Being a man in the age of the #metoo movement

I have stated many times that I relate better to women; I feel less comfortable talking to men. Lately I have seen numerous stories about sexual misconduct; the latest being a pastor groping singer Ariana Grande at a funeral for Aretha Franklin in front of a nationwide television ( it’s enough to make anyone sick to their stomach). As someone who writes about the power of God and how one can benefit from spirituality; I find this particularly troubling. Men are using their power to manipulate and control women in order to make sexual advances towards them. Being someone who is less dominant and never been aggressive with women ( anxious and needy at times but never aggressive). While rejection hurt; I never blamed the women who rejected me; I looked within myself to see how I could improve myself and in turn improve my chances; which I hope is a healthy attitude.  I hope I have become a man that respects women; because I  try not to cross boundaries and am consciously aware of how my actions are perceived ( much more now than in the past).

But we live in an age where the metoo movement is a trending topic in the news; women are understandably wary of men who are too friendly. I wonder at times if my friendliness could be misinterpreted as something more or if I’m chiming in on conversations I should stay out of. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to meet women in person that I’d be interested in getting to know ( you don’t meet many people working in retail); I find my interactions on social media ( including my blog) are mainly with women; some I know and some I don’t know.  I often wonder if I comment on a woman’s photo that I don’t know well; does she think I am try to come on to her when in reality I am just trying to be friendly? I comment on anything I find interesting especially if it’s a fellow writer. I don’t know

Some of interactions with women offline I admit can be awkward. I was at a poetry reading and there was a young girl and she recited a poem relating to metoo; afterwards I walked up to her and shook her hand and told her I really liked the poem she wrote  ( i shake everyone’s hand out of habit) she gave me this upset look and said nothing; I walked away thinking I may have overstepped my bounds; I didn’t mean to; I was just trying to be friendly but I maybe shouldn’t have said anything. I tend to over analyze situations like that. Another time I was out at a bar late at night and I was dancing with this beautiful woman and we were dancing close. Without thinking I put my hand on her shoulder and she backed away and excused herself; I felt so bad. She had every right to be upset; I did it out of ignorance and not malice. I realized I shouldn’t have put my hands on a woman like that and that would never happen again. I wonder how much of these mistakes are related to being on the autistic  spectrum and failing to recognize social cues; I am really working on these things.

I really do try to be respectful of women and try to relate to them but these days as a man you have to be careful because so many men pretend to be kind and respectful in order to make sexual advances towards women; that isn’t me. I just realize how as a man; I need to think more clearly before I act. I mentioned this in a Facebook post and a friend said that the fact I am even questioning this means I am respectful of women and she observed how I talked to my female friends and assured me I was fine ( as far as my online behavior was concerned). Its something that bothers me and I hope the females I communicate know that my intentions are always innocent and that I have never behaved otherwise.

Thanks for listening

Dave

 

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24 thoughts on “Being a man in the age of the #metoo movement

  1. How were perceived by others, any group of people is important. I think what you’re friend said is quite correct. If you are paying attention you care and are likely fine.

    People are so very different, of course genders are different but I mean individually. It’s hard to fault yourself for making ‘mistakes’ you werent aware you were making. There are lecherous men out there, no doubt, but all people have to have a level of understanding that we’re each different and all of us have different boundaries drawn and different ways of being friendly. Being mindful of that I think helps guide our actions and reactions appropriately.

    Nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s troubling times for both men and women on the sexual harassment/assult front. I think you may be thinking to hard about interactions with people. Many the woman at the poetry reading was mean or hyper focused on ever interaction with a man. I see a lot of that in the news. You send like a good person, keep doing what you are doing, what you feel good about in your heart and move on. If you know the person you may if you offended them in some way, most of times it’s the other person who has the issue. Everyone is hearing all these horrible stories everyday and it’s easy to think that all people or all men are doing something wrong. Some people have there own issues, as we all do and at the time you talked to her, her mind have been somewhere else. Possibly somewhere negative.
    I’m a terrible at picking up what the real feeling or motive is in poetry. I may think it’s about somebody getting hurt or missing someone when it’s really about love. You can’t waste time looking back. If you are confident you acted like a respectable man, move on and learn from it. You’ve always been pleasant with me, we had several conversations and have not picked up on negativity. May be your being to hard on yourself or this is the way you have responded in the past. Take everyday as a learning experience.
    Have a great day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with all here, if you are concerned about it then you are fine. It is a terribly confusing time. I am ever grateful I am not of dating age, well I guess you don’t really get that old but still. In my era(back in the stone age) our word seemed to be more true than it is today. Stay to your heart and you will be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I hope I have been respectful. To be honest some of the closest friends I had were girls; i really cared about them growing up. And when I saw them make metoo statues; I was hurt and genuinely upset that my friends had been harassed. I am glad that they felt comfortable with me and hopefully they felt safe around me.

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  4. I feel conflicted about the whole Me Too movement. On one hand, it is great to see people who are true abusers and sexual deviants being called out and punished for their behavior, it also seems like some people are so quick to jump to claims of assault about anything (even being asked out for coffee!), which in my opinion actually devalues true sexual assault cases.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You seem like a great man for paying attention to peoples feelings, and being cautious about your interactions. As a women who doesn’t like to be touched by strangers, or have advances made towards me, because of my past, I believe you should give yourself a break, these women are just not the ones for you. I hope you find that special someone, someone would be lucky to have you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We are all to blame for what is around us.. we either allow and perpetuate it in ways or are in unconscious or knowingly insensitive…
        Your behavior and writing serves to add to the good things to model and create awareness to what is needed…

        Liked by 1 person

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