Some people are mad (or scared!) culture seems finally determined to protect women from sexual assault and rape. They may insist protecting women is a good thing, yes, but the effort has gone too far!
“It’s a Witch Hunt!” they say. No, it’s not. There are no such things as witches. Creeps and rapists exist. They’re everywhere.
OK, but now any woman can say anything and just like that, an innocent man’s life is ruined. Actually, when a female victim comes forward, it’s she who gets piled on, threatened, her reputation attacked. There are very real barriers keeping victims from speaking out publicly. The notion that women are lining up en masse to make up lies just to destroy innocent men is ridiculous.
Why is there more concern about these theoretical men who could maybe have their futures ruined, instead of all the actual women whose past, present and futures contain suffering?
“OK,” they say, “but not every creepy thing is rape!” Who can’t tell between a grope and forced penetration? Women know the difference. Any normal person does. They’re all unacceptable, but they’re not interchangeable or identical. This is easy to understand.
The’re a fear that employers and political parties are just throwing anybody from Aziz to Weinstein under the bus together. Well, companies and political parties have always clamored to protect their reputation / brand. When have they ever cared more about ethics and legal justice for workers than their own self-interest? The only thing that’s changed is, now, enough people consider sexual assault to be bad that they want to disassociated themselves from it.
The notion that men can’t make jokes in the workplace anymore, because anything will get them fired…is it really so onerous, to ask professionals to be professional? I held some zingers back. It kind of was a crime! They were good ones. But, damn it, I was a committed professional in my last office.
People are very quick to defend an accused man, even before anyone knows what he’s accused of. An illustrative example is Patrick Brown, the Conservative candidate for Ontario until a few days ago. His entire staff stepped down when it became known that a report accusing him of sexual assault was imminent. Brown denied all guilt. Many supported him. I heard his backers suggest it was merely a butt grab…even before they had any idea what he was accused of.
Turns out the accusation is that as a federal MP he gave alcohol to an 18-year-old and asked her to suck his dick. Words to the effect of that or “put this in your mouth.” She did, then she was uncomfortable and stopped. Another woman accused him of giving her alcohol when she was 18, and throwing her on the bed trying to kiss her. He maintained his innocence, his party tossed him out.
I’m not sure hatred for Kathleen Wynne was the only reason people rushed to defend Brown, because women in general are doubted. Rather than try to glean reality accurately, there’s a tendency to minimize, to reduce all accusations to the mildest one any man has ever been accused of.
Brown is an interesting case, because journalists and insiders apparently knew about him long before. They interpreted this story as finally it’s coming out, whereas this came out of the blue for most people, myself included. Who else knew, and when? That can be asked of every case.
Recall, even Weinstein initially insisted on his innocence and people believed him. Even though now apparently everybody knew. It’s been since reported in New Yorker’s “Army of Spies” that he hired former Mossad agent to spy on women he abused, to make sure they didn’t come forward, and to make sure journalists didn’t report on him for it.
There’s a fundamental difference between the court of public opinion and actual courts. An accused has the presumption of innocence when the state can imprison them. This is as it should be!
But by granting accused men the presumption of innocence in the court of public opinion, they assume women coming forward are guilty: it’s impossible to assume they’re both equally innocent at the same time. The neutral thing is keep your opinion suspended until more is known. Though I admit, I am now inclined to believe women. Remember, this court is just the collective society’s opinion. It can’t punish anyone. Public opinion never fires someone, only companies or political parties do, and it’s based on their perception of how public opinion will affect them.
The flood of men being called out is because there’s a decades-long backlog. It’ll slow down, hopefully, when men improve.
Also, ignore boomers when they inevitably say ridiculous things like “in my day, we didn’t consider that assault!” as if their obsolete standards should matter in this day they just acknowledged we’re not in. Do they think assault should be tolerated now, because they tolerated it?
More to the point, who cares about them? Black people had separate water fountains in the US until 1964, and the last Canadian Government-run residential school closed in 1994. It would be a needless shame if we calibrated today’s world according to what that generation found OK.
I should add, nothing above is really partisan or buzzkill-y. Have sex! Enjoy! Fuck! Have afternoon anal for all I care. Just have it be consensual, which isn’t a big ask. If your’e doing it all right she won’t merely give you permission, she’ll repeatedly beg you to fuck her harder.
[Note: Jan 30–I don’t want to be mistaken for sounding flippant last para: I should have made my larger point clearer, that if a man/woman sends “mixed signals” it should interpreted as a red light not a green.
Also, I used salty language here perhaps unadvisably but not mindlessly, to indirectly combat the misguided notion I fear is kinda prevalent among men, that concern for safety/comfort of your sexual partner is somehow for prigs or killjoys.]