7.5.18

Daddy thoughts 15 - Me too/ Patriarchy


Ok, got to get some stuff off of my chest. My name is Robert Liu-Trujillo. I'm a 38 year old cis-gender man, husband, father, and I’ve been writing about my experience as a Dad /parent for several years now (My son is 13). The mistakes, the screw ups, the great times, and more. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately , but that Junot article recently made me think I should share this. I’ve spoken to my son about consent, sex, and respecting women and this will be an on-going conversation. I also spoke to my wife about the sadness this experience brings up for me and for male dominance/ patriarchy that is in me and others. I am complicit and have played a part in it.

Ever since the “MeToo” movement started I have been reading articles, testimonies, and experiences. I have been denouncing things on social media here and there and having an on going conversation with my wife and my son. I have been battling with the thought that I am not free from this criticism. As much as I’d like to be forgiven (selfish) for behavior that is what women are calling out, it is not about me. It’s about changing how people treat one another, specifically how men and boys treat women an/or female identifying folks. Its about teaching my son and the next generation that consent, respect, and standing up for women is hella important. And if young boys don’t hear it from us they’ll think it doesn’t matter and that if the person in question is not their girl,mom, or sister, they don’t matter.  This is about harassment by words, touching, violent behavior with words or domestic abuse, rape, abuse of power, and saying nothing when someone else does this.

So here are a couple of experiences.

As a boy, maybe 9 or 10, I listened to a much older group of men (some family, some not) talk about a time when they were out drinking, hanging out with girls. Partying, all that. They described getting so faded that some of them passed out and some went home. Some of the girls stayed with them at their spot or hotel (can’t remember) and some went home. One of the dudes describes how the next morning a girl says to him “did you penetrate (&*%#) me last night?”. He laughs, pauses and says no. She then says why is my vagina (&*$%^) sore then?” and all the guys start laughing, cracking up. I don't remember laughing. I was trying to put two and two together because although I was taught about sex from a very early age I hadn't had any very few sexual experiences. I understood that this was wrong. I didn’t know if the girl in question was his girlfriend or not, if they did that regularly or not, etc.  But that does not matter. I just remember thinking, that’s fucked up. It sounds like rape. I wish I as a child had the courage and the words to say “fuck that, that is wrong!.” But I just stood there (Enabling or approving of behavior can be silent). I have not heard another guy say this to me as an adult or an adolescent but I’m pretty sure some guys have said this and this is a point where we can say, “NO, what you’re saying or doing is wrong”. It ain’t about “if that was my sister, or mom, or cousin I’d…..”. No it’s about all women. ALL women and female indentifying people. All of them deserve to be treated with respect. Guys, what do you think about this? Be honest.

Now, something I did as a 20 something. I once went home with a young woman. We hung out, talked, and I told her I was attracted to her and that I liked her. I was super nervous, she probably was too. She told me she liked me as well. We kissed and made out. At the end of the night we had sex, protected. We even had sex again on another day after this encounter. But, in looking at what women and some men are saying about honest self-reflection, and self-criticism I don’t think she enjoyed it. And I don’t mean, having an orgasm (Guys often cum, she sometimes cum’s) . I mean, the first time she “allowed” me to. And to be straight up I’ve heard a lot of women say that they have done this too. Allowed. Either, because they felt pressured to, they feared for their safety, embarrassed, or some other reason. Now, I did not threaten her physically or verbally, or try to embarrass her but I think she felt pressured by me. The second time we had sex (after that) she wanted to know what we “were” (relationship?) and was clearly interested in more than just sex. I had just recently gotten out of a long relationship and told her that after thinking about it; I enjoyed time with her but just wanted to remain friends. And we did, we corresponded as friends after. But, in thinking about consent, reading body language, and just taking things slower for christ’s sake I regret doing that. That’s some punk ass shit if I’m being honest with myself. I did that. Guys, have you done this? Be honest. Edit: June 2018- I've since spoken to this young lady and apologized. She did not feel it was warranted or necessary, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I wished I'd have taken things slower, done thing differently. 

Ever since the call outs began I found myself really happy that it was happening and I also started to critique myself. How have I contributed to this behavior women and female identifying folks are coming forward with? How have I done something fucked up? How can I make it better? In the past, if I did something knowingly I apologized to that person and tried to right that wrong by reflecting on it and trying to change my behavior. But I’m asking boys, guys, and myself to reflect on what women and female indentified folks are saying. And inspect your own behavior, not only towards women but towards other men and boys (whole other part of this conversation) I believe the calls of Me Too whether you believe they are serious or trivial are all relevant and that we as guys, boys, or male identified persons need to be introspective. We need to take it in and honestly think about it and how we may have contributed.

Women are speaking up and we need to listen and we (I) need to unlearn any patriarchal, macho, male dominant, dismissive behavior and teach both our sons, daughters, and gender non conforming kids to call it out. It is oppressive and unhealthy for people of all genders and for the next generation. In speaking to guys or boys - I’m talking about self proclaimed nice guys, jerks, allies, women haters, authors, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, movie studio owners, rappers, actors, business men, students, to the damn president of the United States. Are you paying attention? Can you call it out in you and others? What has struck a cord with you?

Guys, there has been a lot of women who’ve come forward and shared a story. Who do you know who is male who has come forward sharing theirs in some way who is a guy/male? I will read it and read it with my son. I think we have only just begun to see the stories and that although it may be uncomfortable it is necessary. And my next question is one many women have been asking, once folks have come forward and shared all of it, how do we heal from this? Do we throw these men away? Do we call them in? Thoughts?

If you haven't seen these films yet guys check em out and study them. I'm in them. We are in them.
-Beyond Beats and Rhymes
-The Feminist on Block Y
-I also heard "The Mask you live in"  is a good flick too


info@robdontstop.com

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