Opinion | Amber Tamblyn: I’m Not Ready for the Redemption of Men

Opinion piece, but one I want more folks to discuss.

We’re in the midst of a reckoning. It’s what toxic masculinity’s own medicine tastes like. And people should allow the consequences to unfold, regardless of how it affects those they consider to be friends. The only way to enforce seismic, cultural change in the way men relate to women is to draw a line deep in the sand and say: This is what we will no longer tolerate. You’re either with our bodies or against our bodies. The punishment for harassment is you disappear. The punishment for rape is you disappear. The punishment for masturbation in front of us is you disappear. The punishment for coercion is you disappear.

Fun, and on reckonings:

My reasoning is fairly simple: folks that don’t harass others won’t be affected, and those that do will be deterred.

I’ve heard several male friends talk about text chains they are on with other men only; they describe it as a safe space to talk about how they feel in this moment. They feel afraid, disoriented and discounted. And I understand their need for such comfort and security. I am a woman. I know nothing other than needing such comfort and security, for my entire life.

I can’t discount others’ feelings, and they are entitled to them and all that, but this is an actual case of “if you have nothing to hide…”.

I am disoriented only as far as I am ashamed I couldn’t grasp the full amount of bullshit women deal with, and it is painful to know that so many people around me have “invisible” predators constantly attacking them. And all the folks that are not women can’t look away from this. If you are disgusted by the train wreck, good, that is the appropriate reaction. You can look away, but you can’t stop this, not now. This time and place, this needs to happen.

The man balked with frustration. “What do you want,” he asked her. “What’s the ultimate thing you would want to happen to him, for what he did? That he never works in this business again?” The woman said, simply: “Yes. That’s the price you pay.” The man was quiet for a moment, thinking, until he found the question he’d been looking for the entire conversation. “Tell me something: Do you believe in redemption?”

This is an interesting question, especially as it applies to evangelical Christians, such as the ones that dismiss the allegations against Roy Moore. But more disturbing are those that believe in sin and redemption, and forgive these assaults.

Religious loopholes are always frustrating, but we absolutely can not use them to justify the continuation of terrorizing women.