Yesterday, our friend Hayley Williams retweeted a headline from Alternative Press that caught my eye.
It linked to an article about how Aaron Lewis, front man for the band Staind, stopped mid-song at a concert and went off on a rant towards people who were molesting a girl who was crowd surfing.
The video of the rant has gone viral since it happened.
(NSFW WARNING: THREATENING LANGUAGE AND PROFANITY!)
After watching the video, I thought to myself, “He sounds like a Dad who has daughters.” I know… because I’m a Dad with four daughters. And sure enough… he’s a Dad too with three little girls.
The next thought I had was, “It shouldn’t take being a Dad with daughters to call out this kind of abuse and objectification.”
There has been so much in the news and in headlines lately regarding sexual assault and violence against women and girls. From India to California, no place is exempt. But terms like misogyny, sexual objectification, and violence against women are not just headlines or “buzz words”. They are a daily reality.
(See the Twitter hashtag on #YesAllWomen that took over social media last weekend to get a dose of that reality.)
Women have been calling this violence out for a long time. But something makes my heart leap when I see a guy calling out other guys on this insanity. Yes, the language Aaron uses in his rant is very rough and I don’t endorse advocating “beat downs” or violence. But what if men deliberately and passionately called each other out at our places of employment, in board rooms, on the commute to work, in our schools, on our sports teams, in our churches, and in our families?
What if we actually took an active role in speaking out, instead of remaining silent, or going along with the crowd, or patting ourselves on the back for being in the “#NotAllMen are like that” category? (Yes… that was also a hashtag last week.)
Is it too much to hope that maybe, just maybe, we can change a culture of objectification and violence against women to one of respect where we treat each other like human beings? Every once in a while something causes that hope to flare up in me.
This time, it took a rock star.