Sunday, November 5, 2017

Breaking Silence

“Bullies want to abuse you. Instead of allowing that, you can use them as your personal motivators. Power up and let the bully eat your dust.” – Nick Vujicic

There is a problem with respect in society. We all know it. Many of us have experienced it. Often that disrespect escalates to violence purely because boundaries between people are overlooked, blurred, or presumed by people in power to be fluid.

For example:

“I certainly have treated women in a very sexist way. I’ve bullied women,” Alec Baldwin said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women. Not as a rule,” he said. “From time to time, I’ve done what a lot of men do, which is … when you don’t treat women the same way you treat men. You don’t. I’m from a generation where you really don’t and I’d like that to change. I really would like that to change.”

What would he like to change: that his generation doesn’t treat women with respect, or that he, himself, doesn’t? He’s remarkably unclear on that.

In fact, he says, “I would like that to change,” which is passive. He does not say “I will change”. It’s as if he wants this magical change to just twinkle down from the sky and make everything bright and shiny and better. He doesn’t want to have to work for it. He doesn’t want to have to put in the effort to change himself. He just would “really like that to change” – utter vagueness as to how. And by blaming his entire generation, he removes any blame from himself.

This is the problem.

Women and men are both victimized by the Harvey Weinsteins and Kevin Spaceys and Alec Baldwins of the world because no one stops them. Read the reports: people around them knew what was happening. People around them were aware. They saw the abuse, the bullying, the inappropriate touching. They heard the inappropriate comments, saw the lewd advances, and witnessed both men and women leaving offices disheveled and upset. No one spoke up for fear of reprisal. One crew member on Spacey’s set said, “who would believe a crew member over Kevin Spacey?”

This is heartbreaking.

Why does it take a showing of 300 people to stop two men? They are only human, flesh-and-blood men. They are not gods on Earth. They are mortal and – quite clearly – fallible.

It goes back to that old quote, “it’s not what he’s doing to you. It’s what you’re not doing.” So Alec, Kevin, Harvey, and all the rest like you, this is for you. This is what you’re not doing. You must master yourselves. Don't flee and hide in "rehab" - there is no rehab for being an asshole. The world is not your hunting ground. It will shoot back. All of us #metoos have had enough of your “playing,” “fooling around,” “joking,” “just a hug,” and any other name you want to put to it after the fact. We are mad as hell and we will be silent no longer.

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