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‘Me too’...shedding displaced shame
Yes, You, the entitled, privileged man used to getting your way; You, the executive who defied your abusive father’s contemptuous prediction that you would amount to nothing; You, the engineer, bullied in school; You, the businessman who built a wall around your heart after watching your father cheat, betray, abandon, throw out your mother; You, the surgeon with the absent father; You, ‘da Man’ with no power other than you are a man, superior to half the human race.
You, you sad, damaged, angry, bullied, weak little boys, the boys who heard all their lives that real men don’t cry, but hit hard; You who have fossilised your unexamined pain, inside the predatory man you are now.
You, who have used your position, your physical strength, your financial power, your executive position, your power, your charm, your God complex, to emotionally, sexually, physically abuse a woman in your care to feel better about yourselves.
You, with your Trump-like golf, poker, tennis, football, cricket, locker room, rum shop guffaws about women’s body parts like objectified dehumanised dolls.
You, who have groped a woman in your office, in your car, in borrowed rooms, whispered things to a woman you know will bring her down on her knees.
You, who want to possess the flying, soaring, free spirited intellect and beauty of a woman and break her down till you discard her with disgust because once you have finished with her she is broken, and weakness sickens you, reminding you of your own.
When actress Ashley Judd accused media mogul, Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in the New York Times this October she unleashed a tsunami of pain in women globally, starting with over 40 accusations over three decades, by heavyweight stars including Angelina Jolie and Reese Witherspoon.
Hard on its heels actress Alyssa Milano spread the phrase ‘Me Too’, tweeting “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
In 24 hours more than half a million tweets and 12 million Facebook posts used the hashtag, trending in the US, UK, India, Pakistan, Europe.
The sea of women, oceans of them, who shrank, wanted to die, in dark places, infected by your corrupt advances, with your lies, came forward. Many more will come. Their ocean of tears gathered, its salt suddenly allowing women to float effortlessly in the light.
We are creeping out of the dark, knowing we were complicit in our own abuse, because we believe in love, and you knew all along it wasn’t that, not even lust, it’s power you were after. Power to crush. Your drug for your unexamined lives.
We are floating, standing, in sunlight, looking at you, unflinching, in the eye, saying ‘me too.’
We are shedding displaced shame that always belonged to you, the predator.
We understand the Cinderella story did women a terrible wrong, that there are mostly frogs, and princes love only themselves.
The fairy tale robbed us of agency–kept us from knowing nobody would save us but an equal, respectful relationship we must meet half way.
We understand that our own daddy issues, fears of abandonment, childhood abuse, led us to you, you who only repeated the cycle.
We are asking, ‘what have we done to men, that they can’t bear weakness in themselves, in one another, can’t look at themselves, can’t be intimate unless it’s illicit?’
The survival of the human race depends on how we define evil. Abuse is a corruption of love. It is corrosive, and anti-life. If you can’t take responsibility love dies in us all.
Weinstein apologized. “I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.”
Dear abusive man, If Weinstein, the shamed emblem of global sexual abuse can take responsibility for his actions, can you?
Look out for columnist Ryan Hadeed on Tuesday.