There’s an upside of MeToo# for powerful men

Dear President Trump,

I think it must be the combination of being a little bit sick, bracing for the memorial service tomorrow, our daughter’s first day of college, and the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing that has me feeling really emotional and on the verge of tears. Whenever Laura’s brother tears up, I tear up. Whenever I read an article about Ford’s testimony or (most) people’s reactions to Ford’s testimony, I tear up.

We didn’t watch the hearing because we had a bunch of things to take care of for tomorrow, but I’ve read most of the WP and HP coverage. Although it’s unclear whether Senators like Collins, Murkowski, and Flake will vote not to confirm Kavanaugh, I do think Ford’s testimony has shifted the national conversation about sexual assault and is taking our reckoning to another level. However, what I’ve read thus far about how you and your staunchest supporters have responded sure sounds like a lot of rich, old, white men desperately trying to hold onto their rich, old, white male privilege. Yesterday you said something about how MeToo# is really bad for powerful men. I just saw the headline and couldn’t stomach reading the article so I don’t know if it was somehow pulled out of context, but really, let’s face it, it sounds exactly like something you would say.

But also, really, you are right – MeToo# is bad for powerful men. MeToo# is leading to painful consequences for lot of powerful men who took advantage of their male privilege and is giving those who have not been called out pause. Clearly this is uncomfortable and it must feel like the world has gone mad to you all even as it is actually getting saner. In the longer run, though, powerful men and powerful men-to-be will benefit from MeToo# too because they will be much less likely to accrue so much bad karma if they actually stop and think about their actions. Even if they end up not abusing someone because they are worried about public fallout rather than because they realize it would harm another human being, it’s still a step in the right direction. So there’s this part of the reckoning and then there’s the legions of victims who have had it with harboring their awful secrets and are speaking up. And planning to vote.

May we all be safe from one another.
May we all be willing to respect one another.
May we all be willing to do the hard work of creating a healthy, cogent set of norms.
May we all want peace for one another.

Tracy Simpson

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