"Me Too" Campaign

 I am loving the new "Me Too" campaign that was a response to Hollywood actresses coming forth and talking about the sexual harassment they endured from Harvey Weinstein and others. Bravo to co-author Tomi-Ann Roberts (Sexualization of Girls Task Force Report) for telling her story too. What seems to be blogworthy about this campaign is the response to those who come forth. The responses sometimes seem inappropriate and as if the listener doesn't "get it."  To get it means that in this groundswell of "Me Too's" you realize that this is commonplace, the status quo, the little murders, if you will, that women have to endure throughout their teens and young adulthood.  When someone responds with hopes for "healing" or "I'm so sorry for your suffering" they are placing the writer in a victim category that medicalizes and personalizes the experience. It's as if the crowd shouting out that this is part of rape culture and has to stop, is reduced to a suffering individual who has PTSD and needs your empathy and support.  But the vast majority of women writing "me too" on Facebook are not suffering from PTSD; they are pissed! Angry! Irritated! And when they say "me too" almost all are speaking not of a single sexual assault, but multiple ones from the boob grabbing in middle school to the doctor who put his hand on your thigh when you went in for a sore throat to the guys whose method of seduction is to pull it out for your admiration to the attempted and completed rapes. Right now my research group is working on what bystanders did and didn't do in sketchy sexual situations, using the framework of the SECS-C (sexual ethics) to understand their reasoning. Yesterday we went through 200 short essays and 40 interviews. One could conclude at the end of it that men are creeps. But in these essays we read about women not helping other women because of their tendency to slut-shame, and upstanding men stopping a guy friend from doing something that's totally wrong. We read about women who called upon "girl code" to intervene, and men who talked back to the guy who called him a "bitch" and said "don't be a cockblocker." Toxic masculinity exists. But not all men inhale the poison air, and some women, even those who proclaim "me too" haven't stood up for other women.  But we're changing that now. Calling out these acts as BOTH all too common and UNETHICAL rather than damaging to women's self-esteem or body image or mental health is the way to go. It is plain wrong and yes, those who experience oppression and unethical acts do suffer mental health consequences, but the point is IT IS WRONG. And the antidote to toxic masculinity isn't feminism although that's good too, it's ETHICS, sexual ethics. And sexual ethics needs to be nurtured and taught, hence, the SECS-C! (You knew I'd get back to that, didn't you?) Thanks for reading.