There’s a revolution taking place around the world. In the United States, in Europe, in Asia and beyond – brave women have come forward and declared “#Me too”.
What these women are declaring is that they have been sexually harassed, sexually abused, and raped by men. Women are coming out of shame and unleashing an anger and a fury that has been bottled up for decades, if not centuries.
African Americans, Mexican Americans, Immigrants, Gay Americans, and Lesbian Americans are also coming out of the shadows and saying “Our Lives Matter”.
What do these groups have in common? People whose voices aren’t heard are often people who aren’t paid equally for their work. Women on the whole earn 80% of what men earn. It all comes down to value. Can we treat every human being as equally valuable?
Men have been largely silent on this matter. Yes, some men have spoken out against the obvious suspects, such as Harvey Weinstein. But, men as a whole have not stood up in solidarity for our mothers, our sisters, our daughters or our brothers.
Perhaps, on some level, we feel guilty. Most of us were raised and conditioned to objectify women. That conditioning has shaped how we see women, how we talk to women, and how we treat women.
On a deeper level, perhaps white men are afraid of losing some of the privilege and power we have enjoyed. Holistic Prosperity cannot occur unless all people are paid equally and all voices are heard fully.
I’m speaking here as a white male. It’s time for white men to stand up and be the civil rights leaders of tomorrow. This means standing up for the rights of people other than our selves. This means letting go of some of our power and privilege, so that other voices may be heard.
This also means listening.
The #MeToo movement is at its first stage. This is the stage in which scores of women are coming out of shame and speaking their truth.
Stage Two could require some support from men. Women, African Americans and other “minorities” need white men to hear them. They need accountability from white men. They need empathy and compassion from white men. They need to know that we “get it”.
Collectively, we as white men need to:
- Listen to and acknowledge what other voices are saying.
- Stop defending ourselves. Own up to our mistakes.
- Begin to redefine masculinity. What is a real man?
The first step is standing up and letting you know that “We hear you now”.