As allegations continue to surface against powerful men, it’s time for us ‘bystander bros’ to challenge the bullies, writes Robert Lipsyte
This piece was first first published by Tom Dispatch
Almost 80, I’ve been stunned and bewildered by the ever-expanding list of sexually predatory males, from the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to the former New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier to the comedian Louis CK. And it’s triggered a list of questions for me: who raised these louts? How did they give themselves permission to harass and assault women the way they did? Why did they think they could get away with it? And above all, who enabled them to advance along this vicious spectrum from creepy remarks to groping to rape?
Slowly, I’ve come to a realization I probably should have had long ago. It’s men like me, the bystanders, who enabled them. However righteous we may feel as they’re exposed and punished, the truth is we’re the problem, too.