TL 094 | #meToo

094: The VERY Important Conversation About #meToo

TL 094 | #meToo

When people are put in a position of power, they are also put in a position of abuse. This is a natural occurrence in a society where men do not carry the emotional burden to battle gendered violence. Men know that harassment, sexual abuse and catcalling happen all the time and they choose to not do anything because of the fear of being ostracized by the community. With #meToo, we are protected from the judging eyes of the culture we grew up on. Learn why it is important that we speak about this charged topic now more than ever.

This week is around #MeToo. It’s really not about #MeToo. It’s really about the huge, huge underlying entwined part of our society called harassment, sexual abuse, catcalling. It really is a vast topic. On the show, I invite seven different voices to come on and talk about their impression of these really cultural phenomena that’s been a reason by one man being brought to the limelight, Harvey Weinstein. A powerful Hollywood producer being brought to the limelight by over 40 actresses at this point of his misuse of power especially around sexual harassment and getting what he wants based on his power and position. I feel very emotional around the show because it touched so many important points. It goes all over the place. I’m really happy to say we have a wide range of viewpoints and concepts that hopefully you’ll get some value. It’s really important to continue this conversation about the power of #MeToo. Hopefully, you’re comfortable, really pay attention to the different voices. Thank you so much as always for being part of the Tuff Love experience. Please share this with your friends. Thank you so much.

Listen to the podcast here:

The VERY Important Conversation About #meToo

I’m talking about the important things as referred by me in my world. It’s my podcast, it’s my world and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully the work we’re doing here can apply in your life and add value and power to your life. That really is the focus of the show. I am an explorer. I’m an explorer of different worlds. I’m an explorer of different concepts and have the amazing fortune to be connected to so many amazing people in this really dynamic time. From that, I get to learn and see and explore and expand and get triggered and get triggered again and understand my triggers and then come on the show and talk about it, which is really the nature of my life. I believe my life purpose is to make an impact. The truth is the most important impact that we can have in this world and if we’re not willing to speak up, then that impact can remain hidden and you’ll never know who you can help just by telling your truth.

When I first heard about this Harvey Weinstein epidemic my first thought was, “This will blow over quickly because we live in a society where we’ve elected a president who has something similar happened before the election and he was still elected.” I thought, “What’s the difference between a movie mogul and a president of the United States?” Foolish, naïve me that that would not happen. What’s happened is this exceptionally interesting thing where people are actually starting to talk about this pervasive issue of sexual assault on people. I say people because it would just be naïve to say that this just happen to women. Though predominantly, it happens exceptionally more to women than men in terms of violations and the small minutia to the rape or gang rape to the extreme of that. It does happen to men and I’ve seen a lot of posts out there where men are whining basically, “Why are you just talking about women?” I do want to say for the record that I do know and I’ve read the statistics that this does happen to men predominantly by other men. This does happen.

An interesting statistic I found on The Telegraph, the London-based Telegraph, was that there were 1 million tweets in three or four days with the #MeToo. Those 1 million tweets were interacted 3.6 billion times. An interaction on Twitter basically means that they were clicked on or retweeted. In three days, 3.6 billion interactions and they estimate that over 5 billion people saw the tweets. Of the people tweeting, 30.1% were men and 69.9% were female. Of the 1 million tweets, 30% were men. It’s not clear a lot men did support, “I am supporting #MeToo or I’m supporting you.” It’s not saying that 30.1% of men were harassed. It’s unknown what the exact statistic is, but I do want to say for the fact that this does happen to men but that’s not really the topic of this conversation. I want to talk about the effect of sexual harassment that is entwined in our society. There’s no other better way to say it. It is part of the social DNA of women being harassed on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. As I’ve been reading the post on Facebook and people sharing their experiences, this is something that’s so entwined that it’s not even perceived as unusual today.

As we’re talking about doing this podcast, women are being harassed from minute catcall or a look that feels invasive to someone being inappropriately touched to someone being raped that’s happening right now. My goal is to bring the conversation out more and more. As I’m doing this podcast, as I’m taking my notes, and thinking about it, I don’t want to rehash what’s already been said. That’s part of my DNA is I hate doing what other people have done. I am here not to as much report on what’s happening. You can go to infinite amount of news sources and find better reporting that I can do, but I do want to engage in many voices out there. I put a call out there and I’ve got seven women to say, “Yes. I like to come on the show and participate. ” One man, our ultimate fan, Elvis, has volunteered to be the solo man to come on and talk about that which I think takes a lot of bravery on all people’s parts to come out and talk about it.

Some few things about this that just have to be known is that the #MeToo was actually started in 2006 by a women’s activist named Tarana Burke. When the #MeToo thing happened, when the meme happened, started really by a movie star and TV show star, Alyssa Milano, she didn’t even know where it came from. She was informed, “This is going around.” The interesting thing is that the starter of #MeToo was really worried about #MeToo being eclipsed, her work being undone by all the sharing that’s going on in social media. There was actually a fear. It wasn’t about the victims necessarily talking about it, it was about educating men about the effects so they would do something about it. My understanding of it is #MeToo is really a wakeup call to men to say, “You’re doing this. You might not even be aware you’re doing this, but this is happening. It’s happening to me. This is happening to your sisters and your cousins and your aunts and this is happening and so just wake up.” That was one of the interesting things I found as I was doing my research.

One interesting quote I found is that, “Men in position of power often have the position of abuse.” I think that was one of the most important things that I read. This is what happens when you get a point of power, a power over, a power that you can lord over someone that we are not conscious with our power. I want to just share my personal story why this is affecting so much is that I was in that position of power for ten years. While my specific abuse patterns were not to invade women’s boundaries based on my nice guy, shy, gentleman dominated by women my entire life feeling, I did let a lot of other people in position of power to abuse others. In my therapy, spending an hour talking about the effect that being in that position of power and not doing anything has deeply affected me years and years later. The lesson I’m really learning is the importance to speak up.

There are many points where I could have said, “No. Don’t do that. Stop. That’s not appropriate,” but I was so afraid of being ostracized. I was so afraid of being excommunicated from my community that I kept my mouth shut. The crime of silence, that’s how pervasive evil goes is when we don’t speak up. A lot of the articles I’m reading is really a call out for men to call out other men when they notice this happening. I think that is to me the most powerful way to stop this. Do I truly believe that #MeToo is going to stop sexual harassment and sexual abuse? I’m sorry to say pessimistic, I don’t think it’s going to stop. It’s in the fabric of our foundation and even if 1% or 5% or 10% or 50% of men even hear this, how many will actually change? I don’t think a great percentage. I am hoping that this conversation could inform other men to say, “Don’t do that.” “Apologize for catcalling.” “You’re not allowed to touch her.” “She’s passed out, just leave her alone.” That is the message that needs to happen.

The second thing is that I just want to let women know that the greatest way that I learned to be a man was by women educating me. That my enlightenment happened when you told me the truth. I would still be numb and dumb if one woman, Carol, hadn’t told me the truth and then a second woman, a third woman and a 50th woman and a 100th woman and a 1000th woman. Morgan, everyday telling me the truth, just continuous to make me a better man. I don’t want to put this on you. I did a post that women are the best educators of men and several women said like, “I’m so tired of educating men. Please don’t put this on me,” or more like, “I don’t want to do this. This is not my responsibility,” and it’s not your responsibility. I don’t want to say that and I should maybe clarify that, but it’s your opportunity. As a man, I’m doing my best to educate other men but even then, the fine nuances of how a man’s attention on you affects you, your feedback in the moment is the most powerful tool you can give. “No. That didn’t feel good when you touched me like that.” “No, when you made that comment that really hurt my feelings.” It’s that moment-by-moment heaping up and educating a man. That is the most powerful tool.

As much as I do and as much as I say, I still think a woman’s voice in the moment has infinitely more power than my post, my blogs, this podcast, etc. I will do my part to speak up. I will never allow the situation where I see abuse of power going that I won’t speak up. That is my commitment to myself mostly and to the world. It’s a call out and a reminder that women, it’s your opportunity every single day to make a man smarter because we are not well-informed about what feels good and what’s educated. I’m hoping I’m expressing that I don’t want to put this as a responsibility. I just want to put this as an opportunity and hopefully, hopefully, it will offer some clarity around that.

I want to give one alternative viewpoint to the #MeToo that Joe sent us. This is a woman named Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki. Joe sent this to me and it’s been shared 28,000 times. She said, “I won’t say “Me too” partially because most of you know that already. But mostly because we shouldn’t have to “out” ourselves as survivors. Because men have always seen gendered violence happening around them and/or being perpetrated by them, they just haven’t done anything about it. Because it shouldn’t matter how many women, femmes and gender neutral and non-conforming folks speak their truths. Because it isn’t about men seeing how many of us have been hurt because they’ve been seeing it for a long time. Because it shouldn’t be on our shoulders to speak up. It should be the men who are doing the emotional labor to combat gendered violence. Because I know, deep down, it won’t do anything. Men who get a certain threshold of survivors coming forward to “get it” will never get it. Because the focus on victims and survivors, instead of their assailants and enablers, is something we need to change. Because we’ve done enough. Now it’s your turn.”

Live Coaching

I think it’s just important for me to shut up and invite some other voices. I have eight people to chat with and we’ll see how this goes. Let’s start with Marie. Hi, Marie Elizabeth.

Hi.

How are you?

I’m well, thanks. How are you?

I’m a little nervous.

Thank you for holding this conversation.

It’s really my honor to be part of this and I’m honored to have you with us. If you want to start the conversation, let’s hear what you have to say.

When the cascade of #MeToo choruses began to swell on my Facebook page, I joined it. I posted my own post and then I just was riveted all of Sunday evening just watching post after posts unfurl and by Monday morning, I was a teary, sweaty mess of empathy and emotion. I wrote a response to both people that I saw posting as well as people I didn’t see posting, and I’ve continued to really attempt to hold a larger picture. For me, the analogy as I see it is there’s been this deep festering wound in the way we relate to each other for centuries. We are in this moment of the Band-Aid being ripped off, we’re seeing the pus. The pus is pouring out in the form of all this pain and it’s really important not to confuse the puss with healing. Right now, pus is coming out. It’s really important in order for a wound to heal, you have to clean it. This is a deep cleansing of this collective wound as I see it.

TL 094 | #meToo

There’s been this deep festering wound in the way we relate to each other for centuries.

Eventually, in order for actual change to happen, we’re going to have to start to look towards what we want to create. I don’t think it’s the time to look towards that right now. Right now is the pus-clearing. We’re debriding the wound and it’s a necessary moment. I wanted to just highlight three posts or conversations that I had that enlarged the view. One, a friend posted about she was in relationship with a man for three years who used to have sex with her while she was asleep. She’s a very heavy sleeper and he would have sex with her while she was sleeping even though she had told him repeatedly that she didn’t like that. Eventually, she broke up with him, but she never really internalized that as assault until now.

A friend of mine contacted me and she said, “I don’t know really know how to contribute to this conversation because it feels like a conversation of women supporting women and my abuse has happened at the hands of women. It happened at the hands of my coaches as an athlete in terms of abuses of power and it happened at the hands of lesbians.” Although she, herself, is gay as well. She said, “I don’t know how to participate in this conversation. I don’t want to dump on women because this feels like a moment where women are really wanting to support.” I basically said, “Your voice matters and we all need to speak and so I really hope that you’ll share.”

The third one was I was talking with a male friend and he said that at his old job, all his superiors forced him to have sex with him. He was treated around like a sex toy in a certain way. He didn’t feel victimized about it and he said, “I know what I want to do. I could bring a lawsuit but I don’t want to. I take responsibility for my part.” It’s rampant is what I want to say. It’s rampant and it’s an example of something in a way that we’re relating that’s toxic which each other regardless of gender. Even though the dynamic of power, of stronger physical man to women, that’s a real thing. I’m not minimizing the danger that women are in a physical level out in the world, but to say that there’s a deeper thing happening. It’s my hope that eventually we can clean all of it up.

Thank you. I appreciate everything you said. I think there are some really incredible things in there as well. To say it’s one gender on other gender would be blinding and abusive to the people of other genders that don’t fit that social strata, and so not to minimize anyone’s pain. I wrote about this, there was a moment. I had totally forgotten about this until I started writing this post where this fellow server of mine kissed me at a party, drunk, stuck his tongue down my throat and it was a moment of shock. It wasn’t like I would even explore it if it would have been not so abusive the way he thrust himself at me. I just totally said, “That’s just normal. It’s what a guy does or what a gay guy does to a straight guy. It’s part of it.” There are so many layers to this happening and waking up I think. I love your analogy of the pus because I do think it’s time. I’m an object orientated, must-fix-now kind of guy and then to think like, “Let’s let the wounds open and air out before we try to fix things.”

Thank you.

Thank you so much for coming on the show. Isa GlitterGirl, how are you?

I’m good. How are you?

I’m awesome. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Thanks for having me.

I know you have an alternative viewpoint to all of this that’s going on and I’m really excited for you to express it.

I noticed myself being a little nervous saying it because I think it’s pretty triggering for other people when I start talking about my position. I can go back to one of the first things you said about catcalling and how men should be calling out other men about it. First of all, I don’t actually think a catcall is harassment. That’s problem number one is in culture, different people see it differently. For me, in the United States, a catcall is protected by the First Amendment. I personally object to the idea that when somebody is walking down the street, somebody else saying something to them is considered harassment when they haven’t even asserted a no boundary. A few years ago, I don’t know if you saw it but the Hollaback video came out where they did a five-minute clip filming this woman who walked around New York City for several hours. In the same clip, they grouped a guy passing the woman in a crosswalk saying literally, “Hey, beautiful” with a guy that followed her for ten minutes or something. To me, to put those two things in the same category is in of itself problematic.

Then I watched what happened with this meme and I saw everything from catcalls being called out to gang rape. I think that’s pathological. You can’t put those in the same category of abuse. They’re vastly different because when you’re on the street, there is freedom of speech. I would add how is it any different for somebody who is catcalling you versus a Greenpeace guy that’s trying to hit you up for money? It’s the same freedom of speech and it’s the same right that they have and there is no violation. You can walk away. You’re not being touched. Your body isn’t being pinned down whereas rape or worst a gang rape, you literally have no choice anymore with your body and your agency has been removed. I think that the level of complaint isn’t clear with the meme and as a result, I watched people in my feed and I have a substantial feed of nearly 5,000 people. This is a pretty large sampling. It’s not 100 people. I watched people in my feed lauding and congratulating us collectively on how awesome this was and how this was a good thing, and then I watched the infighting unfolds where people started talking to other people about how their trauma wasn’t the right kind of trauma and that shouldn’t had been used with the meme. It became the victim Olympics of, “Who’s had it worst?” which is just absolutely horrible and not in any way healing in my opinion.

You’ve already touched on the other issues that I had with it around it being sexist and non-inclusive on the frontend of it. I feel like if the goal is to really raise awareness, then we need to be talking about the issue. You said you had looked at the statistics but when I looked at them, I don’t think it’s so different with men and women. It’s one in four women versus one in six men are sexually harassed or assaulted. I can’t remember the exact wording that I saw on the website. I just don’t think that’s such a different number. It’s still a large number and still too much. Then the other thing that I saw happen which was maybe it’s the most outrageous. I’m not certain. We’ll see how the rest of it unfolds. You said, “Men should be calling out other men,” I hear that. I totally hear that and I don’t think that there’s anything inherently wrong with that if it’s being done in a healthy way.

The problem with call out culture is some of the things that I’ve seen are people online talking about, “We should start just naming the predators.” Are you naming people from firsthand experience or are you naming people from hearsay? I’ve seen multiple threads where people were talking about, “There’s a well-known predator in the community.” I’m like, “What does well-known mean? Is it your firsthand experience or are you spreading rumor?” I think that there’s a real danger in it becoming a witch hunt or a lynch mob scenario where people are using social media to essentially defame other people. There was an incident that happened in a community that we probably share where I am not friends with the person, but I saw four different posts about “Victims of X.” Even if a person has admitted their own guilt, perhaps especially if they have admitted their own guilt, to continue to shame them on social media by calling them out and trying to gather people around for support creates a difficult situation in which what are we actually contributing at this point? Is that actually creating healing? I understand the desire to create support for people who have been traumatized but how much of this sitting around and talking about it is support versus wallowing or worst? I’ve seen multiple comments from multiple women talking about how they needed to avoid social media because they were outright traumatized by seeing all these #MeToo posts that were making them relive their own trauma that they haven’t been healed through again and again and again.

TL 094 | #meToo

Narcissism and perhaps even pathos of flatlining all of the scenarios into one hashtag gives a misleading sense of it.

I don’t think it’s a 100% healing. There is divisiveness to it. I think that narcissism and perhaps even pathos of flatlining all of the scenarios into one hashtag gives a misleading sense of it. Then you say things like, “It’s estimated that 5 billion people have been touched by this,” but touched at what level? How do they feel? I’ve posted six posts on it and I don’t know that any them are really positive and by the way, #MeTooraped. I’m not talking as somebody who isn’t herself a survivor. I don’t find that empowering for myself. My first approach to it was instead of me sharing my story because who cares about my trauma, “Let’s talk about my healing.” What I do is I shared a post talking about the resources that I used in order to move through my own experience and create healing for myself. I think that would be a much more positive way to approach it.

I didn’t have the context of the woman who had created this in 2006. Hearing that, it gives a little bit of a different sense of it to me and what the intention was. Social media is its own beast. No matter what your intention is, social media can turn it into something else. I’ve just seen a lot of things that are anywhere from uncomfortable to just gross. That pathology and the negativeness of that really concerns me personally. I also watched men get shamed for even trying to use the hashtag to speak about their own instances. That’s even sadder because we’re not raising any awareness if we’re shutting them out of the conversation. How are they supposed to be feeling included in trying to be allies when they themselves are victims and then they get shamed for being victims? I saw one woman say, “I really hate that men don’t even speak up until these things come up for women.” I’m like, “Is there a space for men to speak up in our culture?” You’re considered a wuss if something like this happened. I think in some ways, there’s even more shame about a man who’s been victimized than a woman because it’s so common for women to be victims, which is horrible in and of itself. I think it’s a complex issue.

You covered nine different topics, so impressive.

I have a lot of thoughts.

I just want to say thank you for bringing your viewpoints. I think they’re beautiful, powerful viewpoints and really should be taken to heart. I disagreed on some level with some things and agreed on different levels and I think it would be a lively conversation. I’m just grateful you have the courage to come and speak about it. Thank you so much.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity.

Let’s have Chelsey. Hi, Chelsey.

I also want to echo some of the things that have been said here. Like Marie Elizabeth, I also agree that this is a time of airing shadow and shame and an opportunity for listening. I’ve had a lot of teachers, but the one I’m thinking of here is Brené Brown talking about how shame exists in a container of being hidden. #MeToo is such a gift in the sense that we can drop it and be together there. That’s one of the things that really happened for me in watching this whole rise across my social media. There’s a solidarity and a light being shown here. Regardless of how people will show up with it, it’s cracking something open that’s really intense for a lot of people and it’s stirring things up. My original background is in Child Development. I think of this topic as directly relating to consents. One of the places that I really heard GlitterGirl speaking on the appropriate levels of intensity with some language here, what is or what isn’t harassment and what is worthy of that level of labeling? For me, I think that anything that’s not consented to is harassment. I think consent can happen at a lot of different levels depending on the rapport that you have and how much power and privilege and agency, education you have. Fundamentally, I think what we’re doing here is we’re starting to learn about consent as a culture. When I was growing up, it was never even part of the conversation.

I do think consent is a relatively new conversation. Most guys are confused about what consent truly is. We know what the textbook definition is or what the education and then guys get confused about mixed messages of like, “I just want you to take me. Don’t ask.” There’s a lot of confusion around it. Would you give your definition of consent or how would you educate someone about what that means to have it feel good for you individually specifically?

TL 094 | #meToo

Consent can happen at a lot of different levels depending on the rapport that you have.

I want to answer it by sharing something. I was in a gym locker room recently and I noticed this woman who had this just amazing physique. I wanted to say something about it but I was like, “But I’m a good feminist and I’m not going to catcall this woman.” I slowed down and asked myself how I would want it. What I wound up doing was saying, “Can I give you a compliment?” She said, “Yes.” I told her, “Your body really shows how much work you’ve put into it. I can tell you put a lot of love and attention there.” It felt so good for both of us. I could tell. She just lit up because of the permission and the acknowledgment. I was like, “That was a portal I had never considered before.” How I could tell someone something without wondering if I’m violating them, wondering if they are open to it? I think language is our very first touchstone there. Verbal consent for me is where you begin to build the rapport where later in my relationship I don’t ask whether I can kiss my partner. He gives me very clear body language cues as to when he’s not open to it. We just have enough safety in our communication to trust the other person to be able to say no.

Thank you. That asking of a question or compliment is what I call the communication bridge. It really is the ultimate powerful way to ask permission and to get a yes or a no. That is the most beautiful thing we can do for each other. Acknowledge each other, but to have that rapport and the consent is the most powerful way to ensure that communication will actually land rather than to drive-by. Thank you so much for your opinion. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Thank you for having me.

Let’s hear from the man. Let’s hear from Elvis.

My head is now in a bit from reading stuff. It’s really interesting because it’s bringing up millions and millions of different things. I’ve been thinking a little bit about what I would talk about, but hearing each person speak has just completely turned it over again. I was scrapping anything that I like to talk about. The main thing is that I had a talk with somebody and I realized that there wasn’t any women that I knew in my circle of friends and family that hadn’t had at least some level of abuse towards them from guys. Realizing that was shocking enough, but also just to know that most of the guys that I know would have stepped over boundaries and crossed boundaries and done things that they would when they were sober would be ashamed of. It’s really clear and it’s really obvious and it’s really bright.

What I really feel is that I only need to look in my own family and see the dynamic between the men and the women in my ancestors, my parents, my grandparents and see how the women were made to be small and the guys would be overpowering and the emotional abuse that as a kid you just get completely used to. That would just be the tip of the iceberg. Abuses on other levels that you wouldn’t be aware of, but you could only imagine. Just feeling how that programming as a guy where that’s left me and that whole thing of consent just being still very new. It’s an absolute minefield to be around in terms of relating to people. One minute, I’ve got my head around it and I’ve read lots of books in the last few years, and I’ve listened to Tuff Love every week without fail and I feel that I’m really well-informed. Even then, I just feel like lost at sea just knowing what I know and seeing what I’ve seen and feeling what I felt. At the same time, I’m absolutely amazed and jumping up and down with my arms in the air. There’s a platform that people can do this now and that they can say this. It’s not one or two people saying it in a room, but it’s people cheering out loud and it just feels amazing.

TL 094 | #meToo

It’s an absolute minefield to be around in terms of relating to people.

I really like you brought out two major points. The one is the family dynamic is the baseline of abuse for most people and what you described sounds like just normal. This is normal. It’s normal in our world and I think that’s going to be hardest part. Once we get through the puss phase and to the change, only change happens through practice. What you’re discovering and what you’re describing is you’re building a practice of learning how to consent, which is no joke in this complicated world.

I really acknowledge a desperate energy in guys, not all the guys but a lot of guys that I know. I don’t go out and I don’t drink, but I know most people go out and most people drink and I think that desperate energy coupled with getting loaded and being around other people is the bomb waiting to go off all the time.

Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Thanks for having me.

Deanna, how are you?

Good. How are you?

Good. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Thanks for having me. It was so strange. I woke up to the weirdest dream that there was a guy who is a friend of mine. It was almost like in the dream that was my husband and there was somebody that he really liked and respected in this dream that he worked with almost as if they were peers in the military setting. In my dream, I kept watching him interact with this woman and he would just say these short quip, funny things like, “Did you get that thing you needed and whatever?” and she was just always blowing him off. I knew that all he really wanted was to be friends with her. In the dream, I realized he didn’t have the vocabulary to have the conversation that he wanted to have. I helped him and I said, “Instead of making funny quips, cute jokes or whatever that might be making her feel uncomfortable and like you’re trying to hit on her, if all you really want to do is be a respected peer and friend, then actually have a conversation with her and say, “I really like you and I have a lot of respect for you and all the things that you’ve done and I’d really like to be friends. I’d like you to be in my peer network of people that I can turn to or that can turn to me.””

In my dream, I feel that there are a lot of men that don’t have the vocabulary they need to have the conversation or they are too uncomfortable or we don’t have enough in our society guidance towards having a conversation of what it is that you really think or what it is you really feel. What is it you mean to say? Not just these overly friendly jokes, “Hi, how are you?” and whatever but actual, “I like you. You’re really cool and I’d like to be friends with you. You are somebody that I respect. That I think it would be great to add to my group and have over for barbecue or go do whatever activities with as friends.” That’s one thing that I woke up to and have that dream. I’m like, “In some circumstances, I wonder if that’s why some guys come off as if they’re trying to approach a woman and the women feel uncomfortable because they feel like they’re being hit on? When maybe sometimes, there are places where guys are actually just trying to be friendly.” We don’t have a lot of room for that in our society of actually being connected people who are peers, who aren’t necessarily shagging. I’ve seen so many people in my family and in my peer group of friends, women who are like, “He was looking at her. He was staring at her breast and he was whatever,” and I’m like, “Really?” I just see too much ownership. Women who have this idea that they own him and so he is not supposed to talk to anybody else, he is not supposed to be intrigued with anybody else’s mind. He is not supposed to be intrigued with anybody else’s physique. I think that’s some of the problem as well.

As far as the #MeToo conversation, I posted recently about the Dutch who are starting Sex Ed that’s age appropriate at Kindergarten. These kids have an idea of consent, of the ownership of their own body and of little bit by little bit, age appropriate information about where babies come from and who they are and how they have the right to give permission or deny permission over their own body at five. Based on the statistics I’ve read, their teen pregnancy has gone down, their rape has gone down, and it’s a huge improvement when we start giving kids autonomy. Because this happened to me, “If you tell, you’re going to get in trouble,” and that was exactly what happened. Then I never told again. Then I was already what they call groomed for being repeatedly abused and that’s what happened.

Thank you. Two things popped in my head. One is, I had a teacher that once said, “Men are powder kegs of affection looking for a place to go off and women are just everywhere.” All she described is like we’re big dogs with big tongues and big paws and we just don’t know how to use them. We just want to lick and paw everyone. Not to make an excuse, but that’s how it feels inside sometimes especially being around so many beautiful powerful women. The second thing is, I’m not sure with other countries but in America, the education system now is porn, especially free porn. Incredible audio book called The Butterfly Effect, on the effect of free porn. I’ve talked about it a few times on the show. They’re saying teenage pregnancy is going down in America, but that’s only because guys can’t get it up because they’ve become addicted to porn.

You are not kidding one bit. Actually, there was a documentary that was done in the UK that I saw clips of. They talked about how this has got to stop and this has got to change because they interviewed the young girls and the girls were traumatized by their first sex experience. These guys were expecting these fifteen-year-old girls or fourteen-year-old girls to want to do blow jobs and be like shaved there and everything like the porn. Then when they were acting like that, the guy would treat them like crap and be almost abusive to her. These girls were like, “I never want to have sex again ever if that’s what it’s like.” I’m like, “They are training these girls.” One girl talked about how the boy called her an ape because she still had all of her pubic hair intact. I think that’s horrible. Now, she is so intimidated. She has low self-esteem. She doesn’t have any courage to want to go out and express herself intimately or ever find her own voice of, “What do I like? Not what somebody else expects me to like or expects me to do, but what do I like?”

That took me a long time. I didn’t ever find out what I like until after I was 25 years old and I was in a lesbian relationship with a woman. They didn’t know what it was called and nobody told me what it was called back then, I had PTSD from long-term sexual abuse for over many years. When I ended up falling in love with a woman, it was the first time in my life. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas, no preconceived notions and no memories or flashbacks. That’s when I first got the chance to explore, “What do I like? What do I want?” We tried everything. “Did you like that?” “Yeah. I could do that.” “Did you like that?” “I love that. Let’s do that again.” I was 25 years old.

Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Thank you for having me.

We’re going to go to our last call. Shivani is on the phone. Hello?

Hi, Robert.

Thank you so much for coming on the call.

Thank you for inviting me. I just wanted to start out, I’m more about focusing on long-lasting change and I was actually one of the ones that exposed my story in detail. I felt like it was really important not just to say, “Me Too” but one of the things that I feel that will cause changes for those that have not experienced sexual harassment to really feel the embodiment of what that is. Otherwise, it’s just like saying, “I never have tasted chocolate and trying to get that idea of what is.” It’s very important to have those that have never felt the catcall to feel what it’s like to hear that catcall or to have your tits grabbed in fifth grade or to have somebody drunk at the bar, stick their tongue down your mouth and stick their hand up your skirt trying to grab your pussy or the feeling of being pinned down, crying and trying to push somebody off you as their dick is trying to go inside of you. I think until people haven’t felt this, there’s no real drive to have lasting change. The experience is outside of them. There’s not this movement to a really strong lasting movement. Maybe their hearts feel and they want to have a change and the theory in their mind, they get it, but until it’s really embodied then they can really say, “This is something I’m going to actively do.” It has to be an active stand that I’m going to make the choice in the moment. They know to be the experience if they come up and if I have embodied it and felt it, it’s more likely, “I’m going to stand up and say no to this anymore.” That’s my first point on change.

Then I also agree with the last caller. Sex education is huge. So much of what’s happening these days would be resolved if we had appropriate sexual education with our kids starting that young. What’s appropriate? Where is this misplaced sexual energy going? We don’t know what to do. We’re sexual beings. We have Shakti. The Eros is there. We come from sex. The denial and the suppression in our culture, it is in our fabric of who we are and until we really educate our kids to say for one thing, “It’s appropriate. It’s okay that you want to touch yourself. It’s okay that you feel this sexual urge and you feel the excitement within your body. This is normal. We’re all feeling it.” What do we do with that? At what age is it appropriate to do different things with that and to really normalize it? The same for me. I was raped at thirteen and I didn’t speak about it until 49, which I’m 49 now. That was just six months ago that I told a single soul. It was just so powerful. The power of the shame and the silence is just palpable in our society and that’s I feel what’s got the stronghold on us.

TL 094 | #meToo

The power of the shame and the silence is just palpable in our society.

The last thing that I really would like to bring up is, but I’m not hearing anything about embodiment on Facebook, compassion. I was one of the ones that wrote not only about my connection with men and how many men that I’ve heard also like yourself have experienced in sexual harassment and rape and different things going on. I also have misused my sexual power a lot because that’s how I learned that if I use and will my sexual ability to this man in this world, I could get what I wanted. There’s been a lot of abuse on my side in that before I started to become aware. I think until I can have compassion for myself that I’ve abused the same power that somebody else has. There’s just so much validation happening now on Facebook. They’re just crying for humanity. How will we ever going to move forward when there’s lack of compassion for myself and others? I just don’t experience healing when it’s not coming from deep within myself. If I can’t recognize some aspects of myself and others, I really can’t help and grasp any compassion to move forward. Those are my three points: compassion, sex education, and embody the experience.

I had actually a man that said that the experience that’s happening on Facebook is a very noteworthy experience to take in for the women and I really slammed him a little bit. I said, “Read the stories of your sisters. Feel like what it’s like to be raped and boned through and through if you can get there.” I can get the bigger jump where sometimes men fail to embody and get out of their logical brain, but I feel like the really key component for men hearing these stories and really feel the fear and the horror and the terror of what it’s like to have somebody take you like that.

Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing. I really appreciate it.

Thank you.

I really want to just echo that last point is I’ve been a little obsessively reading these #MeToos and I am a sensation junkie on some level and I like understanding things. If I get interested in something, I’ll read as much as possible and research and think and feel and ask questions. I think every single person on some level has felt a lack of control, has felt powerless. Kids by definition don’t have power to make decisions. Morgan and I were taking a walk and talking about this powerless feeling and in my own experience of being powerless to stop the abuse I was witnessing, seeing or everyone has the sense of powerlessness. Can we find that compassion and what’s it going to take for all people who are harassers and abusers to get educated to stop? It is a crime against humanity in my opinion to take away. Whatever level of detail to GlitterGirl’s viewpoint about First Amendment rights to different stories, I just want to respect all of them. What does it take for us to be able to be free in the world, to walk down the street and not have to fear our boundaries being invaded and what do we have to do? Perhaps really education, starting with kids but then starting with adults because there are plenty of adults out there that need to be reeducated and reparented around this really important point.

A very different show which I am extremely grateful and honored to participate in this conversation with all of you. Thank you so much for coming on the line Marie Elizabeth, GlitterGirl, Chelsey, Elvis, Deanna, and Shivani. Thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you so much for coming on and participating. Let’s evoke change. Let’s make an impact. If you want more shows on all different topics, please visit TuffLove.Live. New and exciting things coming up, book proposal done, a new adventure, maybe a membership, an unhidden membership, Loving Tuff Love. Stay tuned for that. You can always check out TuffLove.Live for updates. That’s where it all starts.

Thank you to my muse and love, Morgan, who continues to be my partner in this. It may sound like I’m the voice doing this but really a lot of this is based on the conversations we have had. The way she’s educated me. To give credit where credit is due really has to come back to this loving relationship I have and a lot of the things I say are hers just coming out of my mouth. I want to give credit to Morgan who continues to inspire me to be a better man. Go forth, get some nookie with consent. I will see you next week. Thank you so much. I love you. Take care.

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