So when I first saw Emma Watson's presentation to the United Nations on how feminism was about men, I was not a huge fan. At its core, any movement to create a new world requires full participation, so men are essential to creating an equitable society. And there is a weariness in me, a weariness of seeing and not being seen.
A friend of mine turned me on to a men's rights writer who he felt spoke to him. This guy, my friend, is a pretty caring, giving, equal rights kind of guy. My friend's point was the men's rights movement was dominated by the loudest, craziest people. So I gave it a read. My weariness increased.
#MeToo happened. Suddenly men in positions of power were being called out for misuse of power. Liberal friends of mine pointed out the anti-Trump rage had fueled a need to do things about power issues. So Weinstein and Louis get called out. Trump still sends tweets about his big button. North Korea still responds. Most everyone wore black to the Golden Globes. My weariness is unabated.
The conversation about abuse and gender politics lives in a wild west vigilante 2 dimensional fairy tale. If we annihilate everyone who oversteps or commits a crime, we will finally live a 'pure' society. As if. The righteousness of denial. The rage of our own humanity.
Unraveling the Pink had a great podcast recently talking about redemption as the next step. What if people are more than one moment or one action? What if someone is both a sexual predator and a great leader or artist? Is that possible? Is it possible to hold someone accountable for abuse while also appreciating their contributions to life and society? For the person impacted, it isn't a simple question. For bystanders, it isn't an easy question.
The more I experience this, in my life, in the world, as a bystander, as a participant, my weariness increases. We talk about gender issues. We talk about victims. What if the way we talk about this creates more of it? The issues of power and accountability aren't limited to gender or the workplace or race- they are pervasive. Perhaps these issues of power are rooted in ignorance, pain and fear. Starting there, how do we share the pain of the impact? I don't suggest we let people off the hook- actions have consequences. Perhaps contrition can lead to restoration as well?