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Scared? Well, Me Too.

“Men are really scared right now.”

That’s what people kept saying to me as the string of abuse allegations came out in the wake of the MeToo movement.  That sentiment seemed problematic, especially as many times as I heard it, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.

“Men are really scared right now,” people would tell me, “With all of these old allegations surfacing, because this kind of thing can really ruin someone’s life.”   And every time I heard it, my inclination was that a focus on men’s fear was not the right reaction, not a helpful or useful response to what is, essentially, a revolution in the way the public understands the prevalence and severity of sexual assault.  But it has taken me a while to understand just why I found that reaction so problematic.

See, if men are scared across the board, the implication is that either these men have committed abuses in the past and are afraid they will be asked to answer for them now, or that they fear they will be painted with…

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