Enough with the #MeToo Bullshit
I’ve kept silent over the scalp fest that is the #MeToo debacle for a good bit of time. One reason is I get my perspective will largely be ignored by a good swath of people who will say “Oh, look at the cishet white male shitlord” and move on. We’re in a society where your patents of oppression* matter more than rational thought.
Another reason I’ve kept quiet is the people who’ve screamed the loudest simply couldn’t be bothered to know better. It’s far easier for those in the media, politics, or the corporate world to put feelings before actual rational thought.
Now things have taken a different turn and the virus has infested the legal profession. People who should know better, who swore an oath to uphold the law, are jumping on the bandwagon of “OMG Someone Did Something BURN THE HERETIC!”
This must end now. Speaking from the legal perspective, the #MeToo movement is wrongheaded, completely dishonest, and has backfired in ways its woke disciples couldn’t have expected. Here’s why it must end now.
- It lumps every act into the now nefarious “Sexual Impropriety.”
When the #MeToo bandwagon started, “sexual impropriety” or “sexual misconduct” were the linguistic kill shots** ending careers. These weren’t specific terms, though. They described everything from rape to inadvertently putting a hand on someone’s bare back.
In the legal world, words mean things. Law has specific definitions for various sexual offenses. If those definitions are abandoned for a grouped term of “sexual misconduct,” then we abandon the law entirely.
The better course of action is to take a deep breath, ask “What specifically happened?” and then apply the appropriate response. If someone stands accused of rape, then the matter should be handled by the legal system.
On the other hand, if someone touched you and you froze up because it was unwelcome, then it’s perfectly fine for you to share your story and people to express their empathy. Then you move on.
Let’s unpack the offenses from the “sexual misconduct” umbrella so we can respond in the best fashion possible.
2. #MeToo doesn’t have due process for the accused.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. — Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
One of the worst aspects of the #MeToo virus is that there is no recourse for the accused. Once someone comes forward with an accusation, the Court of Public Opinion deems the accused guilty without as much as a second thought.
This sort of bullshit is why we have a system set in place in arguably the greatest governing document created by man. It allows for people to make an accusation, for the accused’s fate to be decided impartially, and for the two to face each other in court.
“But it’s so difficult for these women to come forward and be believed!” you shriek. Yes, even over the internet, I can hear your complaints. If it’s so difficult, why is the avalanche of complaints so large? Why are these terrified women Time’s “Person of the Year?”
It is intellectually dishonest and completely out of touch with reality to suggest women cannot come forward on their own accord and raise a complaint against someone. Furthermore, suggesting the act is “difficult” for women is an insult to the entire gender. It claims women can’t be brave enough or possess their own ability to speak out if someone wrongs them.
3. The “Everyone Knew About It” Complication Is Pervasive
When Harvey Weinstein’s misdeeds first surfaced, people called it the “worst kept secret in Hollywood.” Kevin Spacey’s actions are no different. The “Everyone Knew About It Complication” even goes as far as Capitol Hill.
I call this the “Everyone Knew About It Complication” because it’s an extension of the #MeToo virus that complicates a story even further. Just as an actual virus can suddenly evolve into a new strain, once the “Everyone Knew About It Complication” comes up it infects the allegations even more.
Now the revelations are more damning. It suggests a pervasive, regular pattern of behavior. The complication means that people either turned their heads or actively covered it up.
If “everyone knew” about someone’s bad behavior, why did it take so long for someone to come forward? Why did no one point this out sooner? If someone covered up or turned a blind eye to horrendous sexual impropriety, what were their motivations?
Once the “everyone knew” morphs the allegations against the accused, it casts a worse light on everyone involved.
4. People Are Okay With Innocent Lives Being Ruined Over #MeToo
Emily Lindin, founder of the “UnSlut” project and occasional columnist for Teen Vogue, made her view on #MeToo perfectly clear last month in a twitstorm. She’s fine with it being used as a weapon against innocent men.
“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 Lindin, November 21, 2017
What started as a means for people to share their stories of sexual abuse in and out of the workplace is now a weapon to rob blameless men of their livelihoods. And the numbers show people are perfectly fine with this.
If you take a look at the above quoted twit (you’ll have to use this link since Lindin’s twits are now protected) you’ll see it got 49 likes and 63 retweets. Simple math shows there’s arguably 112 people out there who share Lindin’s view.
This is terrifying. If this view is publicly held by that number of people, how many are quietly nodding their heads at Lindin’s viewpoint? The #MeToo movement is now a dual front: let “victims” tell their stories and destroy the lives of the innocent in the process.
If it gets rid of that damned “toxic masculinity,” so what?
5. It Didn’t Work Before, And It’s Not Going To Work This Time.
Social media rendered the attention span and memory of the public to that of a gnat’s, which is why people are forgetting this happened on college campuses a few years ago and didn’t work.
Sulkowicz couldn’t take it when the police and her university’s Title IX kangaroo court wouldn’t punish her target, so she started carrying around her dorm room mattress in an attempt to publicly humiliate the accused all over campus. Her fabrication earned her an invitation to the State of the Union address. Columbia University would eventually settle with the young man Sulkowicz tried to destroy, but not before he became a campus pariah.
“Jackie” from UVA was the subject of a Rolling Stone article that was deemed the “worst journalistic failure” of that year. Jackie made up so many details of her alleged rape that Rolling Stone had to pay damages to a UVA dean named in the story after a defamation suit.
Last Month, Daily Beast editor Erin Ryan had a shocking moment of clarity over the #MeToo movement. If one accusation turned up false, it could destroy the entire avalanche in one fell swoop.
That’s why Weinstein fallout could go up in smoke in a second. Because enough people believe that women are all liars, that one liar will fuck it up for all of us. — Erin Ryan (emphasis mine)
To quote noted legal scholar James E. Cornette, “Well, wouldn’t you know who won the pony.”
At the heart of #MeToo is the recycled statement “No matter what, you must listen and believe.” This was the rallying cry for Sulkowicz and Jackie, and fell apart once Jackie’s story was found to have more holes in it than Swiss cheese.
It still kept up after Jackie’s story imploded. Zerlina Maxwell wrote an op-ed in the fallout for the Washington Post that was originally titled “No matter what Jackie said, we should always believe rape claims.” That title changed in spectacularly quick fashion to “we should generally believe rape claims,” but the point is the same. Listen and believe or you’re a rape apologist.
#MeToo is the “Listen and Believe” for the “tl;dr” generation. When the stories are questioned, and start to fall apart, #MeToo will suffer the same fate as “Listen and Believe.”
While many people have come forward with stories of horrendous behavior, and the allegedly guilty suitably punished, the #MeToo hysteria has reached epidemic proportions. When the next allegations surface, do yourself a favor.
Instead of immediately calling for someone’s head, take a deep breath. Ask questions. Wait a day to see if the story changes. And don’t lose your ever loving mind over it.
We’re better than this.
*Credit for this term goes to David Smalley of “Dogma Debate”
**Term coined by Dilbert creator and trained hypnotist Scott Adams