When you pick your heroes, try not to pick a massive rapist. This should surely be a (admittedly quite low-level) baseline in what you admire about people, along with e.g. not actively being in the KKK or Nazi party.
As a lot of you have ignored this advice lately, some even after it has been pointed out, here is what your female friends have learned about you:
If we are raped, or have been raped or assaulted in the past (and the figures are 1 in 4) you are not a safe person to tell. We cannot count on you. Especially if our rapist shares your political beliefs, or if you just happen to think welp, he's a nice guy.
If we have been sexually assaulted, we may not feel safe around you full stop, as someone who does not think rape is a big deal is not safe to be around full stop.
We've learned that actually our justified fears and concerns (1 in 4) are not that important to you. We don't know why, but it's pretty disappointing.
Or we do know why, and it's even more disappointing that it's because of a level of misogyny and privilege that you are unwilling to examine in yourself because it would probably make you feel uncomfortable. Well, you now make us feel very uncomfortable.
And you've taught us that that's one less of our friends to trust. And when it happens again and again, you've taught us that if we want to get involved in political activism, we've got to accept being around a lot of unsafe people who don't think rape is important. You've taught us a lot of those people, including you, don't think women are important. You've taught us that in your awesome, freer, more left wing society, turns out women aren't any freer, because it's still not important if we get raped, and no one believes us. You've taught us that in this very important way, your vision of a new, better society is still built on oppression of one kind or another. And that really, you don't give a shit about that.
And I guess I could go into why this is a Bad Thing for socialist movements, but at the moment, I'd like you to realise that something, or someone, being bad for women is bad enough for it to be important. And that that should mean something to you.
'The revolution does indeed start at home. This phrase should not be interpreted as a depoliticized call to focus on self-development instead of building movements to to dismantle white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism. Rather, this phrase reminds us that for our movements to be successful, they must prefigure the societies we wish to build.'
- The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
Ching-In Chen (Editor), Jai Dulani (Editor), Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Editor)
If you are interested in being part of the solution, male allies are busy being awesome on these links: