Educating boys does not mean that we stop educating girls. It doesn’t mean that we’re given “carte blanche,” as the author whines, to run around acting reckless — even though I SHOULD, in a utopian society, be able to skip down the street naked as a jaybird and drunk as a skunk without being assaulted or accosted. It seems that the author thinks that women can’t be trusted with conducting ourselves appropriately if men begin to take their rightful responsibility for rape. Like we’ll all just run around half nude, shaking our boobs in their faces like a carrot dangled in front of a horse. Give us some freaking credit. The very thought that this would or could happen is, again, weird and suspect.
I could go on about this for a month of Sunday’s, but there’s little point. The people who need to hear this probably won’t, as a result of male privilege, which I don’t fault anyone for. Just like it’s difficult for white folks to understand what it’s like to be racially profiled, it’s just as difficult for men to understand what women go through, because they’re men. That’s not their reality, and I get that. I don’t blame the author for being ignorant. There’s no crime or harm in just not knowing things. But it becomes harmful when you fail to recognize and admit that ignorance; when you choose not to humble yourself and shut up long enough to listen to the stories and experiences of those who do live this reality (the comments section of that post is an amazing, empowering by-product where women opened up and shared their own personal stories of rape and assault); when you willfully opt to stay in the dark because your fragile ego won’t let you say the words “I was wrong.” When you screw up, don’t blame it on your increased readership and Facebook likes. Take the advantage to turn this train wreck into a learning opportunity and a safe space for open discourse that will require, for men, more listening than speaking.
Or, just dive deeper into douchehood. That’s clearly the option the author took with this unapologetic apology.
RIP, common sense. See you at the crossroads.