Men keep doing it because it gives them status with other men

Dear President Trump,

It’s time to focus on men’s motives for engaging in abusive, misogynistic behavior. There’s been at least one prominent man called out for his abusive behavior who pled (hmm, your spell check doesn’t recognize this word) ignorance, essentially saying he didn’t realize his pursuit of subordinate women in his company was making them so very uncomfortable and he’s sure as heck sorry about it. Hmm. Do I buy it? Not really. Even if his account is true from his point of view, it begs the question why this happened more than once and why he didn’t clue in that he was making these women uncomfortable. Probably because it was a game and he was playing the odds. It didn’t matter that he had to try 10 or 15 times; he wasn’t really stressed by the rejections and he got a major thrill if he was able to get in close enough to get something.

And then there are the ones who clearly knew they were using their power positions to force women to do sexual things with them or who did sexually abusive things to women and got to slide because of their positions (as in you). What’s up there? Why would someone do this? It’s pretty damn clear at this point that it’s not about sex and it is about power. Feminist theory 101. Check. Many an insecure man has abused women so he can feel more powerful. But I don’t think this is really the heart of it or why it is so f***ing rampant. I think rather, it’s the power and esteem men give each other for engaging in these behaviors when they boast about them; like the Access Hollywood tape of you bragging to the Billy guy about your sexual abuse of women. As long as men aren’t calling each other out for this crap and instead are elevating such men in the pecking order (so to speak), then this is just going to keep going. Yes, women need to speak up about this but really, this is a problem that men need to solve by stepping up and dealing with each other by removing the positive social reinforcements for this behavior. Seriously. Men keep doing this because it gives them status with other men and other men’s opinions are what matter to them.

May men wake up and insist on safety for everyone.
May men step up and insist on happiness for everyone.
May men speak up and call out unhealthy, sexist behaviors of other men.
May men grow up and realize these patterns are keeping everyone, including them, stuck and stunted.

Tracy Simpson

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