On top of all of the sexual abuse revelations coming out now, we also have high profile men “ mansplaining” to women the importance of nuance in talking about our experiences of harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault. Right. Matt Damon recently shared his thoughts on this, explaining that there are different levels of abuse, some more serious than others, and that they should not be “ conflated”, and was immediately taken to task by a fellow actor. The absolute hubris of a man explaining our experience of misogyny to women stunned me. Different levels of abuse? No man has any idea what it’s like to incarnate into a female body, and begin experiencing abuse almost immediately, in some cases. Every woman I know, EVERY WOMAN, has experienced some level of misogyny directed at her in her lifetime. All sexual abuse, harassment, and discrimination has its roots in misogyny. All of it is horrible. All of it is coming from a cultural sickness that is centuries old.
What’s next for these guys, do they use their platform of white privilege to explain the importance of nuance when we discuss racism? That discrimination, voter suppression, dehumanizing, demeaning, name calling, isn’t as bad as lynching or police brutality? What the fuck is wrong with these people? How narcissistic do you have to be, to feel entitled to hold forth on topics that you have no idea about, and have never directly experienced? There is no “ nuance”. It’s all sick.
So, I say again, what? Seriously. To any man out there attempting to minimize the impact of a lifetime of misogyny upon all of us, a word of advice. Stop. As in, don’t even. We have had it. We’re done with this shit, and we will hand you your ass if you keep this up. Here’s the only thing we want to hear from anyone with external plumbing. “We feel your pain, and we will stand with you. We’re sorry that some men are predators. We believe you, and will do everything we can to help you change this world.” That’s it.