#MeToo named the victims. Now, let’s list the perpetrators

ll weekend, I heard the same two words repeated over and over from friends around the country: me too. I watched as my loved ones, family and colleagues raised their hands online to be counted as victims of sexual assault and harassment – a move, the viral message said, to show the world just how many of us there are.

For women, of course, that meant nearly everyone.

At first I didn’t understand what made me so uncomfortable about #MeToo – after all, the more women sharing their stories and raising their voices, the better. And though we all know the statistics around sexual violence, it can be easy to think of these things in terms of numbers rather than people. So why not humanize the issue?

Then I realized: we’ve done this so many times before. Told our stories, raised our hands. Do we really need to bleed ourselves dry once again? How many times will we need to lay our traumas bare in the hope that this will finally be the time people care enough to do something about it?

It’s true that telling our stories can help – it can help victims not feel quite so alone and make others understand the breadth and depth of the problem. But the truth is that nothing will really change in a lasting way until the social consequences for men are too great for them to risk hurting us.

Why have a list of victims when a list of perpetrators could be so much more useful?

After all, there was a reason men in media circles were shaking in their Vans last week: an anonymously created spreadsheet was being passed around, listing “Shitty Media Men” accused of everything from sending creepy direct messages to violent sexual assault.

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