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#MeNeither

#metoo has been a revolution.

Generally speaking, however, revolutions do not boast a great track record. Inevitably, they are accompanied by righteous anger which - once the sound of the tumbrils has subsided - is not an emotion conducive to any sort of lasting reconciliation.

Revolutions have their own momentum. Post-revolutionary worlds, alas, do not.

It would be a tragedy if #metoo were to be stillborn – trapped in the amber of its own (justifiable) blind rage.

Perhaps the greatest single impediment to the evolution of #metoo into an engine of sustainable social change is the very entity that put it on the map in the first place: The internet.

The internet is touted as the ultimate tool of communication – a means whereby the corrupt are unmasked, the lonely find love and the Arabs find Spring. By way of rebuttal, however, I would argue that its sole virtue lies in its speed – the agents of corruption having subverted its machinery to their own ends, the lonely having found artifice and deceit where they thought they saw love, and the Arab Spring having given way to a long, dark and bloody Winter.

For the internet is a savage space. A space where anything goes. A space where the coin of the realm is unbridled anger, venom and vituperation. It is a space where words collide without having to contend with the expressions of hurt they engender. There is no mercy, no empathy, no kindness, no forgiveness. In a word, no humanity.

In order for #metoo not to fall into the adversarial mire of the alpha-male systems it seeks to supplant, it needs to communicate in ways that transcend the internet. In other words, it needs to humanize.

It cannot do this without humanity, and it cannot achieve any semblance of humanity if it is not inclusive of all humans – including males.

It is time for men to join women in their struggle against male oppression – not only as a mark of solidarity but also because we as men have been (and continue to be) the instruments of this oppression.

I would put it to any and all males out there that the next step in civilizing our planet - in transforming #metoo from activism to action, from revolution to evolution – is #meneither: A movement whereby men pledge themselves not only to treat women with respect at all times but also to do their utmost to ensure that other men do the same.

Paradoxically, however, the very first thing I'm prepared to ditch in taking us forward is the #.

We need to do this person to person, face to face, heart to heart.

We need to bring kindness back into the world.


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