Most men don’t abuse women. The problem that we need to talk about, though, is the men who know abusers — and never confront them.

Being a man who does the right thing — and if you want to use the word “ally” here, that’s fine — involves both not-doing and doing. You don’t do the bad stuff? Congratulations. But you, we, need to do the good stuff too.

What happens after that varies. When that man has accumulated some measure of power and respect, a woman may feel like she has no recourse. She tells her friends, or maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she blames herself. Maybe she confronts the man, who threatens and gaslights and tells her that it was her fault or that no one will believe her. Maybe he does something worse, something violent.

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