It’s long past merely righting wrongs… anonymous accusers are now destroying reputations and careers even for consensual casual sex… and it’s starting to boomerang.
Action, meet reaction.
Would anyone have predicted a story like this, only a year ago?
Consider what’s happening in the capital of Florida. Female staffers and lobbyists have found “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately,” reported The Miami Herald. “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’ ” lobbyist Jennifer Green told the paper. “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? . . . Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’ ”
“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’ ”
How did you EXPECT that men — now presumed guilty because of notions like ‘rape culture’ and ‘patriarchy’ — will take ‘extreme measures’ to protect themselves from being in any situation where some unnamed accuser can destroy a career with a whisper.
Do we know the name of Aziz Ansari’s accuser? Nope… but we know far more about his dating life than we have any right to. Why? Becuase a woman who willingly shed her clothes in his apartment, and did everything one could reasonably imagine (twice, actually!) short of ‘doing the deed’ later gave a blow-by-blow account of the entire date. She anonymously left readers of the Times to believe that he had somehow sexually abused her.
He had his reputation trashed, while she paid literally no price for it, hiding behind her anonymity.
Are we to believe consent can be retroactively revoked, now? That’s a dangerous precedent.
Even Amy Schumer said that there are options that could describe the encounter the black-and-white It was rape or it was fine choice.
Men are getting the feeling that it just might be ‘open season’ on them, with feminists on a witch-hunt.
Remember that so-called ‘sh-tty media men’s list’?
"If we as a culture are going to sort through the very tangled question of what constitutes an abuse of male power we need to be able to hear, really hear, lots of different opinions." – Katie Roiphe on the #MeToo thought police on #SundayMorning pic.twitter.com/5MWtqIj8pP
— CBS Sunday Morning (@CBSSunday) February 4, 2018
…Rebecca Traister, one of the smartest and most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, writes:
The rage that many of us are feeling doesn’t necessarily correspond with the severity of the trespass: Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction.
At first glance, this seems honest and insightful of her. She seems, for a moment, to recognize the energy that is unnerving some of us, an anger not interested in making distinctions between Harvey Weinstein and the man looking down your shirt—an anger that is, as Traister herself puts it, “terrifyingly out of control.” But weirdly, she also seems to be fine with it, even roused. …
Remember when there was something called the ‘presumption of innocence?’ What about that notion of ‘the punishment fitting the crime’?
Because of the anger animating the movement, incidents that might otherwise seem outrageous become acceptable or normal to us. The Shitty Media Men list, the anonymously crowd-sourced spreadsheet chronicling sexual misconduct in the publishing world, is a good example. If we think of how we would feel about a secretly circulating, anonymously crowd-sourced list of Muslims who might blow up planes, the strangeness of the document snaps into focus. And yet the Guardian described the list as an attempt “to take control of the narrative by speaking out,” while the Washington Post said “the point was community.” According to The Awl, “a few false positives is probably an acceptable price,” and Mashable opined: “Maybe the women accessing it will see a name and feel a little less crazy, a little more validated in knowing that weird interaction they had with that media guy in a bar was, in fact, creepy.” There is something chilling about circulating lists like this, with their shadowy accusations capable of ruining reputations and careers, simply so that a woman can be sure that a weird interaction she had at a bar with a media guy was, in fact, creepy. (“It feels Maoist,” says one of the deeply anonymous, while others question whether the list was ever designed to remain clandestine in the first place.)
To do a close reading of the list: some of the offenses on the spreadsheet (“creepy DMs,” “weird lunch ‘dates,’” “leering,” “flirting,” “violent language,” and “leading on multiple women online”) seem not quite substantial or rare enough to put into the category of sexual misconduct. I am not even sure they merit a warning to a hopeful young employee. I have graduate students who go on to work for these sorts of publications, and I am very mother-hen-ish about them. But I can’t imagine sitting with one of my smart, ambitious students in my office, lined with shelves of books like The Second Sex and A Room of One’s Own and I Love Dick and The Argonauts, saying, “Before you go work there, I just want to warn you, that guy might leer at you.” I would worry I was being condescending, treating her like a child who doesn’t know how to handle herself in the world.
Then she shares an anectode that should make the MeToo movement sit up and take notice. The author and her friend found themselves discussing rumors about someone’s misdeeds.
My friend was drinking chamomile tea and telling me second- and thirdhand stories about him with what, for a minute, I thought was gusto, but might have been political concern. “I like Lorin,” she told me. “I don’t have a personal stake in this.” She then informed me that he had sexually harassed two interns at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where he had worked before his Paris Review tenure, leading to hushed-up, sealed settlements. She delivered this piece of highly specific information so confidently that I did not stop and think, even though I teach in a journalism department: Is this factually correct?
She didn’t even think to ask. The rumor was too juicy. She got caught up in the story, and describes that for a paragraph before adding:
The next morning, I related the troubling new fact of the FSG settlements to a journalist friend. Could it be true? She checked it very thoroughly and called that evening to tell me she could find no truth at all to the settlement rumors.2 I was disgusted with myself for repeating what was probably a lie about someone I liked and had nothing against. What was wrong with me?
And that is the point. It’s the problem.
Remember how Feminists and the business world roundly criticized Vice President Pence for not eating or drining alone with any woman who wasn’t his wife?
Are you starting to see why he might do that?
The MeToo problem is, that other people will start doing the same thing.
And an UNSPOKEN problem is… that men in the position of hiring have a new ‘x’ factor in the risk/reward column of hiring employees. Will hiring this woman — however qualified she may be — present the possibility of being wrongfully accused?
Ladies may want to think twice before tarring and feathering every man that a woman has ever had a ‘negative’ romantic experience with.
Some of the accusations will be truly serious and should warrant police investigation.
Others are a wild overreaction that will unleash a great many unintended consequences for the very women they are supposed to be helping.
The guilty ones really should pay a price. But if innocent men are paying a price in the process, you are just heaping one injustice upon another.
Women are great. Just like our very own President Trump says, we like all women except Rosie O’Donnell and her feminist pals.
How do you confuse a feminist? (Tell her she can’t make you a sandwich!)
Do you want to really confuse a feminist?
Here you go, Ladies:
The Effeminization Of The American Male
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male