By Rose Dee @rosedeeauthor
Many of you will have seen or been a part of the #MeToo movement.
It’s a social media movement aimed at highlighting sexual harassment, inspired by the recent revelations of sexual harassment and Hollywood. Behavior so predatory and abhorrent and disgraceful that the revelations about this community of men—and their enablers—almost defies belief.
Men who exhibit such predatory sexual behavior are troubled individuals. I don’t know nor understand their motivations. Is it a disregard of women as individuals with rights? Is it outright hatred of a particular woman? Or hatred of all women? Is it a spirit of pride? Is it the pursuit of power? All I know is these evil men have caused untold horrors in the lives of their victims. The #MeToo movement is an attempt to support victims and perhaps balance out some of this horror.
For those of you who don’t know, the #MeToo movement is about letting women know that they are not alone when dealing with sexual harassment. I can see where the support and encouraging words of ‘you are not alone’ will comfort a woman who has gone through or is going through this sort of torment. I have been a victim of harassment. I know how it feels.
But, like every social media movement, #MeToo is not without critics. It seems all unwanted attention from a male to a female can be deemed sexually harassing, even a wolf whistle or a well-intentioned compliment taken the wrong way. I guess it is up to the individual to make their own judgment about whether those instances are harmful harassment or not. We don’t always get to walk in each other’s shoes.
One thing has struck me about this movement: while it feels like the majority of women are racing to their keyboards to share their tales of male failure, neglect, and genuine assault, for all sorts of reasons, women are not as freely sharing the times when male encouragement and intervention has impacted them in positive, loving, and powerful ways.
I believe for every movement against something, there needs to be a movement in favor of the opposite. It’s called balance, and that balance has the potential to inspire perspective, address counteraction, and calm the storm of hurt to bring peace and understanding.
I’m not saying the #MeToo movement doesn’t have merit. It does.
I have stories I could tell about how I have been sexually harassed. Not wolf whistles, or inappropriate comments, but real cases of harm, hurt, and anger. But those times in my life fade away when I compare them to the times I’ve felt appreciated and valued by a man.
Like the day I told my husband I wanted to try my hand at writing. He was so supportive and excited by my declaration that he bought me a laptop. And his support of my changing careers does not end there. I’ve changed direction many times during our marriage, from salesperson, to student, to writer, to bookkeeper. Through all these changes, my husband has been my loudest cheerleader.
When I had my son and was suffering postnatal depression, my husband lifted me up and encouraged me to keep going, keep working at being the mum I wanted to be. I often half-jokingly say my husband is more of a feminist than any woman I know, because he never puts limits what I can do.
He is a constant encourager of my heart’s endeavors, and he backs me all the way.
My Dad was the same.
Dad thought me learning to drive a semi-trailer was a great idea . He was proud when I mastered a skill he hadn’t. Even as a teenager, Dad and I would mow our neighbors’ laws together. I’d be the one on the mower, and he would be in charge of the trimming. The fact that I was a girl didn’t come into play. In my family, it was the kid who showed the interest and had the initiative who got the advantage. Male and female gender limitations were never a struggle.
What I am saying, dear reader, is that while it is important to support and encourage women who have suffered at the hands of hateful men, I also believe it is also important to give credit and uplift the men in our lives who have loved us, changed us for the better, and supported us through thick and thin.
Spending too much time dwelling on the bad can limit the difference the good can make. So instead of #MeToo, today I choose #Supported, #Uplifted, #Loved by the men in my life.
I hope #YouToo? can recall the moments of your life when a man loved you.
First Seen in Book Fun Magazine: https://www.bookfun.org/
Rose was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her Resolution series.
Two of the three Resolution novels have won Australian CALEB awards. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel highlighting the pain of Australia’s past policy of forced adoption, as well as standalone novel, Ehvah After. Her most recent release is the novella, A Christmas Resolution.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and her desire to produce stories that point readers to Jesus. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son. Visit Rose at: https://rosedee.com/