I usually like the American feminist site, Ravishly. I like how they allow various voices to be heard. I like their advocacy and inclusion, especially of the LGBTQ+ community.I love the way they have written about asexuality.
This, though, goes too far. The title itself is provocative enough: “Can Straight Couples Survive #MeToo”.The columnist, Myisha Battle starts off alright; how the #MeToo movement emboldened and terrified women about the extent of sexual assault and harassment. Women seek solace forming communities where women can support other survivors of such trauma. Great. But, after that, the article goes downhill.
Take these quotes:
How do women still go out with guys when you consider that there is no greater threat to women than men?
(said by CK himself before the accusations against him became public)
…where does that leave us with our relationships with men?
Fair or not, the biggest question that women who are partnered with men is “has he always been a good man and can I continue to trust that he will be good to me and all the other women in his life?
I imagine that people would be offended by the last quote in particular. And if it was said about any other group: LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, etc, it wouldn’t be tolerated.
Men as a whole should not be condemned for the actions of a few. Women shouldn’t feel like they tiptoe around partners, husbands, brothers, uncles, fathers, etc unnecessarily (unless there is reason to; violence, etc).
Another thing I don’t like about this is women perpetrators and male victims of abuse and harassment get ignored. At least one male survivors of sexual assault have made that accusation against the movement as a whole.
The author of the Stuff article I posted above isn’t the only male that has broken his silence of abuse and harassment. Infamously, Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of assaulting him when he was only fourteen. George of the Jungle and The Mummy star, Brendan Fraser, used #MeToo to allege that he was sexually assaulted by a former Hollywood Press Association president (which the accused denied at the time the article was written).
It’s true that the vast majority of victims of sexual violence are women, according the the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and over 90% of perpetrators are male, according to Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA). I think we have to remember when the roles are reversed (male victim/ female perpetrator) or when men have been assaulted by other men either as children or adults.
Final thing. As a non – straight person, I want to defend straight couples. They are not all toxic. The revelations brought about by the #MeToo movement should not be treated as an indictment against heterosexuality. This is ridiculous. There are good men who love women, both their partners, other family members and friends. There are fathers of girls who adore them and would hate for any harm to come to them – especially something as abhorrent as sexual assault.
The #MeToo movement should— and I think has done so somewhat successfully— exposed men, in particular, that have been abusive. They should be held to account. Using the movement to scaremonger and demonise men unjustly won’t do anyone any good.
If you’re Australian and this has brought up any issues for you, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800 – RESPECT (1800 737 732)
If you aren’t from Australia and know any helpline numbers or other contact details of organisations that help sexual assault sufferers in your country, please post them in the comments below.