I’ll be honest there are a lot of layers to the #MeToo movement. There are way too many for me to address in a single blog post. Since October, it feels as though there’s been a new story coming out each week with new nuances every time.
I’m going to start with a pretty basic one that hit home for me early on after this movement arose.
The same week that the #MeToo movement took off, I witnessed an incident of sexual harassment. The difference was that the harasser was female and the person being harassed was male. I was somewhat stunned as I watched it take place and I watched as the man fulfilled the erotic needs of this woman. I am not sure it entirely hit home for him that his job was on the line and that, if he didn’t comply, she would make his life miserable.
One of the aspects of male socialization and privilege is that men are so used to being agents in this world, it is sometimes difficult for them to see when others are taking advantage of them sexually.
I did not step in at the time for a variety of reasons. I merely witnessed.
A day or two after it happened, I wrote an email to my tantra mentor about what had happened and that I was having difficulty processing everything in the wake of the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein.
He responded by telling me that the woman in question did not believe she could ever truly be loved for herself and felt that the only way to get her needs met was through manipulation. Then he said, “The same is likely true for Harvey Weinstein and most other men who engage in sexual harassment.”
Boom! I got it. I saw that, despite the ease of demonizing Weinstein, he was likely a deeply wounded individual. It doesn’t make his behavior “okay,” but it does make it more relatable.
We can talk about laws and consent and what’s right and what’s wrong. That sort of discussion is inevitable and relatively useless. However, if you identify as male, and want sexual harassment towards women to stop, then look at your emotional wounds and those of your brothers.
It’s not about feeling sorry for women or worrying about how we are victimized. It’s about looking at the places where you think love cannot reach you; where you feel you have to manipulate to obtain the love and attention you want.