Men and #MeToo
by Kelli Wilson
The past couple of months have been tough for so many strong and courageous women, me included. After #metoo really took off, I felt unstoppable: like a lioness, stealthy, strong, and brave. Then came the accusation against a Supreme Court Justice nominee, the testimony of one woman heard round the world, and then, nothing. It happened so quickly, like the weight of a dozen waves came crashing over my head. Knocking me down, as I tried in vain to just breathe. I felt so utterly broken and, quite frankly, afraid. Then the anger came flooding back. The anger that I thought I had defeated, tamped down. It rose with a fiery vengeance. And it was pissed. Pissed at all the tone-deaf patriarchal white men. Pissed at all the palpable anxiety I was once again feeling. I had trouble sleeping, trouble living.
But then I started to see the brave men who were standing with all these women, all of us. Standing in defiant solidarity. Demanding we be heard. Refusing to back down. They were there: my husband was one of them. We were not alone. He never doubted my story, my truth.
He has always fought for me. My daughter can look to him, knowing that he will always wholly love and support her. She will know not to settle for anything less in a partner. My son is also seeing and learning to believe women, to know that we are valuable, and not less-than. In his eyes, we are equal. There is something very healing in that realization. It helped me to let go of the anger, so that I could, once again, welcome some peace back into my life. It refreshed my anguished soul. I could breathe. I could heal.
So, this is for the supportive men in our lives. The partners, husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends. Thank you for listening and believing us. Thank you for lending us your shoulders, when we couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. Thank you for patiently being the punching bag, when we had no other release for our anger. Thank you for being our safe place.