Now that the #MeToo movement, the Cosby trial and the number of resignations by men who abused their power across the political, media and entertainment spectrum has got everyone’s attention, what can we do to keep the momentum moving forward?
We have work to do. All of us. We perpetuate the pervasive culture of misogyny and violence by not speaking up, every time men are contemptuous of women, women are dismissive of other women, and men are indifferent to other men who trivialize women.
This is the time to raise our voices whenever we are offended or made to feel uncomfortable; to call out the offender, like the woman in the elevator who recently rebuked a Dartmouth professor for his “ladies lingerie” remark. All of us, men and women alike, should no longer be passive bystanders to sexual comments, innuendoes or actions that make anyone uneasy in the workplace, in the community and in social exchanges. And, it must also be said, at home.
Our conversations might include what is fair in terms of amends, what the accused can reasonably expect, what range of punishment is appropriate and what weight does a heartfelt apology carry, especially if behavior changes?
We can look at this culture of misogyny and violence and realize that it begins with observations by the very young, and then work toward encouraging a kinder, gentler, more respectful next generation. It means acknowledging that young white boys are born into unbelievable privilege they’re not even aware of, and how easy it is to grow up misusing that privilege, especially if they see it happening all around them.
And it will help as more and more women become political and corporate leaders, societal influencers and role models, public figures and spokespersons which is also happening as a result of the spotlight on #MeToo.
Since 2016, Claremont has been participating as one of two Green Dot pilot programs in New Hampshire that champion a message of zero tolerance for violence.
As part of its four-year commitment to the Green Dot project, Turning Points Network staff and Claremont Green Dot offer free trainings for corporate and municipal employees, service organizations and community groups designed to raise awareness of violence all around us, provide positive action choices, produce healthier, safer outcomes and help us all be effective bystanders. Statistics show that the four-year Green Dot program has reduced violence by as much as 38% in other pilot communities across the country.
For more information about TPN survivor services or to schedule a Green Dot training for your organization, call Turning Points Network, 1-800-639-3130.