i’ve been silently grieved by all that has been expressed by #metoo over the past few days. as a male friend of mine posted, “I already knew but the avalanche of ‘Me too’ is just…” it wasn’t until reading eve william wilson’s unfiltered poem this morning that i found words.
crazy is i could say #metoo about more than once that my cishet self has been sexually imposed upon, because this toxic masculinity and patriarchal domination thing knows no bounds. it will take and take until we stop it from taking.
but more than a co-opting sympathy, i owe an apology to all the girls going through puberty about how as a kid i thought it was funny to sit around with my little friends and find clever ways to characterize your maturing bodies–teaching myself how to objectify at the most basic level. #ihave. i’m sorry.
i owe an apology to all the young ladies in jr high i thought it was cute to walk up behind on fieldtrips and cop a feel, grinning afterward about how “she let me do it” to my boyz–muddying for myself and others (maybe even you) the beauty of explicit consent. #ididit. i’m sorry.
thank GOD, something or someone got a hold of me before it went any further and by mid-teens i had matured into a guy female friends would talk to about deeper versions of this same shit. but there were still the hostile “jokes” about trans sisters, gender nonconforming and otherwise queer siblings. i still nursed plenty sexism of the non-sexual kind, and i closed a blind eye to rape culture. #iamresponsible. i’m sorry.
but it has taken too many years to recognize it; too many wrongs done or tolerated for simple words to suffice.
so my #betterthanwordsAPOLOGY is that as they grow i am teaching my daughters and my son about the beauty of consent and the turn-on of respect and that sex is about deep appreciation, not conquest, never something to be coerced, exploited, or taken.
my #betterthanwordsAPOLOGY is that i’m striving to detox from the toxicity in my own masculinity and to practice something better; i am learning to recognize even subtler forms of rape culture, challenge it, and not participate in it; i am learning to listen more, get out the way of, affirm, facilitate, and follow the leadership of women and queer persons, particularly women of color and queer persons of color; i am learning to apologize when i screw up and to make amends; and i am encouraging others to do the same.
my dear sisters, you have more than my words; you have my solidarity. my #BETTERbeginsNOW.