Post “Me Too” World – Through Male Perspective

A few years ago, the world was shocked by confessions made by several women through the “Me Too” movement. Every day we would be greeted with a story from a woman about how she was sexually abused by someone one prominent. The topic wasn’t something new for us because, for centuries, it has been a problem within our society. As the world evolved, people were braver to speak their truth, especially women. It gave a platform for many of us to our stories. The stories we hid for years as we feared the uncertainty of the outcome.

The phrase “Me Too” was used in this context on social media in 2006 by Tarana Burke as a platform for other victims/survivors to share their experiences. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, she was raped and sexually assaulted as a child and a teenager. The movement got its much-deserved fame when Alyssa Milano and other women began using it to tweet about the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. The phrase and hashtag developed into a broad-based and international movement. The Me Too movement calling out perpetrators in recent times or even in the past is empowering. Many women could share their voices and raise collective awareness of what we go through each day. We deserve it and will need it for this generation and the generations after us – the legacy needs to prevail.

I am a feminist, and I believe in equality, so I will not turn a blind eye when I see injustice, even if it is happening for the opposite sex. However, I will not dive in-depth into the Me Too movement or the founder of the victims. Today, we going to look at it from a different perspective. From the male perspective – how do they see it? What does it mean for them? And how is life for them after this movement went viral? After some research, I found articles on how some people took advantage of this movement and falsely accused individuals they disliked. I don’t know those involved personally, but I want to understand how the world after “Me Too” looks like for the men of our world. So, I reached out to a good friend of mine. I knew he would be interested because we had brief debates on this topic after the viral movement and the false allegation. Just a little back story to set the account straight.

I found it scandalous“, his response when I asked what his reaction to the stories from the #Metoo movement was. “Like okay, this person is involved, and that person is a victim, so it became more like a scandal“, he explains further on the statement earlier. I agree with him; even my first thought on this was scandalous.

I do believe the stories are true. There are too many of them, so they must be true“. The “Me Too” movement did make some changes, it revealed the true colours of some prominent people, but I don’t think it made any significant change. However, I do think it helped the victims to speak up, either offline or online, which I find is incredible; I have seen it a lot happening online, and it allows them to find a group or community“.

His answers so far do have little male perspective; however, they were also practical. I believe the movement helped many share their traumas and have a community that understands what they went through, but not all cases resolved. The next thing I was curious to know if he thinks all of this was a simple thing that made into a big issue, “No, I don’t think this is a small issue, but I do think it is common. As in, I know it happens, and the reaction was indeed appropriate. They didn’t blow it out of proportion”. I didn’t expect that but was glad that he thought it was necessary. 

The problem is that many people don’t understand when something is funny and when it crosses the line and starts making another person uncomfortable. The subtle, nonchalant things sooner or later become a huge issue when no one calls it out at the beginning stage. And before you know, someone takes advantage of this situation.” he went on to share this. I neither agree nor disagree with this statement, but I understand where he was coming from. People need to speak up when something terrible is happening, but again, not everyone is courageous. 

He then further explains, “There are situations where women are okay with certain gestures, but people need to be mindful about what they are saying and pay attention to the reaction from the other person. The work atmosphere should be comfortable for both genders. It’s not right to label someone as overacting or dismissing their experience as nothing. If someone is not outspoken, their actions can be a guide. People need to respect that”. I couldn’t agree more on this.

Still, I was also curious to know if he has been in a situation where someone he knows took advantage of a co-worker. “I have never been in such a situation. Still, my co-worker did share a story where her superior kissed her on the cheeks. I find this wrong because nobody goes around kissing people. I was dumbfounded by this statement and immediately understood that it wasn’t a rare case, so I went on with the following question. I wanted to know if the “Me Too” movement changed his interaction with women apart from his family members. He took a few seconds before answering, “Yes, you can say that. I had to be more careful with what I am sending to my female friends because I don’t want to sound like a pervert, even if harmless banter. Words can get lost in translation, especially through text messages”

This got me into a deep thought because, in a world where everyone should feel safe, we still have people who need to be aware of the simplest things to ensure they will not end up in trouble. This applies to both gender, but I am also glad about it because this leaves a tinier room for perverted men to take advantage of women and make it seem like they were “kidding”. Call me selfish, but I am happier that men need to be more cautious with how they speak and behave with a woman because sometimes women are not comfortable, and they aren’t being vocal about it either.

This led to my final question; I wanted to know what he thinks is the drawback of this campaign? To which he answered, “False allegation and not sticking through an accusation“. I asked him to explain further to understand his statement. “While there are many actual accusations, there were also some false ones. People took advantage of this situation to get back at someone who once did them wrong.

And in some cases, they drop the whole accusation once it goes viral. Why?Once you make a statement about someone, many people are involved and invest their time to help the victim get the justice they deserve. Midway, they dropped it without a valid reason.  This takes away the essence of the movement. While on the other side, the supposed “perpetrator” has to go through a whole ordeal through social media, newspapers and televisionAnd once cases like these go viral, the media immediately jump in to make the life of the “perpetrator” a living hell, but what if the person is not at fault? The same goes for the victim. I mean, imagine the ordeal they have to go through because of a bunch of irresponsible people. The trauma that they have to carry for the rest of their lives, that’s absolute torture. There are cases where people do it because they can, and leave to another country while the person who did nothing lost everything”.

I couldn’t help but ponder upon what he said. It is not wrong and indeed a valid point, and I have read and watched similar cases, so I know where he is coming from. It is essential to understand that something like that can shake the movement’s value because once the credibility has been touched, it will be difficult to contest future similar cases. After all, the doubt lingers around.

Many more questions were asked, and truthful answers were received, but I cannot add to this blog post as what is written is quite a lot to digest. Nevertheless, I treasure them because it’s not every day that you get to talk to someone who isn’t afraid to share their honest opinion. I might consider adding them into a different blog post altogether, but for now, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much I enjoyed writing it.

What do you think about the world post “Me Too” movement? Share your thought below; I’d love to know!

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