Pick up any newspaper, tune in to any news programme or listen to any radio talk show and it will be hard to avoid the multitude of sexual harassment claims being made against rich and wealthy men – no black men have been named yet, we can only thank the lord. Whilst some men have been able to shrug off allegations and continue to prosper (and even become President of the United States), the majority of these cases have proved career-shattering, and in some instances, have destroyed lives.
Before I continue, this is not an article intended to defend those who have faced allegations. Although I do feel that the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should apply, I have zero sympathy for those who have abused their positions of power to harass women. Like, wyd?
The sheer volume of claims being made against men from across various industries from Westminster to Hollywood has seen a brief resurrection of the ‘Men are trash’ movement on social media. Whilst the hashtag is mostly light-hearted, jovial, and tongue in cheek, there are some who, especially given the current societal climate, actually believe that men are trash.
Some men are trash, yes. In fact I’d even go as far as saying that all men have a little bit of trash in them in some aspect – as do women. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that most men are actually quite decent human beings. Men vacate their seat on trains for women (pshhh you can stand up b, I was here first), men carry women’s prams and luggage up and down stairs on the tube (are you alright? I will leave you to struggle. I beg you just purchase a car), and men hold doors open for women (listen, that door will swing back in to your face as I stride through it, I don’t have time).
As you can see from the above, I am a trash guy. But don’t let my actions condemn the next guy to the deep inescapable pits of trash. Generalisations and stereotypes are the quickest ways for your brain to make sense of the world, but the simplest explanation isn’t always the correct one (sorry Occam). Each person – man or woman – should be judged on their own merit, off the basis of their own character, not immediately thrown in to a generic box for ease.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, let’s not blur the lines here. Continue to make the distinction between “all” and “some” and continue to – within reason – offer the benefit of the doubt. But where someone oversteps the mark, REPORT THAT BIHHH!