The irony of the “#MeToo” situation — where (mostly) women are sharing their experiences of having been sexually assaulted, violated, etc. — is that the people who are sharing are not the ones who should be feeling shame or carrying this burden. But due to our bullshit social and cultural constructs, in which women are devalued because of fear of their power (that’s the stem, in my opinion), it is the people who have been violated who are feeling shame. And yet, these men, the people who have perpetrated all of this bullshit, are just nebulously out there, not feeling shame at all. The reality is that what THEY have done is shameful, but because of our bullshit culture, it is the people who have been hurt by them that then feel the double sting. And then, AND THEN, the TRIPLE sting because they then, if they can find it in themselves, have to come forward and share.
ONCE AGAIN women are carrying the mental and emotional load, including where it comes to sexual assault. Let that sink in for a second. Please.
I wonder about all the men who have perpetrated these crimes. They’re just out there. I think about so many women I’ve known who have been violated and not only haven’t believed each other, but also have been silenced by friends because “the guy is already so troubled.” BOOFUCKINGHOO.
I’ve unfriended and blocked most of my friends’ abusive partners/boyfriends/ex-husbands and guys who have harbored rapists. Most of them. And yet, because we are in the culture we are in, people just get to float around as if nothing has ever happened and women ONCE AGAIN are left holding the bloody fucking stick and the trauma. How is a man not traumatized that he could be such a monster as to abuse someone? How? Because our culture harbors him? Probably.
So where are the #metoo men that caused the necessity for everyone’s “#metoo”? “I took advantage of a girl because she was too drunk. #metoo.” “I blamed the woman for sex with me she didn’t want because she was wearing a short skirt. #metoo.” “My parents taught me I could take whatever I wanted in this world, because that’s what American men do, so that’s what I do, including women and having sex with them. #metoo.” “I knew my friend raped my female friend but I let it go and told my other friends to let it go because that’s what you do and the women are the ones who have to carry the burden of everything always so let’s just let them continue to carry the burden and I’m a dude so I’m just going to go eat some chips I guess. #metoo.”
So, basically I feel like this — I’ll share my #metoo (and have). But what about you, perpetrators? I’ve carried part of a burden I had no hand in creating other than existing. Where’s your big, strong masculinity now? Can’t carry a little burden a tiny woman carried all on her own without you (that you caused)? Didn’t think so. What should I do? Perhaps refuse to continue to carry this burden. So that’s what I’m deciding. Get it off me.
And this isn’t all just about rape and dominating women. It is about toxic masculinity and men dominating each other. Ever work in a professional kitchen or have someone you love work in a kitchen? It might seem hilarious to some people to show their dicks to each other all the time, or show their dicks to one guy, or whatever. But you know, that’s a big fat #metoo, in my humble opinion. We need to shift. (Luckily restaurants are starting to make this shift.) And yeah, I see you, and I know who you are, dick-presenters and ass-grabbers and scrotum-fondlers. Your way is dying, and I bet it feels really bad to you, too, and like, “Oh no, people who don’t want to be touched without consent are taking over my kitchen.” Sound familiar? Yeah, awfully similar to wanting to keep people “not like us” out of here. Because: #toxicmasculinity and #privilege.
One positive thing out of this shitstorm of a presidency is that, similar to Whack-A-Mole, I think because so many of these violating assholes feel emboldened by having a leader who grabs women “by the pussy,” etc., is that spotlights are being shone on almost each and every one of these assholes and society is starting to no longer accept the old way — which was rape her and tell her to shut up and then she shuts up; if she doesn’t shut up, drag her name through the mud, ruin her life and make it seem like it was all her fault. Disgusting. Redundant, yes, but I needed to say it.
Here is the reality, cleaned of the societal conditioning: the abused is not the one who should feel shame. We feel shame because we have been told we should feel shame. This is a construct that has existed for a long time but is squarely NOT the reality. Yes, that shame feels real and hurts and ruins lives, but it is NOT based in anything real other than a hegemonic ball rolled through the ages. For example, we know witches were burned because men were afraid of their power and most of us place no shame on those women — how about no shame on us? How about seeing it for what it is? No. More. Shame.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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