The #MeToo movement has gone violently off the rails — and instead of leaving a bunch of bad, bad men in its wake, it's leaving women more vulnerable and more powerless than ever.
The movement, which initially served to empower women and break barriers, has effectively served its purpose and been able to encourage women from many walks of life to come forward in naming their alleged abusers.
As a result, women as a whole appear to feel more comfortable with having difficult conversations, and it's in this vein that women have hopefully learned a lesson of their own from all of this, too: Use your voice.
While the movement undoubtedly sparked many important conversations within the workplace, the family, and even within relationships, there's still a dark side: The movement has also effectively painted a fair majority of men as predatory and a fair majority of women as passive.
Now that many of us have learned a hard lesson about casual sex, perhaps in addition to being unafraid to publicly announce that you've been assaulted, you can take it one step further, and be proactive.
A suggestion? Privately announce to your partner, or date, that you're not comfortable with the trajectory of the evening and simply say "no" instead of relying on "non-verbal cues" to express dissent.
The #MeToo movement has become patronizing to women as many expect men to pick up on these "non-verbal cues" and act as mind readers.
I've been married for more than a decade, and in the early years of my marriage, I relied on "non-verbal cues" to prompt my husband to pick up his dirty laundry from the bathroom floor.
Trust me — "non-verbal cues" don't work, and they only create more frustration for both parties.
While sexual assault is very obviously never acceptable in any form, expecting men to babysit women takes away women's power and leaves them more vulnerable than ever.
Expecting men to babysit meek, voiceless women will either prompt deviant men to further capitalize on those women or confuse and misdirect good men who are simply looking to advance their own agendas.
Innocent men will end up painted with a broad brush as sexual predators, effectively ruining their careers, families, and relationships simply because they pushed for something they wanted — and it's a sad likelihood that this has already begun to occur, what with the rampancy of the movement itself.
It's unreasonable to expect that every unmarried single will abstain from engaging in sexual contact.
In that vein, perhaps it's time to better equip our young people to be as explicit in their "noes" as they are their hormonal, frenzied, and often unwise "yeses."
Young men aren't the only ones that should be held accountable — women need to be held accountable, too, and parents are partially responsible for teaching this in formative years.
Parents shouldn't only be raising their sons to be respectful and honorable when it comes to the wishes of others; parents also need to be teaching their daughters the same lessons that they're teaching their sons.
Women are still fighting for equal rights to this day — why would they expect to be taught any differently than their male counterparts? It's more than counterintuitive — it's self-sabotage.
When parents don't teach their daughters how to say "no" — or when grown women don't exercise their God-given right to dissent — it's damaging and injurious, and women are selling themselves and the power of their voices short.
Men should honor "no," and stop immediately when consent is not given. But women should not vilify men because they weren't OK with turning someone down and making things weird.
Perhaps one day we'll all return to sex within the boundaries of marriage, and stop cheapening it to a meaningless act, often later regretted for its absolute emptiness.
Imagine how much easier casual male-female relations would be then.