Listen, I don’t think you’re an asshole who thinks it’s funny to do something that women find scary. You’ve been raised to think that this sort of stuff is all in good fun. Not by your parents necessarily, but by culture. You’ve grown up in a country where a Super Bowl commercial for Audi suggests that girls your age actually like it when a guy they don’t really know grabs and forces a kiss on them. (Seriously - they won’t like this.) You’ve been raised in a culture that positions women as existing just for sex, for humiliation, for objectification.

So please understand that I don’t blame you for partaking in the only kind of culture you’ve ever know. At least, I don’t blame you yet. Because here’s the thing - if you didn’t realize before that this kind of stuff is harmful and hurtful to women, now you do. So think of this as a chance to make a decision about what kind of man you’re going to be.

As you continue to grow up, you’re going to have plenty of opportunities (too many) to laugh at women’s pain, embarrassment or the sexual harassment and assault we face. These moments will define you. Will you laugh along? Share a video, like a status, laugh a joke? Or will you say ‘no’, tell a friend that’s a fucked up thing to say, and walk away?

To My Male Relatives on Facebook Who ‘Like’ Sexism, my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
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