sex ed, sexual violence prevention, & gender justice

Tips for men confused/overwhelmed by #MeToo and #TimesUp

You have a role in this work. You have a responsibility to yourself and to people you care about. You are needed.

  1. Start journaling. Seriously, you’re going to need a resilience practice, and you’re going to need some space to get to know your own feelings. At least 10 minutes daily.
  2. Follow some feminists. Read what they write and share. Make sure it’s not a fake feminist, like a rape apologist or a TERF. Choose women of color. Wagatwe Wanjuki and Ijeoma Oluo and Lourdes Hunter and obviously Tarana Burke, for example.
  3. Tell women that you’re working on it. Not for cookies, but as an FYI. And I don’t mean women in general. I mean some specific women in your life whom you care about. Say to them, this is really impacting me, and I’m committed to learning more. I want you to know that I care about you and I care about doing better.
  4. Support survivors. Queer survivors, trans survivors, male survivors, women and anyone who has been targeted by sexual violence. If you are confident and humble in your ability to not be an asshole, you can possibly be helpful. Maybe you can make yourself available to listen. Maybe you can help with just some of the labor of life. Put some food in someone’s freezer.
  5. ORGANIZE. Connect with other men to build towards shared goals. I want white men especially to organize against white supremacist patriarchal violence. And. . . also I really don’t. I mean, I do. I’m just worried you’re going to mess it up. And you will. But maybe you have to. Please listen, when you do mess it up. And then try again. Please try again. Keep learning and keep trying.

I want you to be successful at this. I even want to help you be successful. All our lives depend on it.

Published by Mimi Arbeit

applied developmental scientist, antifascist community organizer, sexuality educator