The #MeToo Movement

After reading article after article, listening to podcasts, and watching news videos about this topic, I feel like I need to write my own post about #MeToo. 

I am a deeply empathetic person, slightly more on the introverted side of the scale. I tend to analyze things to pieces before coming forth with my own stand on things. Perhaps fortunately, that means I don’t have time to analyze everything and thus rarely form solid opinions. But when I do, it really means something.

No, I’m not about to reveal some deep secret about harassment. I’m putting my own two cents out there about what is already being said.

“Not let fear be a barrier.” [to step up]

As soon as fear happens, trust & communication suffers, and we become more and more divided, which in turn produces more fear and division. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the animalistic response. Think about what pigeons do when a kid runs into the midst of their flock? They fly away in fear. Imagine if you were that kid and one of those pigeons turned around, stood up to you and asked if you tw could discuss the situation. How would you react?

Our brains are much too complex to warrant similar behavior, right? It is not up to just men, but also to women and the whole spectrum in between to avoid a potentially compromising situation to begin with. What does this mean? Well, it really depends. People come from such diverse backgrounds where the definition of flirting, determining what’s ok, what isn’t, saying yes or no to something can come in very many flavors. 

Just think about how an Italian may say “screw you” with his hands, versus someone miming “I’m hungry.” Same-same, but very different! Or when a Brit says “you ok?” An American will interpret as “I’m worried about you” when really they just mean to ask “how are you doing?”

Body language is very easy to misunderstand as well. This topic, relating to sexual consent is discussed in depth on Radiolab’s “In the No” 3 part series.  (Highly recommended “literature”)

Getting educated on the topic instead of fearfully shutting yourself off from it is the first step in my opinion. Discussing it with people you trust, questioning your own biases may be scary at first, but it is the path to becoming a better person.

I’ll close with some tips on the simple suggestion for “just don’t be an asshole” (applies to any gender!)

  • If you are not sure you will be able to communicate with someone that you are uncomfortable if you move forward, it is in both your and their interest to communicate that now. 
  • Take responsibility for your lack of communication to others around you.
  • Stay calm, think about it, and avoid making emotionally charged accusations.
  • It really matters how you say things. Question yourself – am I about to comment on someone’s clothes because I genuinely like the style, color, material, or is it because I’m attracted to them while they wear these clothes? It might be inappropriate in the latter; think about it before you say anything because your body language will give you away.
  • Get better at reading body language.
  • Think about how something you say or do might affect others around you before you say/do it.
  • What would your most morally correct oldest living relative think?
  • Ask for feedback and don’t take things personally.
  • And for crying out loud, don’t ask an x-partner for a massage if you just want a massage and nothing else. You are putting them in a very difficult position.

Any other pointers?? Comment below, or share this article on your favorite social media site 🙂

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