Men, #MeToo and Why I Believe You

Men, #MeToo and Why I Believe You: Author’s Note

This is a living document, and will be updated regularly to reflect new information. Please find immediately below a list of resources for readers who need to navigate sexual assault or harassment, help others through the process of surviving, or simply educate themselves. This is followed by the narrative component of this resource and further readings.

Men, #MeToo and Why I Believe You: Resources

An Open Secret: This is a documentary I watched recently on the advice of filmmaker Jen Soska (say, let’s be clear that I’m referencing known folks in the arts because so many of us feel they are credible, and my hope is even if you find me shaky you’ll take their word for it; as for Soska I’m just one of five thousand Facebook friends she has, so she probably wouldn’t recognize my name…yes, I have to put in disclaimers such as this because people always assume any woman in my online posts is either my wife or sleeping with me). If you want to see how sexual predators operate, especially in workplaces, watch this. It might be tough to sit through. The documentary also captures how this form of violence, especially when experienced repeatedly, changes those it is perpetrated against, giving us signs to watch for.

The Bechdel Test: A simple and well-known test that, when applied to film, clarifies gender inequality in a film’s narrative, how characters are portrayed, etc. Check it out, try it for yourself. Grow accustomed to thinking in these terms. Then you’ll start considering other things in terms of the Bechdel Test, such as when experiencing novels and comics and advertisements and your classes and workplace and family functions. Yeah, those last three take place in the real world. If your life is a story you are the narrator. How do you contribute to arranging/dividing social interactions for people?

Engaging Bystanders: We will all at some point be witness to a harassment situation, or even attempted violence. How can you ensure the safety of those who have been targeted around you? This guide provides tips for successful intervention strategies.

Help Homeless Women NYC: While 93% of donations to RAINN go directly toward the work they do it can all seem abstract, or maybe you want to know specifically what your money is being spent on. Help Homeless Women NYC assists homeless women in New York City and is operated by Mick Zezima, an author I have with multiple times. This is something he consistently does, garnering news coverage on a regular basis, and if the GoFundMe page is even too vague for you he maintains an Amazon wish list for specific supplies to be distributed among the homeless population.

Increasing empathy: There are many guides and classes regarding how to increase empathy. Free reading can be found at The Art of Empathy and Increasing Empathy. Is this getting too touchy feely yet? Good. If you’re uncomfortable at any one point in all this that’s a good place to start. More topical is this list of things men can do in their daily lives to not just be empathetic, but to act with empathy toward women.

Men Can Stop Rape: I’m lucky enough to know one of the men involved in this organization dedicated to healthy masculinity training. Trying to find a training solution for your students, work team, or just yourself? Look no further than this resource. Their downloadable handouts are especially valuable.

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network: You’ve probably heard of RAINN, and while much of their site is devoted to policy and statistics, or how to get involved, this particular page is a list of national resources such as the hotlines for sexual assault, street harassment, domestic violence, and child abuse; sex offender registries; resources specific to disabled, male, and LGBTQ survivors; legal and health resources; and much more.

Recovering From Rape and Sexual Trauma: Useful tips on personal recovery after surviving this form of violence, with international resources listed.

A Shadow Map: The essays and poems contained within this anthology are not only compelling but also harrowing stories of sexual assault. None of these pieces were easy to write–-and were born out of traumatizing and terrible experiences. CCM believes in providing a safe space within the literary community where we can not only talk about painful experiences and issues but also necessary considering the current political climate.

Survivor to Thriver: Here’s one I have personal experience with. Back in 2013 I recommended it to somebody dealing with repercussions of extreme abuse in their past, since I had found it useful myself. They reported back to me later that not only had they taken me up on that recommendation, but the sexual assault survivor group they were part of had adopted it as their manual. Participants experienced improved results afterwards. So, yeah. Worth checking out.

Teen Vogue and Feminist Current both offers guides on how to be better at this aspect of human rights. Their feminist tips don’t overlap too much so give them both a read:


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