My wife suggested I write something about #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein, because “you had a reputation in college.” Not, unfortunately, as a gallant crusader for women’s rights. More as a jerk that she was warned about.
She followed that up by telling me how good a man I am now and have been since, well, if not when we started dating, at least within the first couple years.
Even if I was, at times, ham handed and gross (and I’m sure I was), I’d like to think that no one is writing #MeToo about me too. They’re probably not, but they could be. I was pretty much every nice-guy asshole you knew when you were in school. In the scheme of the sexual assault and harassment most women face, it’s likely that my offenses were so commonplace as to be forgettable. That’s not an excuse, just a sad truth. In any case, that was then and this is now.
And I’m still part of the problem.
Yes, me too.
Because it took Harvey fucking Weinstein for me to even start talking about sexual harassment with my wife.
Because I barely know what she goes through, let alone what other women and girls have to deal with.
Because when my wife tells me what she tells me, I usually say something like “what an asshole!” And then change the subject.
Because I don’t know what else to say.
Because she doesn’t seem that bothered by it, so why make it a thing?
But maybe she needs to tell me more and I’m not listening.
Because she told me that she doesn’t tell me the half of it.
Because it’s part of her life.
Because she doesn’t know if I want to hear it.
Because it might upset me.
And I don’t know if I want her to tell me.
Because I don’t know what to say or do or how to help, so what’s the point? I’ll probably just freeze up and change the subject again.
Because I can’t help.
Because, for some reason, I still think she needs my help.
Because she probably just needs someone to listen.
Because if the person who loves her the most in the world isn’t going to listen, who the fuck will?
Because I just need to shut up and let her speak.
Because a whole lot of women are saying me too…screaming ME TOO!!!
And there’s another side of the coin, and I have to admit, “yeah, you could be talking about me too.”
But even if you’re not, it doesn’t matter.
Because these aren’t random women on the internet. These are the women in our lives.
And, no, they don’t have to be our wives, daughters, sisters and mothers to matter. But they are those things and more.
Because it’s all women.
And, man, it is time to listen.
About the author: Dave Lesser is a former attorney who much prefers his job as a stay-at-home dad to two hilarious and adorable children. His amazing wife fully supports his love of obstacle course, road and trail races. He ran his first marathon over two years ago and still won’t shut up about it. Dave has contributed to Time Ideas, the Huffington Post, NJ Family, SheKnows, the Good Men Project and others that he can’t quite remember right now. He saves his really good stuff for his own blog, Amateur Idiot / Professional Dad. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or, at a safe distance, in real life.