You Are A Good Man
And so I have something to say to you.
It isn't enough to say that you will raise your daughter not to take shit, not to get herself into "situations", raise her to be brave and bold and strong and whole, raise her to scream and yell when she needs to. You just watched a woman - a whole, brave, strong, bold woman - decidedly not take shit, decidedly stand up and appropriately scream and yell. You saw a woman who had screamed and yelled “at the time”. That time. This time. You just saw it. It wasn’t enough.
You don't need to teach US. You need to teach each other. Yourselves. Yes, we have all drunk the poison of patriarchy. But it's on you to undo the violence, subtle and gross, in yourselves and in each other. We cannot do that for you. Millions of women all over the world bravely, boldly, not-taking-shit-ingly screaming “enough” cannot do it for you. We cannot turn you, poisoned by patriarchy, into not-the-enemy. This part is on you, Brother.
It can be very, very uncomfortable to look in the mirror. If you’re not weeping, you’re probably not actually looking. Birth squeezes. That's ok. Unless you stop you won't die. DO NOT STOP. If you love your new-born daughter, the grandmother who raised you, your inner Goddess, etc., like the few posts I saw today (nice to hear from you today, by the way, finally, in response to women saying, “Hello…? ManBueller…?”), then go talk to your brother. Go talk to your father. Go talk to your start-up co-founder, yoga teacher, dog-groomer, second cousin, son. Go sit with your quiet self and ask, truly, about how to extricate every molecule of this poison that has been fois-gras’ed into your soul.
You and a handful of *staggeringly frightening* female apologists will say: “But I am/he is a Good Man.”
Ok, Good Man.
If you have never raped, groped, harassed, abused, struck, stalked, coerced, needled, held too long, let your hands roam as you untethered a hug, refused a condom, insisted or pressured or wheedled or whined over any sexual act, lingered past potential body signals to the contrary, looked lasciviously, ignored a “no”, sped past a “maybe”, given an unsolicited “compliment” - especially about her body/clothing/appearance, insisted upon walking her home after she demurred, menaced, browbeat, gaslit, arm-twisted, intimidated, persuaded against a wanted abortion, held any opinion regarding abortion other than “A woman’s body, a woman’s choice”, snapped a bra, said anything whatsoever about menstruation that wasn’t “what absorbency?”, joked that vaginas smell like anything other than vaginas, joked about the ugliness of vulvas or the usability of the female body, joked that women are ______, told a blonde joke, told a woman what she wanted for dinner/to drink/to do socially, leered, jeered, commandeered the conversation when she was speaking or waiting to speak, policed her tone, called a woman bossy/brassy/upstart/slut/whore/dyke/controlling/mannish, used the word “cunt” or “pussy” to mean anything other than a body part in any tone other than reverent, accused a woman of anger as if hers were other than a reasonable response, told a woman she’d look better if ________, mentioned her weight (unless you’re a doctor administering medication), uncomplainingly witnessed your fellowman get a promotion when a female applicant was equally qualified, “There just weren’t any women who _____ (wanted the job, showed up, played trombone, knew math)”, said that you “allowed” her to ______ (insert: work, pay, pick something up, hold the door, drive, make decisions, be the/a breadwinner), insisted on helping a woman who had vocally refused your offer, catcalled, insulted her anatomy, let misogynist comments of your fellowman go unchecked, participated in locker-room-talk, quietly listened to those “other guys” locker-room-talking, called her sweetheart/honey/darling/baby/little lady (who was not), your eyes were down there, refused proper anatomical language for her body in place of euphemisms (especially when talking to children), held a girl child in your lap without asking or while insisting, called a little girl “Princess”, told a woman to put on a bra, to put on/take off anything (makeup, weight, clothing, attitude), to shave, to smile, insinuated yourself into a conversation/table/home/bed where you were clearly or even murkily not wanted, let a woman apologize for you, engaged sexually when you were too drunk to make decisions, let your manfriend go after a woman when he was clearly too drunk to make decisions, conveniently left her name off the work and took assumed credit, responded to a woman’s sexual abuse story with anything less than total witness and belief, stood silent in the face of your Sister’s grief, oppression, demise, abuse, overlook, mistreatment, dearth of legal aid, lack of human rights…
If you have never, ever, beyond a shadow of a doubt done any of this, or stood silently by while another man did,
Then I’m not talking to you.