Guys, the time is now.
Let me explain.
The obvious. The exposure of Weinstein, Cosby, Trump and others in the last few years. They represent the very tip of a very deep iceberg. Their behavior exists in offices, car dealerships, schools, churches, yoga studios, fitness gyms, photo shoots, casting rooms, pretty much anywhere there are women.
But blaming and pointing fingers may make people accountable and bring awareness but it does not solve the problem. News never solves anything. It just creates a lot of noise and fear. Because it’s easy to just watch from behind a screen and agree but not do anything.
When a woman decides to gain forty pounds to purposely make herself unattractive so men won’t bother her, it’s is a problem.
When women have to consider if what they wear will determine if they will be touch, groped, or harassed, it’s a problem.
When one out of six women will be raped or attempted to be raped in their lifetime, it’s a problem.
Layer one is the behavior. The behavior of men and how that directly impacts the behavior of women.
As a therapist, I’ve coached thousands of women in the last decade, all ages from teens to 50’s, and I would say ninety percent fall under #metoo.
And I’ve seen the result of how those events have shaped their beliefs about themselves, the world, and of course men, and how those beliefs ripple into all areas of their lives including love and relationships.
Sexual harassment / assault is a form of bullying. It’s a power thing. And when you bully someone, you are taking something away from them. Their voice. Their freedom. Their safety. Their self esteem. Their power.
And their wiring.
When these type of things happen at a young age, it lays tracks, wires people in a way where later in life they find themselves sleeping with the enemy, because it feels familiar, because they lost their sense of worth. You become attracted to what hurt you. You want their approval and validation. You mistake aggression for desire and impulsiveness for sexy. Now you’re in a toxic relationship that will set you up for shitty experiences and distort your visions of love and healthy.
When this happens, yes one gets angry and wants to punch faces, or kick balls, but she also internalizes. She will tie the event to her worth. She will feel embarrassed. She will feel shame and guilt. She will become afraid. Now instead of being love, she will walk this life holding up a shield.
This is the poison that has been injected into veins without consent.
The trauma is now a virus and it has eaten her self worth and set her into a fight or flight state, no matter how extreme or subtle, she is now wired to be at a lower frequency. She is grayed out. This will impact her relationships, especially the one with herself. She will have more trouble expressing herself, drawing boundaries, building herself a safe container. She will have trouble with trust, low self esteem, body issues, eating disorders, depression, and so on.
It’s time to draw one.
Because this is not a women issue. This is a people problem because it impacts relationships. It impacts our daughters. It impacts you and your relationships and quality of life. So the person you’re with or interested in investing in, the mother of your children, your soulmate, your best friend, most likely has or will be a #metoo and that or those events will spread into the relationship she has with you. In a thousand different ways, some subtle some obvious.
So, what are we supposed to do? I mean we can’t help it if other men are bullies, sexually inappropriate, and abuse their power. Right?
This is not about other men. This is about you and your contribution to this world. Being the first domino. Believing in something. It’s about your own definitions about yourself, building your own self respect and self esteem through action. Not just watching the unfolding from behind the yellow tape. It’s time to be a real fucking man.
The #metoo thing is going to fade, but the problem will still be there. Nothing changes if nothing changes. So now’s the time to stand.
What does that look like?
Each man needs to define that for himself. For me, everything starts with looking inward. Taking ownership. Although I’ve never sexually harassed or assaulted anyone, I have blurred boundaries. I have stared a little too long. I have been in relationships where I didn’t make her feel safe. I have put pressure on someone to be sexual. I have been controlling. I have judged women for their bodies.
My stand looks like -
This is where it all begins. I always try to check mine. What’s the energy I’m putting out? Do my intentions line up with my words and actions?
There is a shortage of communication these days. It’s so easy to hide behind our phones. What connects us also disconnects us. We are social verbal creatues. Without constant communication, we lose ourselves, close our hearts, and live in our heads. When you’re not communcating, you are keeping people in the dark which makes them feel unsafe. I do my best to always communicate. I always try to be transparency and vulnerable. Men show themselves. Boys hide.
Am I hearing what they are not saying? Because listening is about more than words. It’s about hearing someone’s heart. It’s about acknowledging and considering their story and where they’re at. It’s about accepting someone’s truth and validating their feelings.
Am I judging who someone is based on what happened? Am I judging someone on their history or sexual history? When you judge someone based on their past, you are empowering the abuser. And taking power away from who is in front of you. You are contributing to the problem. Not help solving it. You are feeding the pattern.
It doesn’t matter if you’re dating someone, in a relationship, in a ten marriage, or engaging with a co-worker, friend, a friend of a friend, or a stranger, all these contribute to making a woman feel safe.
Call to action.
I have launched a tee shirt campaign where 100 % of profits go to free life coaching and therapy sessions for women to process what happened. Men, get your #heard shirt and send me a pic so I can post. Click here to STAND.