Friday, October 20, 2017




    Here's just a few of the powerful men deserving of the walk of shame alongside Harvey Weinstein- R. Kelly, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen,  Anthony Weiner, Bill O'Reilly, and Roger Ales. Add to this, plenty of less than public players and stacks of rape and abuse files in every police department in the country and the #Metoo hashtag (that was started 10 years ago) takes on more and more urgency in this most recent viral incarnation. Peering out of one good eye, unable to hunt, chop wood or even have sex, I'm left with CNN and social media to entertain myself and look inward at my own flaws and inadequacies on a variety of levels. Between hurricanes, mass shootings, impending nuclear war, and a steady diet of Trump's sociopathic narcissism, blink and you'll miss something. One eye is just not sufficient.
   Almost every woman I've ever gone out with, married or cohabited with had at least one episode of sexual abuse at the hands of a creepy uncle, neighbor, ex boyfriend or complete stranger. So when these me too testimonials and confessions played out, I wasn't too surprised. Reading all this history in order to tell my family's story, it became glaringly obvious how oppressed women and children (of all colors) have been throughout history. Slavery, of course, is the most horrific of all institutions,  that even today continues across the globe, serving to exploit women sexually and otherwise.  It has always been, and still is, women of color who suffer the most. It's only an accident of birth that I'm a white man and not a black woman. My position of privilege is secure, but that doesn't mean I can't be introspective and use my tiny white man's brain for self examination, reflection and empathy. So did I? Was I? Will I? Have I ever? Me too?
    Along with the outpouring of support that these victims of sexual abuse have garnered, there has also been a grumbling of disappointment concerning the male response to the hashtag. Why aren't more men stepping forward to either confess their sins or tell their own stories of abuse? It's a little like trying to answer the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" It's tricky to wade into this hashtag pool. But I'll try. I have no abusive incident to share. I've searched my memory banks,and although I have been in less than healthy relationships from time to time. I can honestly say I have never been taken advantage of sexually (by man or woman), nor have I consciously use my position of power (HA!) in order to take advantage of another human being sexually. Whatever depredations I have perpetuated or endured have been consensual. Booze usually figured prominently.
    To shine a light on these powerful scumbags like Weinstein is a good thing. It should have been done years ago. Women like Paltrow and Jolie, who have been powerful Hollywood icons for years get little sympathy from me, as they join the shaming , calling for Weinstein's head. To say you kept quiet for your career rings hollow. Quentin Tarrintino is in the same boat. If career trumps your well being (and those that walk in your foot steps), the hashtag will never go away. To my great nieces and nephews, I only hope you never have to experience abusive behavior of any sort or say "#metoo." But if you do, tell someone, anyone, and we will take it from there and try to make you safe. You are loved and we will do everything in our power to protect you. #Youtoo.