Men Need To Find A Way To Confront Sexual Violence In Brazil

Not scratching your balls, not spitting on the floor and not harassing women on the street does not make you a hero. At the same time, if you refrain from engaging in such behavior, you might be able to help change the "tough guy" stereotype that has been perpetuated for centuries.

I can assure you that giving up the "tough guy" act -- even though it's the least that can be done in a civilized society -- continues to be a form of resistance, particularly when you're young and more susceptible to peer pressure.

Even if you decide to give these behaviors up, you wouldn't be able to free yourself from the power of machismo in one simple magical step. There's a lot that needs to change: it could be the language you use, or your passive approach to domestic work, or a paternalistic attitude that you adopt.

Defying the expectations that other people have for our lives is a battle in which there are no easy victories. This is something that white people, heterosexuals, and people born into privilege need to be aware of, in addition to men. It is healthy for all of us to recognize the extent of our privilege.

It seems to me that when a specific incident brings a feminist issue to the surface, the voices of the men who have relinquished their "tough guy" personas become lost.

This became clear in the aftermath of last week's appalling events. On the one side are those who go overboard and use avatars that don't represent them. On the other side there are those who opt for deafening silence.

I am certain of one thing: Those of us who care about humanitarian issues and values related to human rights urgently need to develop a way to engage in healthy dialogue to confront this horror.

If not, we will continue to be divided, while they come together with dangerous ease.

There could be many more than 33 rapists.

This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.