At this time in history, #MeToo is one of the latest ways women are empowering themselves. There will be and need to be other movements, to be sure. But women empowering themselves alone will not be nearly enough. Undoing centuries of expected and imposed roles as well as entrapping stereotypes requires more than enlightened thinking and one-sided demonstrations.

Men also need to see the light, to be involved beyond token yea-saying; NOT because women need men to do so but because men need to hear themselves encourage and validate women as partners, even and especially apart from marriage, who live equally capable, intelligent and significant lives.

The power men have claimed for themselves from the very beginnings of time needs to be shared if power is to be what it is meant to be. Man and woman need not dominate or control one another. They need to experience a partnership that shares different and complementary strengths in managing a world and finding lives that give it and themselves meaning. 

We have yet to evolve where all of the above can happen. Our world is still adolescent in its becoming. Fear and shame cripple our ability to love and accept; power and its abuse become the currency of control. It feels like earth itself and all its other creatures are evolving more steadily than we are.

Drugs, violence, guns, sexual abuse, wars, hatred and racism are the sludge of our existence. Our only hope is that these kinds of bitter realities eventually force us to grow and that over time good can and will overcome evil, bringing beauty and much needed maturity to our world. Men and women both, as partners in power and sensitivity, need to enable that cause.

Blaming God for our human insanities misses the whole point of creation. We have been created out of love but our fall into humanness sentenced us all to lives of recovery. In that process what we have become belongs to us and how life happens, not to God. But like the father in the parable of the Prodigal, God worries and waits with undiminished love of us to come home. In the meantime we need the eyes of the Prodigal himself to see where our choices have led us so we can reclaim our sanity, realizing that we are rooted in that love.

#MeToo has lessons for all of us.

One reply on “Charles Wilkinson: #MeToo, #WeToo”

  1. As a woman and a mom, and all the generation of the Metoo# generation, there are many issues at hand. First is that, there need to be role models of men showing nuanced, sensitive and vulnerable feelings and that it’s okay so that other men and boys can see that it’s cool to do this and even necessary. In other words, you don’t always need to have control. And yet , societally we expect that. In other words, society expects men to just brush off feelings of sadness or lack of control. What does this mean for all of us? It means, try hugging a fire hydrant when you’re in the hospital, or someone’s dying,somebody loses their job or you’re just going out on a date and trying and have a nice, cozy evening together. If you want a sensitive man you need to allow him to have those feelings and to be vulnerable. I know I don’t want my son growing up with this crap, nor would I want a man in my life who didn’t feel he could show sensitivity and vulnerability. In other words, everybody needs a soft place to fall, because no one can hold it together all the time. And then, it’s time for us women to carry the torch for the ball during these times because no one can carry it all the time. If not, it’s almost like we are saying that if we don’t allow a man to have these feelings that we are cancelling culture on them to be able to have vulnerable feelings.

    And, I think training in how to flirt and read communications signals is key, and for doing so in different communication formats i.e. in-person, video phone, phone, text and email. Certain things like: what you wear, your eye makeup, what you say, your body language, what time of day or night you are meeting or talking, your scent perfume or pheromones, being alone with someone, doing innuendo all can lead to certain outcomes which people need to understand because if you believe in evolution we are animals and we read signals a certain way. Yes, you can do whatever you want and the like but it will lead to certain things or could which could be fine if both parties are interested or not. If people learn how to communicate and see each other as people first, thinking about what they would want oh, if they were the other person this would make our society as a whole lot healthier. Truly, for any healthy situation, it should be looking at the other person like a “friendship on fireworks” with the goal to connect deeply which then leads to better outcomes with people taking care of for each other rather than taking advantage of each other. And then, people can use their heart along with their head, because in where there is either mutual attraction or one sided attraction, logic kind of goes out the window. And, that’s where your gut comes in. Using your gut, allows you to feel your heart to read the situation and know what to do next.

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