So, let's be clear that the "Me Too" movement isn't just a Hollywood, California, U.S. invention. Its not the property of European (White) women, and it certainly isn't an opportunity for every human with a dangling penis to coop the legitimate suffering that women experience on a daily basis. In my humble opinion, as a man, the "Me Too" movement is an opportunity to educate masses of people everywhere that women/femmes have the absolute right to determine what happens with and to their bodies in every respect of the word. Its also the chance for women everywhere to lead concrete work to move from simple awareness to organizing structures and processes to empower women in ways that hold men/predators accountable.
How all of this will look is going to be very different depending upon the conditions. For example, African women by and large are going to have a very different take on what the "Me Too" movement looks like for them. Because of white supremacy, they, as well as Indigenous and Asian women, are not the women who are front and center to this question e.g. not the people who are getting all of the attention around it. That doesn't change the fact that these brown women experience sexual assault more and on deeper systemic levels while most European woman continue to be completely oblivious to any problems until they impact them directly. And, even though that last statement is true, that doesn't mean White woman are not suffering either, because they are. As a result of these conditions, women from all walks will be continuing to determine how they want to shape their space within this movement. As a man, I'll talk now about what role I believe I play in this process.
I believe its the responsibility of all men to recognize, admit, and commit to acknowledging that all of us have been trained by this backward capitalist system to view and treat women/femmes as property. We have been raised since day one to view sex as our entitlement. Most of us view the pursuit of sex no different than the pursuit of food. Its simply a question to us of what we want and how we can get it. That dysfunctional reality coupled with the violent and anti-human/woman sentiment that women have no agency, and therefore no rights that we have to respect, leads many men to believe that a woman who says no is actually disrespecting the man in taking that position. Its important here to recognize that men have been programmed to believe this nonsense and that these backward values are institutional. For example, the church is a primary propagator of these backward ideals. The Christian Church promotes on a systemic level that women are property. The entire basis of Christianity is fueled by this contradiction. The book of Ephesians says that the woman is simply a creation of the man's rib and that the woman has the responsibility of "following the man as he follows the church." These backward passages have been debated and justified over and over again, but clearly, the message is that women are the property of men, no matter how you try to dress it up. And, Islam and other religions are in no position to gloat when it comes to their historical and practical relationship to this question. So, men have the responsibility to challenge these backward systemic structures since we are the ones who benefit from them. And, any man who refuses to do that is a coward and an enemy to justice, regardless of how many daughters you have, how you talk to your mother, and how you behave on a personal level in your romantic relationships. The oppression of women/femmes is a byproduct of the capitalist system so it cannot be defined based on anyone's individual behavior. It has to be evaluated based on our organizational work to eradicate it. That's why understanding how movements are built is so important because if movements are the impetus for awareness and awareness is necessary for recruitment, we have to do this part of the work correctly because recruits are the necessary ingredient to provide soldiers to engage this fight on a protracted basis. We men have a critical role to play here in doing the work with other men since we will naturally be the most stubborn resistance to any forward movement for women.
We as men have to understand this systemic question. If we are clear about this, then we understand that systemic means women will perpetuate oppression against women just as many Africans perpetuate white supremacy. For example, as African men, we cannot have contempt for the uncle tom who sells us out to the master for two bits of coin, but then raise up the backward thinking woman who cannot understand how so many women are being sexually assaulted (and blames the women for this).
Finally, men are absolutely required to support and participate in anti-patriarchy study circles where we study this issue seriously as men. This includes supporting women who are studying around this issue also. This is where the advanced work around movement building happens. We make sure our organizations have these study processes intact and institutionalized. That way, when thousands of those millions who have been marching and going to have beers afterward come to the day when they decide just doing that isn't enough, we will have the structures in place to welcome them into the next level of political work. If we truly understand the trajectory of this work, we will get busy building these structures. We certainly won't be wasting valuable time, especially if we are men, criticizing the women who are marching. When will the day come when we realize that us doing that exposes us as the frauds who really have no interest in supporting true women's liberation.
Men, we need to stop expressing our negative views (and even our positive ones) about "Me Too." Women don't have time to care about what we think about it. They should be busy organizing and we should be supporting them by organizing the men. That starts by creating a climate where support for women is expected and demanded, by men with no compromise. That means participating in that anti-patriarchy work with an open heart and mind and a clear understanding of what the system has done to us in such a systemic and dysfunctional way. As men, if we can start doing this work, instead of just having disease of the running mouth (and keyboard) about what we think women should be doing, this fight would advance much faster and much deeper. Now is the time when we as men will get the chance to define our legacy. We will either be judged historically as the generation of men who said no to the institutional oppression of women and that we will stand by side with them. Or, we will be judged as a bunch of long winded cowards who have the backbones of toothpicks.