I'm not waving the victimhood flag. It's demeaning, dismissive, and serves no purpose.
What's the point of asking [theoretically] 50% + of the population to point the finger at the other 50% and tell them it's all their fault? Does it help move forward? Do decent people of either gender not realize that some people do bad things?
You want to change the narrative? you want to feel empowered?
1. Teach your sons and daughters to respect life. Cruelty is wrong- whether it's bullying on the playground, or hurting small animals for fun. Help those who need help - that includes giving up your seat on the bus; finding a charity and donating your time, money, or both. Treat others kindly. When they're old enough to date, focus on how they act towards their significant others. Kids need to understand that the world doesn't revolve around them, and their actions have consequences.
2. Teach your daughters to respect and protect themselves. If they don't value their place in the world, how can they expect others to treat them as equals? Girls need to understand that their worth is more than their looks or the circumference of their waistline. Teach them to speak up, to stand up for themselves by empowering them to speak up, by asking for their opinions. Teach them self-defense skills and how to shoot. Hoping they'll never use it, but knowing that the confidence will serve them well for life.
3. Spend your time and money where your brain is.
Look at the sappy movies where the guy's borderline stalker persistence always gets the girl. Listen to the popular songs in any genre. What is the message that we're projecting to the world? that if a guy tries hard enough, he will get the girl. The real story should be: if the guy keeps trying, the girl will punch him first and call the cops later. And let's look at the big picture - why is our pop culture so much about sex? It sells, and we are buying into it. Women are 50% of the population and over 75% of the spending power; why don't we use that money towards something positive? Not clothes "to get the guy." not makeup "to be prettier". Not diet pills "so that I would me more attractive." If you want any of that just for you - go for it, it's a free country. If you're doing it to please someone that isn't going to respect the real you, it's a waste of time. I hope your parents had a chance to teach you that.
4. Expect better.
Why did the women let their famous abusers keep going? There was no physical force involved. There was a perception of force or power. And the women perpetuated it by participating - they fed the beasts. I'm not trying to blame the victim, merely point out that the victims' capitulation was the only thing that kept the predators behaving that way. Is it because women didn't think they deserved better? Did they not have confidence in their own voices? Were they afraid? Was that fear stronger than their self-respect and self-preservation? That is sad. That is sick and twisted and yes absolutely the abusers are responsible for their heinous actions.
But, dear victim, what can you do besides protesting?
instead of protesting?
I NEVER want my daughters to type "me too", solidarity be damned. I want them to have the skills and power to defend themselves, to have the confidence to ask for help if they need it. And we owe them a society that doesn't just throw up its hands and concede defeat to a handful of sick predators, but real-life examples of feminine strength, masculine kindness, and human decency. You, too, right?