The #Metoo movement is a necessary correction for a long overdue problem. The predators have pushed the pendulum too far, and women everywhere are learning that they can fight back and win. If you haven’t watched the emotional poem by pop singer Halsey on sexual abuse, you should. It is compelling, heartbreaking, and moving. I legitimately felt her pain when I watched it, and as a man, I felt disheartened and ashamed of my gender.
That is, until I realized the obvious: That I’m a man who has never done anything like that to a woman. Not only have I never done anything like that, but I’ve never even considered the possibility that I could do something like that. What’s more, there are millions of other men out there who would never abuse, take advantage of, or force a woman to do something without her consent.
As much as it’s needed for women like Halsey to stand up and share, it’s just as important for good men to stand up and say, we’re not all like that. There are good men out there. Most of them aren’t flashy. They don’t often wear $150 jeans or drive a BMW. But they are there, among the sharks, willing to show how a real man treats a woman.
They are men of integrity, chivalry, and respect for right and wrong. They are sensible, patient, and kind. They are men who love their mothers, sisters, and daughters. And when they see wrongdoing and injustice done to a woman, they dust off their old gloves and step back into the ring. Not because they see women as inferior to fight their own battles, but because it’s natural for the good guys to fight the bad guys.
But those men need you to help them. They need you to allow them to reveal who they really are to you. Good men are afraid to say anything to you right now because they have been conditioned to hesitate by feminists who are quick to take offense. They’ve been accused of patriarchy, mansplaining, and manspreading. These men want to open doors, give up their seats, and pay for dinner, but are unsure if you even want them to. They want to help you scale the mountains you wish to climb, but are afraid you’ll scoff at their helping hand. They want to be the river bank, holding the sides up as you flow through, but are afraid you don’t want their strength.
So when they step in on your behalf to tell another man to back off, don’t be so quick to cry patriarchy. It isn’t meant to demean, it’s their way of showing that they see you as something special. A woman who they value, and wish to stand beside in your battles, fighting adversity together.