Friday, November 16The Voice of London

‘Eight stories of men’s regret’ in The New York Times evokes variety of emotions from readers

The New York Times published eight submissions from men who have, in their past, put women in uncomfortable situations that they now regret. During the same week as the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the newspaper opened its gates to their male readers by asking them to share their stories.

This piece struck a chord with readers for a variety of different reasons. Some felt anger and disappointment toward the publication for giving another platform to men allowing them to share their side but did not offer the same for women. Others believed this is a very important move for opening up the conversation on sexual harassment and could show men that these actions not only have a detrimental effect on their victims, but they themselves can also be haunted into their old age by the image of their poor behaviour.

The debate has become about whether these men who sent in their stories truly care about the open discussion of the impacts on both men and women in sexual harassment cases, or if this is a way for them to quickly rid themselves of their long-harboured guilt.

Notably, there were over 750 submissions within three days, but only eight were published as The New York Times decided they would not publish anonymous stories. Many men decided they could no longer be a part of the piece because sharing their name would leave them in fear of losing their jobs, families, and friends, which they were not prepared to do.

Most of the men in the final eight are retired or approaching retirement age. The information shared about each of them was their name, age when the incident in question occurred, and the year they graduated from high school.

Numerous people on Twitter have shared their varying thoughts on the arguably controversial piece:

Will this open conversation propel our society forward or set us back in terms of gender politics and sexual harassment cases?

Words by Georgia Hansen

Subbing by Maria Campuzano

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