In the five months since the #MeToo movement revolutionized the way we think about sex and power, it’s become rather clear that men have a lot of self-reflecting to do. Oftentimes, these reflections came off as a variation of mansplaining: Men who believed they had done nothing wrong seemed angry, defensive, scared, and ultimately confused. But these provocations, and other earnest attempts at reckoning with how men behave, are evidence that #MeToo has also created an opportunity for everyone.
The fact is: It's hard to pinpoint another time in history when men were expected to rethink their gender role so publicly and profoundly. As we reckon with how pervasive sexual assault and harassment have become in our continued fight for gender equality, it’s clear that frank conversations about masculinity (and not just “toxic masculinity”) are crucial.
That’s why Refinery29 is committing to facilitating this chapter in the #MeToo conversation. In reality, all men aren’t assaulting or harassing women. But most of the people who assault and harass women (and people of all genders) are men. So, we’re tapping experts to tackle some questions that men seem to be asking: How should men handle “making the first move” in the #MeToo era? What should they do if they see someone being sexually harassed? And perhaps the most fundamental question: What does it look like when we rethink masculinity?
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