It was naïve to think the # Me Too campaign intended to highlight the sexual harassment of women across the board wouldn’t be hijacked for political purposes.
This movement was seized upon as a reason d’etre by partisan interest groups weaponizing # me too into becoming another fatality of the culture wars.
But now some months after the dust has settled women in particular are voicing their reservations about the whole shebang in addition to the more sceptical weighing in.
Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook acknowledges that while the campaign does a good job of addressing sexual harassment cautions against repercussions in the workplace that might limit career opportunities for women hinting at rumblings of a backlash along the lines of; this is why you shouldn’t hire women.
Then there’s fear this type of activism plays to a victim mentality in a me-too society already stretched to breaking point in a culture of pseudo-victimhood and entitlement.
Of course it’s not just about victims but alleged offenders as well with concern this type of activism has the potential to turn into witch hunts by the perpetually aggrieved for the most trivial of reasons plus there’s the spectre of men not being tried in a court of law but rather by the court of public opinion with all its related consequences.
Also it’s easy for people with a social justice mind-set to get carried away on a tide of virtue signalling in support of a sanctioned socio-political cause when criticism of preferred groups is off bounds and the few maligned ones easy targets.
# Me Too has been described as a sex-based crusade, a frenzy of puritanism rather than a constructive movement that might be of any assistance to real victims.
Not to put too fine a point on it- but okay I will-wolf whistles and winking are now considered part and parcel of sexual harassment or so I read somewhere.
And if you don’t view the above as sexual harassment in any true sense of the word one feminist describes the conundrum as follows; …..The thing that unites these varied revelations isn’t necessarily sexual harm, but professional harm and power abuse.
These comments were made in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal but it can be applied to #me too as well.
Just call a thing by its proper name why all the subterfuge we can’t trust people who refuse to even speak the same language.
All things considered the #me too campaign wasn’t just about sexual harassment but feminist identity politics where harassment is whatever they say it is.
However an article in The Atlantic titled ‘The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari’s the clincher.
The author- a woman- starts by noting the experience of one woman’s alleged sexual encounter with comedian Aziz Ansari is a far cry from her own two near date rape experiences during the time of the Carter and Reagan Administrations and what passes for sexual assault today.
The woman making accusations against Ansari met him at a party in Los Angeles where he initially brushed off her advances but on noticing they had the same kind of camera he struck up a conversation and got her phone number.
He texted her when they both got back to New York, asking her out, and she agreed to go.
They shared a glass of wine at his apartment then went out to dinner and back to his apartment.
She then sat on the kitchen counter where he – apparently and consensually- performed oral sex on her- in itself strange behaviour for a first date unless this is considered an initiation of sorts in today’s dating climate however …
According to the alleged victim’s timeline of events Ansari then went onto pressurize her for sex in a variety of ways that were not honourable.
Overcome by frustration and emotion she told him ‘You guys are all the same’ and left crying.
The author of The Atlantic goes onto label the alleged victim’s actions of going public by relating her story to a magazine as ’3000 words of revenge porn’ more to hurt and humiliate Ansari then to validate her own account of what happened between the two of them.
Ansari’s career is likely to be the first casualty in this saga on the basis of one woman’s anonymous public account against a very public figure, a situation that’s the norm for any man accused of sexual misconduct right now.
The author stresses that many college educated white woman who so vocally support the # me too movement will be entirely on the accuser’s side.
She goes on; I thought it would take a little longer for the hit squad of privileged, young white women to open fire on brown-skinned men but we’re at warp speed (of the revolution) now.
Okay let’s be clear- the author is an avowed feminist so her concern about this case isn’t based on her humanity rather she’s mightily ticked-off a ‘brown-skinned man’s at the receiving end of these accusations because that’s not the way it’s supposed to work as men of colour are the tools in the hands of feminists in their fight against their primary target- white men.
Until it’s the turn of men of colour- or did you miss her implied threat in that last sentence?
The elite class at the top of the pyramid are mainly white boys and girls who love instructing not-so-economically-mobile whites to check their privilege while not giving a second thought to their own.
Their messengers in turn normally enjoy a high standard of living and like to transfer their guilt at their lifestyles of excess onto the white middle class.
Finally there’s the plain stupid who parrot every populist narrative of the day because they think there’s something in it for them personally or that they’ll be rewarded for their support.
In closing here’s an important thought for the day- week- month- year or age.
In times of extremes extremists win.