No doubt seeing our various friends and family members state how they, too - in addition to countless women in Hollywood - were victims of sexual assault or harassment left us heartbroken. The plague of toxic masculinity, arrogance, sadism, and insecurity has created such a vortex that makes females everywhere afraid to walk down a city street day or night. And it was entirely our fault.
But right now, that sadness is about to abate and be replaced with anger. To every man who has been a harasser, an accomplice, a blind eye, and perpetuated a culture where this is the norm, buckle the hell in.
And right off the bat, yes, I know, this happens to men, too. My heart goes out to the male victims, truly it does. I was in an abusive relationship, so I'm no stranger to that realm, but right now, the problem is the overwhelming majority of incidents concerning male harassment of women. So that's what we focus on. The problem that's persisted since the literal dawn of humankind is the priority. Here goes:
How dare you watch your friends do this, sitting back and laughing?
How dare you puff out your chest when someone flirts with your sister - because they're nothing but an extension of you - but never recognized the problem of doing the same with anyone you saw as an object and plaything of your insecurities.
How dare you, at the moment someone confides in you that some guy poked and prodded them, tell them they're overreacting and that's life. You've never had to live that life.
How dare you shout that the victim should have come out earlier, when not only is it their call, but you remain blissfully ignorant of the puppeteers who ensured that silence?
How dare you feel so entitled to do what you please to a woman because of, what? Because you have different chromosomes? Pathetic.
How dare you immediately sympathize with the punishment for the accused - not even bothering with the accuser. I genuinely pity you if your compassion is so warped.
How dare you use your power for the sole sake of belittling women, your insecurities made bare when you gained that power through a system that always valued men more? But then again, male insecurity has always been the root of many problems through history.
How dare you feed into a culture that has made this occurrence regular? "Be a man - or you're a woman"? You help devalue women, you unlock the gates for the predators to crawl in. This is on you, and it doesn't matter if you've never sexually harassed someone - you gave them the key.
How dare you call such acts a joke, when if they happened to you, it would be anything but. If someone told you to lighten up after that? You'd rage up and start a fight with them.
How dare you claim that just because you were kind or amicable to a woman, they owe you sexual favors. You're not a "nice guy." You're a petty, little child, whining and throwing a tantrum when you don't get a gift every week. You deserve nothing for common decency; it's its own reward.
And how dare you sigh and shake your head, without doing anything to stand up to the problem. Because you don't want to be a wuss and a tattletale. Because the people doing it helped you out or they're your friends. If it's never affected you, it's not a problem. Right?
Wrong. Get new friends. Get new associates. For god's sake, you want to be a man? Don't sit back any longer and chortle "boys will be boys!"
Raise your son to be empathetic, not conquering. Stand up and show everyone that this bullshit won't be tolerated. Let no rapist, molester, harasser, or abuser walk away quietly with their crimes in their back pocket when they have denied their victim the same peace and normality - hold those crimes to the world.
When you see the signs in a friend or bystander, stick your hand out and refuse to let them continue. It is your duty as a human being. If you aren't sick of these occurrences, if the recent Hollywood reveals haven't left you nauseous, then you're part of the goddamned problem. Expect the same indifference if the day comes you find yourself calling for help.
Perpetrators? Should it happen that you get caught, your acts revealed, don't even ask for pity becuase of the consequences. You never considered those for any of your victims.