#metoo, but not in the workplace or school.
That is not what this post is about. This is about the bystanders, one that saved me and one that did not protect me. The man who stood by and said nothing and did nothing and the one who took it upon himself to make sure nothing happened to me.
I used to think that I was never harassed or assaulted in the workplace or school environment as many women that I know had because of my own actions. Because of the way I handled myself, making it clear I was not a mark.
I think I was just lucky.
We must share when the men have done us right too, because we need those men around us and everywhere to understand how much we value their part in making work places and schools and life in general a culture which does not accept any kind of harassment or assault against women. Or, men for that matter.
The man who did not come to my aid was someone who I had been briefly dating in my 20s. His friend got a little too ‘handsy’ with me after I had been drinking…. right in front of my date. It was clear that I was not consenting, but he said nothing. He did nothing. Well, I take that back. He did do something. He apologized the next day. I am sorry, but apologizing to me does not help prevent it from happening to someone else or let someone one know they are out of line.
The man who did come to my aid was someone I worked with and often spent time with as part of our work friend group just after college. We were at a party at a good friend’s house. I drank a little too much and went into my friend’s’ bedroom to sleep it off. While I was passed out, another man came in the bedroom and closed the door behind him. My male work friend noticed and came to check on me. The door was locked. He literally BROKE THE DOOR DOWN. And, when I say literally, I mean he literally LITERALLY broke the door down to protect me.
Changing the acceptance in our culture that sexual harassment and assault are just things that happen to women will happen when men and women alike become DOOR BREAKERS instead of APOLOGIZERS.
We do not accept this.
We do not hide this or run from it.
We do not stand by when it happens.
We do not protect those undeserving of protection.