Why I #WalkedAway From #MeToo
In an article titled "11 ways men can respond productively to #MeToo" feminists were not satisfied (surprise) with men exhibiting Stockholm Syndrome by apologizing for their misogynistic behavior online. They asked all men to move beyond social media confessions:
1) Let it make you uncomfortable. Avoid a defensive “not all men” response. Even if you haven’t personally sexually assaulted a woman, this is part of our culture, therefore you are responsible.
2) Avoid complimenting girls and women on their appearances.
3) Start paying attention to the way you look at women. If the first thing you do when you see a woman on the street is scan her up and down to evaluate her fuckability, stop that.
4) Stop treating all women as potential sex partners.
5) Refuse to consume pornography or pay for sex.
6) Have you treated women badly during sexual encounters? Acknowledge this and apologize. Do not expect a response. Do not expect to be forgiven. Do not expect anything at all. Don’t ask for anything from the women you have victimized or hurt. Don’t make excuses.
7) Quietly fund feminist events, media, and organizations. You don’t need to brag about this on social media — the point is not for you to be rewarded.
8) Volunteer to be part of the clean up crew for a feminist event. Volunteer to cook. Volunteer to help with childcare. Do whatever else feminists ask you to do so that their event can be a success.
9) Learn to listen. Avoid dominating conversations. Men spend a lot of time talking over women and need to spend more time listening, as males are socialized not to be aware of the space they take up in the world. This is just one example of how male entitlement manifests itself. This behavior discourages men from empathizing with women and working to better understand women’s experiences.
10) Do not neutralize issues that are not gender neutral. It is not helpful to insist that male violence against women is a “human issue.” It is not helpful to say that “rape culture is genderless.” It is not helpful to say you’re against “all violence.” Yes, men experience violence and abuse at the hands of other men, but that doesn’t negate the fact that male violence against women is systemic. Responding in this way is essentially “All Lives Matter-ing” women. #MeToo is about holding men accountable for the violence they perpetrate against women.
11) Understand that, as a man, you will never fully be able to relate to what women experience on a day-to-day basis, under patriarchy. There has not been a single day in the history of the world that a woman has not been raped or beaten by a man. Women live in fear, every day, of male violence. Women’s lives are shaped by rape culture and the male gaze in all sort of ways, big and small. Believe us when we tell you about those experiences. Believe us when we tell you it is a big deal. Believe that we aren’t simply being dramatic or seeking attention.
Wowza! Where do I begin?! And how did they miss the irony? Asserting that all men share a societal burden of abusing women and must always ultimately be the accountable party regardless of your own actions (or lack thereof) does NOT empower women, quite the opposite. When you force an entire group of people to feel guilty for something they did not do - you are the oppressor!
I'm sure we could go on and on about the idiocracy. I do not subscribe to the feminist notion that women are weak and stupid. Too stupid to know what men might want when they ask you to 'go back to their place' late at night. Too weak to withstand a drooling male gaze without becoming a victim.
The sad thing is, some men actually buy this crap! It has turned them into perpetually nervous creatures of fear, always walking on eggshells. They show up to our photo shoot with their sweaty heads full of this misguided ideology, eager to stammer through their introductory speech:
"I just want to start by saying that I'm not like a lot of those other photographers you work with. I don't want to date you or anything like that. I won't touch you inappropriately. I'm not one of those weirdos. I just want to get some good images of you, but I want to make sure you're comfortable at all times. I was actually thinking we could do some 'MeToo' inspired photos, I just want to show the world how much I respect women and how nudity isn't just about being sexy. I think it will be really empowering for you, like an Amazon warrior vibe!"
Okaaayyyyyy buddy. Obviously you've been listening to one too many "horror stories" from victimized feminist "models", because contrary to what you think, the vast majority of my clients could not be less creepy! In my four years of modeling, I have never been scared of a photographer "trying to date me", nor have any tried or touched me inappropriately. If I wasn't comfortable being nude, I would not be a nude model! You make sure I'm comfortable being naked, but you don't ask if I'm comfortable with your feminist concepts. I can assure you that I will not feel empowered after taking the photos that you want to take to validate your sentiments.
And that's why I #WalkedAway from #MeToo.