When the movement first picked up steam a few months ago, I found myself thrilled by the momentum. With each news report declaring a new power player whose reign of manipulation had fallen under the weight of multiple corroborating stories of abuse, I would cheer. “Let ‘em fall like dominoes,” I’d mutter to myself, too realistic from years of supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse to feel the joy necessary for schadenfreude. After a while, though, as more and more abusers were identified among the ranks of leaders, celebrities, and crowd favorites, it became overwhelming to consider both the magnitude of the shift occurring as well as its impact.
This tsunami leaves no one safe from its torrent. Not “nice guys,” not liberals, not coworkers or people who’ve won feminist accolades or helped women start successful careers. Politically progressive men are no more immune to sexism than white gay people are to racist beliefs and behaviors. They’re no safer from abusing their power than cis women are from transphobic exclusions. We all exist day in and day out in a cultural medium that perpetuates oppressive structures and convinces us that they’re “normal,” the way things are done. We have to work hard to begin to uncover our own complicity, and even then our efforts will always be human, imperfect.
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