Wendy Kalman
There are many ways to see and understand

It is not enough to make noise

This past week, the internet overflowed with stories of #metoo. And for those men who “got it,” they were impacted by how prevalent this objectification and dismissal of women was. They looked more closely at their own behaviors.

And then there were the voices of those in denial. Men who insisted that the women were crying victim but at the same time that their own stories should be part of the narrative. Now, no one is saying that men who were harassed weren’t or that their stories shouldn’t be told.

But not within this movement.

The purpose behind #metoo was to demonstrate that not being bothered / harassed / objectified / touched / assaulted was more the exception than the rule. It is a reality women deal with daily. It is widespread.

Some made the point that the men coopting the #metoo hashtag were doing the same thing that was done by those white people who wanted All Lives Matter to replace Black Lives Matter. And I could see that. The reasons behind BLM still exist – black lives are not treated the same as white ones, not by security, police, courts, society. But black lives matter too.

Then we have those who want to “bring back” Merry Christmas as a greeting, dismissing the more widely applicable Happy Holidays. Or those who decry pride parades because they don’t understand its purpose.

The list goes on.

The pain behind #metoo Is real, but my fear is that the focus feeds the “injustice of the day,” instead of the bigger issue. Everyone is deserving of the same treatment by all others.

My take is that by default, this is a man’s world. A white Christian straight man’s world. All others have to suffer their shit…

And it’s enough of this shit.

It is condescending when members of any of those default populations behave as if they are doing others a favor by making allowances. We are all equal.

After Charlottesville, I wrote about my heart hurting. I mentioned a piece I had read and a video I’d seen that helped open my eyes. “When we talk about privilege, it’s not about what one individual has experienced or not in his or her life. It’s about the conditions that are afforded to those who belong to that default class that others do not automatically experience.  This 2014 HuffPo piece, Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person  by Gina Crosley-Corcorane and the 2015 Boldly video, What is Privilege? both helped me see that more clearly.” Read them and see for yourself. Please.

Those of us who are not in one or more of those default classes have to walk through lives watching our steps and moving out of the way of all others.

It is not enough to make noise.

How do we change culture and society? How can those with power see the benefit in ceding some of it? Tell me, please. Because it’s long overdue.

About the Author
Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Wendy lived in Jerusalem for over a decade submerged in Israeli culture. Since returning to the U.S. in 2003; she has been soaked in Southern life in metro Atlanta. An Ashkenazi mom to Mizrahi sons born in Israel and the US, MIL to a DIL born in France and a step mom to sons born in the South, she celebrates trying to see from multiple perspectives and hope this comes out in her blogs. Wendy recently completed two master's degrees in public administration and integrated goblal communication, while also splitting her time between her research position at the Center for Israel Education, taking a grad school class on conflict management, digging deep into genealogy while bringing distant family together and spending too much time on Facebook. All of this is to say, Wendy's life has brought her to the widened framemwork she uses for her blogs: there are many ways to see and understand.
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