Men Say …
Men use similar tropes on why #MeToo may go too far. It’s time to break these down.
It’s time for more men to start saying, “enough is enough,” “I believe her,” and “I will step out of my comfort zone and speak up so that others feel empowered to follow me.”
Men will make mistakes. But mistakes are much better than silence. Mistakes are better than condoning misconduct, harassment, bias or abuse.
I find myself fighting indifference even on some company boards where misconduct has occurred, been identified and has been swept under the rug of being “a gray area.” As a board member, sadly you don’t always have the power alone to act on your own and your motives can be questioned, too. Founder CEOs can have more power than you might imagine.
In any event, I was reflected on Twitter tonight about the disappointing and SHOCKING (to me) stories I read tonight and this about Russell Simmons, Salma Hayeck’s op ed about Harvey Weinstein, potential misconduct by Tavis Smiley that follows Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis CK, Shervin Pishevar and so many others that my head is going to explode. The stories about Dustin Hoffman — so hard to read about how he tormented this young woman and made her life miserable.
Every day when I see names “trending on Twitter” I think to myself, “Oy. Did they die or harass?” That’s my starting point. Do you find yourself having the same thought?
I suppose all this has done is shine a light on what so many women have known their whole lives and with this cloud lifted I feel unable to shut up. So my rant on Twitter …
1/ I believe that through the pain of women coming forward and men losing power the equilibrium in society will permanently shift for the better. Still, there are disappointing things that I still hear men saying when women aren't around …
2/ Men say, "They're taking this too far. Now anybody can make an accusation and reputations will be ruined." There will be some press mistakes but overwhelmingly stories are vetted, verified & fact-checked for multiple and credible sources.
3/ Men say, "Women are just going to lose because now. I won't want to be in a private meeting with a woman for fear of what she could accuse me of." What a pile of shite thought. If you're a respectful person you have nothing to fear
4/ Men say, "Fewer women will be hired. Men will be afraid of hiring a senior woman for fear of being sued." Men who don't hire women will be obsolete. As more women gain power you won't be able to hide from data, statistics & patterns of discrimination.
5/ Men say, "She only got hired because they needed a female partner." I hear same about affirmative action. These same men never acknowledge the white privilege of legacy admissions at universities & internships they got through Daddy. A qualified woman is a qualified woman.
6/ Men say, "I don't want to speak up. I agree with what you say but I don't want to be attacked." True. You will be attacked for speaking up. Imagine what it must be like for women to speak up against powerful men. Face the online trolls!
7/ Men say, "You should hire the best candidate – we don't need quotas" True. We don't need quotas. But given the imbalance in leadership roles we're going to have to lean on the scales and break some shit to make sure things really change.
8/ When I spoke up and wrote this blog post on sexual misconduct I got trolled hard by a few women who said I was patronizing. It stung for a moment. I brushed off the dust & thought "it comes with the territory of speaking up." https://t.co/ao9CRFdPlX