Tish Tower said, “We are the granddaughters of the witches that you could not burn,” an important quote that’s been circulating, but I recently saw a similar one, “We are the granddaughters of the women you kept silent.” It rings true to this moment in time and we aren’t going to keep silent anymore.
In the wake of #MeToo and Kavanaugh, President Trump would have you believe that this is a scary time for men. However, if you take a look on the other side of this issue, things haven’t exactly been safe for women — ever. Even after the passage of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, statistics bear witness to the current culture of assault.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 19 percent of women in America will be raped, 15 percent will be stalked and 22 percent will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. So, at a time where this type of violence is so prevalent, it feels counterproductive to accuse the few victims that come forward of lying. There’s great irony in mixing victimization and entitlement to create an illusion that all men are in danger of being falsely accused, when it so rarely happens.
When we live in a time that the man who sits in our White House confessed on tape (and now denies) to how he was “automatically” attracted to pretty women and just starts to kiss them when he sees them, and how “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” And the public simply writes it off as “locker room talk,” justifying it with the innocent “boys will be boys” attitude, offensively suggesting the male gender is incapable of controlling their actions.
We should change the phrase to “predators will be predators” as a more accurate depiction, as to not deem violent/problematic behavior normal to an entire gender identity.
So, with that, when the man who holds the highest office publicly brags about NOT getting consent, it gives a sense of permission for others to do the same. This attitude perpetuates the culture around sexual assault.
The goal isn’t for men to be afraid, the goal is to make it so women aren’t. We’re calling out problematic behavior, we’re saying this attitude isn’t OK. We’re saying our daughters deserve better, our mothers deserved better, our grandmothers deserved better than this, and that we deserve more than this. Good men shouldn’t feel scared, good men should stand beside women and fight with them, and eliminate the culture that benefits no one.