All My Heroes Are Monsters

Mission Statement, or, What I Think I’m Doing

The #MeToo movement and the subsequent exposing and holding to account of rapists, abusers, groomers and bullies has been one of, if not the most urgent, necessary and seismic events in cultural history. It is an apocalyptic event, in the literal sense, that is a lifting of the veil. We look behind the curtain and we see that the machine has been broken all along, many thousands of vulnerable, marginalised people crushed up in its gears and we set about making it right.

But the exposing of wrongdoing is only the first part. The second part, judging and reassessing, is much harder.

Here’s your context: I am a white, cisgendered man. I have lived my entire life seeing myself on screens, in books, and in role models. I’ve never felt like a minority because of my gender or race. I don’t have the lived experience necessary to comment on issues of gender or race. There are multitudes of infinitely more intelligent and articulate commentaries about the holding of famous abusers to account than me. But for what it’s worth (which may not be a lot, but whatever) I want to contribute something.

And while I claim no equivalence whatsoever to the injuries, both physical and mental, sustained by those who have been abused, I do want to address the sense of betrayal felt by someone who has looked up to a figure and then discovered that they are capable of such cruelty.

I want to try and analyse the crimes of the people I once admired, try to see what, if anything, can be salvaged, and how best to move forward. Because people like me, white cis men, need to be better. It is long overdue that we become better. I speak as a former garbage human myself. And we need to confront these wrongs ourselves.

Next instalment: The first confrontation.

#metoo #Writing #feminism #masculinity

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