Ever since the "Me Too" movement sparked, I've heard countless men ask the silliest questions: "Are we even allowed to hug women anymore?"
"What if she mistakes my kindness for harassment?"
"Why should I live in fear of being accused?"
The men who ask these questions are extremely uninformed about the movement and what it's trying to accomplish. The one thing that stood out to me the most about their panic was the fear of having to change because of the movement. And honestly, why shouldn't they?
Women across the nation often have to change their behaviors around men, especially if they seem dangerous. Instead of simply walking down a street, women often have to clutch their keys between their fingers and take note of each person they pass, trying desperately to avoid eye contact.
Women have to constantly cover their drinks at bars out of fear of being roofied. Women have to go to the restroom in groups because leaving one woman alone could end badly. Women have to dress a certain way around certain men because seeing too much skin on a lady makes them uncomfortable. Women have to constantly show kindness to male strangers with the fear that they may attack if they're not thanked for holding a door open.
Women have to adjust their everyday behaviors to ensure they aren't killed or raped by a psychopath because it happens so often, so why shouldn't men have to adjust their behaviors as well? Make it equal!
Instead of allowing men to get away with intense rape fetishes, leading them to commit dangerous acts, they should be humiliated for it. Instead of controlling the way women dress, men should seek therapy for their constant public arousal at clavicles and shoulders.
Instead of thinking that a woman who doesn't smile or say thank you for opening the door is a "disgusting bitch," maybe just shrug it off and carry on. Instead of constantly hugging every woman they see, maybe men should just give them handshakes like they do with other men. Instead of catcalling women on the street or following them around, men should mind their own business.
What many men don't realize is that the "Me Too" movement looks to exterminate the extreme. Yes, men can still say "hello" to their female coworkers, as long as it's not followed up with "your ass looks great in that skirt."
I know that not all men are crazy like this, but if every man helped end this cycle of toxic and dangerous activity, the world would be much better off. It is the men who we really need to step up.
So men, when you hear your friend say something creepy about a woman, call him out on it. Shame your friends for "joking" about rape. Shame them for proudly calling strangers who owe them nothing "bitches" and "whores" when they don't smile at them. Shame them for stalking women online after they were turned down. Shame them for constantly making women sex objects, and let them know that it's not funny.
It's time for men to change their behavior for the better.