Super Fox Sauce: It’s not about #Metoo; it’s about #Whatnow?
“Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace are not just about Harvey Weinstein,” she wrote.” We must change things in general. We must do better for women everywhere.” After reading Alyssa Milano’s tweet that started a viral sh*tstorm (and helped launch the #Metoo movement,) I was amazed that many Americans considered this statement “rebellious” or even “revolutionary.”
What I find most unbelievable about these Hollywood allegations are some of people’s reactions. “Oh now that she’s [Milano] said something, suddenly every woman has been sexually harassed…” “Men are just men and have always said stuff like that.” “Women who wear slutty clothing should know they are going to be treated like sluts.” The previous “slut” comment (ironically, made from a woman) tempted me to slide into my “slutty” fishnets and hip-check her into roller derby oblivion.
At what point do we hold men or (apparently, some women) accountable for their disgusting, juvenile behavior? To me, intimidation, arrogance, and entitlement are perfect ingredients to create an insensitive, ego-driven, male monster. Power-plays from high-profile men display just a taste of their “frat-bro” [from my personal vocabulary] bad manners and repulsive female objectification. Don’t worry, guys. I won’t bore you with a preachy discussion on sexism.
Personally, I don’t like to use the word “sexism.” I find it similar to “organic.” It [sexism] is over-used and frequently dismissed—categorized as a “whiny” feminist term. Don’t crucify me yet, ladies. I think we need some perspective on the root of these issues. My mom always said, “Make sure you pick a man who treats his momma good.” If I analyze my string of terrible dating candidates, an epiphany echoes in my head: “Your dad clearly undercooked your manners, and your momma packed it in Tupperware.”
Of course, my backwoods logic will never make an essay topic for Philosophy 101, but I have come to some basic conclusions: Men are taught from an early age that women are caregivers and should put male needs first. Men learn respect towards women from the examples of other trusted males. Also, I must confess—women play a role in this toxic dynamic too.
I hate to admit it, but women contribute to this issue by relinquishing their personal boundaries. Females cripple males by enabling their apathetic efforts towards human responsibilities: the ability to learn self-sufficiency, common decency and family contribution. I’m not referring to “bringing home a paycheck,” ladies; I’m referring to their accountability towards their own self-care and emotional maturity.
In my family It was just implied that you dismiss men’s “jackass behaviors” including flirting and “feather-fluffing” (a term grandma used to describe male attempts at impressing a female.) I was frequently reminded that “Men just like to look at pretty girls. Just ignore them.” Almost as if females were to (shall I say) “suck it up” and just deal with creepy uncle Fred.
Creepy uncle Fred is just one example among a sea of perpetrators. “Perpetrator” seems like a harsh word, but what else do we call this type of #MeToo harassment? A close friend of mine (I’ll call her Karen) worked at a local salon. The male owner (well-known community businessman) is constantly harassing, groping, and belittling female stylists– as well as guests.
He’s been known to say things like, “Wow, you’ve got a nice *ss for your age.” “I touch everyone’s ___, deal with it.” He even suggested a recent, high-school graduate work at his brother’s adult club because she would be “really good at that.” What comforting words to hear as an apprehensive, college student. Nothing like heading to The University of Arizona to discover your future and explore the world of [potential] date-rapists.
Even though these tasteless comments and behaviors will continue to challenge females, I am proud to say I have a head start on creating change. My 11-year-old son who satisfies many American male standards of strength, charm, and athleticism also embodies open-mindedness, compassion, and courage. Of course I am bias about my son’s “awesomeness,” but when we are walking downtown and some tool says, “Hey little man, did anyone ever tell you–your mom is hot?” My son beats me to the punch. “Don’t talk about my mom like that.” He looks at me, a slow grin spreading on his face and gently pats me, “Don’t worry, mom. I got your back.” I simply reply with a fist-punch, “That’s how it’s done, son.”