When the #MeToo movement emerged, the idea appeared to be that women (and men!) should speak out about sexual assault and sexual harassment, that powerful people should not feel entitled to take physical liberties with others, and that the culture needed to unequivocally and clearly condemn such conduct. Like most abstract concepts, it sounded good in theory, until—
—the question about what constituted sexual assault and harassment remained unanswered, because in so many cases it is a matter of perception and perspective.
—basic due process and the presumption of innocence were ignored, minimized, or jettisoned entirely, turning the accused into victims themselves
—Democrats sought to weaponized the movement politically, raising questions about motive, equal justice, and bias, and turning what should have been a bi-partisan movement into a cynical partisan one.
—The “women must be believed” mantra, discriminatory, unjust and ridiculous on its face, became part of the narrative and burst into open misandry and outrageous double standards.
Good job, everybody!
Now here’s where we are:
- The New York Times asked men to write in and tell stories of conduct toward women they regret now. The paper printed the stories, but never performed the necessary, I would say mandatory analysis. Why only men? None of the men whose story was published felt that the school days conduct they described should derail their careers and reputations now. Are they wrong? Why did the Times take the extreme position that alleged high school and college misconduct—without evidence or verification, in the face of denials—should have condemned Brett Kavanaugh?
Is there no societal statute of limitations on sex-related misconduct, or is every woman–but no men?— presumed to be armed with potential life destroying experiences that can be weaponized on a whim, a change of heart, or a change of politics?
- Senator Cory “Spartacus” Booker now has his own accuser, a so-far anonymous man who claims that in 2014 Booker followed him to a bathroom, and aggressively approached him for oral sex in a stall. He claims to have more proof than Christine Blasey Ford had for her accusation. Now what? It could be a fabricated smear–from now on, every male candidate for national office will be at risk of such accusations, real or contrived. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were fake, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true either: Booker has set off my “gaydar” from the beginning of his career. My position is the same: until the accuser identifies himself the story is only rumor, and until it is verified by hard evidence, it should not be allowed to impugn Booker.
That is not, however, the standard used by the news media and Democrats in their efforts to destroy Kavanaugh. Why is Booker different? Because he is a Democrat? Because he is “just” a U.S. Senator? Because he’s black? Because a male “survivor” accusations needn’t be believed, only a female’s?
- Rep. Keith Ellison has not been forced to resign as the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, nor drop out of his race for Minnesota attorney general. despite serious accusations of domestic abuse by his ex-girlfriend that are, again, supported by more evidence that Blasey Ford’s accusations, and occured while Ellison was an adult as well as an elected official. (There is hope: he is now trailing in the polls.) How can feminists, progressives and Democrats explain and justify these disparate standards?
They can’t. And if #MeToo continues on this path, it will become a sick joke, and an opportunity for real cultural reform will have been tragically botched.