The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened up the conversation on sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
Men and women are telling their personal stories, those in positions of power are being publicly called out on unacceptable behaviour and many are having their eyes opened to just how widespread and serious the problem truly is.
Now one viral tweet has perfectly captured how many women are feeling about the excuses of those accused of misconduct.
Additionally, the internet has been ringing with entirely predictable calls of #notallmen and a good chunk of victim-blaming.
Now one woman, feminist writer and podcaster Kate Harding, has summed up the issue in one genius Twitter post – and her tweet has encouraged some perfect responses.
Prompted by the apology of Mark Halperin, a former NBC News journalist accused of sexual harassment by several women, Harding wrote, “I am sorry for all the times I stabbed men, just a little, in my previous workplace. After years of counseling, I stopped stabbing men.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Halperin had said he felt “profound guilt” and that he’d had weekly counselling to address the causes of his “inappropriate manner”. Since then, according to Halperin, his conduct at work had been “very different” and he would be “spending time with family and friends, as I work to make amends and contributions both large and small.”
Harding’s tweet, perfectly skewering Halperin’s statement while being applicable to many of the apologies doing the rounds at the moment, quickly gained momentum, with almost 80,000 likes and 25,000 retweets at time of writing – as well as hundreds of incredible replies.
Some focused on the fallback of era, writing, “In the 90s, everyone was stabbing men”, “It was a different time” and “I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but it was the Bobbitt age.”
“In the 90s, everyone was stabbing men, or chopping off their body parts. I understand now that this was wrong, but it explains the context”— Tim Carmody (aka Dr. Time) (@tcarmody) October 29, 2017
I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about stabbing people were different— Kevin Lim (@original_FoBoT) October 29, 2017
Then there was the standard ‘women definitely want it, despite what they say’ defence, with one Twitter user writing, “Are you sure the men didn’t like the stabbing? Most just like the attention.”
Are you sure the men didn’t like the stabbing? Most just like the attention.— Jess Iraci (@Buffaloexpat) October 28, 2017
"In fairness, though they didn't explicitly express it, the men I stabbed often threw out that 'I want to be stabbed vibe'."— Andrea Woolford (@avonbossfrau) October 28, 2017
They knew I had a knife, and like most women, if I’m alone with a man, I want to stab them. What did they think would happen?— Toxchick 🌊🌊 (@toxchick42) October 29, 2017
Most men want to be stabbed. Why do you think movies like Friday the 13th do so well? They secretly want to be stabbed.— Jaime Primak (@JaimePrimak) October 29, 2017
There was some blame on the men’s attire and alcohol consumption too, with one user pointing out that “Many men dress, walk, talk, smile, eat, and drink in a way that invites stabbing.”
Another said, “You know what? If these men don’t want to be stabbed, they shouldn’t wear short-sleeved shirts.”
Can we not just tell them to drink more responsibly? I mean, they don't need to get *that* drunk.. Surely they have some level of blame in the situation?— Shanti (@ShantiPixie) October 29, 2017
Any man who claims not to love a good stabbing is obviously lying. And other men with sketchy histories of cutting are clearly asking for it— Christy Lee Hughes (@ChristyLeeH) October 29, 2017
You know what? If these men don’t want to be stabbed, they shouldn’t wear short sleeved shirts. I could practically SEE THEIR VEINS. Ripe AF— Christy Lee Hughes (@ChristyLeeH) October 29, 2017
This tweet, meanwhile, sums up what many think about those who’ve said they were aware of allegations, but didn’t think them serious enough to do something about.
I mean, sure, we knew that she had a knife and liked lightly running the tip across their clothes, but we didn't know it was going that far— SueBee 🐝 (@SueBee0619) October 29, 2017
Of course, there's always the general disbelief too.
I'm a man and I sympathize with real stabbings but I honestly have to say most men lie about being stabbed, it's just a fact.— Jordan Mechano (@jordanmechano) October 29, 2017
If they didn't want to be stabbed, they should have left. Why did they take so long to report the stabbing?— Violet Greenswallow (@vgreenswallow) October 28, 2017
Convenient how no one saw the stabbing and he didn't report it until other men came forward.— Elsi Dawson (@ElsiDawson) October 29, 2017
some men get drunk and get stabbed then wake up with regret and go "oh my god! I was stabbed wahhh"— Suzanne Eh (@Sameypants) October 28, 2017
And other ridiculousness.
Or does he really mean, “stab me.” It’s hard to tell.— Ivy Suburbanite (@ivysuburbanite) October 28, 2017
It’s a witch hunt! Every lady in an office who stabs a man is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend herself. That’s not right either.— Jess Iraci (@Buffaloexpat) October 28, 2017
When I said I stabbed them in the crotch without asking, it was just yoga studio talk.— Jess Iraci (@Buffaloexpat) October 29, 2017
You know, when I pointed a knife at my intern a few times and he didn’t quit, I just sort of assumed he was okay with being stabbed.— Amy Hartman (@ameseh) October 29, 2017
Anyway, this one guy in my office got a promotion bc he was our CEO’s favorite person to stab. I think these men know what they’re doing.— Amy Hartman (@ameseh) October 29, 2017
Is stabbing the accepted term now? My stars, who can keep up anymore! In my day we called them "knifely duties" and y'know, men were happy!— Sarah MB (@smoricebrubaker) October 29, 2017
I didn't even stab him, just called him to my office and blocked the door while I stabbed a pillow and told him to just stand there quietly!— cheerfulexgirlfriend (@cheerful_ExGF) October 28, 2017
While funny, the thread illustrates the many and varied ways that sexual harassment and assault has become so rife and accepted in society – by reversing the sexes, it highlights just how indefensible such attitudes are.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, contact Rape Crisis for information, advice and support.
Image: Larm Rmah