Yes, all of these women have been victims of sexual harassment too — at the least.

Dear Men: every woman you have ever known has been harassed, assaulted or raped. Yes, her too…

Before we start, just in case you didn’t get the title — I am speaking primarily to men in this missive…

So, let’s do a little math: every single woman I’ve asked (including my 20-year old daughter and my wife) if they have been shamed, harassed, assaulted or raped has said “yes”. That’s 100% of more than 100+ women asked. Don’t believe me? Ask women yourself. You might be shocked that every single one has been sexually mishandled— they might tell you if they feel comfortable enough to tell you the truth. Then ask: “why haven’t you said anything, reported it as a crime or gone to the authorities?” After their laughter subsides, these women might say: “Are you fucking kidding? To whom would I go who would even believe me? Where would I go to get justice after the fact?” Even the police will tell you that if there’s no witness to a sexual crime or tangible physical evidence that filing a charge is almost impossible. The standard for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace can be lower, however, most large companies will demand corroborating evidence or a witness to move forward against a co-worker or they might leave themselves open to a lawsuit by the accused.

Yeah, the environment is a shitshow and we created it guys. Well, not just us — but every man in creation all the way back to the invention of fire who saw an opportunity by wanting a blowjob from his female companion as “payment” to get warm on a chilly night… Yes, we men are assholes and sexual opportunists. If you can grasp this concept, we have a chance to be part of what transforms this conversation forever.

Before you start feeling sorry for yourself - males, let’s distinguish something: the difference between “responsibility” and “blame”. When most men hear a #MeToo woman speaking about being harassed or raped— they hear blame. These “innocent” males get reticent, quiet and suppressed. They hear all men are wrong. NO!!! Women want male partners to transform the environment so they can be safe from the centuries of shit and harassment they and their ancestors have had to contend. Bad news first: all men are responsible for creating an environment where monsters like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and others could survive, hunt and thrive while destroying the lives of countless women. That said, please understand I am not to “blame” for their many crimes and neither are you. Do you see that you created the environment by buying-in to the “boy’s club” bullshit that has fueled so much male sexual self-righteousness? It could also be said that my being silent in the face of what is happening is acquiescence where there should be responsibility, the restoration of integrity and anger that the silent majority is scared of instead of being IN ACTION in support of women. Silence lets the monsters roam unchecked for decades. Understand? If you see something, say something — stupid.

Martin Luther King said it best: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Hi idiots… this is something that matters.

Since the revelations around Harvey Weinstein (see my blog about that) and the dozens of prominent men taken down as part of the #MeToo movement, men have largely run for cover in a world where the “rules” regarding interpersonal interactions changed overnight and all of their normal impulses and habits were now being checked if not downright censured at the source. I will admit that I have stopped hugging women who don’t hug me first and the “fist bump” is my go to “hello” and “goodbye” physical interaction with both sexes. (Read: it’s 100% safe) However, I accept my responsibility for tolerating the sexist stories of other men, witnessing harassment (and more) in the workplace and doing absolutely fucking nothing. Yes boy idiot — I am you. You are me.

Here’s the point: us men doing nothing was actually an affirmative action for the sexual criminals who have pursued women unchecked for decades. It’s the nothing we are dealing with… Get it? To say something at a business dinner where the boss makes a pass with any woman at the table in front of 5 coworkers might end your career (you think). But in the new world, it will create what has been missing: accountability between men and their actions. You might ask: “is saying something worth my career”? Answer: yes, idiot.

Recently, I was at a bar in Manhattan and a man was “coming on strong” to a women who was clearly NOT interested. I saw this but I was afraid to say something. When she finally raised her voice to the man I said from across the room: “dude, what are you doing? She’s not interested.” He said: “I don’t understand why you’re here — do you want to fuck her?” I said: “No asshole. No one’s getting fucked and you are leaving this woman alone.” He wasn’t happy. He said: “I’ll fuck you up — dude.” So, I said: “OK, let me get this straight. You’re going to fight me for the right to harass a woman who has no interest in you? Wow, you are pretty fucking stupid. I’ll beat the fuck out of you as a public service to the planet because you are too stupid to understand when a woman says ‘go away’”. Cue the applause from the other patrons in the bar. He backed off because he was shamed by the clapping of the other patrons - not by my being a macho asshole standing-up for “girls”. Most importantly, he didn’t see that he was harassing a woman. So, I failed on multiple fronts. Male testosterone makes people do and say stupid shit even when given the right context (that’s me). I thought it was important to share a failure before creating what a success might be… Some of you might be confused to why this is a “fail”…

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Does the woman NEED your help? Assume: no. Don’t know? Ask…
  2. Physical violence is always a loss. The threat of it is too. No one “wins”. My threatening him was my boy bullshit at full froth.
  3. Women crave safety and security — but is my jumping into a situation where an asshole is being an asshole to a woman more of the same shit that men have been doing for eons to women? Answer: yes. You might want to diffuse the situation by taking the man away from the woman or empowering the woman to mange it herself. Giving someone the choice is always the best path.

So, if I am not wanting you to be a macho-shithead — — what am I saying? Speak-up. Say something. You weren’t brought-up by wolves so you have some sense of a real moral compass and you have the simplest understanding of not putting women in situations where you are asking them to act beyond common sense and even legality. Here’s the new standard: apply all the protections you have for yourself to any female you see ever and then empower them to act beyond anything you think you understand, OK? No, you don’t get it? Then ask the female how she could be empowered in the situation and be prepared to be shocked.

You might also decide you want to write about this, speak about this and spend some of priceless social capital on being on a new side of a conversation that isn’t about getting your rocks off or making a profit. Imagine, that there is an altruistic and generous way to live that is selfless and isn’t about you.

The goal is about creating a safe and empowered space for everyone always. Not you. Everyone. Ready? Go…

Emmy® Award-winning composer, record company executive, copyright expert, dad, dog owner and CrossFit newbie

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