Today we tweeted about Liam Neeson’s claim that #MeToo has started a witch hunt – that witch hunts have historically targeted at women and it seems absurd that men are expressing how scary it is that they think they’re the target of one. Mostly, the responses we got were supportive, but of course, OF COURSE, we had a few tweets from men arguing that witch hunts are also/just as bad for men.
Now, I’m not trying to shame any individual tweeters, because I’d hate to start a witch hunt (lol see what I did there?) but honestly, men. I can’t even with you.
Okay, let me give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re concerned, like Liam Neeson, that casual contact like touching someone’s knee is going to lead to a man losing his job. Leaving aside the fact that why the F would you be touching her knee in any professional situation without her consent, I get that you have concerns. Let me try to take a deep breath here and womansplain some shit.
I’ve been sexual harassed, sexually assaulted, and raped. Just to put that out there right now. Hashtag Me. Fucking. Too. I want you to take a god damned SEAT before you come at me with your concerns that #MeToo is a witch hunt out to get innocent men or whatever you’re complaining about.
So before you say a single word (“Well, actually…” “The point is…” “Not all men…” or anything remotely resembling these), be sure you have followed these shouldn’t-be-so-damned-difficult steps.
- Express to women, both as a collective and individually, that you are willing to listen and believe them if they want to talk. Before you @ me with “The important thing to remember…” you better make sure you’ve taken a second to tell me you’ll listen to me and believe what I say about my experiences.
- Actually listen. Don’t just wait for me to finish talking so you can say your bit.
- Check your privilege. Don’t say something that changes the narrative to make men the victim. Understand and acknowledge that as a man, you’re speaking from a position that is, on balance, more privileged.
- Ask questions, instead of explaining back to women. Instead of saying, “Well actually, men get accused of harassment when they didn’t mean anything,” try, “What are your thoughts about false accusations?” Then listen. See Step 2.
- Ask the most important question of all: “How can I help?” And try your damnedest to do what women ask.
Have you followed all five steps? Okay, now you can express a concern! Trust me, I agree that there are gradients of inappropriate behavior and not all of them should lead to a man losing his job. I agree that men experience harassment and assault too, and I want to talk about it and listen to your experience. I AGREE that #NotAllMen are creeps! But instead of just trying to “#MeToo” my “#MeToo,” try listening and learning something. Otherwise I AM going to start Tweetshaming you.
Women are finally feeling empowered to talk about their horrific experiences. Don’t undermine that empowerment by “presenting the other side” unless you’re DAMNED sure that you’ve followed all five of the Bitches’ Easy Steps.
We’re even willing to provide graduation certificates. Maybe Obama will speak at our commencement 😉