The pendulum of gender equality just took a flying leap, and all of a sudden it’s become a woman’s world.
As a card-carrying feminist, this truly warms my heart. It’s high time that we get the equal pay, respect and voices that we have earned and deserve.
But I kinda feel bad for the good guys lately.
Because, you see, there ARE good guys. And now they feel like they will be scolded if they open a woman’s door for her (lest they be rebuked with “I can open my own door, thank you very much”) or help an old lady with her groceries. They’re afraid to send a flirtatious text or tell a woman she looks pretty, as God forbid, they might end up embroiled in some “me too” scandal.
It’s a shame that we can’t charge ahead with equal rights and fairness and hold our heads high and also appreciate a little chivalry at the same time. It’s gotten tricky, and awkward, for all of us, but especially for the good guys out there.
To those who have engaged in bad behavior, regardless of your gender, you know what ya did. You know who you need to make amends to. It’s shameful and horrible for anyone to take advantage of another person – whether the perpetrator is a person in power such as Harvey Weinstein or Larry Nassar or just a misguided teenager trying to impress his friends.
But it’s also terrible that these abusers have ruined things for the nice guys. Now men are afraid to hug a woman or offer a compliment for fear of being labeled a rapist. That’s not cool. For every woman who is a genuine crime victim, there’s another one coming forward with accusations trying to get 15 minutes of fame. That’s also not cool.
None of this is an attempt to dismiss those who have been violated. The psychological damage can last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. I do believe some good is coming out of this “me too” movement in that victims are coming forward and people are being held responsible for their actions.
I also think the matter should be treated delicately going forward. Not every alleged victim deserves a headline splashed across the front page of the New York Times. These allegations are difficult to prove, and they can damage lives and families. If I accuse someone of trying to rob me at gunpoint in a convenience store parking lot, there would be way more vetting of the situation before it became a news story.
I’m not saying don’t report it. I’m not trying to silence anyone. I just hope that we as a human race will be honest with ourselves and each other going forward. Don’t ruin it for the good guys.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.