Here I’m re-posting what I wrote on facebook as I worked to contend with the pain of this powerful #metoo moment. It is important to be clear about this. I’m not writing from abstraction. I hold positions of leadership. I seek to call people to a higher standard. When I fail, when I make mistakes or miss my blind spots, the impact is greater, and messier. This is a commitment that comes out of real hurt and real learning.
Because like my friend Mo said:
“There is a broad spectrum of patriarchal violence any of us may have participated in through our words, actions, or inactions - from the most heinous to the most banal. In a culture of violence, the absence of words, silence, can be a further violence. None of us are free of culpability.”
Because the objectification started in middle school, even as a good kid with good religious parents who sought to teach the opposite - this sickness is bred by the culture.
And because it wasn’t enough to get politicized and call myself a feminist when I still wouldn’t quite listen to what the sisters were saying.
And because it wasn’t enough to experience Grace and become all sorts of spiritual, when I still failed to fully understand role, and power, and the sacredness of boundaries.
#itwasme every time I failed to disrupt the patriarchal banter and each time my energy was other than safe, welcoming and caring to the women who are around me.
#itwasme and because #itwasme #IWill:
- LISTEN. Believe. Feel. See the painful infuriating truths that women are sharing.
- Devote this lifetime to the work of atonement, to undoing patriarchy within myself and in this world that we live in.
- Be a real father to a son that will one day be a man.
- Become the sort of man that women want to be around, specially those that have been hurt, and any who might want to see and be with a radically different alternative.
- Bring men together to heal from this sickness. And I’m not just talking about the men who call themselves “woke” and are hip to the “right” words in this discourse. I’m talking about men who are not in this game, but can be moved, and want to be moved, and need to be reached in ways that don’t shame them. This is a core calling, and I’m committing to it.
#itwasme and because #itwasme #IWill