As an attorney that’s in his 50s, I see objectionable male behavior all around me. On the roads, there are those men that tailgate you and expect everyone to immediately get out of their way. At the gym, there are men that seem to grunt louder and drop and clang their weights for all to hear.
It all starts at an early age. Growing up, I saw a lot of male testosterone gone wild. Boys in school bully other boys that were skinnier and less developed. Some of their fathers were not good role models. They would not treat their mothers as equals. They would expect their wives to echo their opinions. After all, they are the man is what was engrained in their thoughts. That’s their manner of thinking.
In college, young men are exposed to more irresponsible behavior. There were fraternity members that went wild in their hazing, forcing their pledges to drink to excess. There were men that tried to get every woman into bed. They expected other men to be motivated similarly. After college, there is the nightclub scene. At nightclubs, you would see men having no control over their drinking and getting into fights. Still more sexual games with women.
Now that I am older and have a teenage son, I try to instill in him that all this aggressive macho male behavior is not cool. Picking on a classmate because he stutters is not cool. Pressuring a girl into sex is not cool. Showing respect and dignity for others, however, is cool.
When boys get out of college and are exposed to the world, it’s a time for them to develop into respectful men. Unfortunately, some don’t. For instance, online dating is commonplace despite the impersonal nature of it. I was surprised to learn how common women receive unsolicited pictures of men’s privates. These same men that are sending these pics are employed in every different occupation and profession.
When these men get exposed to power and have the ability to make decisions that impact those around them, their ability and willingness to abuse that power is where sexual harassment and discrimination flourish.
We are now at a point and time where you can speak your voice. This me-too revolution is about having that voice and speaking out against business as usual and/or the old boys club.