We don’t know the details yet, but it’s a familiar story. One year ago tomorrow, Matt Lauer NBC’s leading anchor, signed a contract to extend his work with NBC through 2018. Yesterday, he was at the top of his game. Today, he was fired following a detailed accusation of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
Men. If you are like me.
It has been eye-opening to hear so many courageous survivors tell their stories and share their pain with a desire to make this stop. Men. If you’re like me, you have learned a lot in recent weeks. You may be asking some questions. How is it I failed to notice something that is literally everywhere? Did I notice, but choose not to act? How have I contributed to the problem? Why is it that men - who are overwhelmingly responsible - have largely left these issues to women to deal with on their own? If you’re like me, you genuinely want to do better. And, if you’re like me. You can do better.
The roots need to be exposed.
The firing of several high powered, highly privileged individuals has been a catalyst for awareness and effective at sending a message of accountability. This may serve as a deterrent for some. But, it goes deeper. The roots of sexual harassment and assault need to be dug up, understood, and replanted.
We know from the work we’ve been doing for nearly 20 years, that this is a complex process. It requires greater awareness. Self-reflection. Thinking critically, while listening to the perspectives of others. Learning and practicing new tools that allow us to take action to disrupt inappropriate behaviors that have long been considered normal. It requires us to come together, as allies with women, to make these issues stop. These are pandemic issues that require ongoing prevention work.
It’s not about fixing boys and men.
At Maine Boys to Men, our Reducing Sexism and Violence Program is not about fixing boys or men – because we are are broken. Our work is about fixing issues in our society that impact boys and men, and ultimately impact those around us. The issues are related to sexism, rigid definitions of gender, and the resulting self-harm and violence against others that too often follows.
Men. An opportunity to do more.
This is an open invitation to all men who want to more actively become part of the solution.
Please consider one of the steps below.