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Hashtag Me Too for Boys

Updated on April 9, 2018

It All Started with a Kiss

A Teenage Boy Pulls Away from Perry's Unwanted Advance
A Teenage Boy Pulls Away from Perry's Unwanted Advance

Well, Maybe Not...

One of the news stories I came across recently - I don't own a television - caught my attention. I was not taken aback by the fact that an established Hollywood performer requested a kiss from a contestant on a TV show. As I mentioned earlier, I don't own a television and gave up the medium many years ago. I believe that what is put out on the air is detrimental and that the media culture is slowly ebbing away at the the social fabric of our society. That's another issue.

On this program, a well known musical mogul - Katy Perry - continued to coerce a young man to come over to her, even though he protested and said that he did not feel comfortable approaching her. She then forced a kiss upon him - his first actually. The man stepped back and attempted to perform and politely requested a glass of water - and offered gentle protests to what just happened.

Many people found this amusing, most probably because Perry is female. Had the roles been reversed, I am certain that there would have been protests, the host would have been fired, and the contestant would have probably enjoyed the benefit of a more than comfortable economic settlement.

There are those that are calling the behavior sexual harassment even though the young man says that it is not. Let's look at the situation in another light: if a young starlet had gone to an audition and a male judge - twice her age - had called her over and asked her to sit on his lap or touched her in anyway, there would be definite protests. Many of the participants in the Me Too movement are making similar claims, from events that have happened decades ago.

Why no one is speaking out about this situation, given the demands for equality in Hollywood, is more than troubling. The Me Too movement has vilified men and deemed guilty those who haven't even been charged. There are many men who have not been able to defend themselves from their accusers. What happened with Perry played out on television, in front of an audience.

The need too for a Me Too movement for boys goes much deeper than just a kiss. Young men now are being told that they are guilty for being men and that they should feel accountable for what someone else (a female) thinks they might possibly do. The fact that the young contestant seems to defend Perry and deflect any accusations of harassment demonstrates the fact that men are not permitted to see themselves as victims, because of the social stigma that only men are perpetrators.

I'll share some examples of ways in which boys have been violated by those who are in positions of trust, but the messages that are being sent to young men and boys today is terribly unhealthy.

Should Katy Perry be punished?

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Some Teachers Caught in Compromising Positions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nadia Garcia of Fresno was "having a bad day"
Nadia Garcia of Fresno was "having a bad day"
Nadia Garcia of Fresno was "having a bad day"

Sexual Harassment Affects Boys Too

When a teenager has to deal with situations of a sexual nature this causes confusion, particularly when the person who is initiating the contact is an adult. The sex drive is a natural compulsion and when puberty is reached, the body's hormones are active. The feelings are good, but there are social messages which conflict with these sensations. An adult who is much more experienced can cause irreparable damage to a young mind because at that age, the emotional maturity required to handle certain situations is not there.

I have read that many males have claimed that they wished they "had a teacher like that" when they were in school and this response really is not healthy. It sets a poor example for students who are in school to look to. Young boys today, especially, need good male role models who are not going to encourage irresponsible behavior. When a boy is taught by a female teacher that sexual relationships between an adult and a teenager are permissible when the two give consent, this sends a terrible message. The boy who will one day become a man who follows the same syllogism that was taught to him when he was younger will certainly be punished for pursuing an underage girl.

And the men who are envious of these boys, I have to wonder about their current practices. As a society, we need to evaluate our attitudes towards violence and sex and part of this is encouraging healthy behaviors in our younger generations. I wish I would have had good adult models. There were some but they were few and far between. Unfortunately it was the older kids who engaged in questionable practices - making choices with substance abuse, unsafe sex that resulted in pregnancies, drinking and smoking - who seemed to be the ones that reaped the most attention.

Most of those kids who seemed to live the wild life, end up unsatisfied and often a member of social welfare organization.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Boy's Are Often Guilty by Association

Certainly one of the potential outcomes from the Me-Too movement is that it automatically vilifies men based on biologically designated, gender stereotypes. Men, because they have a penis, have the potential to offend and are the only gender, because of their biology,that do offend.

This is a lot of pressure to grow up under and as is seen in the example of the inappropriate teacher/student relationships that are quite ubiquitous today, men are not the only perpetrators.

A boy shouldn't have to feel guilty because someone (a female) thinks he "might do or say something" that she doesn't like. Boys need the opportunity to grow and experience their own happiness. Whether this is in the classroom, the playground, a nightclub or the workplace, males need safe spaces and deserve the same respect attributed to females. Males need to be able to respond to the false accusations by females who are angry, or disturbed or perhaps overly careful and choose to blame an entire gender.

The pressure to be a human in today's world is hard enough and boys have been marginalized drastically through the past decades. There are no more Boy scouts, men cannot have their own rest rooms or locker areas, and two or more boys in one area is often viewed as a gang. Academically the performance of boys has slipped: more are going to prison than graduating high school; the number of males graduating with college degrees has dropped by almost 50% in the last 30 years.

Is it any wonder that young male children are being diagnosed as bipolar or being prescribed medications that damage their brain chemistry. I can imagine what it must be like growing up for some of these men in today's world.

Rob Lowe makes Jokes about it.....

There are people spending decades in prison while Lowe thinks it's funny
There are people spending decades in prison while Lowe thinks it's funny
Paul Ruben's career was almost over
Paul Ruben's career was almost over

This Is Not to be Anti-Female

This is not to be written as an anti-female piece. Certainly there is a good deal of validity to the Me-Too movement. The fact that it is coming out of Hollywood is another story altogether, but there are still elements there that represent serious problems with our society's sexual values.

There are some women however who go into certain situations and actually are the initiators. It should also be said that often there are men who are exonerated from their behaviors: Pee Wee Herman is caught in a movie theater and is arrested and ruined while Rob Lowe films himself molesting underage girls and laughing about it and is exonerated. There are double standards with who is picked and chosen as the offender.

However, a woman should be able to go into a casting call and not be concerned that someone with sinister intentions is going to violate her. A woman should be able to pursue a job and not have to deal with requests for favors or other types of harassment.

That works both ways though and boys need to be told that they have a voice too regardless of how they say no. Boys and men need to be respected for their right to say no and when that is violated there should be accountability.

Do you agree that males are victims of gender stereotypes?

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Comments

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    • wpcooper profile imageAUTHOR

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      5 months ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you Larry. My point in mentioning the Katy Perry thing was that if it were a man, people would complain. Yes there are some things out there that are serious...not just involving harassment, but other issues too that have gone too far.

      thanks for your comment.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      5 months ago from Raleigh

      An interesting article and well worth reading. I think the Me Too, movement has gone to far. I am sure many of the ones complaining have something to complain about. Some men have also be victims on women harassing them. Yes, it does happen. The ones that are true sexual predators should be punished and I totally agree, but lets be reasonable. I saw the Katy Perry thing and it was no big deal. For God's sake people get over it.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 months ago from the short journey

      The thing is, the destructive behaviors you mention are already a part of society. As they continue to evolve we see a rise in all kinds of evils, even open human trafficking of infants, but people are blind to the fact that indulging in any and everything does not lead to these social ills and should be permitted.

      The good news is that there is hope for the human heart, the confusion the reigns, the fear and desperation that evil breeds, in Jesus the Christ. He came to give abundant life: http://biblehub.com/esv/john/10.htm

    • wpcooper profile imageAUTHOR

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      5 months ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks RTalloni for your thoughtful feedback. I think about the blip with Matt Lauer making the comment and the way I interpreted it was him saying "look, you are bending over and I am seeing too much"....and that it was taken out of context and blown out of proportion.

      I also saw an episode where there were three females and Charlie Rose on a program and the female guest started talking about sex partners and made some comments to Rose and he looked like he didn't want any part of it but didn't want to speak up either.

      I fear speaking up because immediately you will be called a misogynist and that word is way too overused. I think that what is happening with gender now is way over the top and the generations coming up will be confused and you will see it manifest in socially destructive behaviors. It's bad enough there are racial divides and the other barriers that we create ourselves....I could go on, but I just wanted to get something out there to see what the response would be like. I'll probably expand things some more in the future.

      thank you again for the nice and thoughtful response.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 months ago from the short journey

      You offer a lot to think about in this post. Each section could be explored, expanded, and posted as an individual article. It was shocking to read about the incident with this Perry person, but evidently the general public thinks it's okay. The demasculinization of men and boys began a few decades ago, leading to some of what you mention about their responses to what they face in society today.

      When the Me Too movement first began I happened to see a blip of a morning show where women host(esses) were speaking with disgust about the latest news on the topic. The camera included Matt Laouer (?) just in time to show him look over his shoulder with clear and real fear in his eyes. I knew he was next. Just as expected, he was.

      Men like him and the others who've been caught acting as he did are indeed being used to stereotype all men, which is shameful. That women should be able to apply for a job without having to face possible victimization has always been a hope but the reality of the facts about wicked men's behavior has always been and will always be a part of society.

      To think that we can make the world safe enough for women to dress and act like streetwalkers in the work place without expecting to be victimized in some way is a pipe dream. In an industry that uses the stereotyping of both men and women to make big bucks, the dream is even more ludicrous.

      That said, both men and women of all social and economic levels have their own ways to act in evil ways against their own and their opposite gender. Some will consistently do it while others will refuse to. The bottom-line issue is that the human heart needs exactly what God tell us it needs.

      Glad to see a discussion opened up on the issues related to Me Too for Boys even though it's only a draft so far. Comments could be interesting.

    • wpcooper profile imageAUTHOR

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      5 months ago from Los Angeles

      thanks...this is a draft an no where near what I wanted to write about...but I wanted to get this out while the news was still fairly new concerning Perry.

      appreciate your feedback.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      5 months ago from Washington DC

      Thank you for this, I have felt the same although I was never a victim. I have heard of those kinds of experiences from boys too embarrassed to tell any authority about it for being afraid the boys in authority would ridicule them.

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