In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Texas Tech freshman Regan Elder helps drape a bed sheet with the message "No Means No" over the university's seal at the Lubbock, Texas campus to protest what students say is a "rape culture" on campus. A picture of a banner at a Sept. 20 Phi Delta Theta fraternity gathering, briefly posted online, read, "No Means Yes," followed by a graphic sexual remark. A study by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Windsor published on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 found that a program that taught college women ways to prevent sexual assault cut in half the chances they would be raped over the next year. It was the first large, scientific test of resistance training, and the strong results should spur more universities to offer it, experts say. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)

Social media has once again spawned a new initiative — this time it’s #MeToo which provides a platform for women, and men, to share their tales of sexual harassment and assault. Certainly, such conversations can be empowering and cathartic for those who may have kept their pain within for so many years.

But there seems to be an unspoken problem: for the most part this new social media platform, as I see it, makes room for victims to share with other victims — but not with those who either were the perpetrators of the harassment and/or assault. Further, those who have the power to make long-needed changes in our society are probably not part of the conversation.

When we see men from Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes to even Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein make light of their forced physical encounters with women — men who once, or still do, wield great power and privilege in our male-dominated society — and we say nothing, it seems that we’re condoning their actions, silently giving our approval for their zeal for preying on the vulnerable.

Maybe the first thing we need to do is take our heads out of our behinds and face the fact that sexual harassment is alive, well and prevalent in American society — if not in every hamlet and city on the planet. What’s even more troubling for me is how those so adamant over demanding that we all respect the American flag and national anthem don’t think that women deserve the same modicum of respect.

If I were a woman, I think I’d consider boycotting America — setting up women-only businesses, schools, service centers and the like. I might even put on a chastity belt and for as long as I could maintain self-imposed abstinence, just say “No.”

Ironically, men routinely place their mothers on pedestals — giving shout outs to Mom after winning the Super Bowl — but then groping, grabbing and tackling whoever they desire without regard to the rights, feelings or well-being of their latest, intended conquest.

And lest we forget, men are also victims when it comes to sexual harassment and assault — often, but not exclusively, during a time in their lives when they’re too young to defend ourselves. And so, the pain, like the beat, goes on.

I considered sharing my own terrible memories on #MeToo but only briefly because after a few moments of reflection, I surmised that without removing the denial to which so many men, and even some women, keep firmly within their grasp, nothing will really change. In fact, it’s more likely that things will get significantly worse.

Where are Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Billie Jean King, Sojourner Truth and Wonder Woman when we need them?

Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *