In light of the massive numbers of stories coming out of late about horrible men in Hollywood (and other industries) being horrible (by the way, here’s a good list, though it’s missing the newest one I know of, Dustin Hoffman, as of the time of this post), which many people have written about much better than I could because mostly I just want to scream swear words and punch them in the throats, I feel like I need to provide the following useful tutelage on how to apologize for doing horrible things, as a man, to women (or men, or CHILDREN), if you actually want to apologize. Because so far not one of them has adequately done so.
This of course, is only advice for the men who actually want to sincerely apologize, which I am going to hazard a guess is a very small fraction of them.
Don’t Make Excuses
Don’t tell us about “how it was when you grew up”, or that “other people do it” or you didn’t “realize it was wrong” or you “were drunk”. There is no excuse for harassing, assaulting, or raping people. Full stop.
Don’t Pretend You Forgot
First of all, you didn’t forget. Secondly, if you were blackout drunk or high out of your mind and you can’t remember right now, just accept what the victim is saying, like really accept it. It’s not up for debate, ok?
Don’t Say It’s Not “Who You Are”
Yes it is. Because you did it. So it’s part of who you are. If what you meant is I feel regret that I did this wrong thing (or these wrong things, numerous), then say that. If you mean “I used to be a certain way and I’m not that way anymore” then say that. If you mean “I didn’t think I was a monster but now I see that I am and I am going to work to change that”, then say that. But don’t insult our intelligence. Don’t piss in my ear and tell me it’s raining, basically.
Actually Change Your Behavior
Apologies mean nothing unless you intend to not repeat the behavior you’re apologizing for. It’s as simple as that.
Do Something Positive to Counteract Your Awfulness
You’re all a bunch of rich f***s, aren’t you? Yeah, you are. So why don’t you start a foundation to help victims of sexual harassment, assault, and rape? All of you, all of you band together and create a foundation and give millions and millions of dollars to it. I’ll wait. You can call it “We Don’t Want To Be S***ty Men Anymore” or “Penance For Being Garbage Human Beings” or “We’re Completely Awful And We’re Sorry”. I don’t care what you call it, just get your s*** together and do something, FFS.