Can we go for #fuckyou or #speakup, instead?

I have had a lot of conversations this week. Men and women have talked to me and shared their thoughts and experiences. And I’ve been reading.

And… it is really difficult to find articles, that don’t look at #metoo from the women vs men angle. And maybe this is part of the basic motivation for #metoo actually… But that makes me sad.


Because it keeps those two camps of men vs women, instead of using the opportunity to speak up as people who set boundaries, people who notice boundaries… against those that abuse them. Be that physical or emotional, through violence or through manipulation.

My sense is that this is just creating a sense of defense and need to protect in those, who otherwise could be allies.

This article (in German) spoke to me, as it asks for a culture of speaking up in the moment that something happens. The author suggest #fuckyou or #speakup instead of merely expressing solidarity ‚after the fact‘. And while I love this approach, she too enters the gender-bashing ever so subtly.

But I do believe, that we ALL need this. We all need a culture in which we know, we will be protected from physical violence by those who are physically stronger and from emotional violence by those who we might be dependent on.

I really wonder – how can we have this important, relevant debate without gender-bashing? I’m afraid that this element in the debate will discredit part of the important debate about boundaries and power imbalances.
I believe, we need to create a culture where it is not a surprise for my friend, that I go between two guys where one is kicking the drunk on the floor, but where this is the most normal thing to do.

I think we need a culture, in which it is normal to say fuck off to people who are crossing our boundaries, or to speak up and step up when we see someone being harassed.

And yes. I said normal. I think, this is one place, where I wish we can create a norm. A norm that is respecting and guarding boundaries. That is learning to notice them.

And only coming close with full consent.

and for this, i believe

what we need to teach and learn is not to abuse positions of physical (or emotional) superiority

what we need to teach and learn is to heal and recover from moments that were too much

what we need to teach and learn is noticing when someone we’re speaking with is freezing inside and incapable actual communication – so we don’t unintentionally cross borders

what we need to teach and learn is to stop someone who is willingly or unwillingly bothering

what we need to teach and learn is that we can listen to our needs no matter if they make sense to others or not

what we need to teach and learn is that we don’t have to be able to do and deal with everything on our own

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