I don’t know how the debate about the #me too-campaign on Facebook and twitter has developed in other countries. In Sweden, the first week of the campaign came to be about different stories told on social media. Many swedes were horrified when they learnt that this or that media celebrity was also a person who had harassed women, sometimes in a brutal way.

Some of those celebrities then lost their jobs, some cases of sexual harassment were reported to the police. This is all good, in my opinion, even if it is sad. It´s time to speak out. Guilt, and shame, should be put where it belongs: on the perpetrator, not on the victims.

After that, the debate changed and brought some surprising comments. Some debaters said things like: “this is a difficult topic” or “sexual harassment will not disappear because male sexuality is different from female sexuality”. Some claimed they were afraid that after the campaign, flirting will not be possible.

As if sexual harassment and flirting were ever connected?

A great deal of those comments is simply false.

This is not a difficult topic. On the contrary, it´s all very simple:

  1. Everyone can see that men and women are born with different physical features. This is genetic, nothing to do about that.
  2. How you decide to act, how you are going to live with that body of yours, however, is something you are learned. How you behave isn’t genetic, it is cultural. Sometimes, men are taught that they are superior to women. This is, in some ways, ”democratic” teachings: all men can be taught about their superiority- be they poor or rich, black or white, young or old…anywhere around the globe, they can attend the class “male superiority”. Here, they are taught that not only do they have the right to be better paid than women, to have better medical care, they are also taught that they can own women. They can even own women´s bodies!
  3. The ideas men are taught in this class, the ideas about male superiority, are ideas linked to power. These ideas or concepts have nothing to do with romance, flirting or even with sexuality. Men rape, not because they can´t control their sexual needs (as we can see, most men can control their sexual needs), but because it´s a way to demonstrate power.
  4. Luckily, not all men attend the class “male superiority” or they do, but they object to the ideas. And so, they don’t become men who rape or harass women.
  5. True sex, true romance, true flirting and true love is something that happens between equals.

I hope that in the aftermath of the #metoo-campaign there will be many more men out there who truly believe in the idea that men and women are born equal and who truly want to get rid of that old-time idea that men are superior to women.

Then we can all flirt, love, and be happy.