Conclusion: If #MeToo Has No Integrity, Then It Is Doomed, And Deserves To Be

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.

Then the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck collided head-on with the Brett Kavanaugh Ethics Train Wreck, and here we are among ethical and cultural carnage.

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.

31 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics

31 responses to “Conclusion: If #MeToo Has No Integrity, Then It Is Doomed, And Deserves To Be

  1. Has #MeToo cycled through the steps** already?

    ** ‘Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.’

  2. They skipped the ‘business’ step and went straight to ‘racket.’

    • ”They skipped the ‘business’ step and went straight to ‘racket.’ ”

      Soooo, they “passed” GO or didn’t and forfeited the $200…?

      Anywho, Lefty’d call that a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi.

      Me? I’d paraphrase Myra Langtry (Annette Bening in The Grifters):

      They was so crooked, they could eat soup with a corkscrew.

  3. Other Bill

    And then there’s Sarah Silverman saying she consented to Louis C.K. jacking off in front of her and that it was tremendous, until now she’s apologizing. Or something along those lines. To someone. It’s hard to tell.

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/oct/23/sarah-silverman-apologises-after-louis-ck-masturbation-comments

    • Other Bill

      And Harvey Weinstein is going to get off (so to speak) on all his charges, which will probably be dropped before they even get to trial. And Hillary is going to run again and Harvey will raise money for her and all will be well once again. Hooray.

  4. JutGory

    I have made one ethics complaint against a judge. It was a female judge. We were in her courtroom for a trial. In chambers, she said (and I paraphrase), “it is refreshing to see a trial with two lead female attorneys and two male attorneys as second chair.” Not a big deal in the sense that the attorney with me was far more experienced and was better suited to take the lead. However, the comment made it clear to me that I never wanted to appear in front of her again because I could not trust she would be fair.

    -Jut

  5. DaveL

    The phrase “more proof than Christine Blasey Ford” and its cognates are meaningless. I have literally seen claims of Bigfoot sightings and UFO abductions with more substantiation.

  6. PennAgain

    I never wanted to hear a word from #MeToo from the get-go. The phrase itself is nothing but a whine, and a whine from a weak wannabe, too. Meee tooo, mommy. I wanna band aid like that kid has. My finger hurts too. I fell down before. You didn’t see me but I did. I didn’t say nothin’ then cause it was hurtin’ so much. It made me cry ‘n cry. You musta been takin’ a nap, mommy. But you b’lieve me, don’cha? I would’n lie. … {sniff}{sniff}… It hurt all the way up my arm ‘n down the other leg. … If you don’ b’lieve me, I’m gonna run away an’ you’ll bee sorrrreee. . . . . Wow! Two Band Aids. Now I gotta go show those big kids. Wha”? Oh. I forgot: “thanks”. See ya’.

    • You don’t think the phrase had extra power initially, because it carried the implication that a lot of these women felt like they were the only ones being violated and part of their silence was the fear that all other women hadn’t suffered like that but now all of a sudden they realize “you too???…well, me too!”

    • It never fails to produce a snarky smirk when I see #metoo, which is pronounced “pound me too”

    • Michael R.

      I was disgusted by this at the beginning. Maybe I have grown cynical in my old age, but it was pretty apparent where this was going from the beginning. It gave me the same feeling I have when people approach me at the gas station because “they ran out of gas on their way to see their sick mother” and they want me to give them money. Yes, there are people who don’t have the money to buy gas to get where they are going and try to get there anyway. Yes it is sad. No, I don’t think giving money to people at gas stations is a good way to deal with the problem.

  7. Still Spartan

    This whole post reads to me as trying to convert #metoo into #alllivesmatter. Of course sexual harassment and assault is terrible no matter the gender involved. Same goes for domestic abuse. For me, and I’m just talking me here, #metoo is about the thousands of years of women being disproportionately being abused by men, either in the work place or elsewhere. It’s time for their voices to be heard — or at least for some of you to recognize that this is an epidemic. That would be a nice start.

    As for due process, well yes, we need that in the criminal system. I get it. I am an attorney. In fact, I am an attorney who just had to advise my family that my niece probably will not be able to put her rapist in prison. 16 year-old innocent girl (never been kissed) who was raped at a party in September. She was ashamed and didn’t tell anyone until a few days ago because she thought she was pregnant. (She’s not — thank God.) Even though it was reported to the police, they have not arrested him and are not even planning on interviewing my niece until next week. Meanwhile, my AP honors student niece is now flunking two classes, dropped a varsity sport due to stress, and does not want to go to school anymore because her rapist is in her grade. We probably will need to pull her and send her to private school or have her live with a relative in another school district.

    • Due process=fairness, and is not confined to the criminal justice system. I’d love to know what drove you to the Dark Side on this. It is incomprehensible to me. Is it possible that you have never been falsely accused of non-criminal misconduct? Lucky you.

      As with Black Lives Matter, #MeToo is being used as a rationalization to discriminate against and victimize another group for the purposes of political power. It’s too bad, but that doesn’t mean I have to ignore the fact.

      • Sensed

        This seems like an odd response to post on a site that regularly and openly–and, in my opinion, appropriately–speculates on the manners, morals and motivations of various figures in the public sphere, based on articles which are often ill-fact checked (as documented on this site) if they’re checked at all. Due process outside the legal world, like fairness, is often in the eye of the beholder.

        “No more proof than Blassey Ford” might be technically accurate, but most people’s opinions on Kavanaugh are not a matter of proof; they’re a matter of how compelling (or not) people found Ford. Just because we can find some #metoo cases more compelling than others doesn’t mean the movement has no integrity, any more than this blog loses its integrity when I don’t agree with some of its contents.

        • In a word, “Huh?” Due process is NOT “in the eye of the beholder” at all, except that some choose to ignore it, or pretend it’s there when it’s not. Due Process means that before someone, anyone, is penalized for something they allgedly did or didn’t do, objective, substantive evidence must be shown, and the process by with the individual is found deserving of punishment is known, fair, and protects the rights and interests of all parties at interest.

          “most people’s opinions on Kavanaugh are not a matter of proof; they’re a matter of how compelling (or not) people found Ford” means that “most people’ were operating ob feelings, emotions, biases, stereotypes and agendas. The fact that “most people” gravitated to an unfair, unethical, rigged process doesn’t make it right, acceptable, or respectable. “Compelling”? Seriously? The Salem judges found the hysterical girls “compelling.” The American public found Joe McCarthy ‘compelling.” Hitler was “compelling.” “Compelling” has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or ethics.

          • Sensed

            I said “due process outside the legal world,” where it most certainly is in the eye of the beholder–where else would it be, absent an official judge or jury?
            It’s been said exhaustively, objective, substantive evidence is extremely rare in the sorts of crimes we are talking about. Bill Cosby, for example, was deemed guilty (long before the courts found him so) by a great number of people, including yourself, because of the due process of very compelling testimony by his victims. You may find other people’s testimony less compelling, but that’s a subjective call, not an objective weighing of evidence.

            • We’re not talking about deeming people guilty after considering conclusive and actual evidence. I would not have supported Bill Cosby for the Supreme Court. I can conclude someone is guilty based on my own eyes or common sense, but doing so because I want one party to be telling the truth or have a bias against another is entirely different. If I witness someone committing a crime, I can conclude he’s guilty and treat him accordingly, but my word alone is not fair reason for anyone else to treat him as guilty without more.

      • Still Spartan

        I am unaware of this new fantastical concept of “due process” that you have imagined. Are you suggesting that my niece has to suffer in silence the rest of her life because she does not have physical evidence of a rape? Should she not be able to warn her friends? The bastard won’t be going to jail — that is his due process reward for a heinous crime that has permanently scarred my niece.

        Is it possible that you have never been held down and forcibly raped? Lucky you.

        • Kant, please. You know arguing from a single instance or anecdote is a fallacy. Why are you doing it? Movies do a very good job coming up with revenge scenarios that similarly justify mayhem and vigilanitis: watch the “I Spit On Your Grave” films. It’s not a civilized standard.

          • Still Spartan

            Jack — except that this isn’t a “single instance.” Hence, the very point of why the movement is called #metoo. You’re arguing for a standard that hides the fact that there is (and has been) an epidemic of sexual violence against women since the dawn of time. But, because many of these crimes cannot be proven, women should just shut up about it. Hence, the cycle continues.

            • No, women should speak up about it as close to the actual event as possible, not decide retroactively that what they once did not regard as assault or harassment now. years or decades later, is, apply the Golden Rule, accept the presumption of innocence and its consequences, and either accept that an unsubstantiated accusation is harmful and worthless, or accept that making them harms more victims than it helps.

            • Still Spartan

              So, my question stands. It is likely that the police will do little to prosecute this rape because my scared niece waited 6 weeks to report. I doubt that she will have the gumption to scream “he’s a rapist!” from the high school bleachers, but shouldn’t she be able to?

            • FBI reports say otherwise.

              Rape, like other violent crime,is at historic lows.

        • The bastard won’t be going to jail — that is his due process reward for a heinous crime that has permanently scarred my niece.

          Was this bastard sued?

    • There is always a lawsuit for battery.

  8. Why did #MeToo defy statutes of limitations?

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