Robert Raphael Schwenkler

Why I Chose to Support a Man Accused of Sexual Harassment

Written by on February 4, 2016


I ran across a story in the media recently, about a man who’s been accused by a number of women in his industry for sexually harassing them.

Within a few days he’d resigned as president of the company, the company dissolved, and there’s a small media shitstorm, people are attacking him left and right, and he’s at the center of it all.

And my very first response when I read the story was compassion.

Through all the work I’ve done with men (myself included) I know that two things are true:
1. Men who are hurting inside do hurtful things outside.
2. Men who are at peace inside create peace outside. They live fulfilled, purposeful lives and their relationships reflect that.

My very second response was “Maybe if I can get in touch with him I can help him.”

Somehow I got the notion, growing up as a man, that men are bad. Myself included. That we do bad things, we hurt people, we rape, we kill, we’re violent.

At the core of me though, I know this is NOT true. I know that all men have a deep capacity to love and be loved. To heal and be healed. To live deeply meaningful lives that have profoundly positive impacts upon the world around them.

This is why I do the work that I do.

And yet I still experience fear in violating this social custom of turning men into “less than” (Which often happens by turning us into “more than”. More important, more powerful, more domineering…). I was scared to reach out to old colleagues from my past industry (the same industry as his) asking to be connected. I was scared to reach out to some of his (now former) colleagues.

I wonder what a world that’s free of this fear would be like? Where women feel safe walking alone at night and asserting their boundaries to men. Where men are appreciated and received as the lovingly powerful creatures that we all have the capacity to be.

And within a couple hours of reaching out to my own and his colleagues I got his contact information. I filmed a personal video and sent it to him.

I’m curious to see what opens up next.

I’m curious to see if he gets to be the next man who’s life becomes changed simply through me giving my gift.

I’m curious who I get to become as I more and more fully own my gift and allow it to take up ALL the space it needs to love and heal myself and the world around me.

I’m curious to see what it’s like to live in a world that celebrates men.


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  • Peter Rubin

    Bob, I think this a brave and admirable thing to do. The way you talk about it, it’s like you’re The Men’s Public Defender. What he did or didn’t do to these women isn’t your business – that’s in the hands of the law. What you’re doing is taking a stand for his healing and inner work, and if he did do it, you’re in a position of trust where you can help him repair the damage he caused. I hope he takes you up on it.

  • Nut Tmu-Ankh Butterfly

    Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with survivors of rape, like myself, and with min who are admitted rapist or molesters. While these min, like most, have suffered no legal and little other consequence for their abuses, they came to me in deep pain and confusion about these “urges”. They’re clergy, doctors, business owners, fathers and each of them was raped as a boy.

    All of us who know how must bring healing to perpetrators as well as survivors if these cycles of pain and violence are to end.

    • Thank you Nut! I’m really glad that you’re doing the work you’re doing, it’s powerful and needed.

      • Nut Tmu-Ankh Butterfly

        Thank YOU Bob!