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