that as a man this somehow grabbed my attention, possibly because on my feed it is such a larger amount of participation. I don’t mean this simile in a disrespectful way, but to me it’s like the difference between hearing “One Day More” as a solo and the 10th anniversary recording where about 50 different show casts all did it as one giant chorus. There’s something about the sheer number that is mindblowingly powerful – and even more so when it is people I know.

I try to get into people’s heads. But I just don’t understand abusers and harassers. I don’t mean that as a political statement, but as an actual fact: I can’t seem to conceptualize the thought processes that lead to “it is okay to treat a woman this way.” I have the same urges as they do. And I don’t mean to come across as someone who is “white-knighting” or propping himself up with that “#notallmen” thing. I’m just saying I can’t get in their head even theoretically, which is disturbing to me as someone of the same gender as them. I’m watching “Mindhunters” and maybe there’s a parallel there: to convince their boss, the agents (who are the first to try to interview serial killers) say something like, “How are we going to get ahead of them if we can’t understand how they think?” That proves to be the wording that convinces their boss. I just don’t get them.

Why? Why would men not treat people they're attracted to as simple fucking fellow human beings? Why is this more prevalent among my gender? Is it literally a function of testosterone?

Metafilter comments often are a place where people learn and people teach, especially with regards to greater social awareness. I guess that's why I went on like this.

Reading the comments, it seems as if it's not desired that men express sorrow that this happened to people. It appears calls to action are what's more desired.

I think any call to action or pledge I would write here would be able to be denounced as weak sauce, because it'd be a work in progress. Perhaps that is, for now, the best version of what I could say: I will always try for this issue to always be a work in progress in my head, never letting it be "pat" or "settled" in my head. I think anything else I wrote would come across as far too personalized and thus disrespectful to those telling those stories here.
posted by WCityMike at 11:35 AM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


Do you feel pressured to post me too?

No, but I feel weirdly embarrassed because I can't. I have never been assaulted, groped, catcalled or demeaned for being female in any way that I can remember.

I *think* I may have been whistled at on the street ONCE, when I was in my early 20s, but I'm not 100% sure that was the case and if it was, I felt vaguely flattered.

The closest I ever got to harassment at work was also in my early 20s--a Board member cheerfully introduced me as "the secretary I'm boffing this week." (WAS NOT.) Everybody in the room (including the guy's wife!) very clearly took it as a stupid joke and nothing reflected on me, nor did it ever happen again. (Am I correct in thinking that it should have to happen more than once and/or have discernible effects on my employment status to be considered "harassment"? I believe the standard definition of "bullying" says it has to happen more than once.)

I know I'm rare and I know I'm lucky. I know that being in high school and college honors programs that were 50%-75% female, working in female-dominant offices/professions, never using public transportation, and not drinking probably explains most of it. But at the same time I feel a little bit ashamed, because I am in fact overweight and nerdy and thus invisible and not enough of a woman to be worth anyone's attention, even if it's negative. I don't know what to do with that, but I'm not posting it on Facebook.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:36 AM on October 16, 2017 [16 favorites]


Am I correct in thinking that it should have to happen more than once and/or have discernible effects on my employment status to be considered "harassment"?

No, that is not correct, or street harassment from strangers wouldn't count either.

What your boss said was harassment, and it was gross. Even if his wife was there. Even if everyone laughed. Even if everyone knew it wasn't true.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:39 AM on October 16, 2017 [37 favorites]


I mean, you don't have to identify with the movement if you don't feel it describes your experiences-- but if a friend of mine told me that story and asked if I considered it to be sexual harassment, my answer would absolutely be yes.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:41 AM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


In view of the recent Weinstein debacle, Björk's FB post is noteworthy. Von Trier denies the allegations.
posted by bouvin at 11:41 AM on October 16, 2017


My traumatic experiences don't exist to give catharsis or bring awareness to the folks who see my facebook or twitter feed.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:41 AM on October 16, 2017 [23 favorites]


You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze

This has gotten a lot of pile-on, but I want to add just one more thing:

I am also a person who has always thought of myself as not getting harassed much, if ever. Especially when I'm out in public transit, doing my own thing, given all the stories from all the other women I hear from--sure, there was the time in middle school when people made a game of touching me and seeing if they could get away before I could scratch them, or the time someone screamed at me from a moving car that I was a f****t, or the harassment I got from a street preacher when visiting Toronto--but most of my experiences don't fit the standard, I guess, narratives of how men interact with women. (Too queer, for one thing.) I figured for a long time it was that I'm gender-non-conforming, or that I'm often one of few upper/middle-class white women using transit largely used by working-class PoC, or that I was simply not attractive enough to be bothered--and to a point, those things maybe factor in.

But speaking to a few other, more perceptive women has highlighted something for me:

Part of being socially oblivious is that some of this--not all--can wash right over my head if I'm not paying attention. Like many women and non-cis-dudes on autism spectrums, I tend to be quite good at reading people and picking up meaning and shit when I'm devoting a lot of focus to the task, and utter shit if I'm not directly paying attention.

This is a double edged sword: women on the spectrum may miss some of the background radiation, especially the shit that comes from just Existing In Public while female. I certainly don't remember anyone ever telling me to smile, and that might well be because I can block someone's behavior so thoroughly from my perceptual radar that I can be asked if I'd ever seen them before and answer, honestly, 'No?' even though I've apparently nodded at them and walked alongside them every day for months or even, depressingly, years. Missing that background shit is pretty awesome; if dudes are demanding my attention and I'm not even noticing, that means I don't have to pay the psychological penalties of knowing that this constant request of my time is happening because for me it isn't.

But women on the spectrum are also likely to miss the warning signs if they aren't lucky. They can be particularly easy targets for predators, especially when they're relatively isolated from local social networks. There's a reason women keep track of this information, because we're blamed if we're hurt and don't see "obvious" warnings; and if you're socially oblivious, that's like being blind to the great big neon glaring signs around you. Or like being unable to speak the language in which women are warning each other about local predators, for that matter.

We haven't stopped to wail about the autism spectrum men who maybe just "don't know" what they're doing in this thread, for which I am grateful. But in lieu of that, I figured I'd drop in a line to talk about the socially oblivious women out there, and how this can impact how we perceive harassment, assault, and creepy social behavior in general.
posted by sciatrix at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2017 [38 favorites]


(If people are finding personal catharsis, that is wonderful! But I don't think that sense of catharsis and awareness-building compels everyone to do the same)
posted by ChuraChura at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


y'all, can we please stop with the "i'm fat and nerdy and that's why i've never been harassed" thing? like, congrats on not being harassed or assaulted. seriously, it's great that that didn't happen to you. but it wasn't your being fat and nerdy. i was a plus size teenager carrying motherfucking Star Trek: TNG action figurines in my plastic lunchbox purse, okay? and i got assaulted and harassed. just... please stop with this.
posted by palomar at 11:45 AM on October 16, 2017 [39 favorites]


(seriously, it's akin to dudes saying that ladies wouldn't mind if their harasser looked like brad pitt or whatever. it's just... wrong. breathtakingly wrong.)
posted by palomar at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


(If people are finding personal catharsis, that is wonderful! But I don't think that sense of catharsis and awareness-building compels everyone to do the same)

In case you're responding to my post (since I used the phrase 'catharsis' and you're a few comments down from it), our feeling on this point is identical. I am glad for those finding catharsis. I hope that those who do not want to share do not feel any pressure to do so.
posted by WCityMike at 11:49 AM on October 16, 2017


Yes, please stop (preview: echoing palomar here). It was a poorly worded comment on my part meant to get at what dlugoczaj expressed better as:

invisible and not enough of a woman to be worth anyone's attention, even if it's negative

and I'm sorry it's been a hurtful derail.
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


And just to add--I have not personally shared my experiences on Facebook, because I am hiding from my Facebook. I've been very focused on work in the last few months, and trying to be socially responsive in far less fraught circumstances.

I do not have the bandwidth to spend on being another face in the crowd right now. I applaud the people in that crowd, but---

right now, I can't deal with feeling that pressure to stand up and be counted (or not), that private mental accounting and tally-keeping: was that harassment? was that okay? those minor instances of workplace sexism, the ones that tend to be more about my bitchiness than my hips: do they count? all that middle school touching me, along my hips and back and shoulders and ass, does that count if the students were looking to get a reaction from that angry freak in the corner? the time I was walking with my wife in public and we were followed by a man shouting homophobic slurs? the time cloaked in plausible deniability?

and if I claim that identity, if I stand publicly and people ask for details in the hopes of connecting with me, and I point out that my experiences are and have been so minimal...

....how do I cope with someone who assumes I have been much worse hurt than I have, or hurt in a different way? how do I cope with someone who tells me I'm crying wolf, that I'm exaggerating, or using words wrong? how do I deal with the invalidation of those scars a fifth time, or the knowledge that people with scars far deeper than mine might feel I'm cheapening them?

add to that that currently everything I post on facebook gets commented on by a grandmother trying to convince me to break no-contact with my mother (ha, no), and I'm going to keep hiding. thanks.
posted by sciatrix at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


Erugh--sorry if I contributed to that sense, palomar; I was more trying to explain why some women might have had that experience, especially in the subset of "nerdy and socially oblivious...." that contrasts so strongly with the experiences of other women...

....at least, the ones who happened to be lucky might have had that experience.
posted by sciatrix at 11:53 AM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Last week, (!) I was pushed at work by a random person (I was not physically hurt in anyway, but he literally pushed my forehead back like I was a petulant child), who became verbally aggressive after I confronted him about it. Anyway, the police were involved (our security was a mere door away), incident reports made and such and everybody and their boss was asking me if I was okay.

I was more pissed that everyone was checking in on me more than the actual event itself.

More so because I have been through way more dangerous and life threatening situations, but because of a multitude of factors nobody knows to check up on me, or because of the environment no one at the time cared.

Me too is an emotional expenditure for me in the way that people checking in on me is an emotional expenditure . It is well meaning, and relationship building . It's awareness to large issues that I've been trying to express for decades but then am compressed at the same time because me too isn't about me.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


[TW all of this]

A while back, as the reward for a quarter-century of banal platonic interaction, one of my male friends sexually assaulted me after I made the mistake of passing out drunk while female. He wrote me a letter afterward and insisted that while I alone had instigated absolutely everything with perfectly observable presence of mind*, he had ultimately left me in bed naked instead of fucking me because he knew I wasn't in a position to consent. He noted that he had almost become a rapist, taking care to use the passive voice, as though an unknown entity had been at the wheel. (*Not that it matters, but I'm gay, and even the idea of touching this or any other dude makes me want to puke so violently that my whole skeleton ejects itself from its meaty cage.)

More than anything else, he wanted me to know that he was having trouble dealing with what happened--there's that passive voice again--and he needed my assistance to help him work through his very sad almost-rapist feelings. I cannot...Oh, my God, I cannot fucking describe what it is like to be straight-up asked to comfort the man who almost raped you because as a woke feminist dude, as someone who considers himself 'one of the good ones,' he feels SO BAD about it. His last text actually said, and I quote: "Friends forever!"

Men have pulled some truly poisonous shit on me before but this is so far beyond any of it that I almost feel like I need to re-learn how to operate as a person. I have absolutely no idea how to live in a world where a man feels justified in asking me to praise him for ultimately refraining from raping me. He wants what he sees as his lack of guilt to be acknowledged, and not by just anyone, but by the person he hurt the most. I can't get my mind around even the tiniest sliver of the experience. I want to tell everyone and no one. I want to live in a cave forever. I want to howl, I want to howl, I want to howl.

And that's the crux of having so many public airings of our experiences with sexual assault: Men as a class can fuck up in myriad soul-murdering ways and women are expected to comfort them as individuals, because they're not like the other men and/or because they are. "Not all men are like that," we're meant to repeat as needed, or else replace it with, "Even though that unfortunate thing happened, I know you're still a good guy." We are expected to spout these platitudes whether or not the man is guilty, because every aspect of our experiences is still refracted and understood through a lens of men's feelings. Even if he admits he almost raped you, even if he admits that he actually did, he is still going to expect to find comfort in the notion that he is not like the rest, and to have his attempts to be a better person recognized specifically by those who have come to harm as a result of his awful behavior. A man expects to be told that he is one of good ones for no reason other than because he feels bad, like the bad feelings are enough to make him good. And why would you withhold from him the healing he so desperately needs, by denying him your unequivocal forgiveness and support?

The most insane part is that my first and strongest instinct was to just go with his version of events, because more than anything, I just wanted him to shut the fuck up. I knew I could handle it because I can pretty much handle anything, but this guy, like so many guys, I knew he would never stop whining as long as I refused to give up on my own peace of mind and say whatever I had to say to relieve his guilt. How can I even start to see myself as a person deserving of basic human dignity when I know this will always follow me, always haunt me, always be true?
posted by obstinate harpy at 11:58 AM on October 16, 2017 [74 favorites]


I pointedly posted "Me too" because I know my experiences haven't been horrific, Lifetime Movie of the Week level assault and harassment. I posted them because I wanted the women who don't have the bandwidth or headspace to do so, to know I've got their backs. I posted so the friends who let our missing stairs just continue to be dicks would see and know. I posted so my former professor who gave me the warning about the boss before he told me that it would be a good resume builder and I was "tough and could handle it" would remember.

If you've not got the headspace to post or you want to keep that part of your existence private, that's cool. Today, I'm strong enough to stand. Maybe tomorrow I won't be and someone else will need to stand.

This will change. I believe strongly that it will. We just have to force it. I'll carry the battering ram until I get tired. Then the next person can pick it up.
posted by teleri025 at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2017 [19 favorites]


Or like being unable to speak the language in which women are warning each other about local predators, for that matter.

I think about this every time someone tries to defend a man’s harassing behavior as awkward or bad at signals, because I think of how much more vulnerable it makes women on the spectrum.

Women have to warn each other soooooo subtly to keep men from catching on. Eye signals, the way you stand near someone, unrelated texts, looking down at your hands at a certain part of a conversation, having your gaze gradually drift to another part of the room, a nod that doesn’t look like one— there’s a whole language of hidden symbols to help other women escape the orbit of dangerous men. But I’ve seen even neurotypical women miss out on these warnings- and they must be even more opaque to people who have trouble with more straightforward forms of non-verbal communication. A lot of the Weinstein stories display the different levels of hazard that come from forms of indirect communication— for the people communicating, and the people for whom the messages are intended.

I also think about this whenever men say “women are so hard to understand!!! and mysterious!!!”, even when they are joking. Women don’t choose to speak in code about dangerous men for fun. They do it because speaking forthrightly is dangerous.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2017 [52 favorites]


I haven't posted either, and I'm not quite able to verbalize why, although this thread is helping. I used to post a lot on Facebook about random street harassment, but I've gotten older and had quite a bit of friend turnover since then and it's totally possible that most of my current close friends have no idea how frequently I was harassed in my early twenties. The reaction I most want to avoid, though, is the kind where they are surprised because you are such a badass, as if this sort of thing only happens to shy retiring wallflowers.

I'm loud and opinionated and a feminist and I don't often hesitate to tell people off. When I was younger, I had a frightening road-rage incident on a deserted country road. It wasn't sexual harassment, but it would never have happened if I were a white man, I'm quite sure. It was actually the one time in my life I thought "This is it, this is how I die." When I told my friends about it, the guys all thought it was a big hilarious joke, asked me if I beat the guy up. Because I'm tough, you know.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


But I wonder if instead [women] might consider a conceptualization of this movement as ____.... This conceptualization may be completely wrong, especially because, as a man....

Pro tip: That's where you should have stopped, thought, reconsidered, and deleted. It's okay to not contribute to the discussion. It's not okay to suggest that women who aren't seeing the hashtag dialogue as the safe space you think it should be just aren't thinking about it the right way.

There is no "safe space" online, even when you're surrounded by the safety of numbers. Me-tooing requires equal measures of calculating the catharsis and calculating the potential additional harm of speaking up, because even if you do me-too and it's cathartic, there's going to be someone, somewhere -- most likely a dude, but not even necessarily -- who's going to argue with your experience, or diminish it, or tell you how lucky you are, because they know someone who's been through worse.

The benefit of speaking up, the catharsis of me-tooing, potentially ends the split second you click "Post." That's the mental arithmetic assault/abuse survivors must perform Every. Single. Time. they consider saying something. Please do us the favor of not telling us how to think or feel about making that call.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2017 [32 favorites]


I've been sexually harassed. Both times by gay men who wouldn't take no for an answer (one a stranger, one a friend). I was a bit more than annoyed, but here's the deal, I never felt unsafe, but it does give me the tiniest insight into what it's like to have to deal with that. So once every two decades? I can't imagine dealing with that on a regular basis.

And I've been stalked three times in my life. Twice by women, once by a dude who was dating an ex of mine (he wasn't convinced it was over between us and followed me around trying to catch us). That guy was seriously creepy. I am a fairly large and somewhat scary looking dude. Again, the stalking was not a common occurrence, but these experiences make me a bit more empathic to the sort of shit guys pull, and what it must be like to deal with this when you don't weigh 250 pounds and look like a live action Krampus. The stalking was 25 years ago and I still think about it.

I got no sympathy from anyone. I was told the unrelenting attention from my gay friend should be viewed as flattering. My dude friends thought the stalking from the women would be cool if they were hot. I don't think I even bothered telling anyone about the last one.

I could go on, but...

Me too.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


Hi! I've been insulted plenty of times but never in a specifically sexual way. You too can achieve this by growing up as an overweight socially oblivious nerd in the 80s and thus rendering yourself invisible to the male gaze, a choice open to us all.

Sadly, this didn't work for me on a lot of levels, and not keeping me from being groped and harassed is just one of them. Also, I think being harassed for being not attractive enough for men -- something that's happened to me a lot of times, with men screaming at me that I was too fat and ugly to exist in some public space, usually a bus -- is a form of sexual harassment, too.

Some Toronto Mefites will remember the infamous 2005 meetup where people stormed out in anger after a discussion on gay marriage and those of us who stayed to the end discovered my car had been nearly totaled in a parking lot accident. While I was talking to the parking lot attendant to arrange a tow home, a car full of already drunk 905ers got angry about the price of parking and decided to take it out on me, because they assumed I had something to do with the parking lot rather than being a customer. They yelled grossly sexual threats at me for a a minute or two and then moved on, but not only did I get to be afraid for my life in the moment, I got to be humiliated and upset all over again several hours later when I got home and googled one their choice phrases "rolled up in flour". When the only place that can explain how you've been insulted is Urban Dictionary, you have to know it's not going to be good.

I still think about that night on a regular basis. And that's a night when nothing really happened. Just some words. I've faced longer and scarier streams of insults. I've been groped, which is more invasive. But somehow, that's the one that really sticks with me.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


On the one hand, me too.

But on the other hand, no. I've had it done to me. But also, being a man, I get to forget about it. I don't have to treat every interaction with men with that question mark of "will it happen again this time". I'm in pain, but I'm not tired. That must be a huge difference. I'm sending my kindest thoughts to all of you who don't have the choice to step away from that tiredness and wariness.
posted by ambrosen at 12:37 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


Mudpuppie and others ... sorry. I wasn't going for correction but more reframing in hopes of comfort. I apologise for any harm I caused by what I wrote. This would've been the opposite of what was intended, although intentions go only so far.
posted by WCityMike at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


One of my male facebook friends posted about how shocked and horrified he is to see so how many of his friends have been affected, and the thing is I know from personal experience that he is himself a perpetrator - the male friend who suddenly drops detailed and explicit suggestions and requests in what should have been a normal chat. Maddening. I have yet to decide what I will do with this. I have been mulling over just why he still *is* a facebook friend.
posted by dilettante at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2017 [20 favorites]


I posted #metoo and within ten minutes two men who have sexually assaulted me verbally at professional conferences "liked" my status. I unfriended them and deleted the post.

Me fucking too.
posted by sockermom at 12:53 PM on October 16, 2017 [63 favorites]


I haven't been able to post "me too" on Facebook. Facebook is not a safe space and volume of replies doesn't make it so. I'm even Facebook friends with some of the men I would include in the litany of my harassment and abuse.

Reading all the "me toos" on Facebook has me shakey and unnerved, same with reading this topic here. I wish I could speak out in public but I've been paralyzed.

In one sense, although I realize the function of a simple "me too," for me, that's not my story. My story isn't two words. It's a list, it's a novel. It begins with the little boys who chased me at recess at school, and threw me down in the snow, and broke my glasses, and I was told it was because they "liked me." It goes on to the man in the empty church parking lot who exposed himself to me and my little sister, and the man in the car who pulled up beside a group of fourth grade girls playing in the park and asked which of us would be willing to get in the car with him to ride along and show him where the junior high was located. I'm not done with elementary school yet. There were the men in the street in Mérida who chased me when I was on vacation with my family in sixth grade. I felt terrible because it must've been my fault for wearing the pretty scoop-necked blouse my mom had bought for me earlier in the day.

I'll stop there.

I can't pick the scabs - right now the wound are raw and I'll bleed to death.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2017 [20 favorites]


I don't have to treat every interaction with men with that question mark of "will it happen again this time". I'm in pain, but I'm not tired.

Yeah, that's what gets me lately. I am generally pretty safe from physical danger, but I am just exhausted from policing my own actions. A few weeks ago I made conversation with the line cook while he was making my burger since we were both standing around waiting for it to cook. Nothing special, just "what are you doing this weekend". Next day he slips me a note telling me he likes me. I can't even be friendly to a man because then there will be all this other work of saying no and having that conversation. If I am too unfriendly then I am a bitch. But what I never can be, is just a regular person being friendly to some guy while we shoot the shit. And that's just the day to day hum of grossness, not the big blips where the harassment is a major scary moment.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:57 PM on October 16, 2017 [17 favorites]


I pointedly posted "Me too" because I know my experiences haven't been horrific, Lifetime Movie of the Week level assault and harassment. I posted them because I wanted the women who don't have the bandwidth or headspace to do so, to know I've got their backs.

I also did this. I questioned if I was "qualified" because the horrific things that did happen to me were done by minors who are now grown and then I thought: you know what? It's this kind of self-questioning that needs to stop. So I stopped it.

Then after I posted, I worried that my older male relatives would see it or get wind of it and become furious and demand an explanation so that somebody could get a horsewhipping, and I don't want to give an explanation, in part because the traditional response to an undeniable offense of this kind is either "excuse the thing that happened" or "violent punishment for any offender of sufficiently low status." And neither of those reactions interest me now.

What interests me is other women: supporting them, seeing them, and saying "I am Spartacus" when I can.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:04 PM on October 16, 2017 [16 favorites]


WCityMike I can’t seem to conceptualize the thought processes that lead to “it is okay to treat a woman this way.”

It starts with not accepting women as people. There are "people," who are guys, and there are "women."

People vs Women roundup - products are marketed "to people" or "to women;" even when toys are color-coded blue and pink, the blue one is usually often labeled "for kids" and the pink one is labeled "for girls."

A high school sex-ed class about stereotpyes phrases its handouts as if the class were only for boys - You think; she feels.

TVTropes has an entry about this: Men are Generic; Women are Special. (Warning: TVTropes link.)

Over and over, from infancy, boys are taught that they are "normal" and women are "something different." And a whole lot of them pick up the notion that "people" means men only - women are objects; they do necessary tasks; they provide sex; they cause problems, but they don't have the right to choose what to do or what happens to them.

And we are surrounded by "woke feminist" dudes who think that means "women are awesome!" and not "women are allowed to say no."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2017 [39 favorites]


invisible and not enough of a woman to be worth anyone's attention, even if it's negative

This this this and I think this is SO important to note that yes, there exist women who have escaped being directly sexually harassed, but the male gaze is SO baked in that women -- young girls -- are aware when men are objectifying them and when they're not, and young girls learn to feel like they are defective if they aren't getting harassed because it is so widespread that it is abnormal and shame-inducing to feel like you're the only one "too unattractive" to get harassed. That is a huge part of internalized misogyny. Women who have "escaped" harassment have not escaped the male gaze, they're just on the other end of a shitty misogynist spectrum.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:16 PM on October 16, 2017 [44 favorites]


It's really sad to read all the accounts on my Facebook. I pray that I never do anything so cruel.
posted by value of information at 1:16 PM on October 16, 2017


Another thought I had: sexual harassment or assault doesn't result from being attractive. It results from being noticed -- noticed just at the time and by the kind of person who wants to make use of your femaleness, either physically or mentally, to get what they want from you. In short, it results from being a woman in the world. Some of us, looks aside, have been luckier than others. It doesn't matter. It's all still wrong.

Women who have "escaped" harassment have not escaped the male gaze, they're just on the other end of a shitty misogynist spectrum.

I watch My 600 Lb. Life when I'm around cable. I like to see these folks get better. It's struck me how many of the women featured on this show mention being sexually assaulted or abused as children, and how they began to take on weight right after that. As if being unwoman could protect them. It doesn't, of course. As I say, I really like to see these people getting better.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:22 PM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


When the idea is floated that appearance, attraction, etc play into who is harassed/assaulted and who isn't - I know this isn't the intention from anyone in here - but it does hit this note in my head that sounds like "when they made you atone for being victimized at 7 years old, they were right, you did something - even if you didn't mean to - you brought this on yourself and you need to repent." Because if you've found the magic pill to not being assaulted, it means I missed it or encouraged the assault in some way. Again, I know that's not what anyone here is saying, and I've heard the apologies for dropping those suggestions in here like that, but I just wanted to explain why those of us who have been assaulted/harassed react in a pretty spiky way to it.

I could list all the ways I'm not conventionally attractive or who you would think when you thought of someone who has been raped as many times as I have been, but I feel we've covered that point. Whatever reasons you tell yourself about why it doesn't (hasn't yet) happen to you, they are your own brain using the patriarchy and its teachings to hurt and insult yourself - and it's not it, it's not the reason, which ever you've come up with, that's not why.

I have some theories about socialization and abusive homes and normalization of boundary breaking when it comes to repeated victims like me* (and honestly, those might be the lies I tell myself), but for the background radiation of being seen as femme/woman/gay and why it's missed you thus far - pure luck. Don't let it have you feeling badly about yourself or like you're not part of some team. We love you and we're glad you've been safe. We hope it continues. It's just, when you tell us the reasons it hasn't happened, you're reinforcing those sexist teachings you're self-inflicting onto us.


*A few people have said their experiences weren't so bad or they don't measure up or they were minor, etc and I want to share something I've heard from multiple therapists, survivors, and in self-help abuse books - there is no ranking system. There is no "this person had it worse and so I shouldn't complain." There is no threshold you have to meet. We are all in our circumstances and environments, we all react to things how we react. The abuses I've suffered that have fucked me up the worst are generally not the ones an outside observer would see as "the worst." You have just as much right to talk about, or choose not to talk about, your experiences as anyone. There is no rubric for how fucked up you're allowed to be about it. You're also allowed to not be fucked up by stuff that people say you should be. No one gets to tell you how something impacts you. Don't minimize whatever you feel just because you think other people had it worse.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:29 PM on October 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


Mr Surgeon,
I am 53-years-old have never been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. I have picked up the pieces after sexual assault and harassment of friends and loved ones since I entered university. I may stand to be accused of a "sheltered" life, and that would be ironic, too.

I have identified myself with other forms of sexist derogation in casual and formal contexts such as unsolicited appraisal of gender conformity and employment application screening, respectively. More annoying on both accounts is the custom in colloquial speech to differentiate "women and minorities" as if such classes of person were mutually exclusive. They are not except in the minds of "general market" interlocutors. I refuse to choose. For I identify with women and men, females, and most often a particular "race or ethnicity" which is not the dominant group in the USA.

This requirement--every woman-- I have encountered elsewhere in the innerboobs --notably the last, lost bourgeois crucible of "scandal" (contested "campus rape", 1:4, deferred prosecutions, and Rolling Stone reporting)-- I take to confirm an invidious test of reasoning: What is true for one must be true for all in order to obtain purchase in any one's comprehension of injustice or virtue.

meh, sir.
posted by marycatherine at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I claimed "me too" on FB and totally support people who just aren't willing to pipe up about it.

In claiming that, I got to thinking about a seemingly mild but seriously impactful experience of sexual harassment in my past. When I was in college, I was badgered at the gym so badly by a grad student who wanted to date me that I quit working out and didn't life weights again until my mid 40s. This seems like rather small potatoes, but it's a really big deal to me; basically I have some mobility challenges and weight lifting ends up being the best exercise ever for me. I had really poor fitness for much of my adult life and I can't help but wonder what my quality of life would have been if my intimidated 18-year-old self didn't feel compelled to quit exercising as an act of self-preservation. The woman I am today would tell him to buzz off and rightfully claim my space.... but assholes like that specifically don't target assertive women who push back. He was in the wrong, and it affected my life to my detriment for years after.

And thing about it is, this is a classic example of exactly how harassment pushes women out of other pursuits as well. After a while you just stop going to X because it's too much hassle. Even when X may seem like it's not a big deal, like extracurricular stuff when a kid is a young woman, it shapes the trajectory of your life in ways that can really amplify. What happens when X is computer club, sports, your gaming group, your internship...
posted by Sublimity at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2017 [27 favorites]


It's struck me how many of the women featured on this show mention being sexually assaulted or abused as children, and how they began to take on weight right after that.

This is an extremely common thing. I've had multiple women in my family say directly to me that is why they keep the weight on (and go so far as to lose some and then immediately gain more because they started being "noticed"). I haven't mustered up the strength to read it yet, but it's my understanding this is also the topic of Hunger by Roxane Gay.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:33 PM on October 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


Re: people who have been your harassers, your rapists, your abusers, liking those posts...

What can one even do about that? The kneejerk temptation is to say "ah, well, I would shout them down", but that carries the same fucking repercussions that accusing anyone of harassment or assault does. That warm, supportive environment often only continues as long as there's no specific harasser hanging out in the conversation, you feel? I mean, that way it stays in the list of warm fuzzy endorsements of what it is right and good to theoretically do, instead of venturing into the cold unyielding ground of actually demanding someone be held accountable for his actions, of facing up to the reality that harassers aren't always over there. Sometimes they're here in front of us.

What do we do, as women and as allies to women, when this large cultural conversation comes up--and known abusers take this small additional opportunity to cloak themselves in the mask of "good, pro-feminism man"? How do you handle that? How do you protect each other from the fallout, or the sheer fucking insult of the whole thing?

I wish I knew. Failing that, I wish so hard, sockermom and dilettante, that that hadn't happened to you. What bullshit.
posted by sciatrix at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


I pray that I never do anything so cruel.

I would love it if, on top of that, you also pray that you never sit on your hands doing nothing if you see someone else doing something this cruel.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2017 [31 favorites]



And thing about it is, this is a classic example of exactly how harassment pushes women out of other pursuits as well. After a while you just stop going to X because it's too much hassle. Even when X may seem like it's not a big deal, like extracurricular stuff when a kid is a young woman, it shapes the trajectory of your life in ways that can really amplify. What happens when X is computer club, sports, your gaming group, your internship...


I remember in my late teens or early twenties before I had a car trying to explain to a male friend why just *walking* to get somewhere was not such a simple option, and not being able to get across how uncomfortable it could be with men yelling things out car windows. He didn't believe it then, he might today.
posted by dilettante at 1:41 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


Me too.

It was a surreal situation, and to this day I still don't understand it, and I've never really thought of it as "that time I was sexually harrassed" and I doubt the one who did it has ever thought if it that way either. I don't think about it at all, except every few years or so. Sometimes I think about how much more scary it might seem to a third party if the gender roles had been reversed, and that's when it starts to hit me.

I'm non-binary, but present as male, and at the time I identified as male too. I'm also fat and nerdy. She was a married woman, who both wanted to sleep with me and wanted her abusive husband to see me with her at the event we went to. Part of the awkward strangeness of the situation and what allowed it to go as far as it did, was her failure -- intentional or not -- to communicate any of those things until I was already stuck sharing a hotel room with her for a weekend with no transportation of my own.
posted by Foosnark at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


Thoughts and prayers are useless. Forget praying about doing the right thing, start rehearsing what you can say when you see it happening. Read up on bystander intervention and how to do it without making things worse for the person getting harassed. Educate yourself about what it looks like when it's done with plausible deniability, and figure out how to push back on that denial.

But forget praying.
posted by Lexica at 1:43 PM on October 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


I agree that type of prayer is utterly useless. But I also have Praying by Kesha on repeat these last few days. I hope all the abusers are shaking and praying and I hope they find the chance to meet their maker to see if they'll forgive them because I'm not eager to.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:49 PM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


Today I posted this on a friend's page, who added after her #metoo: My original post regarding “Me Too” and disclosure has spread farther than I had anticipated.

Here is a new one that I have made with resources for individuals across the United States. If you are a survivor who has not disclosed their experience, please don't feel obligated or pressured to do so. Disclosing is your choice and there is nothing wrong with preferring not to disclose. The most important thing to focus on is whatever you feel would be best for your healing process.'


"I'm glad you wrote this, (facebook friend), because one consequence of sharing #metoo is that it's bringing up all kinds of memories that I thought were well hidden away and I don't have the resources to deal with those and the feelings that come with them right now. Oh well, back to #toughingitout...."
posted by Lynsey at 1:53 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


I pray that I never do anything so cruel.

I don’t mean to add to a pile-on, but I’m slow today. That comment reminds me of this paraphrased comment I read somewhere: how do you stop women from getting raped? Men should stop raping women.

Do you also have to pray that you never rob a bank? Or commit wire fraud? Or cheat at miniature golf? Why on earth do your to pray you won’t assualt a woman?
posted by Room 641-A at 1:54 PM on October 16, 2017 [34 favorites]


Also brings to mind the utter futility of the phrase "thoughts and prayers" although at the same time wow how my thoughts are with this whole thing right now, like, a lot.

.
posted by sockermom at 1:59 PM on October 16, 2017


Re: people who have been your harassers, your rapists, your abusers, liking those posts...
What can one even do about that?


There's no one-size-fits-all answer. "Tell them off, in detail, in public" isn't a reasonable solution for a lot of people. "Unfriend immediately" isn't, either - that can have social and economic backlash costs.

Public callout carries a risk: if enough women do that, the targets are likey to say, "oh hey, this whole harassment thing is fake! I thought they were talking about REAL harassment, not just jokes!"

I suppose what the women whose harassers have "liked" their posts can do, is be aware that those men have no idea what harassment is, and haven't figured out what their own actions look like from the recipients side. Also, they are claiming to at least be open to the idea that women should have autonomy - if you need someone to practice Feminism 101 on, those are a good place to start.

But it really would be Feminism 101; don't use the words "privilege" or "mansplaining;" start with "name three strong female characters ... now tell me what makes them strong instead of weak female characters."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:04 PM on October 16, 2017


Right, but, like that assumes ignorance on their part that is awfully charitable! I'm not going to sit down and politely educate the guy that told me that my ass looked great while I was trapped on an elevator with him alone at a conference going to an awards ceremony where I was about to be delivered a prestigious award for my work. That did not make me feel good, and that dude does not deserve literally even half a millisecond worth my time. Unfortunately, he gets a lot of my time now, what with me looking around for him at all the rest of the conferences I go to.

But yes, there's no one size fits all answer, but assuming that we can or should even mentally consider teaching them? Nah. They long ago eroded benefit of the doubt, as a gender, at least in my experience. And I know I'm not alone in that. Sorry, I know it's not PC and #notallmen but yeah not right now.
posted by sockermom at 2:10 PM on October 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


A close friend posted her "me, too" today, with a note that she'd been afraid to talk about it generally for fear of being gaslighted (or, at least, of having her experience minimized). The second comment was from a male acquaintance, "You were sexually harassed?"

><
posted by hanov3r at 2:12 PM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


This this this and I think this is SO important to note that yes, there exist women who have escaped being directly sexually harassed, but the male gaze is SO baked in that women -- young girls -- are aware when men are objectifying them and when they're not, and young girls learn to feel like they are defective if they aren't getting harassed because it is so widespread that it is abnormal and shame-inducing to feel like you're the only one "too unattractive" to get harassed.

I shared this anecdote before on here, driving with my daughter in the car (age 5 or 6) and her going, "Mama! Why is that lady in her underpants?" and I was worried she saw some homeless person or we were maybe driving by one of the many stripper bars (this is Portland, Oregon, after all - a haven of woke, white men). But I was driving and there was traffic and I said, "Who? Someone on the sidewalk?" And she said, "No, a picture! In a window!" And I thought and then said, "Well, it could be a fancy underpants store...or anything else really, selling sandwiches or insurance...or anything."
posted by amanda at 2:16 PM on October 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


> See, I consider this sexual harassment too, insulting women because they aren't sufficiently "sexy" enough. It's just another facet of it. And I've experienced it too.

I still recall the cutting banter of male acquaintances of mine explaining why I wasn't the right kind of fuckable to get a sleazy come on. I, uh, what? Yes. That's also harassment.

Regarding the complexity of dealing with all of this in a day-to-day way and what "counts" and how to try to change the dialogue about it, I posted this Medium article as my "me too" on FB, An Incomplete List of All The Men In The Media Who Have Wronged Me, because it resonated with me quite a bit.
posted by desuetude at 2:18 PM on October 16, 2017 [7 favorites]


assuming that we can or should even mentally consider teaching them? Nah. They long ago eroded benefit of the doubt, as a gender, at least in my experience.

Also a very reasonable reaction. I assume there are some of them who really would be shocked and dismayed to find out that what they thought was "just having fun" was harassment (as opposed to the swarms who would react with anger), and for those, some of the women who have to deal with them may want to take on the hassle of trying to educate them.

This is an entirely optional activity, up to the energy and skill levels of the woman involved. Absolutely I am not saying, "women should do this!" Just, "if you feel inspired to do this, know that you'll need to start with baby steps; you would probably have an easier time educating six-year-olds, sorry."

I'm not quite at the point of writing off the male half of the race, but I have definitely reached the point of, "if no specific woman wants the job of educating him, let him muddle around on his own. He's not likely to do the rest of us any more damage than if some woman took him under her wing, which he might not be willing to accept anyway."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:20 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


"Good men" should be doing the teaching. "I'm so sorry! What can I do? I'm so angry at him! I want to kill him! I just wish I could help! It's so wrong what happened to you!" TELL.OTHER.MEN
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:22 PM on October 16, 2017 [24 favorites]


everywhere this is being talked about is full of right-minded men furiously giving each other the worst advice in the world, with some help from women. all of them very well-meaning. the most horrible thing I read today was someone yelling at men who think sexual assault is rare: Just ask all your female friends if they've ever been assaulted, and how it felt! they said. you'll be surprised by the answers! they said. for sure, that is a completely fine thing for a man to ask every woman he knows. not intrusive or boundary-crossing or entitled or threatening at all.

then they said: Ask your partners if they've ever performed a sexual act they didn't want to perform, just to get peace or safety or avoid violence or mend a relationship or not cause a scene! Ask what it was like! and I thought about commenting to explain that if you question a woman on that last one, any detailed and polite answer she gives you WILL BE AN INSTANCE OF HER DOING THAT VERY THING, for you. but then I did not.

anyhow, the idea of blanketing the world with anecdotes and statistics so that man can stop pretending they've never known anybody this happened to is a nice one. but as has been said, I would much rather that nice men start wondering which of their friends has hurt a woman than wonder, pruriently or not, which of their friends has been hurt.
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:25 PM on October 16, 2017 [43 favorites]


Oh yes, I 100% mean for men to talk to men about male behaviors, deflections, culture, etc - absolutely don't challenge your male friends to just go up to women and start asking fucked up questions. I suppose I shouldn't have thought that went without saying.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


sorry, I didn't preview, that wasn't supposed to be a specific response to your comment! I just saw a bunch of awful things on facebook today from people I know for a fact are trying to do good work.

the cost of telling men to go talk to other men (which I like as a concept) is that you have to trust their judgment about what to say. as a feminist I like to argue that not everything is women's job, and especially not this. but as a control freak I don't exactly trust anybody but women to do this particular job as well as I want it to be done.
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:33 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


Me too.

And of course the majority of the times it happened, it was a man, or men, and there are some that were incredibly hurtful. But I also want to mention the women who shamed me, who judged me, who leered at me and made suggestive comments. I was emotionally abused, possibly assaulted (please don't ask) by a woman.

And I think of the times, especially as a young queer woman trying to figure out how this whole desire for women thing worked, that I have objectified other women. I don't think I actually harassed anyone - it was a long time ago - but when the models I had for how to desire women were those established by men, I wouldn't be surprised if I had said something that made another woman feel the way I have been made to feel. And it's not okay, and the fact that I know better now, 25 years on, doesn't make it okay.

I'm not entirely sure I have a coherent point here, just that this stuff can be very complicated and unexpectedly pervasive.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:34 PM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


I haven't been harassed a whole lot in comparison to most women (again, nerdy/unattractive, work in mostly female industry, etc.), but it's happened. As Dorothy Parker once said, men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses, not never. By comparison I am very, very lucky.

I HAVE TO DEVOTE PART OF MY MIND TO DECIDING WHETHER SOMEONE IS GOING TO RAPE OR KILL ME.

Yeah, this. Like I'm going to a class tonight in a new location and I drove by it a few days ago so I could figure out how to get there. Oh, look, the parking lot is yonks away from the one entrance I have to use and I'm getting out past 9 p.m.! Oh goodie, hope nobody decides to go after me!
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:38 PM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


Whenever I try to decide whether or not to do something on Facebook, I remind myself that they helped sell us out to the Russians, which usually causes me to close the browser. Wouldn't it be more efficient if the five women who have not been assaulted yet just posted "not me"?
posted by staggering termagant at 2:38 PM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


So now that women and femmes have come forward about their private history with sexual assault, what do you think the odds of men coming out about their complicity that made that possible? Any men out there wanna out your brothers/coworkers/family about the stories you've undoubtedly heard? The shit you've seen on the subway? Or is this just another example of the oppressed begging the oppressor to care.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2017 [23 favorites]


Sorry I'm just fucking pissed because the person who raped me frequently posts about consent on his social media and honestly I'm just so sick of women having to do everything. Shoot me.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:53 PM on October 16, 2017 [23 favorites]


Actually I'm not sorry.
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2017 [52 favorites]


That warm, supportive environment often only continues as long as there's no specific harasser hanging out in the conversation, you feel?

This is why I haven't posted "me too." I didn't want to do it without naming names, because it pisses me off that so many people will say they're supportive--and don't mean it, because actually being supportive is too hard.

But I've honestly forgotten the name of the man who sexually harassed me at work. I remember his face, and I remember the visceral emotion I felt when he moved behind me--the first time I think I had really experienced a fight-or-flight response. But his name--fuck him, I don't remember it. It was something boring and everyday, like a piece of gum stuck to your shoe.

So, .... I support anyone who has posted "me too." But this is why I'm not doing it. I'm too easy to support, and I don't want your support unless it actually means something.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Because a huge number of us, even the most woke who go to sleep every night with a clean conscience and a loving partner, remember when we were young and drunk and did something that would haunt some other young woman or man for years to come.

I was 'fortunate' that the first time I 'pushed too far too fast' it was with a very strong, self-confident woman who put me in my place (and remained a platonic friend long after). Still, I did it once again, years later, with my future wife and have never forgiven myself no matter how much she said she did. Clinical depression and the medication I take for it have contributed to me becoming essentially asexual in recent years, and I consider it a blessing, for myself, my ex-wife and every woman I've become friends with since. I didn't trust myself, and therefore from my own experience, I say #yesallmen.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:15 PM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


"I'm so sorry! What can I do? I'm so angry at him! I want to kill him! I just wish I could help! It's so wrong what happened to you!"

Saw this list of things that all dudes can do to help undo rape culture when a fb friend shared it:

HEY MEN
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO BETTER

posted by 23skidoo at 3:21 PM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


Sorry I'm just fucking pissed because the person who raped me frequently posts about consent on his social media and honestly I'm just so sick of women having to do everything. Shoot me.

The guy who once whined enough to pressure me into a sex act I didn't want to do expressed a lot of anger today about the fact that I was sexually harassed at work. Ha.

I'm sick of how many men fail to honestly examine their behavior and take responsibility for their actively harmful choices and/or their cowardice.
posted by sallybrown at 3:42 PM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]


Why I thought twice before saying #MeToo (Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post)

"But I do know that for #MeToo to be worth it, the result can’t just be that we make ourselves feel bad by revisiting painful memories and hearing stories that reveal the depth of our own denial. All this pain needs to turn into concrete action, or we’ll be back here again in 20 or 30 years — and the stories we tell then may be even worse."

posted by jenfullmoon at 4:03 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine every woman posting a list and naming names (the ones they knew anyway)?

What makes me pissed is all the dudes currently fawning and expressing shock over the "me too" frequency would immediately circle the wagons and start defending the dudes named, because it's one thing to be angry that some nebulous OTHER dude harassed or assaulted a woman, but another thing entirely when it's you or your bowling buddy.
posted by corb at 4:39 PM on October 16, 2017 [49 favorites]


I don't name names online in any way, more so because in my primary abuser would take the time to get me wrapped up in a defamation lawsuit.

Power and control goes beyond sexual harassment.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:54 PM on October 16, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm too much of a coward to post this on FB, but I Did That. I've been told that I've made my female friends uncomfortable. And there are other things that I've done that I didn't think was inappropriate at the time but lately I've done a lot of reflecting and I know they were. I've apologized to those that I can, and I'm learning to be better.

I wasn't surprised when I saw how many women posted "me too" on FB. But just knowing them personally really broke my heart. If it really is all women, then it's a safe bet that a vast majority of men have done it. Even the best of us have done it.
posted by numaner at 5:04 PM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


I wrote 'me too' but I didn't put any details because there are too many.

And for such a long time, because I have never been violently raped, I thought that I had escaped the sexual harassment thing but I keep remembering things.

I remember being a 9 year old tomboy who never wore a shirt at home and ran around the paddock with the horses, right up until the time one of my mum's horse-riding friends came over and he stared at my chest so hard I never went topless at home again. I remember so many times giving into sexual pressure because I got tired of saying no. Fun conversations on the CB (yes, I am old) that suddenly turned into unwanted talk about sex. Same on ICQ. Same on IRC. Same on everywhere on the internet. Being tongue kissed by a friend's drunk dad at a sleepover because I looked like his ex-wife (I was 16). Waiting in line at rollerskating by myself (my friend's were already inside) and having someone rub his stiffy against my arse and being too afraid to turn around and tell him to stop (I was 14). Going to see a band by myself and having some drunken fool rub his stiffy against me and because I was by myself and he was with a bunch of mates who were all laughing and egging him on having to just disappear into the crowd and missing the last part of the set because I felt too uncomfortable to say no (I was 35).

So many more examples, every time I think I've got them all listed, another memory arises.

I'll say it here but would I give details on Facebook or twitter? Fuck no. Because I couldn't bear to hear that none of that was really all that bad and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there are too many people who believe that.
posted by h00py at 5:18 PM on October 16, 2017 [11 favorites]


Because I couldn't bear to hear that none of that was really all that bad

whenever I give my own details I do a thing I hate to do and am ashamed of doing, which is I preface it by saying "even though I call this assault because it was, I know this isn't actually that bad compared to what happens to a lot of people," in hope and expectation of being contradicted, so that I can enjoy whatever sympathy comes to me with a clear conscience.

but I never do get contradicted.

and because I set myself up like that, I can't tell the person who doesn't contradict me to go fuck himself. I could, but dignity will not allow it, so I can't. I preface my humiliation story with a dumb self-effacing preface, I reap the consequences. that's the law. do men keep this strict a disciplinary line with themselves? nope.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:30 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


Proposition: For every #MeToo, there conversely must be at least one (not necessarily unique) #IDidThat.

Thanks for this comment. I've caused some #metoos in my life, without question, and I owned it on facebook today (where I have a lot more personally at stake than I do here), thanks to this comment in particular.

#IDidThat. Clearly, most men have. We have to own it.

Men! Are you wondering what you can do? Check out Helen Rosner's 20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us! Some good stuff in there, not just for men.

Thanks for this also.
posted by Kwine at 5:32 PM on October 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


there are other things that I've done that I didn't think was inappropriate at the time but lately I've done a lot of reflecting and I know they were. I've apologized to those that I can, and I'm learning to be better.

If you really want to not be That Guy, start by reading Schrodinger's Rapist and Changing the Creepy Guy Narrative. And there's more, but those are good starter points for "how not to override women's boundaries in a way that makes them feel violated."

it's a safe bet that a vast majority of men have done it. Even the best of us have done it.

Vast majority, yes. "The best," no. There are guys who really, truly don't ever overstep those lines, guys who pay attention to women's boundaries just like they do other guys', and those guys are BAFFLED that this happens ALL THE TIME. Some of them are our worst problems, because we know they won't assault us, so we tell them something happened, and they don't believe us because they would never do anything like that, and they think their buddies would never do anything like that.

The mildly-creepy guys have a chance of realizing they're actually causing harm, not just a bit of discomfort, and working to change. The guys who never grope, never flirt inappropriately, never loom over a woman just to watch her cringe a little bit... they're so much harder to convince that these are real problems.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2017 [8 favorites]


I'm sick of how many men fail to honestly examine their behavior and take responsibility for their actively harmful choices and/or their cowardice.

Right there with you. I spend a lot of time awake in the middle of the night, shaking the branches of every decision I've ever made in hopes I will find sufficient evidence that I invited their terrible behavior onto myself. What's funny is that I don't (can't) even count the times I said no, I don't (can't) count the times I didn't physically fight. I have talked to so many girlfriends over the past couple of weeks and nearly everyone has agreed: we would rather laugh it off and call it "bad" or "awkward" than gather a stern face and refer to it as "rape" or "assault." The women who call it what it is are braver than me. I am so tired.

I also spend a lot of witching hours wondering how many men feel the same, are constantly haunted, unequivocally cursed. What do they think of these encounters? Men who have abused me and others, they have been speaking out in droves these past few weeks, all in favor of transparency and autonomy and liberation--it has been so otherworldly, so shattering to realize: I said no, I tried to push him away, I pleaded and offered up anything but that, I cried and went silent, and he doesn't think he did anything wrong. He's one of the good ones, a force for justice and enthusiastic consent. And I, well... I guess I let him think that. So maybe it was my fault after all.

It's just so much easier to believe these situations were somehow deserved than it is to believe... fuck, I can't even type it, because I don't want to hear how men feel about it. I am so tired of hearing about how men feeeeeeeeeeeel about women who have been made to suffer at their hands, so tired of dragging the most miserable experiences I've ever had out into the light in hopes of one day being taken seriously alongside all of my sisters. Why do we need to come out and show off our bloodiest wounds en masse like this? Why the hell can't you just believe us when we speak?
posted by obstinate harpy at 5:37 PM on October 16, 2017 [13 favorites]



Vast majority, yes. "The best," no


thank you, jesus christ. the unfathomable self-regard it requires, to be able to say: well, I've done things, and me, I'm the best man I know, so all men must!

there is no man alive about whom I wouldn't believe the worst, if it were told to me by a woman who knew. I have never ever believed that liking a man means he must be a good person. but there are multiple men I believe, for reasons well beyond instinct and good feelings about them, have never, will never, and would never do such things. and until a woman tells me otherwise -- which I will believe, if that happens -- I will continue to say that I know men who are people. just regular people, pretty much as good as your average woman. because I do. they're real.

and they're not even the best men in the world! I mean, they might be, but statistically it seems unlikely, I don't get out that much.

(although the guys who are problems because they don't believe it's common because they've never done it, they are most certainly not the best men. not even second-best. Naivete is willful and it's nice that they've never assaulted anyone but they also need to read a fucking book once in a while. The best men don't do it, but they also don't isolate themselves from women's discourse to such a degree that they can pretend ignorance, and wouldn't want to anyway.)
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:43 PM on October 16, 2017 [18 favorites]


I mean, yeah, me too, but I haven't posted those words on my social media. I already feel solidarity but I'm not into doing that particular emotional labor right now. And also because it's been decades since I learned that cold lesson that truth doesn't always mean real. I told my truth, others decided it wasn't real, and that was that. Obviously our truth is real, and maybe this will make the truth real for a few more people, but how many times do we have to say this? And just, right now, when our truth is dismissed as "locker room talk" and "fake news," well, I don't have the spoons. For those who do, I see you and I hear you.
posted by Ruki at 6:04 PM on October 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


A couple of weeks ago, I posted the following on FB in response to this article:

"I can make a list as long as my arm of times when men were sexually inappropriate with me, starting with a much older teenage babysitter at age 5, an ex-step-grandfather at age 15, my driving instructor when I was 16, the boss who sexually harassed me at age 34... the list goes on. And it is true, you do learn to put up with it, de-escalate it, fend it off, squirm out of it, change the subject, laugh it off, avoid certain people and places, say "no" charmingly to aggressive assholes so as not to bruise their egos, because things can go from uncomfortable to ugly in a heartbeat."

While I got a lot of *hugs* and "I'm so sorry these things happened to you" not one of my friends admitted that any of these things had happened to her too. I felt foolish and vulnerable and... fucked-up, I guess? for having posted my experience. Like here I thought this was what most women go through, but no, amongst my circle of friends I guess it's just me that has apparently been a magnet for perverts and creeps and abusers?

While I don't wish any of this crap on anyone else, the "Me Too" campaign has made me feel a lot less alone. Several of the women who posted hugs and "I'm sorry's" on my post have chimed in with a Me Too on their own timeline.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:06 PM on October 16, 2017 [14 favorites]


You know, I'll take that "best men" comment back. I didn't mean to cause a slight derail with it. And I was definitely not regarding myself. It was part of a different paragraph that I reworded and then tacked on at the end. Chalk that up to my poor writing.
posted by numaner at 6:10 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


I posted, including the age I was first sexually assualted (single digits). I never talk about it, but I'm not ashamed of it either, and I've found it very invigorating to see all of the spin-off discussions among women that this has prompted:
1. the lists of common excuses that dismiss experiences (all the "but he seems so nice" or "I think he's having a hard time" bullshit)
2. the ways that this has become so horribly normalized that so many women are all, like, "well, if I was only groped once I guess it wasn't that bad" instead of realizing that this is NEVER ok
3. in particular, confronting the really fucking tiring and offensive "being fat/nerdy makes you safely invisible!" trope that EVEN WOMEN are perpetuating, as we've seen everywhere from Blossom to this thread. Just stop. Being fat and nerdy didn't protect me at 8, 18, 28, or 38. Just stop with that patriarchal self-hating and victim-denying bullshit.
posted by TwoStride at 7:22 PM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


Disclaimer : I hate using little and big for trauma comparatives (because trauma shouldn't be compared period) but vocabulary is failing me.

As someone whose been through the "big stuff" I get angry when people dismiss their experiences.

I get angry because the stuff that is so prevalent in society allows the other stuff to sail under the radar, AND it's all important and terrible .

I do wonder sometimes if The Little Stuff was treated as A Big Deal with the perpetrators that Big Stuff wouldn't happen so often.

To be clear, I'm a survivor of long term childhood sexual abuse.
I know my father did little stuff in front of people towards me ALL the damn time . From commenting on my body, to sex jokes, to letting his best friend take me out to dinner alone, to modeling clothes, making me shop for lingerie for his girlfriends with him there, to pinching my ass, to jealousy of my boyfriends, and on and on and on.

Yes, I was raped behind closed doors on a regular basis. I also endured some very sociopathic shit that you'd think of in horror movies or as war crimes .

The little and the big stuff blur together honestly. Because the little stuff was the entrapment. It was boasting and the proof that I deserved it and he absolutely used it as a tool. (I don't believe this now)

Its taken a long time for me to sort this stuff in my head.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:51 PM on October 16, 2017 [26 favorites]


I've been harassed/assaulted countless times. Every experience was demoralizing, painful, traumatic and everything else that others have talked about. As I've gotten older, I've also become more and more familiar with what it's like to be invisible, and the special kind of shame that comes when, after a lifetime internalizing the message that a woman's value is about her looks, not being noticed can still sometimes bother me a little. That while on the one hand I'm glad to not have to deal with unwanted attention, there is still a part of me that is a little distressed when it's not there and what that absence means about me (Am I hideous? Am I disgusting?) I've tried all my adult life to reverse the kind of thinking I first internalized when I was so young, and spent years thereafter feeding and nurturing - this idea that how I look equates to my value, my likeability, my loveability as a person.

I know all too well that weight and looks are no protection against sexual assault and harassment and I believe it is incredibly important to make that super, super clear for all the people out there who want to make it about that. I also know what it's like to be invisible and how it presents it's own kind of pain and incredibly complex feelings about where I believe my value as a human is derived from vs. a culture that for my entire life has bombarded me all day, every day with opposing messages about where it thinks my value is derived from. If any woman has really managed to escape harassment for any number of reasons, I'm guessing she hasn't escaped the culture that every day tells her that she's worthless as a human being because she doesn't get unwanted sexual attention. And when there's a national conversation going on around you about harassment and it seems like every woman is talking about all their experiences and you can't think of a time when any of those things have happened to you - that is its own kind of pain. And then maybe shame on top of that for feeling that way. It's just another side of rape culture. I think there is room for both experiences.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:58 PM on October 16, 2017 [19 favorites]


I’ve been kind of out of sorts after deciding to post mine on Twitter, because I generally think of myself as a person who lives/has lived a relatively sexual harassment and assault free life by luck and privilege, but the story I deemed worth sharing anyway was my introduction to sexual harassment at 12 or 13: that time when I realized some sketch as fuck dude was taking pictures of me under the Aeropostale stall divider as I tried on clothes, flipped him off as I furiously pulled my shirt back on, and then tailed him out of the store like an awkward, angry Harriet the Spy until I found a security guard, who did nothing but stare uncomfortably at me as the guy walked out of the mall over his shoulder. Apparently my detailed report of the guy’s age, disgustingly greasy long curly hair, clothing, and shirt with the local alternative radio station logo PLUS THE GIANT 90S DIGITAL CAMERA was insufficient. “You could be describing a lot of men,” he said with a grin. I was too naive to catch the entendre until years later.

Anyway, writing it out for the hashtag made me grapple with the fact that my “not so bad” story features both the criminal who walked off with child porn of the preteen me and the authority figure who cheerfully let him do it.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:21 PM on October 16, 2017 [12 favorites]


There are guys who really, truly don't ever overstep those lines, guys who pay attention to women's boundaries just like they do other guys', and those guys are BAFFLED that this happens ALL THE TIME.

Really? Because from my experience those are also the guys who still let their wife do more than her share of the housework, or just assume that they should be the ones who everyone caters to, or the person who directs sex, even if they're not thinking it consciously. Like, I've literally never met a man in my entire life that I wouldn't believe had been shitty to women, because it's everywhere.
posted by corb at 8:22 PM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


If any woman has really managed to escape harassment for any number of reasons,

count no woman escaped from harassment until she is dead. as solon said to croesus.

because there was a time when I would have said I was basically immune to this kind of thing because I was invisible, and it was true until the first time it happened. no matter how early it starts for any woman, there's always a first time, and before the first time, it's never happened to you. saying it like that sounds either like a disgusting pep talk or a vague threat. but what I really mean is that I feel solidarity in both directions. because for women to whom it's never happened, thinking it's never happened because of something abnormal and particular about them is probably even closer to a universal female experience than assault is. just for some of us the belief dies at 12, and for some of us at 50. and for some of us never, but only because of random chance.

one of the worst things about being not a regular target except sometimes is that you never learn to expect it, the way unluckier women do, or develop any kind of habitual response. if you go months or years between incidents every time might as well be the first time -- instead of Oh no, not again, you can get more of a What? is this real? is anything real? kind of experience. which is not good for honing your reflexes and reaction time. I will not attempt to determine which feeling is less fun.

anyway but you're very right that avoiding specific types of assault and public harassment is completely different from avoiding the whole edifice of sex- and gender-based oppression, degradation, humiliation, and discrimination. and it bugs me that the women who occasionally note that certain particular things have not happened to them -- in response to assertions that it happens to absolutely everyone, which it doesn't -- are treated as though they've claimed sexism isn't real. when they haven't. it's offensive.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:24 PM on October 16, 2017 [17 favorites]


Because of the background radiation phenomena I've been thinking about my own experiences as not "real" harassment, like sure I've been catcalled and been screeched at out of a moving car and had my ass grabbed in a public place, but I mean like that doesn't count right because women go through way worse stuff.

And then I started thinking about my job. Oh my god, I get low-key harassed all the time. At least once a week, if not every day. I don't know what it is about a hospital that makes men feel like romance is in the air, but the amount of times I've been flirted with or had my looks commented on or asked to hop into bed with one of my patients or been told it's a shame I'm not single or had my male patients turn into sudden exhibitionists as soon as I walk in the room or or or...

It happens so much I literally forget that it happens at all, like I have amnesia every time I walk about the door. And I doubt I'm alone - every single female nurse puts up with this shit, and I would bet most female doctors as well.

I think the reason it's a bit different in this setting is because the power differential is shifted. Like sure this dude is flirting with me but he's bare assed in a hospital gown while I'm fully dressed looming over him sticking a needle into his arm. If he escalates his behavior I can tell him to back off. If he tries to get physical I can get security guards to intimidate him or physically restrain him. If get goes completely off his nut I can potentially sedate him with chemicals, and depending on what kind of mischief he's gotten up to and what frame of mind he's in, I can have him arrested.

Is this what being a dude is like? You get unwelcome attention but you're not under any physical threat from it in the majority of instances?

And so since thinking about this I've spent the rest of the day in a low simmering fury at the men of the world. I'm furious that even when they are seeking medical attention because they have pain and fucking explosive diarrhea they will make the time to remind you that you're female and that you only exist for their boners.

I'm furious because this behavior is so pervasive that I doubt there is a single female nurse anywhere who has not had a male patient who didn't act sexually inappropriate toward her. I'm furious because it's so pervasive that we just accept it as part of the job and roll our eyes and get on with things.

I'm furious because once again women are having to put our shit out in public, and face embarassment and harassment and doubt and have people's perceptions of us changed. You know, when the fuck are men going to do this? When are men going to start a #metoo where they admit yeah #metoo I've made shitty sexist jokes about womens bodies, and yeah #metoo I've drunkenly grabbed a woman who I knew didn't want me to, and yeah #metoo I've been in a car full of my mates screaming at random women on the street and I didn't say anything or I actively participated, and yeah #metoo I got my friend drunk on purpose because I was hoping she wouldn't be able to say no anymore if she was passed out, and yeah #metoo I dehumanized a woman just trying to do her job because it made me look cool in front of other dudes? What hashtag will that be?

I'm furious because why don't men take a turn laying bare their private shit, feeling shame, getting ridiculed, and having their experiences nitpicked to death? Why don't men take a turn revealing something and experiencing that feeling that women know all too well - the shift of the perception of the people around you about who you are as a person, that feeling that for every person who is sympathetic there is now someone who thinks you're weak or shameful or that you're a liar. Hey dudes, be my guest! It's your turn to relive your shitty experiences so that other people can find a teachable moment buried within them!
posted by supercrayon at 8:38 PM on October 16, 2017 [59 favorites]


I tried to have a conversation about this topic yesterday with a man my age (40's) who has said more misogynistic things in my presence than I can count. And I've called him out on his language and attitude more times than I can count. His response was "yeah, this is terrible. These old guys really have a terrible attitude towards women." His whole self-image is based on the idea that he's not one of "those guys". He actually thinks he's woke. Meanwhile I'm starting to get a flat spot on my head from banging it on the wall so much.
posted by vignettist at 9:35 PM on October 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


I, as one guy, feel that "me too" is more of a personal statement than "yes all women," and the sort of thing that is harder to deny

This is from pretty early on but this is totally consistent with the availability heuristic. YesAllWomen asked the reader to accept a huge, challenging truth. "Me too" lets the reader construct that truth by building up a set of concrete examples in their own mind- which should be more effective.
posted by Jpfed at 9:35 PM on October 16, 2017 [3 favorites]


On a related note: here is a sexual harassment story (podcast interview) where the lady mentions that she was fat and "I thought I was safe. I thought that I was protected by not being attractive." It does, however, have a happy ending involving Carrie Fisher.

I miss Carrie Fisher.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:54 PM on October 16, 2017 [6 favorites]


While I don't wish any of this crap on anyone else, the "Me Too" campaign has made me feel a lot less alone.

In my case, that has absolutely been the case, as it has led to a mutual discovery that my most loathed "Me too" was also a "me too" for one of my friends. It's been quite cathartic because I have never been able to shake that loathsome inner voice that told me it was something about me that made it happen, that somehow I invited it or put myself in that position, blah blah. I know intellectually that the voice lies, but it's still there. Finding out that someone else had the same experience with the same male has made that voice a little less persuasive.
posted by andraste at 9:59 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


We were just talking about how half the guys posting supportive messages have fucking harrassed someone we know! Or more than one. I mean, people aren't perfect and none of these guys took it to physicaal assault or obviously I would not be friends with them but come one dude- when you're the office creeper and have no clue that you are or you're the sad sack hitting on every woman with the "my wife doesn't understand me" story or you ostracized that poor girl from our friend group in college because she didn't want to go out with you or you late night drunkenly message people for phone sex or you're the guy no one asks to after work drinks since the incident, how can you be so oblivious. I sometimes that that if men knew how women talk about them and their lame come ons? they'd probably be horribly hurt and need to be comforted by a woman. a nice one though, not one like me who the thought was cool and not like other girls but turned out to be full of myself.
posted by fshgrl at 10:09 PM on October 16, 2017 [14 favorites]


To be clear, I'm not holding men to some ridiculous standard at all. People are human and we all do stupid desperate things sometimes plus this is a tiny subset of men I know. But there is a certain element who apparently just see this as another opportunity to make themselves look more attractive to women. It's hilarious and awful at the same time.
posted by fshgrl at 11:55 PM on October 16, 2017


Calling it performative victimhood called up some of the most remarkable artwork I know.

The Woman Who Fell From The Sky (Earth is created as a response to her trauma)

Camille Claudel

The Color Purple

Silvia Plath: [...]
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two—
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

posted by fraula at 2:03 AM on October 17, 2017 [7 favorites]


This came up on FB today.

Today my timeline is full of decent men asking, "How can I help?" I'm going to take this question as sincere, and give a few suggestions.

In response to those who are asking, yes, you can share this, thanks for being interested in doing so. Please credit me, and if you end up being paid to present my work, I welcome fair contributions via PayPal. stamperoo@gmail.com :)

Here are some concrete ways men* can help:
(*I wrote this specifically for a small group of my own male friends who were explicitly asking for advice after being stunned by the ubiquity of the #metoo abuse hashtag. I wasn't anticipating this being shared so many times. These tips can be used by people of all genders.)

1. Practice these phrases: "That's not cool" and "That's a shitty thing to say". Say them to other men who are saying disrespectful things to or about women.

2. Follow some feminist writers on social media. Sometimes what they write may seem "exhausting" or "too angry". Put aside that discomfort because that feeling is your male privilege allowing you to disengage from an important conversation that womxn don't get to disengage from. Here are some accounts I like- but there are lots. Follow a few.
www.twitter.com/ijeomaoluo
www.twitter.com/manwhohasitall
www.twitter.com/FeministaJones

3. Boost female voices. When there's an issue and you're going to share an article about it- especially if it's a gender issue- take a minute and try to find one written by a woman (same goes for other marginalized groups- seek articles about race written by IBPOC, seek articles about disability by disabled writers, etc. "Nothing about us, without us").

4. Boost what women say at work. Listen for men dismissing women's contributions and make a habit of listening and saying things like "Hey Zahra has a point".

5. Be mindful of how you introduce women- particularly at work functions. Role-model extra respect into your introductions. So often you hear men being introduced with job titles and accolades, and women introduced as "the lovely" or "the beautiful". I guarantee that no matter how good she looks, she'd rather be introduced by her job title and accomplishments.

Relevant Washington Post article: "At conferences, male doctors are introduced as "Doctor Whoever" 72% of the time; female doctors are introduced using the word "Doctor" only 49% of the time." http://wapo.st/2kSWlba

Doing this subtly tells the listener that the women's qualifications are lesser-than. Go out of your way to correct this by introducing women (and others from marginalized groups- racialized, disabled, young-looking, whatever) using their full job titles and accolades.

6. At work or out in the world, don't call women cutesy names like "honey, baby, darling, kiddo, young lady, girl, or dear". This is a subtle way of putting them down, elevating your own status over them as a man who is choosing to vote them as attractive, and reminding them and all present that they're just cute little ladies that nobody should listen to. Make a special effort to speak to women using the kind of person-to-person respectful address you use when speaking with male colleagues. Hint: Use their name. If you slip up and call your colleague "young lady" or some other bullshit like that, it's cool to say something about it, like "I'm sorry I called you that- it's disrespectful."

7. Seek enthusiastic consent in your sexual encounters. If you're having sexy time and the other person stops reciprocating, gets quiet, seems tense or stiff, avoids making eye contact, pauses, or otherwise slows the tempo of the encounter, then you should.... STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

Reframe how you think of consent. You're not supposed to just "go for it" until someone yells NO and that's when you stop. That's old-fashioned and gross. And she might not be able to explicitly say no, because she has very likely been assaulted before and she might freeze when stressed- that's a side effect of all this "me too".

People shouldn't have to explicitly say no. Instead, slow down. At every step, listen with your ears (or ask with your words) for the word "yes", and then you can escalate the encounter together. Seek explicit and enthusiastic and active consent before you proceed. Proceed together. And constantly observe the other person's body language for the hesitations that mean "no". If this means you have to cut down on alcohol or substances to stay present and have self-control, please do that.

8. Don't use gendered or misogynist insults. Bitch, cunt, slut, pussy, f*g, girly, sissy, cuck, etc. Use insults that work on everyone rather than insults that specifically target the feminine as weak, lesser, and undesirable. "Asshole" is a nice multipurpose choice- we all have one.

9. If there are little boys, teen boys, and young men in your life, role-model that the feminine is not less-than. Challenge them on their dismissive ideas around what counts as "girl stuff". Buy them a doll. Paint your nails together. Show up wearing pink. Do something that's coded as* traditionally "feminine" in a way that embraces the feminine as a valid way of being, not in a way that mocks femininity. Buy them books and watch TV and movies that prominently feature female characters. Verbally challenge their stereotypes about what men do and how women are lesser. Seeing women as people starts in infancy.
(*Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that behaviours aren't inherently fem/masc, but rather we code them as such).

10. Be wary of constantly or only telling little girls they're pretty and cute or commenting on their hairstyle & clothing. I know, little girls often wear fun stuff and it's easy to comment on. But it tells her, and the little boys nearby, that girls should be valued first and foremost for their looks.

Instead, try things like "What kind of toy is that? That looks fun, what is it? Are you reading any good books? What's your favourite subject in school? What kind of things do you like to do? Do you have a favourite animal? May I ask your advice, should I purchase the apples or the grapes?" There are so many things to talk about.

11. When a woman is walking alone and you end up walking behind her- especially in dark or secluded areas- please slow down to increase the distance between you, or, better yet, cross the street. Literally go out of your way to help her feel that you're not following her.

12. Teach your elders to do better. Pervy Grandpa and Racist Grandma might seem harmless at Xmas dinner but as their health declines, they will largely end up being cared for by women and POC who don't deserve dehumanizing treatment. Call it out. You can teach old dogs* new tricks, and you should definitely try.
(*Someone below pointed out that this metaphor, equating the elderly to dogs, is disrespectful. I agree with them. I'm not deleting it because hiding mistakes is creepy. I'm sorry I spoke disrespectfully about elderly people- that's a proverb that I'll quit using.)

13. Don't argue so much in conversations around types of oppression that you don't personally experience. Keep an eye open for our culture's gross habit of putting the onus on the oppressed persons to dredge up their pain for inspection (only for us to then dismiss it as "just one instance which they probably either caused or misinterpreted anyway"). Instead, try this- if you don't believe something is an issue, use the Googles. Find, say, three articles *written by people in that demographic*, and read them. Look for patterns in their analyses. You'll find that these ideas aren't weird militant fringe notions- oppression is a widely-accepted and statistically-supported phenomenon and a lot of insightful people are talking about it. Avoid the hot takes and go to the source- the people who experience the issue firsthand.

14. If you feel uncomfortable during conversations about sexism (or racism, or ableism, or cultural appropriation, or whatever- because all these systems are related, google "kyriarchy" to learn more), the only correct response is to be quiet and listen and try to focus on the topic at hand rather than centre your own feelings. It's hard. It's worthwhile.

Thanks for trying to be decent men. We see you.

posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:20 AM on October 17, 2017 [29 favorites]


"You're not supposed to just "go for it" until someone yells NO and that's when you stop. That's old-fashioned and gross. "

And that is an understatement.
posted by aielen at 4:06 AM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, I got catcalled not once but three times this morning in my ten minute walk to the train, so this is already having a material impact!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:21 AM on October 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


Another thing men can do, and this is going to sound odd in context but bear with me here, is carve out some space for other men to discuss and be heard about ways in which they have suffered harassment or violence.

I don't resent men for joining in with #metoo to share their own stories on this. I don't. I am glad they feel able to speak up, especially people who have not felt able to do so before, and I entirely appreciate why they may have felt unable to do so before. But it would be nice if they didn't have to wait for a campaign started by women, about something that is primarily done by men to women, in order to do that. Just like it would be nice if there was more room in male spaces for men to talk about and deal with experiencing domestic violence and abuse, rather than asking women to be more inclusive in the services and activism and even conversations we have organised around it. Because sometimes we are going to need to say "hey this happens to us as women because we are women and it is awful", and it detracts from being able to say this if we also have to take on everything awful that has also happened to everybody else, because we're the only ones who are willing to have a conversation about it.

So, decent men: you think the patriarchy hurts men too? You are right! But it pretty obviously is hurting us more, so please don't make us be the ones to do all the emotional labour for helping you through it as well. Make some space yourselves for the voices of men and boys who have dealt with this, rather than patting us on the back for doing that work yet again.
posted by Catseye at 5:30 AM on October 17, 2017 [27 favorites]


I was feeling wildly uncomfortable with the #metoo stuff but felt unable to articulate why, and then the fact surfaced from my brain that for a large part of my adolescence and young adulthood, I craved male attention -especially older male attention - so deeply that many of the kinds of incidents that other people characterized as sexual harassment read to me as pleasurable. Not all of them - but enough to make me want to say, instinctively, "That never happened to me," because yeah, men hit on me at work or catcalled me in the street or let me know they found me sexually attractive in situations that some people might find inappropriate, but I was into it. That was what I wanted. So it doesn't count.

I feel really bad for my younger self now and I wish I could go back in time and give her a hug. And a can of mace.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:35 AM on October 17, 2017 [23 favorites]


I posted a "me too", thinking first of the street harassment I have endured. Even though I find being honked at flattering. I don't want to knowingly perpetuate the idea that some harassment is ok and some isn't, even though I find some of it flattering which is effectively saying that. I remember the first time I got honked at after having a baby. I texted my partner all excited because "I've still got it" meaning what? I've still got the risk of being assaulted? I was raised in an environment where that was absolutely the message. You've arrived when someone gropes you.

Only later after I added my voice to the me too choir did I remember that time I woke up at a friend's house to find him engaging in sexual activities with my sleeping body without my consent. Or that time my friend and I were in a foreign country looking frumpy and more like lesbian lovers and we still got accosted by multiple strange men propositioning us and trying to lure us with drugs and alcohol.

What's wrong with a society where I just write off that shit as normal, so that it takes a social media campaign for me to say "hey wait a sec this is really fucked up"? It's fucked up that women are socialized to consider this sort of leering attention as a privilege or a mark of status.

I was reading about testosterone the other day and would you believe I came across an article blaming testosterone for male on female rape? Talk about agency eh? Geez. The author has a PhD.
posted by crunchy potato at 7:36 AM on October 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've seen a meme on Facebook on this topic, but I DIY'ed it - I just challenged the guys in my feed to each name one concrete thing that they would now start doing to bring about change, even if it's something small. No one's bit yet, but it's only been an hour....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 AM on October 17, 2017


Good advice: Make some space yourselves for the voices of men and boys who have dealt with this

They're out there, somewhere, although we live in a society that produces a culture of violence and trivial pursuits, by which I mean immediate gratification of one's desires. We live in a society that regenerates countless contradictions and few truths that affirm a common understanding or ideal of society, a "level playing field," inalienable "rights," and union in humanity --awkwardly defined by ill-conceived measures of "empowerment" and "value" ( such as sexual preference in the theater of war) rather than its simple complement, the expectation one may live out one's life unmolested regardless of one's appearance to the world.

Will I ever live in a time when the approval of strangers will NOT depend on who I fuck, the color of my skin, the language of my thoughts, the number of one's scars, whether or not I bear my breasts, straighten my hair or procreate, exploit people in need to accumulate wealth and credibility? I think not.

We live a society whose members of all sexes increasingly struggle to reconcile their thoughts with the consequences of their actions -- as when one dissociates from responsibility for that man, that boy, this male! that XX who sprang from the fingeraGOTT a fully-formed, white or "of color" (depending on the phase of the moon), SHINING, and wired sexual predator (to borrow a phrase from the homicidal maniac Ms Clinton, chief glass blower, who borrowed it from either her mother or father, who borrowed it from his or her parent, the one who first expressed righteous indignation about those people).

While cathartic, this so-called national conversation about does nothing to change facts of past events and little to construct agreement about the society and regard for one another which children yet living will cultivate. Talk about punishment on the other hand ...
posted by marycatherine at 7:46 AM on October 17, 2017


... I craved male attention -especially older male attention - so deeply that many of the kinds of incidents that other people characterized as sexual harassment read to me as pleasurable

I hear you. I remember the first time someone called me a bitch. It was in passing, because I’d beaten him (an older boy!) at the Mario Bros. PVP minigame. I remember it because I was proud: it was an insult for a woman, not a little girl. We kept playing.

(FWIW, I am still fond of that guy, who is no longer 12 or whatever he was then. He became an extremely mild and gentle person even as a teenager, and still is. But no one escapes their environment right away.)
posted by Countess Elena at 7:51 AM on October 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


PhD means less than a lot of people think it does. In this case, that author trained first as an English professor, then went back and retrained for a second PhD in psychology--which, frankly, indicates to me that he went back and retrained for a clinical degree, aiming to treat patients. Nothing wrong with that, but it does tell me that he doesn't have the time in the field that an experienced psychological researcher would--his training was almost certainly much more clinically focused than a research-focused doctorate in Psych would indicate. I should add that I side-eye the hell out of that English PhD for a second reason, which is that Freud and Freudian analysis remains wildly popular in humanities for reasons that baffle most people working in psychology today.

I don't see any evidence he's ever been attached to a research college, and his profile indicates that he's been in private practice and well out of academia since 1986. Cutting edge expertise evaluating the literature from primary sources: this man does not have it. At least, not outside of clinical psychology, which is absolutely irrelevant to the question of testosterone or rape.

Basically, that man has no business bloviating about evolution, there's no indication anywhere in his stated credentials that he has any real research experience with psychology or otherwise, and he's using a degree that shares the same name with working research scientists but none of the post-degree experience to snow you into thinking he has more authority and expertise than he actually does. That reduces the merit of that blog post to the strength of his arguments and his references to the primary literature, which are just about nil.

Aaaaaaaand back to running experiments.
posted by sciatrix at 7:52 AM on October 17, 2017 [12 favorites]


I, as one guy, feel that "me too" is more of a personal statement than "yes all women," and the sort of thing that is harder to deny

This is from pretty early on but this is totally consistent with the availability heuristic. YesAllWomen asked the reader to accept a huge, challenging truth. "Me too" lets the reader construct that truth by building up a set of concrete examples in their own mind- which should be more effective.


Ok but, #YesAllWomen was the name of the hashtag but I remember the campaign/movement itself consisting of women tweeting and posting actual instances of harassment that had happened to them. Like really harrowing, personal stuff, a lot more so than anything I've seen with this "Me too" (which on my social media feed has usually just been those two words, sometimes with the copied-and-pasted explanation to go with them). So this seems like a just-so story based on the sound of the hashtag, from people who forgot what women actually said.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:56 AM on October 17, 2017 [5 favorites]


This has been making the rounds in my social media circles: A Black Woman Created the “Me Too” Campaign Against Sexual Assault 10 Years Ago.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:01 AM on October 17, 2017 [18 favorites]


would you believe I came across an article blaming testosterone for male on female rape?

So... he thinks all the guys who haven't raped a woman are testosterone-deficient?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:15 AM on October 17, 2017


So... he thinks all the guys who haven't raped a woman are testosterone-deficient?
He believes that males are defenseless victims of their hormones, rather than agents with free choice. You can read the article for more thorough discussion of his premise.
posted by crunchy potato at 9:00 AM on October 17, 2017


I think murder provides the most definitive refutation of the "victims of their hormones" theory. In primitive societies, males murder one another pretty commonly, but we mostly stamped it out among middle and upper class westerners, and even among the lower classes in the Germanic and Scandinavian countries, and some places in Asia.

There is afaik no reason we should not expect to be as successful with eliminating rape as with eliminating murder. I do wonder if the periods of formalized murder like dueling should be viewed as merely an aberration or if they indicate that progress must be made in some order. As an example, we might first need to legalize and destigmatize prostitution as a way to eliminate control dynamics or "toxic masculinity" or whatever.

Anyways, there are absolutely precedents for such large scale social interventions being successful, eventually.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:45 AM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Maybe let's step back here; nobody's required to participate in telling their story for this, and nobody's required to respond in any particular way. Taking this in the direction of fighting over the truth of "literally every man is a harasser" seems like it's a great way to get derailed onto debating over the purity of individual men for no reason at all.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:54 AM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


> This has been making the rounds in my social media circles: A Black Woman Created the “Me Too” Campaign Against Sexual Assault 10 Years Ago.

Democracy Now: Meet Tarana Burke, Activist Who Started “Me Too” Campaign to Ignite Conversation on Sexual Assault
posted by homunculus at 11:47 AM on October 17, 2017 [4 favorites]


> Here are some concrete ways men* can help: (*I wrote this specifically for a small group of my own male friends who were explicitly asking for advice after being stunned by the ubiquity of the #metoo abuse hashtag. I wasn't anticipating this being shared so many times. These tips can be used by people of all genders.)

I saw this on FB and reposted as well, asking my own male friends to very specifically consider adopting these four things as ways of making the world better immediately. And I called attention to the deliberate omission of "offer to beat the shit out of anyone who disrespects a woman," because I see this contributed by dudes all the time and it is infuriatingly Missing. The. Point.
1. Practice these phrases: "That's not cool" and "That's a shitty thing to say". Say them to other men who are saying disrespectful things to or about women.

8. Don't use gendered or misogynist insults. Bitch, cunt, slut, pussy, f*g, girly, sissy, cuck, etc. Use insults that work on everyone rather than insults that specifically target the feminine as weak, lesser, and undesirable. "Asshole" is a nice multipurpose choice- we all have one.

9. If there are little boys, teen boys, and young men in your life, role-model that the feminine is not less-than. Challenge them on their dismissive ideas around what counts as "girl stuff". Buy them a doll. Paint your nails together. Show up wearing pink. Do something that's coded as* traditionally "feminine" in a way that embraces the feminine as a valid way of being, not in a way that mocks femininity. Buy them books and watch TV and movies that prominently feature female characters. Verbally challenge their stereotypes about what men do and how women are lesser. Seeing women as people starts in infancy. (*Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that behaviours aren't inherently fem/masc, but rather we code them as such).

12. Teach your elders to do better. Pervy Grandpa and Racist Grandma might seem harmless at Xmas dinner but as their health declines, they will largely end up being cared for by women and POC who don't deserve dehumanizing treatment. Call it out. You can teach old dogs* new tricks, and you should definitely try.
posted by desuetude at 1:03 PM on October 17, 2017 [3 favorites]


I "me too"'d on Facebook, and wrote details, but my stories are small and minor. I'm one of those "lucky" ones who has made it to almost 50 with only minor harassment, without being groped or assaulted or raped, just worried I would be. I have gripped my keys in my fist on the long dark walk alone back to my dorm, and not had to use them.

I've found myself strangely compelled to compile numbers and update them in a post. This many friends who have me too'd, that many friends of friends who have commented their own me toos in response. It's up over 200 people now, those me toos branching from just me. "One" seems never to have been a big enough number to change things; I wonder if "all" will be?
posted by booksherpa at 4:26 PM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


*grumpy*

Only one of the guys on my feed has even responded to my "name a concrete thing you're going to do" post on Facebook. I'm pretty disappointed now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


This has been making the rounds in my social media circles: A Black Woman Created the “Me Too” Campaign Against Sexual Assault 10 Years Ago.

Democracy Now: Meet Tarana Burke, Activist Who Started “Me Too” Campaign to Ignite Conversation on Sexual Assault


I just spent the last bit of time emailing outlets that reported on it without mentioning Burke, referring them to the Democracy Now! interview and requesting a correction. Who knows if any of them will do anything about it. Ms. Milano herself has tweeted with Ms. Burke and retweeted the CNN article about Burke's campaign, so she certainly (now at least) knows where her unidentified friend got it from and is giving some credit.
posted by solotoro at 5:42 PM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


And I just found out about another one for the whisper network this morning. I don't think the person who told me wants it to get around with a name on it (understandable), but I figure if that person is acting up in as many places as were cited, we'll all be hearing about him online soon enough. Ugh, dammit.
Seriously, I wish someone would do a scientific study on why men think this is cool to behave like this. Anyone know of any?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 AM on October 18, 2017


This study has some interesting findings re why other men don't intervene:

Engaging Men as Social Justice Allies in Ending Violence Against Women: Evidence for a Social Norms Approach, Patricia M. Fabiano PhD , H. Wesley Perkins PhD , Alan Berkowitz PhD , Jeff Linkenbach EdD & Christopher Stark MS, Journal of American College Health (full PDF available via the link):
The only significant predictor of males’ actual willingness to intervene in a situation that might lead to sexual assault was their perception of other males’ willingness to intervene. Men were much more likely to intervene in a situation that leads to sexual assault when they perceived that other men were also likely to intervene in such a situation (p = .64). Forty-two percent of the variance in males’ willingness to intervene was accounted for in this regression. Men’s perception of women’s willingness to intervene was not a significant predictor, nor were perceptions of the importance of consent in this regression. Thus, the sole predictor of men’s willingness to intervene was the extent to which men perceived other men as willing to intervene to prevent sexual assault.
And this one:
Use of a Bogus Pipeline to Detect Men’s Underreporting of Sexually Aggressive Behavior, Emily Strang and Zoë D. Peterson, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (full pdf available via link):
Interestingly, although 53.4% of men in the BPL condition endorsed using sexual assault tactics on one or both scales, only three of these men answered affirmatively to the question, “Do you think you may have ever raped or sexually assaulted a woman?” This finding suggests that, even under pressure to answer honestly, men may fail to accurately identify or label their use of sexual assault. This unwillingness and/or inability to recognize that their behavior qualifies as sexual assault may represent a key intervention target.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:04 AM on October 18, 2017 [9 favorites]


Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney (whose "not impressed" face went viral during the London Games) was inspired by #MeToo to share her story and call for action.
posted by TwoStride at 8:39 AM on October 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


Speaking of gymnastics and men intervening or not, another awful story this morning from 1992 Olympic All-Around champ, Tatiana Gutsu tells her story of being raped by her teammate while another guarded the scene and yet another heard it all and no one came to her aid then or after.

If you're not up to date on McKayla Maroney's abuser, he's an absolute monster in every sense of the word. Deadspin of all places has done comprehensive write-ups.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 9:16 AM on October 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


> Seriously, I wish someone would do a scientific study on why men think this is cool to behave like this. Anyone know of any?

In primates, it's about dominance. I've read a lot of Robert Sapolsky's non-academic books, and male primates bully other males for troop dominance and dominance gives them mating rights. Please note that nothing excuses men who bully, assault and harass. Over and over, successful powerful men harass women. There's much less evidence for powerful women harassing men or other women, and I've never seen any study of same-sex sexual harassment. sorry if that's derail-y. We do know that violence towards women is at least as much about about power and control as about sexual gratification. Really, people need to evolve.
posted by theora55 at 11:10 AM on October 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


In a very straightforward way, I loved seeing women say me too. Today on social media I'm seeing lots of assholes. What does it meeeeaann? Women are whining because somebody looked at them funny. Can they prove their stories? and it inspires rage. It's a simple message. Most of the women you know say they have been sexually harassed and/or sexually assaulted. People are such fucking jerks too much of the time.
posted by theora55 at 11:14 AM on October 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


People?
Or in this case, men?
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:18 AM on October 18, 2017


The thing that I saw that inspired rage today was this: A guy posted with his reaction to "Me too." (Friend of an acquaintance; I saw it because the acquaintance commented on it.) He said that he was saddened and frustrated by the number of "Me too"s, and then said that when he was younger he had pushed too hard a couple of times and that he was lucky that it was with women who told him, in clear terms, to knock it off. He said he was conflicted about the feeling of being "one of them."

There were SO MANY comments, mostly from women, saying "No, you're not one of them! I know you and you're one of the good ones. One of them wouldn't even be questioning it. The fact that you're questioning it means you're not one of them." On and on, just rushing to soothe his feelings. It was so frustrating to read. I mean, I don't know the guy, but from his post and his description of what he did he seemed like a thoughtful person who did a bad thing once or twice. And we don't have a cultural script for that. You must be A GOOD GUY or A BAD GUY, and all these women were rushing to fulfill their cultural role, to do the emotional labor of reassuring this guy that he was A GOOD GUY.

Like, the whole point of this exercise is to show that harassment is as common as dirt, that it's not possible for it to be perpetrated by just a few bad guys. But now I'm thinking that SO MANY men have perpetrated sexual harassment and assault that it would be, like, I don't know, mass cultural chaos if they somehow all realized it at the same time. I can't even imagine the angst that would ensue. And so all these women (and a few men) are trying to stop it from happening by reassuring this guy that he's one of the good ones. Ugh.

I think I might finally post something on Facebook now.
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:38 AM on October 18, 2017 [34 favorites]


Alexandra Petri, Washington Post:
"Weather is something you can do very little to prevent; you can only prepare for it and warn people about it and buy protective gear. Smoke happens when someone decides to light a fire.
I am sick of having to treat smoke as though it is weather.
I am sick of having to bear witness about sexual harassment.
I am sick of being warned, or not warned, about interacting with certain people, as casually (Molly Ringwald’s words, not mine) as talking about the weather.
“Bring an umbrella. There is a man spitting on you from a great height and it is easier to treat it as though it is raining.”
“If you have lunch with him, know that he likes to set up a giant pit filled with stakes that you will have to step around.”
“He is a thundercloud. He is quicksand. He is a deep bog.”

This has to stop. Instead of saying, “You cannot smoke in here,” we are telling every woman, “there is going to be smoke in the restaurant, so encase yourself entirely in protective sheeting.” Instead of saying, “Do not go around lighting people on fire,” we are telling women, “Don’t be flammable.” But you can’t be human and not be flammable. This is not like walking down a dark alley and getting mugged, because for that to be true you have to have the option of not walking down the dark alley.

I have the same stories as everyone else, but not as awful. Stories that could have been much worse. They end with a shrug and “I was lucky.” We all have a story. And if we do not have a story, we have a theory. We become convinced that we are carrying some sort of charm, that it is the four-leaf clover we did wear or the short dress we didn’t. But of course luck is not like that."
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2017 [27 favorites]


Katy Anthony, Bust: A Next-Level Rage Stroke About Harvey Weinstein.

"Gentlemen, no matter how nice you are, how many lady friends you have, how happily married, how many daughters you have sired, and how many chick flicks you've watched and then said, "Hey, that was actually pretty good," 99.9% of the women in your life are reserving about 10% of their opinion of you. We are waiting.

"We are waiting for you to have too many drinks one night. We are waiting for you to compliment our new jeans in front of the boss at work. We're waiting for you to interrupt us and explain our experience back to us — "You weren't actually catcalled, he just really liked your shirt." We aren't waiting because it's fun, or we're crazy. But because it happens. all. the. fucking. time. We have to hang back a bit and wait for your inner dirtbag to show himself because experience has shown us that he always fucking does."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:53 AM on October 19, 2017 [18 favorites]


> Katy Anthony, Bust: A Next-Level Rage Stroke About Harvey Weinstein.
This is the gem of a paragraph from the post, which I'd like to blockquote here.
You can only be shocked once, guys. After that you're choosing to stick your head in the sand. After that, you are making the conscious choice to continue to default to believing men instead of listening to women when they tell you something's up. Start listening to us. Believe us.
posted by runcifex at 8:33 AM on October 19, 2017 [10 favorites]


Via Rebecca Solnit's Facebook feed, Matthew Remski, "ON MINIMIZATION AS A PATRIARCHAL REFLEX" (FB): "My minimizing reflex is mobilized in an instant. The speed is a clue. My partner gives me feedback. Whatever the content is I instantly reframe it so I can feel like it’s either personal attack on me, or -- and this is harder to see – as a problem that I am now responsible for, on behalf of someone who I instantly tell myself is overreacting. Both reframes are designed to render the incoming data dismissible...How does that moment feel? Like I've been invaded and have to push out or strike back. My neck gets stiff with narcissism: I can't let the other person have a legitimate problem without making it about me. I have to react instantly. I can't pause, take it in, nod, reflect, try to differentiate the other's feelings from my own. I can't let it be, without fixing it, which really means casting it aside."
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:04 PM on October 19, 2017 [7 favorites]


For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies, by Courtney E. Martin (On Being): "Don’t soothe it with thoughts of your own exceptionalism. Don’t jump to perform your love of women. Don’t talk about your mother or your sister or daughter. Just sit. Feel the feelings."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:23 AM on October 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


Related: NeoGAF goes dark after sexual misconduct allegations against owner "The influential gaming forum NeoGAF is imploding in the wake of an accusation of sexual misconduct against the long-running site's owner. Yesterday, around a dozen of NeoGAF's moderators -- more than half, according to two sources -- quit their posts there, and the website has been down for over half a day following a string of threads in which users requested bans, flooded the forums with angry posts, and declared that they were quitting." [Kotaku]
posted by Fizz at 7:48 PM on October 22, 2017




I posted this as an FPP this morning, but it was deleted due to sexual harassment overload:

Besh Restaurant Group fosters environment of sexual harrassment

The John Besh Restuarant Group (BRG) and Besh himself, a married father of four, have been accused of sexual harassment by 25 current and former employees. Brett Anderson, restaurant critic for nola.com/The Times-Picayune, published this report on Saturday, October 21. It is the result of an 8 month investigation and includes several descriptions of sexual harassment by Besh and his BRG partner Octavio Mantilla.

Two women have filed EEOC complaints for sexual discrimination and retaliation. BRG did not have a human resources department until October 11, 2017, so women had no recourse for protection from the "bro-culture" that pervaded the restaurant empire's corporate office, kitchens, and dining rooms. As of yesterday, Harrah's New Orleans casino, host of Besh Steak, has severed ties (Todd Price, nola.com) as a result of the allegations.

In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, Besh is embroiled in a nasty trademarke dispute (Todd Price, nola.com) with his former partner and multiple James Beard Award winning chef Alon Shaya. Besh and Shaya have worked together since 2003. Shaya opened his first restaurant, Domenica, in partnership with Besh in 2009. He went on to open a more casual location of Domenica in 2014 and his namesake Restaurant Shaya in 2015. Shaya was awarded Best New Restaurant in the U.S. by the James Beard Foundation that year.

If you've visited or live in New Orleans, chances are you've eaten at a John Besh restaurant. If you haven't, you might have seen him on television or own one of his four cookbooks.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:12 AM on October 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


More, from the animation world:

‘Loud House’ Showrunner Chris Savino Fired From Nickelodeon for Sexual Harassment Allegations
“The Loud House” showrunner Chris Savino has been fired from Nickelodeon, amidst allegations of sexual harassment.

Savino had first been suspended by the network when allegations first surfaced. A dozen women have accused Savino of inappropriate behavior, in a story first reported by the website Cartoon Brew. Their accusations — which date back several years — include unwanted sexual advances as well as threats of retribution after the end of consensual relationships
Female Animators Pen Open Letter Demanding End To Sexual Harassment
An open letter with 217 signatures was sent Thursday to studios demanding an end to sexism and sexual harassment in the animation industry, first reported by Buzzfeed. Executives at Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Bento Box, OddBot, Paramount, Shadowmachine, Sony Pictures Animation, Stoopid Buddy, Titmouse, and Warner Bros. were recipients.

In it, they call on studios to put in place “clear and uniformly enforced sexual harassment policies”; demand support from the Animation Guild to “censure, fine, suspend or expel any member of the guild” who found is found to be guilty of any act, omission, or conduct which is prejudicial to the welfare of the guild”; and ask their male colleagues “to speak up and stand up.”
posted by Room 641-A at 8:52 AM on October 23, 2017 [5 favorites]




Has Anthony Bourdain said anything about this? I've appreciated (mostly) how vocal he's been about Hollywood, but I've been a bit bothered he hasn't looked towards his other industry to root out the abusers he also likely knows about.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 9:49 AM on October 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


CheeseLouise, thank you for that post.

corb, thank you for that article. I shared it. What I really appreciate about it -- besides the quality of her writing, the fierceness of it -- is that she refuses to make it her problem. Wiesel did this, she says, and "I've had enough." She doesn't want to engage in handwringing about his essential nature or the effect on his legacy. She's just tired of pretending and she won't anymore.

I think it particularly highlights the nature of this kind of offense as an issue of male entitlement. It should further encourage people to resist the Good Man and Bad Man framing (if he was Good, then he should be absolved; if he was Bad, then so is everything he stood for). Some men who are capable of strong moral principles also think of women's bodies as grapes at a big produce stand or Brach's candies, like there's no harm in grabbing a handful for yourself, everyone does it, they expect it ...
posted by Countess Elena at 9:51 AM on October 23, 2017 [7 favorites]


That essay posted by Corb is really amazing. So much more than the Elie Wiesel story but also exactly that story:
What is your reaction?
A. “Why are you making this a big deal? He didn’t rape you.”
B. “How could you make this public? You’re ruining a legacy.”
C. Both
Which is it: big enough to destroy or so small that it is harmless? Women are driven crazy and driven to silence trying to answer this question.

[....]

They said these things because they love me and want to protect me from the pain and destruction of backlash, which can be just as bad or worse than the original offense. Women, often lacking in power, include this in their calculations when they decide to say nothing. Bizarrely, the same women are so powerful that their mere speech could cause infrastructure to collapse: careers and companies that have been built, friendships and families that are depended upon, religious institutions and their leaders who are meaningful to so many, sports teams that have devoted fans and income from advertisers, young men with promising futures, old men with legacies. Backlash is a mechanism to hold up infrastructure.

[....]

I just want, finally, to get rid of this thing, this implanted tumor, this lodged bullet. I am giving it away, dispersing it, diffusing it, vaporizing it. If you think it is important to keep, then you do it, because I am done.
posted by amanda at 9:54 AM on October 23, 2017 [10 favorites]


A story of a celebrity actually being responsible in a small, quiet way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:55 AM on October 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Re: Bourdain, yes: https://twitter.com/Bourdain/status/921839172025028614
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:26 AM on October 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


The thing I like about that David Schwimmer story is that it's not a man claiming that he would never do such a thing, or that he can't even wrap his head around the idea that such a thing could happen, and that he certainly shouldn't be treated as if he might. It's a man who has obviously heard some shit from some women, and taken them seriously, and internalized their stories, along with the idea that not everything is about him but that he can still do something to make things better. Also, he's not telling the story himself and asking for a cookie.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:48 AM on October 24, 2017 [18 favorites]




I decided not to #metoo for reasons, but now I am having feelings about seeing an ex-friend's #metoo: the ex-friend who chided me to be "nicer" to a man harassing us, and told me I'd have been nicer if I was hit on more often, like she was, because she's prettier. #argh
posted by glitter at 3:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


... More than a year ago, a tipster passed word about the Heather Lind incident to Deadspin. We were told that Bush had, during a photo opp, groped her and told her that his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel” while fondling her.

Holy cripes. This is ... actually taking me by surprise. I never was a fan of the elder Bush -- he was the first president I campaigned against, in fact -- but I thought he was, you know, presidential. I vaguely remember hearing rumors that he had an affair with someone, a suitable Republican lady; true or untrue, it was in character, dignified and all. But this? It's the weaponized dadjokery of a creepy old man who knows no one can bear to call him out on anything.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Rep. Jackie Speier tweet:
I'm sharing my #MeToo moment in the hope that my colleagues, & current/former staff who feel safe to do so, will join me. #MeTooCongress
Her moment happened when she was a Congressional staffer.

This congresswoman is starting #MeTooCongress to draw attention to sexual harassment on Capitol Hill (Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post)

Capitol Hill’s sexual harassment policy ‘toothless,’ ‘a joke’ - 'Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long,' says one lawmaker aiming to overhaul its procedures. (Rachael Bade and Elana Schor, Politico)

Congress is a breeding ground for harassment - As workplace sexual harassment allegations grow, reports put Congress at center stage. (Tara Golshan, Vox)
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:16 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Rebecca Traister: Our national narratives are being shaped by lecherous, powerful men:
In hearing these individual tales, we’re not only learning about individual trespasses but for the first time getting a view of the matrix in which we’ve all been living: We see that the men who have had the power to abuse women’s bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:41 PM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


Heather Havrilesky, for The Cut: Don’t Call It ‘Toxic Masculinity.’ They’re Sociopathic Baby-Men.

So much this:

"When you really slow down the tape on Weinstein — or Trump, or Cosby, or Stephen Paddock, or Richard Spencer, and make no mistake, you have to work very hard not to draw lines between these men by now — what you see more than anything else is a profound lack of connection to other human beings. It’s not just that women or strangers or people of color or children of immigrants or Muslims don’t rate in their world. It’s that other human beings in general are utterly irrelevant. You are useful and part of the club or you’re cast out like trash. The second you’re not useful, you are waste. Or you were always waste. Your feelings about the matter couldn’t be less relevant. Whether or not their behavior will ruin you or literally end your life and the lives of countless others is utterly insignificant to these people."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:37 PM on October 30, 2017 [5 favorites]


And another one from Heather Havrilesky, for The Cut, this time for the crones: "But for your personal emotional health and resilience as a woman, you must choose to view the world of men through a new Cranky Old Bitch filter....Cranky bitches really, truly enjoy telling bad men to go fuck themselves. Most of the time, we do this by chuckling softly or shaking our heads slightly. Other times, we say the words “Fuck off” out loud. Other times, we tell them exactly what makes them disappointing and stupid. We aren’t even that angry about this stuff most of the time. “Bitter” is a name bad men call women who can see them clearly. ...We accept that assholes exist and they are everywhere, but we’re not resigned or defeated. We fight the good fight against them, always. But sometimes, we don’t need a lot of words to do this. Sometimes we just look them straight in the eyes, and they know we see what cowards they are. Yet another delicious side effect of being a cranky old bitch, among many.

"You need to learn to tell disappearing men and leering men to fuck off. Say it out loud: FUCK. OFF."
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:40 AM on November 1, 2017 [7 favorites]


Dustin Hoffman Sexually Harassed Me When I Was 17

Includes transcripts from her diary at the time. Let me tell you, when you are young, these experiences are so confusing. She does a great job illuminating that. I don't think these events are confusing for middle-aged men to figure out at all. They are doing whatever they want that feels good to them in that moment and no one will stop them. I don't know if they realize that no one will stop them but certainly no one ever does.

I keep thinking about Trump's asinine fixation on GDP growth. Maybe we'd have more growth if we didn't actively suppress and oppress people in our country for the dubious gain of men? Just a theory I'm working on.

Can you read between the lines of this part, further down in the piece?
When I was a sophomore, I wanted to take a writing class taught by Frank McCourt, who had not yet published Angela's Ashes but was a celebrity among the students. When I approached him, he put his arm around me and said, "You are good-looking. I can feast my tired eyes on you." I would have rather been my friend whose essay he liked so much he helped her get it published in The New York Times, but I was grateful to get into his class. By the time Dustin Hoffman asked me to give him a foot rub, I'd learned to reconcile mild humiliation with desire for attention or access.
What's your next line after you are addressed by your writer hero like this? What do you say or do to retain your dignity? How do you get over it and then get success? And why are we so harsh on women who play along to get along? Why does their ambition make us so angry while a man's fail-upward achievements are held in such high regard?
posted by amanda at 11:21 AM on November 1, 2017 [7 favorites]


That article is amazing, especially this:
People use the term grooming to describe what sexual predators do with children so they can reap the benefits, but what if they groom us so other men can reap the benefits? Did the older guys in high school pave the way for Dustin Hoffman who paved the way for the other actor who paved the way for all the other older men I've known were bad news but whom I've been drawn to anyway?
posted by corb at 12:06 PM on November 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


When I approached him, he put his arm around me and said, "You are good-looking. I can feast my tired eyes on you."

Ugh, God love her. I’m so sorry that happened.

It does make me feel a tiny bit better about feeling dislike for McCourt, though. He was unpleasant at a book signing, and it made me feel small, and I felt even smaller making excuses for him: book tours are so hard, the place was crowded, he must be tired, how can you hold anything against a man who suffered like etc.

My tendency to avoid other, more successful writers has, I have belatedly come to realize, damaged my career. I tend to assume that successful people will see me as an instrument of some kind, and, since I am no longer young and do not have any other obvious utility, will push me aside without a second thought. What could I have done if I didn’t pick up that attitude? If I didn’t believe that TV writing was an industry for coked-up dudes, and had tried it?

Probably nothing great. I don’t mean to blame Society for my pathological shyness and concomitant invisibility; that’s on me. But there are thousands and thousands of other girls and young women who make thousands of little decisions to protect themselves, and end up protecting themselves right out of a career.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:24 PM on November 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


But there are thousands and thousands of other girls and young women who make thousands of little decisions to protect themselves, and end up protecting themselves right out of a career.

Oh yeah. I wonder what would have happened if I'd made bolder choices in life at an earlier age, but I was too busy being frightened of other people coming after me (which certainly happened) and needed to basically hide in a corner and not be a target. Which has worked....somewhat, but not good enough, unfortunately, and meanwhile I'm still a nobody where it would really count.

But hey, at least I don't get sexually harassed in the field I'm in (it's 80-90% womenfolk and our few guys are super nice), so there's that!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:09 PM on November 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


From last year: a film comedy about sexual assault and attempted rape. Starring Johnny Depp & directed by Brett Ratner. #nottheonion. While the article states: "The film’s producers and representatives for Ratner and Warner Bros. have been repeatedly denying the project’s existence for months.", it's listed on IMDB, last updated 26 July 2017, and being produced by Ratner's RatPac company.

I would imagine this has been put on hold.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:42 AM on November 6, 2017


I'm putting this here because the Weinstein post is closed now. Mods, please delete if this isn't the right place for it.

Celeb Chef Todd English Accused of Sexual Harassment in Lawsuit
The far-reaching sexual harassment complaint against The Plaza Hotel — which alleges creepy comments, unwarranted groping, and “repugnant remarks” — has been amended to include sexual harassment charges against celebrity chef Todd English, who owns an eponymous food hall in the hotel.

The Daily News reports that English told server Gabrielle Eubank that she was “sexy” and he was “surprised you’re still single,” according to the complaint. The suit also alleges that on May 17, English, “who appeared to be intoxicated, began hugging Ms. Eubank and kissing her on the cheek repeatedly” before attempting to kiss her on the lips as well.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:05 AM on November 6, 2017


I guess I can add this here:

Actress Kristina Cohen (aka Kristina Kruz) posts on FB about Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick raping her three years ago. Here's the FB post. [warning: some graphic details]
(I would've link to some other reputable news source but it seems like every news site now loves autoplaying video about the news that's in text right below, which I know many of us hate)

Westwick denies ever knowing her.
posted by numaner at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


Honestly my honest to god position is to believe most men over 30 in positions of power have raped at least one woman and that is why they all protect each other.
posted by corb at 3:25 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


Honestly under 30 too. My youngest abuser was 11. My last rapist was 26. As soon as they learn they can get away with it and they don't see (some, most, or all) women (and some boys/men) as people - it's off to the races.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 3:36 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen this posted in any of the sexual harassment threads, so in case anyone missed it:

Asia Argento flees Italy amid victim-blaming backlash over Weinstein allegations

Fucking appalling.
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, at the local level, parents of a high school boy accused of grouping three students and harassing 10 at his performing arts magnet are suing the school for violating his due process and jeopardizing his future.
Attorneys for the parents and the accused student - named in the lawsuit as John Doe - deny the allegations, and say the student had never previously run afoul of the rules in any setting. He was a good student who entered his sophomore year carrying a 3.4 grade point average, the suit says. He is characterized in the lawsuit as a performing artist who has auditioned for and participated in many community and school performances.

But as a result of the allegations being made public, the family says John Doe has been suspended from a theater performance and replaced in the cast. And that future performances, as well as his potential collegiate future, would be in jeopardy.
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:56 PM on November 7, 2017


She didn't name anyone, but when this campaign started Monica Lewinsky tweeted #MeToo.
posted by riruro at 7:05 PM on November 7, 2017 [5 favorites]




Corb - it's interesting, I think every man who wishes to finds and exerts his position of power where he can. Whether that position is teacher, boss, shop owner, president, father, older brother, etc.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:37 AM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]




Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies

There Is A Lucrative Espionage Industry For Covering Up The Crimes Of The Rich

"Weinstein is not one of the wealthiest men in his country, but even he could afford to hire his own personal army of ex-Mossad intelligence veterans to conduct espionage and psyops to silence his rape victims."
posted by jeffburdges at 12:17 PM on November 9, 2017


Fuck Harvey Weinstein, but that second article is a little wibbly. The problem is intel operatives going against rape victims, they’re not somehow worse because they are “Mossad”.
posted by corb at 12:25 PM on November 9, 2017


You're undermining Mossad's branding here.
posted by maxsparber at 12:43 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'd maybe worry about ex-Mossad more than CIA, MI6, etc. because CIA, etc. can be spectacularly incompetent, wasteful, and corrupt, while Mossad actually gets the job done.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:46 PM on November 9, 2017




A comforting, cheering quip I saw on Twitter:
I can’t confirm this with science but I like to think Queen Carrie Fisher is using her new heavenly powers to help us enact vengeance upon the scum of Hollywood
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:26 PM on November 11, 2017 [8 favorites]


Allegations against Tom Sizemore from a 2003 movie set:
Actor Tom Sizemore was told to leave a Utah film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Months later, he returned for reshoots in Malibu after her parents declined to press charges. The incident has never been revealed publicly.

When contacted, the now 26-year-old former actress, whom THR is not identifying at her request, declined to address the matter except to note that she's recently hired a lawyer to explore legal action against the actor as well as her parents. Sizemore declined to address the situation. "Our position is 'no comment,'" says his agent Stephen Rice.

THR spoke to a dozen people involved with the production of the film, a crime thriller called Born Killers (shot as Piggy Banks). They confirmed Sizemore was sent home over the alleged incident. According to these cast- and crewmembers, rumors swirled and emotions rose on set over what had allegedly transpired.
posted by hanov3r at 10:51 PM on November 13, 2017




Do you have a link for that story that doesn't get covered with "best ways to burn belly fat" ads and a haggard image of Hillary Clinton in a photoshopped-prisonorange jumpsuit?
posted by amanda at 3:01 PM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


That's Misty Upham. One of her fellow actors is hinting that her death may be because of speaking out against injustice against the Native community.
posted by hanov3r at 4:37 PM on November 15, 2017




Franken admits the photo was real.
posted by maxsparber at 8:13 AM on November 16, 2017


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