There is good reason to exclude men from the #MeToo narrative

“Exclusion” has become a bad word, of late, but is not inherently so.

In an effort to move to a greener existence, I recently switched to an ecological toothbrush. As I have been living uniquely from solar panels for almost two years, I was forced to ditch my electric toothbrush. In choosing an ecological toothbrush, I studied materials, as well as the advantages of recycled plastic brushes versus those with replaceable heads. In the end, I had to eliminate every single option aside from the single one I chose. Yes, I had to exclude that which did not meet my personal standards and convenience.

I think a lot about exclusion these days. The #MeToo campaign which emerged in reaction to the sexually aggressive acts of Harvey Weinstein is clearly a female-centered campaign. But recently I’ve seen arguments that #MeToo should be extended to include males. While being “inclusive” of everyone might seem like a nice idea, the reality is that there are perfectly rational reasons for exclusivity in many situations. Our shared experiences with certain humans help us form bonds where and when we need them. These bonds can often make life bearable for those experiencing particularly painful moments in their lives. Commonalities help to create community.

The truth is that all communities are exclusive, in one way or another, of individuals who don’t share certain experiences or requisites. While some might be tempted to argue exclusion equates to segregation, such arguments are very much apples and oranges, particularly in the context of women’s rights.

There are several key differences which should be underscored, when discussing “exclusion” in the women’s liberation movement, beginning with the myth that feminism must focus on males. Thanks to liberal feminists like Emma Watson, among others, many women have been made to believe that arguing for the inclusion of males in the women’s movement is a worthwhile cause. But any group in protest of its oppression by another group is within its rights to demand that the oppressor not be included in its organizing. For instance, when labour unions secured the legal right to represent employees in 1935, employers were excluded from the class of employees because it was understood that employers (as well as managers and supervisors) held power over workers. In terms of economic class, it seems that most people are on the same page when understanding which group holds power over another.

Similarly, civil rights advocacy began with the premise that there is social inequality between people of colour and white people, making a necessary distinction between who is being oppressed under white supremacy. Robbing a person of the right to distinguish the oppressor class means that she is barred from speaking about and identifying her oppression.

Nobody expected the Black Panthers to consider the marginalization of KKK members from their organization for good reason. Similarly, no such claim of exclusion was made about the Million Man March in Washington D.C. in 1995, when approximately 400,000 African American men converged en masse in the nation’s capital to engage in teach-ins, worship services, and community organizing. While there was a discussion over the fact that women were excluded, there was also recognition that black men had the right to gather without women to discuss their issues, and this action was largely supported by African American women. Two years later, the Million Woman March was held in D.C. to focus on issues specific to women.

This sort of exclusion is not based in hatred or a desire to do harm. Exclusion is how we decide, like me and my ecological toothbrush choices, what meets our needs. Exclusion is not necessarily about owning a card to an elite club — it is about setting a particular direction for an individual, group, activity, community, and so forth. All social groups exclude in some way. While I am a big believer in reaching over the aisle to dialogue with those responsible for our subordination, I also recognize the need of any group to make decisions within its group before reaching across that aisle.

And exclusion isn’t only important for the purposes of political organizing. Breast cancer survivors, for example, form or join support groups where they can share their common experiences of coping with the disease, its treatment, and its effects on their breasts and bodies. Cancer and its various treatments pose challenges to the body, including changes or interruption to the menstrual cycle and libido. But beyond the physical, there are very personal and psychological reactions to breast cancer arising from social expectations of the female body that follow women from girlhood through to adulthood. Such a support group, in excluding males, is not saying that males are less important or unworthy of psychological and social care. It is simply evoking a social fact: males experience illness differently from females.

Does the fact of breast cancer support groups for women mean that males cannot get breast cancer? Of course not. And there are breast cancer support groups for males. Why? Because males and females experience breast cancer differently.

Commonalities between same-sexed bodies are part of the social intimacy that both males and females alike cherish across cultures. Be it in the hammam or the steam room, the hospital ward, or the changing room at the gym, there is intimacy between people of the same sex that provides a space of security and dignity. Females especially value these spaces because the public sphere is not safe for women. Being in a female-only changing room can offer women a needed reprieve from the daily sexualization of their bodies, and from unwanted male attention and judgment.

The issue of “exclusion” has become a touchpoint for the left in recent years. Most notably, we have seen exclusion being derided as bigotry in trans activist circles where women who say they would not feel comfortable with a male in their change rooms, their women’s shelters, or in a women’s prison are labelled transphobic. Yet both these examples come from real life paradigms.

In 2007, Vancouver Rape Relief Society won a case against Kimberly Nixon, a trans-identified male who had attempted to join the training group for peer counsellors at the women’s shelter. Nixon was asked to leave the group account of having been born male, and because the shelter operated on the basis that women could best counsel other women, having had the specific experience of growing up female under patriarchy. The B.C. Court of Appeals’ decided that Vancouver Rape Relief had the right to determine its own membership, as any oppressed group of people has the right to “discriminate” when organizing in their own interests, as a class. Currently pending in Texas is the case of three female inmates who are suing Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, claiming that, “They are living in a degrading and dangerous environment by being forced to share showers and bathrooms with the transgender inmates.” The truth is that, for most women, sex does matter. What is more remarkable is that males who claim to have an internal “female identity” have zero compassion for or comprehension of the reality women face in a male supremacist world, and would prefer women put aside their own material reality, comfort, and safety in order to validate men’s feelings.

Choosing a female gynecologist or desiring a female-only space for changing is not meant to incriminate all males as, to paraphrase George W. Bush, “evil doers.” Rather, a woman might choose a female gynecologist both because she feels a woman would better understand her body, but also because she feels safer in that vulnerable state with someone statistically unlikely to assault them. Women’s desire to change in a locker room without male-bodied persons would likely be based on something similar, as well as a desire to maintain healthy boundaries that too often go unrespected. In excluding males from female spaces, women are demanding that society accept the healthy boundaries of women, even if, in certain scenarios, males might wish to be on the other side of the line.

Last week, Bustle ran a story arguing that “some members of LGBTQ community feel that the [#MeToo] campaign focuses too strongly on the gender binary and seems to erase nonbinary or genderqueer people from the conversation.” But what this statement really conveys is that males feel excluded from a conversation lead by women speaking out about male violence.

While I would not deny that males experience violence, it is overwhelmingly violence inflicted by other males. What makes #MeToo important is that violence against women and girls is coded into the structural social hierarchy. When women contribute their #MeToo stories, they are doing so as females who have, from childhood, been groomed as objects that exist for male use.

It cannot be overstated that females suffer disproportionate levels of sex-based discrimination and violence, including sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape, and trafficking. Women are quite aware that they are discriminated against and physically abused because of their sex, regardless of how they may feel, internally, about the gender roles imposed on them. It is entirely insignificant, for example, how the over 200 women who James Toback sexually harassed identified.

To demand that #MeToo include non-binary people is to miss the point of the feminist movement: feminism has from its inception been explicitly about breaking the hierarchy and stereotypes reinforced through gender which demanded women not leave the house, not vote, and not work. It is not the “binary” that is the problem so much as it is gender itself, under patriarchy. Men who rape women don’t care whether their victims feel “binary” or not.

What Bustle would like is for women to use a language that is seemingly more neutral, less politically objectionable, and more inclusive… of males. Otherwise there would be no uproar with focusing specifically on women’s voices and experiences in this campaign. Males insisting on being “included” in women’s social protest against sexism is just more of the same sexism — women are being instructed to shut up about their oppression by males unless they include males. Beyond that, under patriarchy, women are always under pressure to be sexually available to men. This new language of “inclusion” that frames “exclusion” as inherently harmful has led to males who identify as transgender to insist that women include them not only in their groups and politics, but in their beds. That this is explicitly sexist is made clear through the fact that I have yet to see any male who identifies as trans pressure heterosexual men into sleeping with him.

A narrative that insists on coercing or goading women into including their oppressor is anything but progressive. Likewise, insisting that the language of gender neutrality is what matters in a conversation about sexual violence is far from revolutionary. Taking up the five-cent terms like “non-binary” and “queer” will have no impact on the facts of sex-based oppression for females. The challenge we face as a society is not to carpet bomb women’s movements with accusations of “exclusivity” and “bigotry” when women recognize that males and females are different and have different needs.

Creating linguistic games might seem avant-garde to undergraduates, but the reality is that gender is what prescribes the behavioral cues engrained in females throughout their lives. Gender is what is hammered into females as a class, rendering them subjects of a discourse they have no power to respond to. The notion that gender can ever be neutral is patently absurd since gender is not the solution. It is the problem.

Changing language to be “be more inclusive” is counter-revolutionary and pretending that such language does anything other than prevent women from effectively organizing towards their own liberation is delusory. The language of gender inclusivity does nothing to dismantle the social and political inequalities that females face. It does, however, create a lovely illusion (especially for men who want to seem progressive in their attempts to thwart our movement): that saying “genderqueer” makes one a “feminist.”

Julian Vigo is a scholar, filmmaker, and human rights consultant. Her latest book is Earthquake in Haiti: The Pornography of Poverty and the Politics of Development. Contact her via email:

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  • Jean Cross

    As you say, Julian, the whole notion of embracing gender as a self-defining principle is just moronic. It’s like The Emperor’s New Clothes, there is nothing in it except self-delusion and mass hysteria. Instead of pushing out the boundaries of gender enforced roles and behaviour, trans activists seem to want to re-enforce the gender binary they claim to hate. I don’t get why they confuse femininity with being a woman. Many of us have fought for decades to reject the narrow, restrictive, parameters that patriarchy forces on us through gender constructs. And now we are being asked (did I say ‘asked’? what I meant was bullied, harassed, abused) to drop our provocative political analysis of the patriarchy and embrace the idea that women as a biological entity do not exist.
    Now that movements like #Me Too are actually having an impact, are actually forcing a discussion on sexual harassment, we need the space to talk about how our female bodies are treated in the world, how they are prayed upon and how, having actual female bodies impacts on our lives. It doesn’t sound like too much to ask.

    • FierceMild

      Exactly! Lesbian and feminist (and lesbian feminist) women have been combatting gender for decades.

  • FierceMild

    The abuse is so ‘binary’ it seems strange for anyone to complain that the response would be as well.

  • Hekate Jayne

    There is a lot of great in this post, but TX prisons is griping my ass at the moment.

    The majority of women in prison are there for non violent offenses and a large majority of them have been targets of male violence, sexual and otherwise.

    The majority of male prisoners are violent. And the amount of them claiming ladybrain has shot up since TX has started putting trannies into the female prisons.

    Reading about it has made my head explode from rage. The female prisoners and guards have documented threats of rape and multiple women have complained about being harassed in the fucking shower by a dude. With a penis.

    Male government has given male predators the gift of a pool of women that cannot escape them. And the male government will not help the women.

    And to top it off, Amy Whelan, who is a representative of a LESBIAN ORGANIZATION is representing the fucking trannies. And she says that the inmates that are complaining about the sexual threats and violence are just BIGOTY LIARS.

    I don’t know how we can fight this. How can you fight this? How do we fight, when we say “these males are threatening rape and assaulting women”, and the response is “YOU ARE A LYING BIGOT”?

    When proof of fact doesn’t matter, then how can we win even minimal safety? When the bar is set at “what males say is what we will do”, how do we respond?

    • Womble Bananaroom

      shit that’s so awful. i had no idea that dicks in dresses were allowed into women’s prisons. why is this happening? ffs

    • Blazing Fire

      I was thinking that Texas was safe from this after the big hue and cry over the bathroom bill being passed. I didn’t know that it had failed…:( Googling, I find that this bill faced a lot more roadblocks than the abortion bills!
      I really don’t know what to say…. A man claiming that he is a woman – looks like the father of all lies, and he is getting access to locked up women. I could only say “Oh God, please save the victims of this devil…” I’m so sorry to hear this… One small silver lining (which I see doing a quick search of the web, I may be wrong) is that there seem to be many common people even among liberals who are against this idea, but whose voices aren’t heard (their comments are being suppressed by the news sites, for example). They can’t be suppressed for too long, hopefully.
      This issue sure looks like a devil straight from the pit of hell. My prayers are with you all.

  • Hekate Jayne

    That “bustle” as a “fashion accessory” thing. You know a dude invented that hell.

    I mean, no woman ever, anywhere, said “um, yeah. Can I make some really uncomfortable thing to wear over my ass that will make it impossible to sit down or pee? Where can I sign up for THAT?”

    The “person” that invented that torture was fixated on our asses. It wasn’t a woman.

  • Gundog

    The insincerity and weaselly-ness of male “feminists” and all the dudes glomming onto #metoo (and feminism in general) is obvious and apparent.

  • FierceMild

    Here’s the founder and CEO of Bustle:
    Dude named Bryan.

    • Wren

      I’ve never read Bustle, and I never will, and I hate him and his stupid fucking loft.

  • Kiwipally

    It’s all about men who don’t respect boundaries and want to colonise women’s spaces. There was nothing stopping men from creating and promulgating their own hashtag. But no, they waited until women did something and then pitched a fit about not being included.

    I’m really tired of oppression being redefined to mean “people don’t want to listen to me”, but – of course – only when that applies to men, as men actively refuse to listen to women all the fucking time.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Males are included in “me, too”.

    As predators.

    They should be reminded of that.

  • Elmer Fenderpuddy
  • JCortese

    “What about the men?” == “all lives matter!”

    Only in the latter case, black activists aren’t stupid and craven enough to browbeat one another with it, and white left-wingers get the vapors over it. It’s fine for the lefties to use it on women, though.

    I think that was at the bottom of the browbeating Rose McGowan took over a perfectly reasonable tweet that gave everyone the excuse they were dying for the pile on her as a “racist”: the simple, undeniable FACT that if the word “n*gger” is unacceptable TO THE LEFT, as it damned well should be, then why are the insults for women okay TO THE LEFT?

    “That’s not what McGowan said.” Fuck, she had 140 characters to work with, GMAFB.

    I’m sorry, but WTF is it about making this observation that is so off-limits? I’m willing to listen to someone try to explain this to me, someone who gets MY point as well: basically, why is Eminem lauded for being so progressive for not saying n*gger in his songs, but he’ll use bitch, whore, slut, and cunt like croutons on a word salad, and that’s just fine ON THE LEFT? They rightly call slavery one of the world’s greatest evils, but prostitution — modern SLAVERY — is a-ok with them. Isn’t it suspicious to anyone else that the only word that needs the asterisk is the one that happens to include men?


    And why is it that when a left-wing woman who is at the center of a massive RAPE AND CHILD MOLESTATION SCANDAL makes an overly abbreviated tweet that points that out, she’s immediately pounced on by the left and called a fucking racist? It’s like how DARE you compare your stupid little girly problems to Real, Noble Problems suffered by people who also included men? What, oh pray tell, is the Right Way for a woman to bring this up, because it’s there goddamn it, and it needs to be brought up.

    I admit I felt the same way about what happened to Trayvon Martin — he couldn’t walk around outside in a hoodie without risking his life, which was absolutely an injustice. And yet when someone tells a young girl of any color but ESPECIALLY young black girls, “You don’t dare walk out of the house wearing THAT young lady, or else you’ll never make it back alive,” that’s not some grand injustice worthy of ranting and marching? OH MY GOD, males are being limited, threatened, and constrained by the limitations applied only to WOMEN for the last fifty thousand years! Holy shit! RED ALERT!

    Oops sorry, I forgot — I’m just a White Feminist, so I’d better not point that shit out, point out that the injustices that women have suffered and continue to suffer leave the rest of humanities’ injustices in the fucking dust, that the majority of the world is run by nonwhite men and happens to be a stinking shithole for women, that black women were the Mule of Africa way before they were the Mule of the Americas … heaven forfuckingBID someone point that out — that all of the things that are called injustices when suffered by groups of people including men are just life as usual when suffered by women.

    And it’s all said by a bunch of white assholes who haven’t got a microgram of melanin between them and usually come from money, who couldn’t care less about sex-based injustice — nor about racial injustice except when they can use it to shut up inconveniently mouthy bitches or to score points against other country club buddies as they compete for the tiara of Nicest White Person In The Room.

    “What about the men?” You know what? FUCK the men. I don’t expect BLM to put my ethnic concerns at the center of their activities because they’re FUCKING BUSY with their own shit, so I’m not putting men at the center of my feminism.

    I would seriously trade 20 years off my life to have this conversation with bell hooks to really untangle this, because when I see the Mighty Jackboot of Dudebro Leftist Politics stomp down on any discussion of this issue to safeguard its own comfort, it makes my blood BOIL.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is a woman?

    • Wren

      Maybe we need that on a t-shirt.

  • FierceMild

    Transwomen are adult human males, adult human males are men. Stop harassing women

    Also, Transwomen are complaining that they don’t get harassed by other men enough to validate their identities. You know why they aren’t getting harassed as much?! Because they’re men and the men doing the harassing are targeting women.

  • JCortese

    It’s just so revolting to watch the news shows and pundits around tables where it’s like five of these ugly old white guys with jowls hanging down to their nipples in suits and ties with one black dude in there for diversity suddenly taking violence against “black youths” seriously when young black women have NEVER been able to so much as stick a toe out their front door without being told they “asked for” whatever violence and degradation society throws into their faces. It’s sickening. I’ve heard of the recent studies about little black girls and how they are treated as if they are criminals and whores in elementary schools at an age when they still barely know what makes boys and girls different! They can’t even EXIST much less wear whatever THEY want in the open, free world, on a planet that is as much theirs as anyone else’s. And no gaggles of ugly old motherfuckers in suits and ties sit around news desks debating THAT.

    And why is pointing that out called “racist?” Because it makes the left uncomfortable, that’s why. Because we’re busy turning Eminem into a fucking left-wing hero for making fun of Donald Trump and not saying n*gger in his music while he talks about the most disgusting violence against bitches, cunts, and whores. Because Alec motherfucking Baldwin makes fun of Donald Trump and has a lifelong history of threatening and abuse toward his family, but hey let’s not split hairs here.

    All the big lefty male heroes are shitheads — and McGowan’s perforce abbreviated tweet cuts right at the heart of it. I WANT them to explain why THEY think n*gger is off-limits and cunt is not. I WANT them to tell me why it’s okay to degrade black women for having vaginas but not for the color of said vaginas. I WANT MCGOWAN’S QUESTION ANSWERED BY THEM, RIGHT NOW.

    • FierceMild


  • Hekate Jayne

    How many ladydudes were kept from voting, getting an education, owning property, getting a driver’s license?

    How many ladyboys are child brides? Are sexualized by grown males when their breasts start to develop? Learn that their menstrual cycles are nasty and must be hidden?

    How many ladymen died in childbirth last year? Were unable to afford an abortion?

    Hhmmmmmmmm. It is almost like there is a class of people that are oppressed based on biology, which is factual reality.

    Did you know that 100% of all people, ever, were born from a uterus? Another uncomfortable factual reality.

    You know, for centuries, males denied rights to women. And they were not confused about who to impregnate, rape, or buy and sell as property.

    So are males just extra stupid, now? That you think that males really can’t tell who is female and who is male?

    Put on a tutu and some lipstick, bake a pie, walk like a dainty petite flower, take on whatever version of “femininity” that you want to, bro. I support that.

    But doing “femininity” does not make you a woman. It makes you FEMININE, which is the set of behaviors that males have created to keep us subservient and submissive to them, largely because they are stupid and lazy and feel entitled to own a domestic slave.

    We want to abolish gender roles and you want to keep us in them, which is why you insist that “feminine”=woman, which is the stance of all woman haters.

    I am not “feminine”. But I am a woman, an adult human female.

    I am not an “identity” for you to inhabit, or a “ladybrain”, or a magical essence that you can become. I am a female human being.

    I understand that you don’t like being male. I am certainly glad that I am not one of you, lol. But hating yourself doesn’t make you female. Or a unicorn or a brownie or a tree. Material reality, dude. It is a real thing. Lying won’t change it.

  • Denise Denning

    If transwomen are women, does that mean all women are trans?

  • Cassandra


    • FierceMild

      Thank you for my first laugh of the day before I’m even out of bed!

  • Blazing Fire

    True, but sadly, the solution may not work if those “ladeemenz” (whatever) start invading in huge numbers. I’m so sorry about sounding pessimistic..
    My prayers are with you all – women in North America & Europe need a miracle to be safe.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Dominance is not an accident.

    • FierceMild

      It is tiring to keep pointing that out.

  • Wren

    Well now that’ll REALLY confuse them, lol.

  • Melanie

    Please stop redefining what a woman is so that women can’t even articulate our own lives and experiences anymore.

  • Sarah Wiley

    This was a very thought provoking article. I always appreciate people’s efforts to better define the words often used in media and social change movements that have had their meanings somewhat twisted by how they are used by some parties. I hadn’t really stopped to consider if men should be included in the #MeToo narrative before reading this. While I can certainly understand the desire to have women only places and conversations, I think that conversations about sexual violence and sexual harassment can only benefit from having people from all walks of life contribute especially when they are on a platform as public as social media. The example of support groups being exclusive communities was used to back up the stance that the #MeToo narrative should be exclusive as well but a support group and a social media narrative or campaign differ greatly in their purpose and how they function. While it is very true that people of different genders experience sexual violence and sexual harassment in different ways, the strength of the social media platform is it is able to bring together people who experience the world in different ways because of it’s ability to connect people on a more global scale. It seems counter productive to exclude people when the goal is greater connection and awareness. The use of the Black Panthers not being expected to consider the marginalization of the KKK in their organization seemed a strange comparison to use as the KKK is and was an extremely radical group and scholars are still divided on whether or not the Black Panthers actions were truly effective and positive. It also doesn’t acknowledge other parts of the civil rights movement that did bring black and white people together to change the system like the Selma to Montgomery marches that were highly effective. Since at it’s core sexual violence and harassment is about power of the perpetrator over the victim, I think that hearing about as many different experiences as possible can only lead to a greater understanding of the problem which would allow society to more effectively address the problem and work on a solution. I don’t see how a truly effective solution could be found or worked towards if our conversations are not including everyone who has faced this type of violence. It seems to me to be the case that the solution to oppression does not lie in exclusion, but rather the ability of two exclusive groups to come together and change how society works until they are able to form one community with all members having the same opportunities, rights, and similar experiences of the world.

    • Omzig Online

      Your world view is admirable, but you may have missed the point of the article. I think most of the readers would love to join forces with “all walks of life” and hug trees and sing Hare Krishna, but this tactic has never worked.

      We women have tried being sweet and nurturing toward our male abusers. We’ve tried reasoning with them. Hell, we’ve even tried begging them to stop harassing, stalking, raping, murdering, and molesting us, but they haven’t stopped.

      Did you know that therapists working with abuse victims never, ever include the perpetrators? These domestic violence counselors recognize the need to separate the victim from the abuser and completely exclude him in order for the victim to heal. It is well understood that inviting the abuser in the counseling sessions would only further traumatized the victim. This is just one example of how “inclusivity” is not the answer.

      We are under no obligation to include males in our activism. We have every right to identify our oppressors. Your preoccupation with being “inclusive” does absolutely nothing for the female victims of abuse, it only benefits the abuser.

      You seem like a sincere person, and I’m sure your desire to include men comes from a good place in your heart, but please don’t let anyone emotionally manipulate you or guilt trip you into “including” the very people that are responsible for our abuse and oppression. Romanticizing “inclusivity” for the sake of earning libreral brownie points is only further harming the victims of male abuse.

      • Sarah Wiley

        I really appreciate the last bit of your reply. I’m a university student so I still feel pretty young and unsure about some things. I figure you are probably right that I am an easy target for those who may be looking to shame me into perfect political correctness, so I really appreciate your reassurance that we do have a right to speak out without worrying about pleasing everyone.

        I do feel like you may have misinterpreted some of my thoughts, looking back there are some things I didn’t make super clear. While I did not know that therapists working with abuse victims never include the perpetrators, it does make a lot of sense, and I totally agree that inclusivity is not the answer there. I’m not sure if you caught it, my original comment doesn’t have the best organization, but I mentioned that I think a support group is very different in form and function than a social media campaign. I think that support group can be expanded here to include therapy and similar things. Your reply has given me more to think about, but I am still not sure I agree that exclusivity on a social media platform is the best course of action.

        I like your comment that ‘We are under no obligation to include males in our activism.’ I think it’s a really powerful line. I would like to suggest to you though that while we are under no obligation to include them, that doesn’t mean that if we do we lose any power in our activism. In the case of combating sexual violence, I think we narrow our view greatly if we just look at acts of violence perpetrated by males against females. This could be good or bad I suppose, one could make a convincing argument either way. I see sexual violence as a public health issue so I would argue that narrowing our view of sexual violence makes it harder to combat effectively as we also narrow our understanding of the issue as well.

  • Jen Miller

    Great article! You sum up the issues so well.