Sunday, November 19, 2017
Really worth a full read.
Robert Lipsyte at TomDispatch
Beating Back the Bad Boys
.....The real job, the hard job, for all of us male bystanders, isn’t to rescue women, but to rescue other men from their own worst behavior and so prevent abuse in the first place, be it by a heroic and possibly dangerous personal intervention or the more difficult political mission of, say, passing an Equal Rights Amendment. One of the crises of contemporary manhood and contemporary bystanderdom, perhaps the very reason for our passivity, our cowardice, is the realization that most of the time we can’t even protect ourselves from the men who intimidate us, who take pleasure in treating us like "girls."
No wonder we, too, derive some pleasure from the precipitous falls of Harvey Weinstein, Leon Wieseltier, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, and the other celebs, politicians, and male eminences going down at the present moment. We sense with satisfaction that they’re finally paying for whatever they did or tried to do to women (or young men) sexually, for reducing them to powerless objects, just as they’ve always done, even if far less directly, to men like us, like me.
Women are finally rising up, spreading the net, pulling it tight. Maybe, at last, it’s our turn as well. So applaud #metoo, then raise #ustoo, where men can begin to be as courageous as the women who brought down the pigs. We have a lot of catching up to do.
We need to keep expanding the “Harvey effect” into all the corrupt and abusive pockets of politics, entertainment, and business, as perilous as that can sometimes be. It’s time, too, to begin bucking the trend of rewarding aggressive men.
And count on it, there will be a bro-lash. There are too many underdogs in the pack who think their fates are entwined with those of the alpha dogs, including those generals like White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in Washington, too many producers and actors in Hollywood, too many hedge-fund vice presidents in New York, too many engineers in Silicon Valley. But there are also millions of us dudes ready to become ex-bystanders, including old guys like me, who need to redeem ourselves from our histories with the Crazy Ronnies, Docs, and Shads, and young guys who need to be woken to the thrilling power of standing up to such bullies.......