In the past few days and weeks I've seen a whole lot of you post your #MeToo moments and your stories of #WhyIDidntReport. Most of you have been women, but there have been a few men who have posted their stories too. Each of your stories made me feel sadness and rage.
1/
I am so sorry that these things have happened to you; I am further sorry that our entire society is, still, stacked against you, refusing to believe you or even when it does believe you, refusing to do anything to stop this from happening to anyone else.

2/
I've refrained from commenting on any individual story because it felt too personal of a thing for you to have posted for me to be able to add anything meaningful to the conversation. I have never experienced anything like this, or even close to this.

3/
Whenever I was pressured to do anything I didn't want to do, I said "no" and my "no" was respected. And I think this is the story for most men -- because it has never happened, and probably will never happen, it's easy to think that the problem isn't real ...

4/
... or that it's overblown, or that if it does happen it's really rare, or that there are a few cases that have been overblown to make it seem like a bigger problem than it is. What everyone needs to understand about this, I think, is that this is a pervasive problem.

5/
If you are not a victim of sexual assault, someone close to you is; it is statistically impossible that you *don't* know someone that this has happened to. We need to listen to our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, and we need to believe them --

6/
-- believe them, because they have almost nothing to gain by lying about what happened.

-- believe them, because discussing it openly is embarrassing and forces them to relive what happened.

7/
--believe them, because talking openly opens them up to ridicule, slander, and physical violence by those parties interested in maintaining the status quo.

8/
-- believe them, because even though there *are* rare circumstances of people making false accusations, false accusations fall apart under any measure of scrutiny and are easily disprovable.

9/
To all my friends who have shared their stories, I admire your courage and your willingness to add your voice to this conversation. I also understand, statistically, that many more of you have had experiences that you are keeping to yourselves, either because ...

10/
... you aren't ready to share or never intend to share. For whatever it's worth, even though I will never know what happened to you, I am still sorry that you had to experience that.

11/
You did nothing to deserve what happened to you and it is a failing of our society that you had to endure what you did.

12/
It seems like this is suddenly out in the news, suddenly out there as though this were a brand-new problem, but of course that isn't remotely true. We're only just now talking about the problem in a real and serious way.

13/
We're only just now doing the hard, ugly, uncomfortable work of figuring out *why* this happens and why so many perpetrators have historically gotten away with their transgressions.

And as for that, I have no answers and can offer no suggestions.

14/
But as painful and as ugly as this all is, at least we're finally having, because of your courage, the conversation.

It's up to the rest of us to listen.

/end

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