2017 saw a wave of revelations about powerful people—nearly all men—perpetrating sexual violence against those beneath them. The #MeToo moment provided a platform for countless courageous survivors. Yet while some men were made to face consequences for the harm they did, we are still far from being able to solve the problem of male sexual violence.
Focusing on the wrongdoings of specific men tends to exceptionalize them, as if their actions took place in a vacuum. This is consistent with the mechanisms of a criminal justice system focused on individual guilt and a reformist politics premised on the idea that the existing government and market economy would serve us perfectly if only the right people were in power. But with the bad behavior of so many men coming to light, we have to consider the possibility that these are not exceptions at all—that these attacks are the inevitable, systemic result of this social order. Is there a way to treat the cause as well as the symptoms?
This text originally appeared as an article: Fuck Abuse, Kill Power