I was naive enough to believe that I'd never have to vet men on such a basic rubric. I wondered if there was a perfect thing to say in light of this kind of news? Am I settling by not having someone who would’ve simply texted me, saying, 'FUCK THIS'? I thought about the time I asked him why he gives so much money to the NFL when they hire men with records of domestic violence, and he said that he loves to watch the games for the strategy. I could understand why he'd be hesitant to dismiss something that he's loved for such a long time, but it's a privilege for people to ignore things like that if it means they get to keep doing what's comfortable.A man's proximity to a sexual assault shouldn't dictate his response. (To be honest, I started it, got exhausted, and exed out of the window.) I finished reading the entire statement when I got another text: 'Weird to see an actual apology.' I replied saying that, actually, Louis didn’t apologize. He told me that at least Louis’ actions had never escalated to rape, but he probably wouldn’t be a fan anymore. Why didn’t he see this situation the same way I did? Of course, I haven’t cast my dad aside as not being good enough to women.Honestly, if he had responded differently, it would have been hard to continue to date him. It’s been sobering, plus an opportunity for deeper communication. As I speak up about these issues for the first time, my boyfriend, in turn, is seeing things in a new light. I felt really empowered by women approaching the media with their own vulnerable stories, and I felt even more empowered by the women in my life sharing their own stories, particularly with the #Me Too hashtag on social media.If he had responded in condescension or acted as if it didn't matter, that would have been an issue for me. It’s taken intense effort to stay with our conversations rather than bolt in fear, frustration, and sadness over feeling misunderstood. When my boyfriend and I began dating over a year ago, and immediately had the most open, intuitive, authentic communication I’ve ever had with a man, we were thrilled. Something in me clicked one night, and I typed up my own personal story for my blog in hopes that it would help me process and move forward… Well, the guy I was just starting to date happened upon the blog (girls aren’t the only ones to cyberstalk pre-date, I suppose)—and he asked me about it.Does he hold these men beyond reproach because he respects their work?Or does he condemn them because he's a decent human being? She was kind and helpful and reminded me that no one can be a perfect ally. The guy who played me Ani Di Franco as a kid and taught me to be financially independent.If a man who works in the next cubicle over assaults someone, he should believe the survivor just as much as he would were it a man outside his immediate world. Even through my annoyance, I could see my partner did some of the right things when it mattered.
I may have offered a very brief explanation of the challenges women face when reporting assault and harassment, but then let it go. I’ll take temporary discomfort over the pain of silencing myself any day.""I’d never told any of my past boyfriends—or dates—that I had been sexually assaulted in college.I was quite wary that he, too, would be a 'shitty media man.'My litmus test was simple: casually mention scandals in the media and gauge his reaction. While it should've been the bare minimum for him to react how he did, it's become so rare to find a man willing to listen to my story and not ask invasive questions I wasn't ready to answer or offer refutations about what they would've done in that moment.While it didn't work out with that person, it was heartening to know that there are men—albeit few and far between, I'm afraid—who are fighting back against the 'boys' club' culture that's so pervasive within the media.Instead, he was subjected to a long rant about how such reports often fall on deaf ears, how reporting often creates more conflict in the woman's life than in the perpetrator's, how shame is dealt unfairly in such situations. It had never come up and I had this sense of shame built around the ordeal.
I stopped short of delving into my own experiences—I wanted him to understand this on an intellectual level, not just out of care for me. I tried not to give him too much credit for simply listening (though in the end it mattered). I'm not so quiet now.""As the sexual harassment scandals expose society’s blind spots, in turn, my man’s blind spots are coming to light. Incrementally, we’re finding deeper respect, mutual vulnerability, and understanding. I wanted the guys I dated to like me—not to see me as a girl carrying around baggage. But, when the Harvey Weinstein news (and the whole slew of men that accusations that followed other men followed suit), things changed for me.
released its first report on Weinstein back in early October of 2017, the news has been flooded with high profile men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment.