I've helped raise good men 23w

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"Bitch!" the guy laughed as he said it to me. My guy friends froze. We were standing behind a bar, in the late nineties. This man was a friend of my friends.

One of my guy friends looked at me and then very slowly said "um...you don't say that to Julie Negrin." The mouthy guy muttered sorry. I gave my friend a thank you and a smile. 

I never had to say a word. My friend did it for me. 

I KNOW I've irritated all the men in my life. I'm well aware that I'm annoying people now with some of my posts. 

But silence doesn't result in change.

"Awww Jules, let it rest!" my cousins and brothers and brothers friends would say when I called them out on a sexist remark when we were young.

"Jules, geez, it was just a joke!" from my guy friends which I'd follow with, um no, it wasn't, it was just offensive.

My mom and aunt worked their butts off raising four kids each on a budget and didn't allow any nonsense in either house. The women in our extended family were also tough as nails. (It's a very, very bad idea to piss off Benezra women.)

My five brothers and cousins are all really good cooks, married to super smart, strong women with careers. The men do just as much child care as their wives. They are sweet, loving, loyal and dedicated to their families.

I remember living in NYC and women telling me: "that guy doesn't exist, the modern, handsome guy that takes care of the kids and likes strong women and makes good money, athletic, funny and sweet, healthy masculine, emotionally available.

I'd nod along and then say "wait, that's not true. The guys in my family...guys I work with...the guys back home..." and the women would ask excitedly, "are they single?" I'd reply, "nope, they're relationship dudes. Sorry!"

I acknowledge that it IS a lot of work to consistently enforce a mindset that goes against society.

A few weeks ago, my two eight year old nephews and my six year old niece were negotiating their "script" for a video I was filming. The boys kept talking over my niece. I finally hollered in my *teacher* voice "hey, let her SPEAK. Don't always talk over the girl. Hear her out."

And because this is consistent with our family culture, they didn't argue or resist. They just looked at her and listened.

It requires constant reinforcement, at every age.

After the Brock Turner trial, I spoke with the two oldest boys who are the children of my younger brother, who was once described by one of my guy friends as "the nicest guy ever. And so handsome. He makes the rest of us look bad." (All true.)

I said to the boys: "it's not just about respecting consent. I expect you both to HELP THE GIRL(S) if they're in trouble. You'll both be BIG. You call the cops. You get her out of there..."

Are other people having these kinds of conversations with kids and teens? 

It's hard to change a family culture. I get that. But if we want to change society's culture, we start with ourselves first. Women: we can’t expect men to do all the changing. We need to set the boundaries!

There is a reason for the saying "politics starts local." Deep lasting change starts at the micro level, then expands outward. 

Many women and men are disgusted by the#metoo stories. Damn. I've been around the block and even I'M astounded at the depth of depravity.

So I keep doing my part. Which is speaking out. Sharing my stories.

It's not easy! It's definitely not FUN.

But you know what's a lot less fun? Living in the current culture. Being assaulted. Being sexually harassed. (Which is NOT the fault of the women. I’m just saying if we *all* speak up over and over, we create a different culture). Being an unhappy women who is mistreated. Being a sexual harasser. Being arrested for sexual assault. Being an unhappy toxic male who mistreats women. 

The dudes that evolve fastest in the #metoo world will have a major advantage over the ones who do not.

Those poor schlumps are going to be the perpetually single guy at Thanksgiving that no one wants to sit next to because he keeps saying inappropriate gross shit. 

I just read today that Time's Up Hollywood women are funding lawsuits against McDonald's and Walmart for sexual harassment. 

For the first time ever, at least in a white dominated culture, it is going to be WOMEN setting the boundaries. 

Big thank yous to all the wonderful dude I've been lucky enough to know and be related to. I know you're at the forefront and will do everything you can to make this world a safer place for girls and women.

It is time. Finally, it is our time.

Much love,
Jules

[[This photo was taken in Redmond, where I grew up across the street from my four cousins. In the photo is my younger brother, Ricky, my cousin Tony, such a sweetheart, lives in Israel and my cousin Danny who works from home, cooks and cares for his kid along with his wife who got her PhD and now works in a lab, and my little sis]]