Sunday, March 4, 2018

#AskMoreOfHim is #NotEnough

As The Independent and other media have reported, David Schwimmer and David Arquette, among other male celebs, have put forth a new campaign in response to #MeToo* and #TimesUp. It is called #AskMoreOfHim.

I find the moniker and actions the hashtag calls forth to be seriously problematic for several reasons:
  • It doesn't identify whose responsibility it is to ask more of men.
  • "Asking more" of men is not what is needed. Women have asked more of men and demanded better for centuries. That's about as watered down and spineless a call to action as I can imagine. 
  • There's no accountability or acknowledgement of the problem being men not holding one another accountable or that men, alone, are responsible for male supremacist violence.
  • I cannot imagine how it makes women safer anywhere for men to do what the hashtag requests. Ask more than what?
Phrasing is important, perhaps especially with social media-initiated efforts. The actual content of their call to action has some teeth in it:
"We believe that men must speak out against sexism, even as we engage in our own process of critical self-reflection, personal growth and accountability."

"So consider this our pledge to support survivors, condemn sexism wherever we see it and hold ourselves and others accountable. As advocates, actors, writers, producers, and directors, we hope that our actions will inspire other men to join us. Until now, only a small number of [men] have been actively engaged in this effort. This must change. It’s time we #AskMoreOfHim."
To Hollywood men and other wealthy prominent men:

Put forth an overtly activist and "money where your mouth is" campaign and reflect that in your name. It may be called, #MenCallOutMen, or #MenNameHim, or #MenDemandMenStop or #MenPayUp, donating money to grassroots organisations that seek to end men's violence against women and girls across class and race. With the unfair advantage celebrity men have in accumulating wealth, it's time such men not only publicly call one another and other men out by naming names and supporting their removal from industries. It's also imperative that men with resources fund women's efforts to assist and empower one another. And that men do so with full accountability both to disenfranchised and more enfranchised women.

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