Summary: The meToo madness continues, growing weirder each week. Here are two reports from the front lines.
For twenty years Americans laughed at the antics of our universities. Their indoctrination of students in strange leftist doctrines, their elevation of race and gender above all other concerns, their increasingly abstruse theories about victimization, and their pretensions to esoteric knowledge and moral superiority. We forgot that their indoctrinated pupils were streaming out into America’s governments and businesses.
Slowly the Left has sent a stream of gasoline into our streets. Now it has ignited. Nobody is laughing now. How much will this change America?
“A Female Senator Figured Out One Small Way to Fight Sexual Harassment.”
By Dahlia Lithwick at Slate.
“We still have a distance to go, of course, but it’s a meaningful start.”
“Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, revealed this week, without fanfare or drama, a new series of questions she intends to ask every nominee who appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee: Anybody being vetted for federal judgeships will now be asked about sexual harassment and assault.
“As Hirono explained, her decision is in response to the surge of sexual harassment and assault reports that started in Hollywood but have also touched those with lifetime appointments in the federal judiciary. Her intention going forward is to use some of her limited time to ask every nominee, judicial or otherwise, who appears before her in a confirmation hearing the two following questions: ‘Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?’ and ‘Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?'”
How do men know for certain that their “request” is “unwanted”? Telepathy? That’s why we ask.
How will the Senator respond to “yes”? Will she grill nominees about a drunk night at a bar while a freshman in college? Does she pass judgement on them? Nominees for high Federal office already have to take a pay cut, undergo proctologist-like background investigations, relocate to a new city. Now judicial nominees get an examination of their personal life by Senator Social Justice Warrior?
Sensible qualified people will say “no thanks.” That’s asking too much for public service. Only the power-mad or undistinguished will subject themselves to a ritual for so little gain.
“The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari“
By Caitlin Flanagan at The Atlantic.
“Allegations against the comedian are proof that women are angry, temporarily powerful — and very, very dangerous.” Flanagan is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, and the author of Girl Land and To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife.
“Sexual mores in the West have changed so rapidly over the past 100 years that by the time you reach 50, intimate accounts of commonplace sexual events of the young seem like science fiction: You understand the vocabulary and the sentence structure, but all of the events take place in outer space. You’re just too old.
“This was my experience reading the account of one young woman’s alleged sexual encounter with Aziz Ansari, published by the website Babe this weekend. …Here’s how the story goes.
“A young woman, who is given the identity-protecting name “Grace” in the story, was excited to encounter Ansari at a party in Los Angeles, and even though he initially brushed her off, when he saw that they both had the same kind of old-fashioned camera, he paid attention to her and got her number. He texted her when they both got back to New York, asking whether she wanted to go out ….
“They had a glass of wine at his apartment, and then he rushed her through dinner at an expensive restaurant and brought her back to his apartment. Within minutes of returning, she was sitting on the kitchen counter and he was …performing oral sex on her …, but then went on, per her account, to pressure her for sex in a variety of ways that were not honorable. Eventually, overcome by her emotions at the way the night was going, she told him, ‘You guys are all the fucking same,’ and left crying.
“I thought it was the most significant line in the story: This has happened to her many times before. What led her to believe that this time would be different? …
“Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No. She tells us that she wanted something from Ansari and that she was trying to figure out how to get it. She wanted affection, kindness, attention. Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested.
“What she felt afterward — rejected yet another time, by yet another man — was regret. And what she and the writer who told her story created was 3,000 words of revenge porn. The clinical detail in which the story is told is intended not to validate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari. Together, the two women may have destroyed Ansari’s career, which is now the punishment for every kind of male sexual misconduct, from the grotesque to the disappointing.”
Her description does not do justice to “Grace’s” story. Like so many of these stories, it makes little sense. She made little effort to leave. She says “She says she found the question tough to answer because she says she didn’t want to f**k him at all.” The answer she forgot to give was “stop; I’m leaving now!” There are many such oddities in her account. No wonder feminists do not want their stories questioned.
Some women give gentle critical reviews of it, such as Barbi Weiss’ NYT op-ed: “Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader” — but include profuse condemnations of Ansari based only on “Grace’s” odd story.
The meToo moral panic continues to burn. We can only guess at the damage it will do and the eventual effects on American society.
For More Information
Recommended articles by women having second thoughts about this hysteria.
- “Is Feminism the Answer to Sexual Harassment?” by Mona Charen at National Review.
- “Is ‘Weinsteining’ getting out of hand?” by Cathy Young in an op-ed at the LAT.
- “The Warlock Hunt” by Claire Berlinski at the National Interest — “The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men.” Oddly, she believes that the meToo movement will make women safe on the street.
- “I, Too, am thinking about Me, Too” by Carol Tavris at the Skeptic. She is a social psychologist, and provides a valuable perspective on the meToo hysteria as a moral panic.
- “Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo” by Ashifa Kassam in The Guardian — “The Canadian author’s defence of due process for those accused of sexual misconduct sparked online ire.”
Ideas! For ideas about using Holiday cash, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
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- The amazing numbers behind the #MeToo movement!
A counterpoint to the debate.
Well worth reading: Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women (1995). From the publisher…
“Philosophy professor Christina Sommers has exposed a disturbing development: how a group of zealots, claiming to speak for all women, are promoting a dangerous new agenda that threatens our most cherished ideals and sets women against men in all spheres of life. In case after case, Sommers shows how these extremists have propped up their arguments with highly questionable but well-funded research, presenting inflammatory and often inaccurate information and stifling any semblance of free and open scrutiny.
“Trumpeted as orthodoxy, the resulting ‘findings’ on everything from rape to domestic abuse to economic bias to the supposed crisis in girls’ self-esteem perpetuate a view of women as victims of the ‘patriarchy’.
“Moreover, these arguments and the supposed facts on which they are based have had enormous influence beyond the academy, where they have shaken the foundations of our educational, scientific, and legal institutions and have fostered resentment and alienation in our private lives. Despite its current dominance, Sommers maintains, such a breed of feminism is at odds with the real aspirations and values of most American women and undermines the cause of true equality. Who Stole Feminism? is a call to arms that will enrage or inspire, but cannot be ignored.”
12 thoughts on “News from the front lines as the meToo madness spreads”
To be filed under: “You just can’t make this stuff up”.
As one watches with wonder, amazement, and a bit of amusement, the ever widening chasm swallowing (pun intended maybe) up one unsuspecting person after another (even women and gay men are not safe anymore) one is reminded of the difference between the French and the American revolutions- one was a bit more principled, offering a representative republic, the other offering a pure democracy with mob rule. Which sadly is where we are left now.
The ongoing recriminations ping back and forth, magnified by the media’s and the academy’s echo chambers, a good story overriding any factual evidence. (My wife tells me- get your head out of your articles, they don’t tell me about the terrible things that are happening = which translates to = the factual representations in actual fact based reports does not compare to a good story told on “THE VIEW” or Good morning America). However the holes in the story get worse and worse, as in the Ansari reportage – the current media frenzy (not just the me too frenzy but all of it from the rape epidemic, through BLM, through everything) deems it necessary to never let a fact, or an inconsistency get in the way of a good narrative.
It has been bothering me for some time, but like an itch you cannot scratch, could not quite put my finger on it (here no pun intended- no wish to become implicated in me too) there was something missing in this overall abdication of responsibility in favor of victim-hood. Even as I listen to stories of women claiming that if they want to wear a skimpy little dress, it is not an invitation for someone to hit on them. However it lacks something – as in why are they dressing that way? Not that they can’t or they shouldn’t, but does one dress in flashy dresses for a reason? Could it be to attract the attention of the opposite gender? So then why get upset when someone hits on them? Where is that disconnect?
An excellent article by Heather MacDonald, “Policing Sexual Desire“, goes over that concept in some depth, and looks at the disingenuousness of this entire episode, and in my mind goes deep into the point of what and where has the feminist movement gone?
As a male, any questions that I personally would answer merely get dismissed as “man-splaining” but writers such as Camille Paglia, and others have asked the same questions- If you want agency, then you can’t keep blaming other people, you must accept responsibility yourself. Men are biological animals, as are women. They respond to visual cues. You can’t parade those cues and then complain about the attention they garner. Unless you are a modern feminist, I guess, in which case you can blame everything on the “patriarchy” including climate change, and even bad glacier science.
Please take a peek at this one: “Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research” by Mark Carey et al. in Progress in Human Geology, 2016. – again, you really just can’t make this up.
Thanks for the ongoing posts, your thoughts as always are appreciated.
Thanks for that interesting note, and the cites!
One small note about the article on “Feminist Glaciology” — two of the four authors are male. We should ponder what this means. Highway to Hell, the fast lane.
What strikes me is the way that America seems slightly hysterical in every way that it approaches anything; a weather phenomenon like a hurricane to politics to the weather, to climate, to sex. It is as if they are not happy till everyone is in a froth of sweat and angst. I think of a cyclone hitting Australia or Philippines and they say… its what happens when you live in the tropics, what do you expect.
I think as an African that Africa being described as a shithole is apt and then I hear that the real problem was the rude undignified language. Crumbs, its as if the media and politicians have simply pulled on Puritan clothes and become the prudes of the world, instead of being the scrapers of every barrel that would sell their daughters for a good story.
I love the way that an aspiring actress will gladly strip down to her sandals for an audition and then complain that she feels violated when touched by wicked uncle Harvey on the arm. She then gets a part where she performs bestial acts in front of a crew of 40 to be displayed to millions and then turns round and say she is offended by a request for a date.
The best is the hysterical press take her story and run with it as truth.
“is the way that America seems slightly hysterical in every way that it approaches anything”
I agree. We weren’t like that. But somewhere along the line we became unbalanced, of which this is one symptom. I worry about the trend…
hopefully guys will get enough of this crap and there will be push back, but it will be difficult when some dudes are bangin (pun most definitely intended) their harassment drum.
I agree on both points. Lots of weak guys out there. I have begun to better understand what the young men I know (from 15 years as a Boy Scout leader) call them – cucks, soyboys, etc. No wonder women are rising in disgust.
“No wonder women are rising in disgust.”
Are women angry at “weak men”? It seems to me they are attacking powerful or successful men who won’t give them exactly what they want.
There is some of that, and those get the headlines. But the overall movement is, imo, one of defining “sexual harassment” as approaches by unwanted betas.
See the survey discussed here. Most behaviors are categorized by women as “sometimes” harassment. They don’t define the conditions that make it harassment. Lots of me (including me) say, on the basis of their experience, that it becomes harassment when unwanted. If the guy is an alpha — some combo of tall, good looking, high status, affluent — then it is welcomed. If it is a beta, how dare he!
For a wild but funny video about this (exaggeration for emphasis), see this…
About that video:
It was produced by a woman. Here is a discussion of it at HuffPo by a woman.
“How do men know for certain that their “request” is “unwanted”? ”
They will use their almighty male privilege, I suppose.
The first thing that came to mind when I read this was that if this fellow had been a white conservative Christian running for office on the GOP ticket, The Atlantic wouldn’t have been complaining about the horribleness of it all. But it’s in the nature of witch hunts that they can be a bit indiscriminate in their choice of victims. I don’t think Mr Ansari exactly deserved what happened, but apparently he was wearing a Time’s Up pin or some such, and having a Party membership in good standing is no guarantee during the Cultural Revolution.
I won’t even try to estimate the collateral damage that this particular weapon will do. I’m sure whatever guesstimate I might make would prove to be wrong. I’ve no idea what to do here, but the first step might be for people like Ansari to stop apologizing, because the only result of apologizing when he has nothing to apologize for is to be despised for being weak.
I agree on all points. Note that the mild complaints about meToo began when it began to claim victims on the Left. Much like a WWI poison gas attack blowing back upon the attackers own troops.
“the only result of apologizing when he has nothing to apologize for is to be despised for being weak.”
That goes to the heart of the current round of gender wars: a society-wide “shit test.” These are best passed by “agree and amplify.” Trump instinctively knows this, which is how he survived incidents that the Left assume would destroy him.
Apologies and groveling multiply enemies, bringing feminists out from the woodwork to attack. They respect only strength. Which is why fundamentalist Islam is respected by feminists, despite their horrific treatment of women.