Let’s Not Fool Ourselves: There are Weinsteins Everywhere.

4.2

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 8.2
Shares 10
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 4.2
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
2
3k

While the focus of the media is hot on Harvey Weinstein right now, with many women coming forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour and possibly sexual assault, let’s not forget that this, unfortunately, is not an unusual occurrence.

Based on what I, and many of my friends, have personally experienced, I would say that there are similar men everywhere—on every street, quite a few in every bar, in every work place, and tragically there will be one in many of our homes.

Predatory behaviour by men is something that many (I would guess the majority) of women and girls, have been forced to experience throughout their lives.

Generally speaking, it is somewhat socially acceptable for men to aggressively pursue a female. Many women are taught from a young age that it is men who make the first move, men who ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, and men who instigate sex. It is unladylike, apparently, for women to be forward in their advances, and whilst many women may not be interested in being seen as “ladylike,” they also may not want to be seen as desperate—and unfortunately that’s the way females are often labelled when they take the lead.

This entire culture of it being acceptable, and even expected, that men take control leaves the male/female dynamic wide open to abuse, as there are many men out there who take it way too far—and get away with it.

There is currently a “me too” campaign on social media asking those who have been affected by predatory behaviour to post it as their status, or in a comment. I believe that if everyone who has been violated sexually wrote it, there would barely be any women without it on their status, and there would be a hell of a lot of men speaking out too.

I’m praying that the Weinstein allegations being brought into the spotlight will cause a cultural shift to take place, whereby men (or women) fully realise that it is not okay to continue to make sexual advances toward anyone who is not interested, and neither is it acceptable to use power, status, or wealth to attempt to manipulate and coerce women, or men, to engage sexually.

This needs to be taught to boys from a young age, as it is not just grown men who are predatory; many teenage boys also think that it is “normal” to continue with sexual behaviour even when it is clear that if the teenage girl had the confidence to speak out, she would scream, “No!”

A lot of men need to understand that when a male comes onto a female, not all women, or girls, have the mental (or physical) strength and courage to explain that they are deeply uncomfortable and do not appreciate the sexual interest. Many women freeze when their personal boundaries are disregarded and violated—but please take note; an absence of a “no” does not mean it’s a “yes.”

Whether we write “me too” on our social media accounts, or whether we silently say it each time we hear another allegation of sexual abuse, we all know how it feels to feel powerless in another human being’s company.

It is ironic that for so many years, being sexually abusive has been more socially acceptable than speaking out about sexual abuse. Many people chose to remain quiet about abusive, aggressive, and manipulative sexual experiences because they feel that would bring shame, embarrassment, and unwanted attention to themselves, rather than to the person perpetrating it. Not only would many people be shamed for speaking out, they would possibly stand to lose friends, family members, their career, and possibly their home.

We, as a collective, have to turn this around and send out a loud, clear, and consistent message that sexual advances toward any male or female have to be mutually welcomed.

It is so important for us all to spread the message that there are no gray lines.

If you are using a position of authority to assist your sexual advances—that is abuse.

If you are making sexual advances toward someone who is underage—that is abuse.

If you are using threats or blackmail to make sexual advances—that is abuse.

If it is clear that the sexual interest is not welcomed and non-consensual but you continue anyway—that is abuse.

If the other person says “no” or backs away and recoils, and you continue—that is abuse.

If you are harassing someone so that they will engage in sexual activity—that is abuse.

If you force yourself on someone sexually and physically—that is abuse.

If you are using alcohol or drugs to intentionally cloud the other person’s mind so that they engage in sexual activity—that is abuse.

If the person is intimidated, fearful, or is motionless and you continue anyway—that is abuse.

Let’s also not forget that there are female sexual predators, too. Many women use power to make sexual advances, or are sexually abusive and inappropriate—this is not just a male issue.

While many think it is dark to talk about abuse, it is shedding light on something that has been kept in the darkness for too long.

Together we can change what tragically has somehow become widely accepted culture.

The #MeToo hashtag was launched on twitter by Alyssa Milano.

Milano explained,

“While I am sickened and angered over the disturbing accusations of Weinstein’s sexual predation and abuse of power, I’m happy—ecstatic even—that it has opened up a dialogue around the continued sexual harassment, objectification and degradation of women. To the women who have suffered any form of abuse of power, I stand beside you. To the women who have come forward against a system that is designed to keep you silent, I stand in awe of you and appreciate you and your fortitude. It is not easy to disclose such experiences, especially in the public eye. Your strength will inspire others. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for fighting this battle so hopefully my daughter won’t have to.”

#MeToo

There are various figures stating the amount of people who have been sexually assaulted; however, I have not quoted them, as I do not believe they are a true representation. It is almost impossible to measure how many have experienced some form of sexual abuse, as many do not report it, and even when they do, as happened with Harvey Weinstein, often there is no clear evidence of a crime, and the case is dropped.

I would say that almost every woman has experienced inappropriate or abusive sexual behavior, and a high percent of men too.

Abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone. Sexually predatory behavior has to end.

As a friend of mine, John Moore, today so eloquently explained:

“I am profoundly affected by virtually every woman I know posting ‘me too’ about sexual assault and harassment. I know it’s most likely every woman, just from the conversations I’ve had with female loved ones and women I’ve taught.

But it’s stunning to see it this ‘in your face,’ and I know that’s part of the point.

As men, we are uniquely situated and have an inherent responsibility to be a part of the solution. Beyond just being a decent human being who doesn’t harass or assault other human beings, there’s a lot more we can do:

1. We can call out, confront, and condemn victimizing behavior when we see it. It becomes about changing the culture where the norm was to sweep these things under the rug.

2. We can speak out, hunt down, bear witness, and help prosecute offenders. We can get involved in the movement to change the society where this behavior has flourished.

3. Maybe most importantly, we can examine ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs about women. ‘Real men’ are not threatened by the feminine, do not objectify, do not attack, do not use. Those things are about fear of a loss of power. Be an ally. Hold space for women, listen to them. Don’t be a dick!”

 

Please click this link for an extensive list of sites working to eliminate and eradicate sexual abuse and support those who have experienced it.

If you are ever unsure what constitutes abuse, remember this video:

 

Author: Alex Myles
Image: @elephantjournal
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron

4.2

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 8.2
Shares 10
Hearts 0.0
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 4.2
0 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
2
3k
Kevin Goodwin Oct 26, 2017 12:06am

When the word NO is used? Nothing is wrong with that word. The article itself admits that some people freeze and don't verbally express themselves when they are afraid (see, Scenario #2 in my comment). The same could apply to both scenarios. Where a person has expressly said NO, nothing more is needed.

Neil Crenshaw Oct 25, 2017 11:29pm

What's wrong with the simple word NO?

Lelyn Dy Oct 17, 2017 2:21pm

me too

Kevin Goodwin Oct 17, 2017 2:28am

At the risk of being absolutely skewered for asking this question, I will ask it because I know most men are too afraid to ask it (or will assume they know the answer). Preface: We know the men (on average) are not as keen at picking up non-verbal cues (and in many cases verbal ones as well). Also not terribly keen at picking up on Given that knowledge, how is it practical to put the onus on a man (especially a man who may be intoxicated) to recognize the following... 1. If it is clear that the sexual interest is not welcomed and non-consensual but you continue anyway—that is abuse. 2. If the person is intimidated, fearful, or is motionless and you continue anyway—that is abuse. I'm not asking this to be snarky or to be a dick, but the average man cannot tell when you change your hairstyle or when you are annoyed (but not yet angry). Do you think it is a realistic expectation for most men to understand non-oppositional, non-responsive behavior as "this is unwelcomed"? I am on your side for stopping sexual abuses and harassment, but there have to be CLEAR (to men) signals & boundaries to facilitate that. Dr. Oz is the exception and not the rule, so ladies please help us help the cause by coming up with some agreed upon signal that all men can recognize without having to interpret.

Jordin Kimberly Oct 17, 2017 1:34am

At last my happiness and joy has been restored through this email [email protected] as my husband who left me for another girl has finally come back good and still lovely to me , i want to use this time to give thanks to Dr Okojie who has use his love spell and prayers to bring back my ex lover and also share little about my rough story between me and my husband and the other girls , i got married to the man i love Sanchez June 23 2013 and we have been together ever since and we have lived happily, we both have a daughter , but this year 2017 when he traveled to new York on a business, things changed even when he was away he never called to say hi to me and my daughter and this was unlikely of him, because he loves our daughter to sky , so i began to suspect something wasn't right, but i waited for him to return to me in Canada, so i know what the problems was, only for Sanchez to come back asking for divorce, at first i thought he was joking , but with time i saw he was so serious on this, i tried to plead with him but nothing changed , i called my mom telling her about the situation and she said i should pray about it , i was depressed and devastated on this issues and was praying and looking for help to stop the divorce and save my marriage, i seeked help with many persons non could help , i continue with the search of help because i knew and have the feelings my man was not on his right senses because i know the man i married can never ask me for a divorce, so i kept on looking for solutions i spent almost all my savings seeking solution , until Juliana a colleague told me about Dr Okojie of [email protected], i never wanted to email him because many has taken money from me without giving me any good results, but when he gave her words about Dr Okojie i decided to give it a trial , contacted him and told him about myself , he told me that he will have me to make my husband stop the divorce and reunite us again , that he gave me three days after which everything will be back to it normal place for good , i did some few things he said i should do as instructed , and let him do his work i was at work on the 15th of July about 10 AM when i received letter from my husband that my husband has cancelled the divorce case and same day at about 12 noon my husband wrote me a sweet text , and this was how me and my husband came back and today we are better as one family , so i want to use this means to tell you all. contact Dr Okojie for any kind of relationship or marriage problems and i let him solve it for you just as he has done for me. you can also contact him if you are unable to bear children!. , his contacts Email; [email protected]

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.