#Repost Her too? It was both heartbreaking and inspiring to see so many women courageously stepping forward to say "me too" yesterday. But while #metoo succeeded in terms of creating awareness, it's now up to us, men, to ensure that all of their voices didn't fall on deaf ears. To make sure that #metoo isn't just a hashtag that trends and then disappears. Change needs to happen. •
So what can we do? For starters, don't pretend to understand their struggle. We will never understand what it's like to feel unsafe simply because of our gender. But what we can do is promise to be better allies. We need to acknowledge that we have been too passive in allowing misogyny to continue. I'll be the first to admit that several times, I failed to speak up when I was around "guys being guys." It's not okay, and I am so so sorry. I can't speak for anyone else, but I can take responsibility for my actions or lack there of. Toxic masculinity creates an environment where it's intimidating to be "that guy" who "breaks up the fun." After all, who wants to create conflict? But choosing to be passive in those situations isn't a victimless decision. Being silent is the same as condoning it. Based on the sheer magnitude of female voices we heard yesterday, it's clear we can't afford to let this take a backseat anymore. •
Just as the women in our lives found the courage to speak up, so too do we. We need to hold each other accountable to a zero tolerance policy. No more letting "guys being guys" slide. Ever. It's up to us to confidently speak up and voice our disdain when we witness or hear about this kind of behavior from our fellow men. I'm not saying we should go out and hunt people, because that's not the way to go about this. What I'm saying is that we need to lead by example. We need to set the bar for the men around us. True masculinity and strength lies in being mindful of our emotions, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, always choosing compassion over violence, and always, always treating women with respect. Choose to be the man that makes your partner, mother, sister, and daughter proud. Have the courage to be that man so that other men can find the courage to be him too.