Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Is Harvey Weinstein a monster?", can you learn "to distinguish between real abuse and an unwanted come-on?", and other pointed questions from our victim-worshipping world

This #MeToo stuff could get really stupid
writes Ann Althouse as Glenn Reynolds comments
But they can’t help it, because the herd instinct means no one wants to be left out, even when their only real complaint is that they couldn’t get the boyfriend to leave his wife. Because Me too!
From the comments: “Jump on the wagon and signal virtuous victimhood!”
Before we hear from Sarah Hoyt, a handful of questions:

• Had Harvey Weinstein looked anything near like Brad Pitt, how much would the Hollywood star wannabes have complained throughout the years about "harassment"? (Just askin'…)

• What is a "dirty old man" unless it the (exact) same thing that said male specimen was years, decades, ago, when he was young(er), at a time when being flirted by a (horny?) young(ish) lad was something (eagerly?) welcomed by girls and women alike? In other words, can it be that females aren't bothered that much by "dirty young men", in that what bothers them about the former is not the "dirty" but the "old", i.e., (what to them is) the unattractive? (Just askin'…; Sarah Hoyt dwells more on this below…)

• A word that keeps coming back to describe Harvey Weinstein is "monster." Previously, when I heard that moniker describing a living or a historical person, that person turned out to be Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or either of the Kims who have ruled North Korea for 70 years; is it uncouth, is it scandalous, is it triggering, is it patriarchal to point out that however badly the Miramax producer may have acted, he ain't on the same level as der Führer, the Generalissimo, and the various Dear Leaders? (Just askin'…)

• There may certainly be good intentions in the current campaign (many of 'em) — aren't there always good intentions? — but in the end, isn't this feeding frenzy leading to "the ultimate male/female Safe Space … a space where every male is neutered" going to turn out as another of the left's shaming exercises by the usual drama queens for men (also known as the deplorables), so these deplorables learn to shut up (about their natural rights, I mean, and those of all humankind,  not — only — about any unwanted come-ons to a specific female), remember to keep their heads down, and repent their ways? (Just askin'…)

But hey — don't listen to me. I'm a male, after all.

Don't take my word for it, don't listen to my questions. (Man-splainin'?)

(See, I am already integrating the keep-our-heads-down lesson…)

So, besides Ann Althouse, Stephanie Gutman, and Michelle Malkin ("experience and scientific literature show us that a significant portion of these allegations will turn out to be half-truths, exaggerations or outright fabrications … That's not victim-blaming … It's reality-checking"), let's turn to another female and devote the rest of this post to that writer's thoughts on the subject.

Quick, to the Victim-Mobile! by Sarah Hoyt:
Has someone lit the Victim-signal in the sky?  For the last several days my Facebook page has been lit up with women “me too-ing” about how they also were harassed and are as victimy, helpless, and deserving as any would-be Hollywood A-lister flung across Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch.
It’s all “I too was harassed” and “being a woman is so terrible” and “no one is safe” and “patriarchy.”
It might be unkind of me, but my first thought – right after, “Really, I didn’t know Bill Clinton’s staff was that big” – was “No, you were not sexually harassed, because the penalties for that are straight-up horrendous unless you happen to be a big-time leftist.  At worst you were inconvenienced by having a pass made at you by a guy you found unattractive.”

This thought could be wrong and unkind.  Young and hapless women often allow things to happen to them that are objectively sexual harassment. …

 … in general, that kind of harassment is only a real problem when it’s an industry dominated by very few gatekeepers.  These industries/professions -- the arts, publishing, filmmaking, politics, etc. -- are almost all dominated by the left.

And as we’ve said, leftist guys can get away with anything. It’s like the fact that they’re leftist exonerates them from all peccadillos and outright sins.  The left showed this amply with Bill Clinton: their feminism was of the sort that cared more about the right to kill your unborn child than about the right to have a profession without having to pay for it in sexual favors.  (Imagine for a second if Bush had behaved like Clinton.  He’d have been hounded out of office.)

Oh, and in those fields, particularly as more women rise to prominence, men get harassed too, in the exact same way.

So all these women donning the vestments of holy victim can climb off the sacrificial altar.  This isn’t an #allwomen or #yesallmen.  This is human.

The story of humanity proves that those with power often took their “payment” in sexual favors.  From kings to ministers, history is littered with the excesses of powerful men and their bastards.  But if you look up close, the women who rose to power did the same.  Queens and Empresses, and even noblewomen, often treated young men of no fortune as toys.

It’s a human thing.

Now, this is not excusing it.  It is also human to kill and eat your enemies, and I’ve been assured we don’t do that anymore, no matter how much people annoy you on the internet.

But that sort of bad behavior stops, not by piling on and saying “me too” or worshiping the victims for being so courageous as to admit they let themselves be victimized, but by doing something about it.

 … you can learn to distinguish between real abuse and an unwanted come-on.  Real abuse (“you put out or you don’t have a career”) only happens where the guy (or gal) knows he can get away with it.  Circumvent, refuse, expose.

As for unwanted propositions?  Be real.  You’re human.  Unless you have three eyes and fifteen elbows, some of them on your teeth, someone is going to find you attractive.  Depending on how the come-on is attempted, the appropriate response is a slap (yes, violence does solve something) or a kind “Thank you but no.”

Yes, if you’re a woman it will be mostly men who will give you a sexual come-on.  (Though some of us seemed to attract equal-opportunity interest, at least when young.)  This doesn’t mean all women are victims and all men are predators.

It means you’re a woman and men are attracted to women, and not all of them are couth in their approaches.

“Me tooing” in comments, writing heartfelt sniveling stories of how you’re still traumatized, and hashtag activism will do absolutely nothing.

If women want to be in the workplace (as they more or less always were, other than a few exceptional periods), sex will rear its interesting head.

The way to get around that is to be a grown-up human being, from “thank you, no” to  more forceful and/or formal disciplinary measures, if needed.  And in some industries, yes, it might require going another route and maybe paying the price.  (In publishing, I’d like to remind everyone there’s indie and some people do very well indeed at it.)

You can either stand on your own two feet and call out the transgressors for their abuses, thereby making sure you leave the professional world better than you found it; or you can choose that "all men exploit all women," beat your chest and don the shining robes of eternal victimhood, which does nothing but perpetuate abuse.

But that victim-signal lighting up the sky doesn’t bring equality or the ability to show your professional competence.

All it does is put more shackles on professionals of both sexes until the work world is a minefield where nothing of import can be done for the forest of safe spaces and recovery groups.

And where the predators – who always learn to navigate the craziest rules and use them to their advantage – rule supreme.

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