Seeing all of the stories from women on my timelines makes me angry. Angry that so many people are victimized by male violence; that men hurt so many people. Angry for women who have to go through harassment and assault. Angry for the men and genderqueer folks who have to go through harassment and assault, and often don’t have the same access to resources and support afterwards. Angry that these hashtags and trends are cyclical, that men needed to be told #yesallwomen, and shown #whatwereyouwearing over and over again. Angry that when black women have been saying these things all along, white women only responded when the words came from another white woman.
And mostly, I am angry that women and survivors are required to open up, be vulnerable, and relive their trauma to bring awareness to a problem that is not their fault. Men, where is your vulnerability? Where are your confessions? Men need to engage in these conversations. I am not interested in your “likes”. I am especially not interested in your silence. I am interested in your open and honest self reflection, and your commitment to speaking with other men.
I have 467 Facebook friends. 227 (48%) of them identify as men. After I posted my #metoo, four men responded. FOUR.
Now, sure, we’ll assume that 50% didn’t get on facebook that day. 113 men. And let’s say that only half of those who were on facebook actually saw the post. 56 men. That still means that only 7% of men who saw my post responded.
In contrast, 23 women/genderqueer friends responded to my post. 240 people, again, let’s say half didn’t get on facebook. 120 people. Half of those saw the post: 60 people. 23 out of 60 is 38%. 38% compared to 7%, gentlemen.
I want you to know that I hear your silence. I hear it endlessly.
Written by Kellie Koester.