A special note for all the Samanthas of our world
The recent revelations about the indignities women have had to face in the workplace are very important.
My suggestion about learning to say “no” could well be the first step you take in defending yourself if you experience any kind of attack. Your determination not to be a victim has to be decided before you are confronted with an abuser. Practice your response, and know what you will do, so you don’t have to think twice. A swift reply of this kind would be a surprise to any would-be abuser. One characteristic of such men is they cannot imagine anyone not wanting them. They 61
don’t expect rejection. Make it swift and certain.
There is one other thing I would add. Secrecy is the major weapon abusers wield. In the event of any unsolicited and unwanted forced intimacies, do the following:
• write down your experience immediately
• post it somewhere
• make sure you share it with others
If you do these three things, your word cannot be challenged or, if it is, the abuser has an uphill struggle convincing the rest of us.
A special note for all the Sams of our world The “Me Too” movement is long overdue. I rejoice that women are finding their voices and calling a stop to men’s unsavory behavior that spans centuries and is no new thing.
However, changes in our social awareness over the last fifty years have thrown light on a number of dark corners. The result is that people are more aware, and women are more willing to say “No” and then publish the facts far and wide.
This issue is not going away. Unwanted responses by men are unlikely to stop, and unless men come to grips with the problem there will be no change.
Men are the problem
Ninety nine percent of rapes, sexual abuse, physical assault, and murders are perpetuated by men. What is wrong with us men? Sometimes, when I hear of one more horrific attack on a woman or, even worse, a child, I feel a terrible sense of shame for us. We have got to look at what being a man is all about, and why men get sidetracked into abusive behavior. I say sidetracked, because men do not start off intending to be dysfunctional in this way. Every man I know would like recognition, appreciation, and the intimacy of friendship with another person. Often that intention gets derailed. What goes wrong?
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