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Me too

It's no use being called brave, as I was recently, unless I do things that make my breathing shallow, my chest tight and my heart race a little.

As many of you will have seen on Facebook, and on Twitter and possibly many other on-line places, there is a LOT of "Me too" posts from women. These are women from all walks of life, all ages, all work types, all economic circumstances, in or out of relationships, and from all over the world. That's what I'm seeing from my friends on Facebook, so I know.

In fact, as I look at that FB search, it's almost EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I am FB friends with.
Every. Single. One.

The "Me too" posts come in light of the amazing women who have recently called out a powerful movie producer for disgusting behaviour towards them and other women. It is not a one-off though. with previous reports of repulsive behaviour going back decades including people at the BBC, comedians on TV, US Presidents and I'm sure in the music industry.

Yeah, all those powerful men in all those glamorous industries.
But also men who work in cafes, bars, offices, IT departments, airports, shops and everywhere else.

These are men from all walks of life, all ages, all work types, all economic circumstances, in or out of relationships, and from all over the world. That's what I've seen from my friends in real-life, so I know.

And me too.

This was recently posted on Facebook by a man I totally respect ... it is one of the reasons I'm writing this:
Ever kept quiet while your friends were laughing at something sexist or creepy?
Ever got grumpy or resentful at a woman who wanted to be friends, when you were hoping to be partners?
Ever decided not to intervene when you saw a woman in distress and some jerk berating her?
Ever leave a comment on a photo, that was actually pretty sleazy in the cold light of day?
Ever sat quietly through, or even laughed along with, a movie or a show that you really knew was trading in misogyny?
Ever thought to yourself, "I might not be the problem. But I can do a hell of a lot more to be part of the solution"'?
Me too.
I shudder as I recall the times I have made the world scary, unsafe, and/or "mine". The times I have dominated conversations, the times I have leered, the times I have acted with a sense of righteousness and looking down on women. I have done these things.

And as I recall them I try to reach out to the person involved and apologise to them, in person.

Where I can. Sometimes the bridges are burnt which is the price I pay. Sometimes the person is a distant memory who is no longer in my life in anyway whatsoever. Sometimes the person ... I was going to write, doesn't want to know / hear it ... that's for her to say, and not the decision for me to make on her behalf.

Being brave is facing the storm of your mind and actions with humility and a desire to allow peace to be the guiding force.

It's hard. My past is something I will always need to reconcile myself with. It's fucking hard.

My 'now' can only be one of working at being a better person ... as defined by my little boy deep inside who feels all. And by those that love me and tell me.

My future is wrapped up in others.
My actions now have a big effect on those others - what I model to those around me makes a difference.

And that brings me to the second "Me too", this article from Grant Simmin, "We have to start listening to the victims, not the perpetrators like Harvey Weinstein".

But before I go on, I do find it fucking shit that the reports focus on the movie producer, it's his fucking face everywhere, it's his name in the headlines ... fuck him. The "story" is about Lysette Anthony, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Kate Beckinsale, ZoĆ« Brock, Liza Campbell ... and the list goes on and on and on.

And on into my own life ... women from all walks of life, all ages, all work types, all economic circumstances, in or out of relationships, and from all over the world. That's what I'm seeing from my friends on Facebook, so I know.

And on to my daughter.

This is where I feel a little lost ... I need help from the women in my life.
What is it that I should do for my daughter?
And for my son?

I have views, I have thoughts, Liz and I talk ... but everything that comes my way, from women, will be gold, taonga, please don't hesitate to tell me. Here, in real life, on Facebook, wherever it is, however you feel like telling me, tell me.

Having said that, this is my shit, we men need to stop being, "Oh woe is me, we men are such bad people, please ladies of my life, guide me with your feelings and words and stuff ..." - do it. And if you want a quick list of things to do, let's start with my mate from Facebook and twist on his list:
  • Never keep quiet while your friends are laughing at something sexist or creepy?
  • Never get grumpy or resentful at a woman who wants to be friends, when you are hoping to be partners?
  • Never decide not to intervene when you see a woman in distress or some jerk berating her?
  • Never leave a comment (on anything) that you know is actually pretty sleazy in the cold light of day?
  • Never sit quietly through, or even laugh along with, a movie or a show that you really know is trading in misogyny?
  • Never think to yourself, "I might not be the problem. But I can't do a hell of a lot more to be part of the solution"'?
 If you do these regularly, you'll be a better person.
Me too.


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