Sexual abuse, against any gender and in any form, is never acceptable. Cynics who say that the #MeToo hashtag is an inappropriate form of raising awareness to the issue are missing the point entirely.
I’d dare say that the real reason why so many women spoke out so strongly on social media about their own abuse stories is because the issue is not going away. If anything, it’s getting worse.
Society has become more and more sexualised, and young people are expected to “put out” to be a part of the social norm, regardless of the values being taught to them by their families. If young women, and men, don’t engage in the highly sexualised culture that is modern life, they are judged by their peers, and sometimes, the peers closest to them.
But here’s the other thing – those same peers judge the person when they speak out about the sexual abuse that occurs because of those high-pressure situations. Nobody talks about that, all the discussion surrounds the act of sexual abuse itself, and to hell with the circumstances which led to it.
Said circumstances cannot be defended. What the #MeToo movement revealed wasn’t anything our society didn’t know already, but it put the focus squarely (and perhaps unfairly) on men and their responsibilities surrounding this subject moving forward. Whilst stats show that both genders encounter sexual abuse, nobody can deny that women are in the higher category of victims.
Men Need To Look Closely At The #MeToo Movement
It’s time that more men starting having conversations about just why the horrendous rates of sexual abuse towards females are occurring.
There are multiple aspects to this argument. Perhaps the fear of judgement, being disowned by their friends and family, or even having to sit down and look into why these situations even happened in the first place. None of those reasons excuse anybody who sexually abuses another person, but it is relevant in terms of their mindset after the fact.
But then, you also have those who are just downright terrible people, with no morals and no regret for what they’ve done, and perhaps continue to do. That’s why we have a prison system here in New Zealand, because that’s exactly where those predators belong.
Good on the thousands of women who spoke out using #MeToo over the last few days. Now it’s time for men to have a deeper discussion about the issue and not be excused for refusing to do so.