Guest Post by Evan Smith: Speaking Up About #MeToo

(Note from Karuna: I was looking at my nephew’s Facebook Page yesterday and found an entry on October 16 that touched me. In the post, Evan shared his reaction to the #metoo movement. I asked for and received permission to share his reflection as a guest post on my blog. Thank you Evan.)

I am reading about the #metoo movement today and I saw someone comment on the fact that while all the women are posting about it the men are staying silent. As the father to a future young woman, I don’t want to be one of the ones staying silent.

What I want to say is this: I don’t understand this problem. I don’t understand it because I’m not one of these men and can’t even begin to relate to the idea of forcing yourself either physically or verbally on a woman. I don’t feel like I was raised all that differently from most men in this country.

It’s not like I’m special in any way. When I see an attractive woman, I think to myself “she is great looking” but there isn’t any part of me that wants to do or say any more than that. Is it because I’m married? Is it because I have no intention of ever sleeping with anyone other than my wife? Does this problem exist because the slightest possibility of sex exists between these assholes and every woman with 2 legs?

So I want help understanding this. Guys, message me privately. If you are a guy that shouts at girls on the street in ways that you think is none threatening or you think you’re not hurting anyone, please message me. I want to understand what you don’t understand about this. Because this is about you. And I won’t assume that I don’t have any friends who do this. It won’t be the first time I learned a close friend has a surprising lack of respect for women.

My little girl will be a woman some day. If I ever witness her being attacked the way I have read about today, there will be no level of understanding or calm rationalism that will hold me back. And you can be sure I will raise her (along with my don’t-take-shit-from-anybody wife) to stand up for herself. But I would really like it if she got to mature in a world where this didn’t happen. We are supposedly the most civilized country on earth so how is this still happening? HOW are we not all on the same page here?

Guys, read the Me Too posts your friends are putting up and make sure you are NOT a part of this problem. Because I am positive most men don’t even realize they are doing it and think they are just giving compliments. Understand that you are bigger and stronger than these people because nature decided that was a good idea and when you do this you SCARE them. When you act like an ass you are ONE STEP away from raping them or worse and that is all they can think about when you do it. And it doesn’t matter if you get that or if it makes sense to you- JUST STOP.

Or maybe just stop because being a man grants you absolutely zero dominion over women and if you don’t 100% agree with that you have serious problems.

Youth Speaks: Why Are Muslims So…..

My daughter sent me a YouTube link this morning and I was profoundly moved by what I saw and heard. It felt so strange to want to clap, yet have sadness and tears be my primary reaction. This was recorded during the 8th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in September of 2015.

After watching this video a Sanskrit chant came to mind, so I will end this post with that prayer.

Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings in the world be happy.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Peace, Peace, Peace

Reflection: What Would/Should I Do?

Oliana from Traces of the Soul has started offering a weekly writing prompt. This week’s prompt Silent witnesses – Bystanders asked:

“What are your thoughts about bystanders who get involved, those who watch and for various reasons do not help, speak out or get help?  Write a poem, a story (fiction or true) about a situation related to a bystander or witness of some form of offensive behaviour.”

When I read Oliana’s prompt last night, my mind went immediately to December of last year. My children and I were in India when we received a phone call Continue reading “Reflection: What Would/Should I Do?”