Our society is experiencing an historic shift. More victims of sexual violence are finding the courage to declare #MeToo, and people are listening. It’s not happening just in Hollywood or Washington D.C., but also right here, in the New Mexico legislature.
The weather is changing – for the better. As men, we need to change as well. When men are accused of sexual misconduct and raise the alarm of false allegations, the only thing I can hear is a stubborn denial to look at themselves and take stock.
As a group, men have been taught to view women as having less value, as objects and property. It is present even among those of us who have been taught to be gentlemen.
All men are responsible to make a change in themselves to ensure that the violence ends. I would hope that our state leadership would set an example and face accusations of sexual harassment with humility and a true desire to make amends. I would hope that these leaders would recognize the courage it takes to speak up – especially against someone who holds public office.
Claims of conspiracy are not only ridiculous, but are also disrespectful and harmful to survivors. The real conspiracy has been men keeping our mouths shut while we see and hear our brothers abusing women in word and deed, not to mention the times we ourselves have participated.