He said. We act.

Whoops, he did it again. Harvey Weinstein (60 and counting). Bill O’Reilly (millions and millions paid). Roman Polanski (recently accused of molesting a 10-year-old). And now, Mark Halperin (who only now recognizes his behavior was “inappropriate”).

Can’t someone rid us of these troublesome men? Yes, we can. We can take action.

Let’s start with the perps. The ones who make us choose between our money and our lives. Here’s a pro tip: Sexual assault and its handmaidens of threats, retaliation, trolling, revenge and blackmail is beyond wrong. It is criminal. It is not up to us to say no or live in fear of provoking you. It is up to you to not do it in the first place.

Let’s talk about families because respect and decency start at home. Parents need to teach and re-teach their sons that men of good character do not harass/aggress/assault women. Ever. Parents, especially dads, need to nurture their daughters’ self-esteem and empower them to stand up for their bodies and their dignity.

And let’s put sexual assault in the larger context of power plays. Because that’s what it is: an abuse of power. 

When legislators pass laws that deny you autonomy over your body (contraception, reproduction, gender expression), that’s abuse.

When companies perpetuate the wage gap or practice hiring discrimination, that’s abuse.

When the leaders of our country undermine our well-being with policies that threaten our civil rights, social safety net and the environment, that’s abuse.

The list goes on and on. But we can stop it. Hold the abusers/predators accountable. Speak up. Fight back. Tell the world. Whatever works. You won't be judged or shamed. The perps will.

By becoming our own best advocates, we become our most powerful { selves }.