A Cautious Cheer For #MeToo

inferno

This post has been a hard one to write because I understand that it has the potential to upset some very good people, people whom I admire and esteem. But as the old Muslim proverb says, “It is the dead mouse that swims with the current.”

If you scroll down my page, you will find (in the right sidebar) the logo of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association, which, (due to a momentary loss of lucidness) allowed me to become a member. Recently, on the CMBA Facebook page, someone encouraged all the male CMBA bloggers to post something in support of the #MeToo movement, and many of them did so by writing a post about sexual harassment/abuse.

But as I read the post and the different responses by men CMBA members, I found that I was without the enthusiasm to join in on the chorus. And, yes, I meant to say chorus, for what began as the outing and well-deserved comeuppance of a major Hollywood sleazebag has grown and swelled into a mighty song of protest, with its own Hallelujah Chorus, #MeToo!, at which we are all asked to rise in a sign of homage.

I don’t believe that my reticence in singing the #MeToo Chorus is because I am a closet (or even an overt) misogynist; at least, I hope I’m not, but I am certain that there are those who would gainsay me on that. Nor is it that I disagree with what is happening; I fully support the exposing and metaphorical castration of the likes of Weinstein, Lauer, Moore, Franken, et. al., and I raise my glass on high and say “Good on ya!” to the women and reporters who had the courage to out these major sleazebags.

I acknowledge that it wouldn’t be beyond the pale for someone to question whether I might be a touch too much a Man-partisan. I freely admit that I am leery of the modern drive to detoxify society of masculinity and I am a dread critic of today’s feminized church and its complicity in striking palms with today’s culture. But I don’t think that I can be labelled a male-apologist. My posts on the Man-O-Sphere make it clear that I have no truck with that load of codswallop, and the emails I receive because I won’t activate comments that I see as coming from MoS misogynists convince me that I’m not one. (According to a recent e-missive, I am a “COWARD” and a “thin-skinned pansy” for not allowing such comments to be posted.)

So, if I think that the exposure of this bag of d- …, er, um, these sleazebags is such a good thing, why am I reluctant to join in the #MeToo song? While the original actions, the exposing of these powerful sexual predators is an unquestioned good and was long overdue, it is the resultant #MeToo movement that has risen as a tag-along that makes me pause in my praise and step off any stump I might be declaiming from at this time. I guess that I find myself reluctant to enlist in a movement which, while well-begun, has devolved into something that has the potential for individual and societal harm.

“Kill The Beast!”

While I agree with the outing and defenestration of sexual predators, I am leery of what the #MeToo movement now represents. As a card-carrying coot, I have been an observer,  consumer, and participant in today’s internet and media. Over the past couple of years, however, I’ve decided to climb down from the social media tumbrels and forego screaming “A la barricades!” at each provocation that gets splashed across my electronic devices.

Does that mean that I have become calloused and don’t care about what has happened to women who have been sexually assaulted? Oh, hell, no! As I stated above, I add my hearty “Bravo!” to the swell of voices supporting the women who came forward to out the sleazebags, and for the reporters who went against the editorial flow and insisted that these stories come to light. I am absolutely thrilled that the sexual entitlement culture of the media and politics is exposed.

But still, something unsettling is starting to happen with the #MeToo Movement. I am not saying that the bloggers who asked for, or those who responded with, #MeToo posts did anything untoward; far from it. They wrote some very good posts that were spot-on, and I applaud their output. But I find that I have become concerned that #MeToo movement is beginning to become this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAZmHrtloD8

Am I being overly dramatic? If so, I’m not the only one. Of late, I have come across several commentators and writers who are issuing cautions about the fervency of #MeToo advocates.

In her article The #MeToo Movement Is Destroying Trust Between Men and Women, D. C. McAllister comes right out and says it:

The breakdown of trust between the sexes is the tragic legacy of the modern feminist movement, but it has taken on a new fervor with the #MeToo campaign and the growing accusation that masculinity is vile, toxic, and inherently predatorial. Fear of men is legitimized, as accusation is treated as fact. Men are seen as “the enemy,” an embodied deviance that must be remolded into the image of a woman. Their sexuality is assumed to be naturally brutal, a threat to be controlled and reduced for the individual man to be considered “safe.”

My concern for #MeToo is that, again, although well-intentioned, it is becoming just another tool in modern society’s war on masculinity. I am convinced that the cry “Kill the beast” still rings clear in many a Social Justice Warrior’s soul.

Heather Wilhelm, in her National Review article The Sexes After Weinstein, wrote:

The “reckoning” may be strong, and it may be fierce, and it may be just beginning, but it is anything but clear-cut. It is not simply the horrors of the likes of Harvey Weinstein, who may end up facing criminal charges for his alleged sexual assaults. In certain corners, it seems to sprout from a genuine bafflement as to how the sexes can work together as functional adults in the real world. ~ my emphasis.

When #MeToo is clear-cut, it is good and right, but like so many other things in life, when it loses its focus or become part of someone’s agenda, it becomes horrid. Too strong? Try telling me that feminist writer Emily Linden’s tweet, an example of using #MeToo to further an agenda, isn’t horrid:

I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations….Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.” ~ Emily Linden, Twitter, 11/21/17

Hold Off On My Tinfoil Hat Fitting…

In doing my usual reading of news and cultural commentary, I recently came across an interesting article on a website I hadn’t heard of before. Spiked is a British Libertarian news site, and I found that their article Women Worried about #MeToo was an interesting read. The article is a collection of commentaries by thirteen women writers and scholars expressing their concerns about the #MeToo movement. It not only strengthened my misgivings but had me feeling that maybe, just maybe, I’m not as cracked as I sound. Here are a few representative quotes (please go read the entire article, as it is excellent food for thought):

Powerful men are falling left and right – but not because women are second-class citizens. Just the opposite. Girl Power is real. Instead of carrying on about how frightened and degraded we are, maybe it’s time to acknowledge the truth: in 2017, we can destroy almost any man by a single accusation. ~ Christine Hoff Sommers, author and scholar

#MeToo is the unthinking woman’s anti-harassment crusade. It commands us to ‘believe the women’ unthinkingly, without considering the seriousness or plausibility of their claims. ~ Wendy Kaminer, lawyer and former boardmember of the ACLU.

Make no mistake – this is a witch-hunt, and to hell with any innocent men who accidentally get caught in the net of the #MeToo outrage. ~ Julia Hartley-Brewer, journalist and broadcaster

The #MeToo movement has exposed allegations of very serious sexual crimes and the degree to which women are simply fed up. This is healthy, up to a point. But we are way past that point.It has now morphed into a mass hysteria. Men have been accused of transgressions no reasonable person would define as a crime. ~ Claire Berlinski, author

Again, please go back and read the whole article; I think that serious readers, and maybe even supporters of #MeToo, might come away from it understanding that possibly, just maybe, that this might be a good time to pump the brakes on #MeToo just a little.

My Cheer And My Quibble

Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” The same thing goes for leches, but just as everyone isn’t poor, all men aren’t leches, and it’s not right to make them out to be.

So, to bring this to an end, I give a single, cautious Hip, hip, hooray for the #MeToo movement, cheering the exposure of sexual predators. But I couple this with a caution to keep an eye on the #MeToo movement as we head into 2018. After all, while I have two daughters, I also have two sons.

CSL

(why the image I’ve chosen? James 3:5b)

10 Comments

Filed under Culture

10 responses to “A Cautious Cheer For #MeToo

  1. I had just raised this issue with my acerbic tongued daughter who has worked in public and private offices in the DC area for nearly 25years. She says she has never been harassed. We did wonder on what basis a claim of harassment is believed? Any different from how these claims where “disbelieved” in the past?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TJC

      It can be very costly for a company to cover something like that up, as a successful harassment law suit usually ends with awards in the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the severity and the termination of the accused. So the offender would have to be extremely valuable to the company to risk not taking ANY claim seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S. Is it relevant that we both held the title “ librarian” at one time?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TJC

    i AM FULLY ONBOARD with the exposure and punishment for true sexual predators. However I am leery of any movement that openly states it is OK with innocent people being punished. It has been my experience in the workplace that most companies have a HR policy requiring them to at the very least take some sort of action against any complaint of sexual harassment, even if it is to have a conversation with the accused and caution them against it. Maybe my experience is unique, but I kind doubt it. While I don’t doubt Christian women would never make a false accusation, the truth is we live in a fallen world where many only give lip service to faith. Many non-Christian women could see this as an opportunity to exact punishment on men simply because they don’t like them. Sinners are gonna sin.The solution for men however is pretty simple. Follow Billy Graham’s policy of never getting in the position of being alone with a woman who is not your wife, at least at work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post my friend, great post. As is the case with virtually every movement, folks who were not fully down with the goals have been accepted with open arms and are now perverting the original intent. That makes it difficult and even wrong to give the movement as a whole a hearty amen.

    My hope and prayer is that what has been uncovered will be picked up by well-meaning and sane men and women, resulting in good changes. Of course, I’m often accused of being a hopeless optimist…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. DougK

    The outcome of the 2016 election is the difference between a #MeToo movement and no #MeToo movement. With Bill Clinton in the White House as First Husband, …

    Like

    • “The outcome of the 2016 election is the difference between a #MeToo movement and no #MeToo movement. With Bill Clinton in the White House as First Husband, …”

      @DougK – Sorry, Doug, but this post was about the merits of the #MeToo, not the 2016 election, so I’m not getting the reason for this comment.

      Let me say, however, that, yes, we do not have First Lady “Tiparillo” Clinton in the White House; instead, we have President “Grab ‘em by the pussy” Trump in there. To borrow from last week’s tizzy, the 2016 election was between a s#%hole and a s#%#house; either way it stunk!

      I made my feelings about our president clear in a post on my other blog:
      https://wp.me/s74JF8-ugh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. DougK

    My post WAS about the merits of the #MeToo movement. If it were simply an organic movement dedicated to the establishment of justice and let the political chips fall where they may, then so be it. But it is impossible for me to not notice that the timing of the hashtag campaign just happens to coincide with the fact that Donald Trump is president and in the crosshairs of the #MeToo movement. A FHOTUS Bill Clinton would make #MeToo very awkward for the Democrats who are hoping to leverage #MeToo for political reasons next fall and beyond.

    To ignore the political aspects of #MeToo is to fail to learn of its function in the American political system and to ignore obvious flaws in its conception and its execution. There is a reason why men are guilty until proven innocent. It is because radical feminism is behind #MeToo and they want ALL masculinity defined as toxic. When you see articles that say “Smash the Patriarchy” as a response to #MeToo, you understand that simple justice is not the goal. The stakes are much higher. This is simply part of an organized campaign by the far left to attack anyone who gets in their way. Al Franken was an unfortunate casualty for the left but since he anticipated to be replaced by a Democrat, it was no loss. John Conyers was replaced by a Democrat so no loss there too. Roy Moore, however, was a Democrat pickup so score one for #MeToo.

    I so desperately wished back in the 1990s that the feminist left would finally wash its hands of Bill Clinton. After the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas mess, surely they wouldn’t risk being so obviously hypocritical and get behind a president credibly accused of rape. But was I ever wrong. They circled the wagons and told us all to “MoveOn.”

    So excuse me for being cynical about the timing of the #MeToo movement. I waited to see if the feminist movement had any integrity back in the late 90s. They proved they didn’t have it then and I am sure not going to attribute any integrity to them now.

    Liked by 1 person

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