Dear men who have never assaulted a woman,

First of all, relax. Men who have assaulted women are vultures. The women who call them out are brave. The act of sexual assault is more painful for the woman to endure than your fear of being accused unjustly.

If you have never sexually assaulted a woman, good for you and us. But many of you have. Or think you have. Or might have. Or at least once you didn’t ask before you pushed onward, removed clothing, touched where you should not have. And there was your error. And here is your fear. Will she tell anyone?

Yes, we are telling someone now. We are telling each other. We are helping each other through the pain by talking about it. But don’t defend an obvious predator because you fear being accused. Don’t deny the voice of the victim, and disregard all women who call out a man’s actions. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by lying about this. It happened. We carried on. We survived. We are stronger together.

But he still did it.

So. The innocent among you don’t need for me to tell you to relax, because you already are relaxed. Keep an open mind, and so will we. It is natural for women to believe other women, because the crime is so prevalent. Really. And it is natural for most men to believe the accused who deny, especially for a man who has personal doubt in his own past actions.

If you’ve always respected women. If you’ve taught your sons to do so. If you have behaved as though women should not be treated as pawns, used for your pleasure and tossed aside. If all these ifs apply to you? Relax.

But consider the math. So many women, easily more than half of them, have been threatened or groped or raped, or leered at, or abused. It make us feel horrible. And if half of us have suffered this, half of you did it. Simple math.

I do not want this to continue to be the societal norm. I do not want my granddaughters to suffer. Speak up, women. Innocent men, relax. Guilty men, there is nowhere to hide.

Teach your girls to be brave. Teach your boys to be gentlemen.

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