Tuesday Feb 20

Back Story: #MeToo Moment is an #AllofUsOpportunity

Men are falling like dominoes. Everyday it seems another couple come crashing. Women in twos, threes, eights, and more are finding their voices and coming forward, and for a change, are being heard, whether the incident was yesterday or twenty years earlier. Some of the claims are   slim, while others are clearly criminal.

By now the apologies almost seem rote. Men are sorry for any discomfort. For any misunderstanding. For any pain. At the same time they are sorry for nothing at all because it was not they way they remember it, or they don’t remember it at all, or it was consensual, or it was nothing at all.

Are men learning anything at all?

Maybe so. Weeks into this moment with the list of fallen men is now becoming a database because so many are added daily to the list. Perhaps a tipping point was reached when a documentary filmmaker of some note came forward on his own steam to confess to years of bad behavior, some of which verged on rape, and all of it out of bounds, or at least over the line. He could hear the whisper of women’s voices in his sleep. He felt their footprints coming on the ground behind him. He broke under pressure. He knew he had done wrong, and knew it was a matter of time before he went down, so he jumped off the pedestal to the ground, before the groundswell swallowed him. How many will now follow?

In my book that’s a turning point for men. That’s a recognition that this #MeToo moment has a momentum that can’t simply be outlasted. It’s more than a movement, it’s a social change.

Worse for men. There’s no dry ground high enough to escape the wave of change. This is no longer the way “things are,” this is a confrontation with women’s reality.

This is every woman saying this has been what life is like living with men, watching men, worrying about men. This is a sad story for all men and a breakthrough for all women. This is not “lean in,” this is stand up and shout.

The problem though is that men still have the power and the position. Without organization and structural, systemic change, the style may change but not the substance.

Now that the problem is clear, and the body count is rising, how can we all join to make the changes permanent. That’s not #MeToo, that’s an #AllofUsResponsibility.

Wade Rathke is the Chief Organizer of ACORN International, Founder and Chief Organizer of ACORN (1970-2008), and Founder and Chief Organizer of Local 100, United Labor Unions (ULU).

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