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#MeToo: Men are listening, but are they speaking out?

Nov 09, 2017

Nothing may be the same again, or will it?

While the tsunami aspect of #MeToo has subsided many strong currents have been set in motion. Victims of sexual harassment have found the strength to go public and stirred up high places:  it is being driven home to people in power that sexual misconduct is NOT OK!  No other than the Defense Minister of U.K has put it his resignation saying that his previous conduct has “fallen below the high standards that we require”.

The president of the National Association of Women, Toni Van Pelt, said to CNN: "We must focus on the men. We must be demanding that the men step forward and take responsibility, whether they think they are the good guy or not. They are not the good guy if they are not speaking out against this, if they are allowing the bullying to continue."

Many men have been taken by surprise. For instance, Tom Gallet who works with the Man Up Against Violence movement at the University of Regina "It was really hard, honestly, to think about some of these people I had grown up and been friends with since elementary school. Never once did I have any inclination that this was going on with them.”

It has got them thinking.  In the words of Spurgeon Root, a pastor and outreach worker "I knew how pervasive it was but seeing it in your face like that definitely makes you think about it some more… I know that I did and said things that were very offensive and probably made women feel uncomfortable and in hindsight I'm really sorry about that so I suppose that's part of the motivation now too."

It may make them act: #HowIWillChange

Among the many positive fallouts is #HowIWillChange. The voices give us hope.

Benjamin Law: “Recognise I don't need to be a perpetrator to be a bad guy. Questioning harassment, not doing anything about it - all as bad.”

Injall: “I will confront anyone who make sexist statement about women even as silly jokes.”

Jesse T. Smith: “I will keep showing my 3 sons and one grandson how to honor & respect women. Guys - meaningful change starts in the home.”

Social change takes terribly long. But we can say it is inching forward.

A new PSA featuring well known actors brings it together with “I’ll say something next time”.