YES! JOIN FOR FREE!
Enter your address below to receive free email alerts when a new comic or a blog post is published:
You may unsubscribe easily at any time & your email will never be shared with anyone!
SHARE
FOLLOW
SEARCH
EAGANBLOG ARCHIVE
Explore the current collection.

UsToo
Something big is happening with women right now, and it gives me hope. The #MeToo phenomenon, which started in Hollywood among the beautiful and famous, has now spilled out into the wider world. Three female U.S. senators shared their stories of harassment with the media yesterday. A cohort of Miss Americas have posted accounts of their experiences. More importantly, there appears to be a new willingness among the rest of us to talk about these things — with each other and with the world at large.

I’m still not sure where I fit into this movement, if that’s what it is. I can only say that these stories of abuse and humiliation and the leveraging of fear have had an effect on me. They make me feel uncomfortable. I presume they make others feel uncomfortable too, and I am beginning to think that this a time when we need to feel that way until the problem is solved.

What is heartening about these revelations is the mutual awareness, solidarity, righteousness, and resolve exhibited by these women. That is such an admirable and positive collection of human traits. Their response has its roots in the same fundamental tradition that undergirds all free societies: equality for all of us. To me, this unity represents one of the most promising forces for good at work in our society today. It opens a door that maybe, just maybe, might lead to a more enlightened society — something that this shrinking, increasingly afflicted planet so sorely needs.

That’s a lot of expectation to load on the back of a cause that’s just barely cleared the runway, but I can’t help myself. Tina Brown, a past editor of the New Yorker and other high-end publications, presented a compelling analysis of the phenomenon during an interview on Charlie Rose. She traced its genesis back through the Weinstein charges, to the worldwide Women’s March, and finally to the Access Hollywood tape. Brown thought that that incident, especially since it did not result in stopping Trump from being elected, was the proximate cause of the persistent outrage we are witnessing now. It goes back further than that, of course, including to the episodes around Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, and Bill Clinton. By her reckoning, though, the “pussy-grab” video was the event that activated so many women to rise up and fight back together. But is this culmination of the history of the Women’s rights push strong enough to pull the rest of us along with it?

One reason that I am so hopeful about that possibility is that the women’s movement is the most purely egalitarian cause I can think of. I will dare to say that feminism itself is not just about equality for women, but for all of us. If anything can lift us up and transform us into a truly enlightened society, this is it.

So yes, I’d like to help, but what can a man do? We are certainly getting a clear picture now, for those who didn’t know already, of what we are not supposed to do. Ideally, men should already be there, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. But what else? Finn Wolfhard, the 14-year-old lead of Netflix’ Stranger Things, may have given grown men a clue by firing his agent. The man is alleged to have committed sexual assault against two young men, so Wolfhard cut him loose. The point I take here is that I need to be willing to act, just as Wolfhard did. If it is in my power, I need to stop the jerks, or at least try. That is what so many of the men (and yes, women) of Hollywood failed to do when they had the chance. Shame on them, shame on us.

It is important to recognize that whatever we set ourselves to do, it will not be easy to reverse a culture that his existed since history began. Dominance, control, abuse, and cruelty toward women has been going on a long time. Subjugation of human beings in general, no matter what their gender, has been with us from the beginning, and it will take a whole lot of solidarity and resolve to put even a small dent in that kind of tradition.

But that shouldn’t stop any of us. Maybe my hope and optimism are misplaced, but if humans are destined to continue as a viable species, we’ll need a more holistic concept of what it means to be human. Focussing on gender or ethnicity or any other minor differences we might use to divide ourselves will only undermine our humanity. Every person is different, but so what? We are all parts of the whole. Time to get it together, people, and take a cue from the women. MeToo? UsToo!
image
No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee