We’ve written some things in these pages about the “MeToo” thing. This is the movement that sprang up when Harvey Weinstein was caught being the pervert that most everyone who ever dealt with him knew very well that he was. Here’s one thing we wrote. Here are some more.
Okay. Weinstein’s a pervert, and he should have been called on it decades ago. Why wasn’t he? Easy. Because while he was busy not being called on it, he was also busy making his “victims” into multi-gazillionaires.
Apparently, very few of the women “victims” turned him down when he offered his “deal” — a couple of hours of perversion with Harvey, in exchange for the very real possibility of serious fame and fortune in the very near future. As Germaine Greer said, that looks a lot like… “consent.” (we discussed that here)
Anyway, back to the “MeToo” movement. “MeToo” is supposed to mean that the woman saying it, has also had some kind of harassment, assault, or other indignity imposed on her by some man or men.
The entire thing has served to foster a generalized state of mind that men, all men, are sexual abusers, or potential abusers. Furthermore, the conventional wisdom is that only men are guilty of sexual misconduct, either professionally or personally. I’ve heard — from men — of how we men need to be “educated” as to how to treat women properly and such.
Okay. Maybe. Or, we could just take a step back and admit that the much-maligned “1950’s morality” that everyone supposedly hates — with all its shaming and stigmas — worked pretty well.
Furthermore, pretending that only men need to be educated is patently ridiculous. The following things have happened to me in my life. I’m telling of these events as the current moment defines them. These definitions are all from the perspective of women, but they all happened to me:
Number of Times It’s Happened to Me
|Sexual Harassment in a Personal Setting||1,000+|
|Sexual Harassment in a Professional Setting||300+|
|Assault in a Personal Setting (Means: in a bar, or at a party, or the like, grabbing of derrière, grabbing of genitals, unsolicited massages, or other rubbing.)||200+|
|Assault in a Professional Setting. (Same definition as the one directly above.)||100+|
|Loss of Professional Opportunity Because I’m a Man||12|
|Domestic Violence (Means: an incident in which either my then wife, or a girlfriend, or a woman, hit, kicked, scratched, slapped, or threw some projectile at me.)||100+|
|Objectification in a Professional Setting (Means: discussing my physical attributes with other women in a professional setting)||50|
|Objectification in a Personal Setting (Means: discussing my physical attributes with other women in a personal setting)||100|
|Serious Embarrassment, when I Gently Rejected a Female Colleague Making a Pass at Me in a Professional Setting Along With Near Loss of Job!||3 (I told of one such incident in these pages.)|
|Serious Embarrassment, when I Gently Rejected a Female Colleague Making a Pass at Me in a Professional Setting||A dozen or so|
|Serious Embarrassment, when I Gently Rejected a Female Colleague Making a Pass at Me in a Personal Setting||Several dozen|
I understand that my particular circumstances are unusual, because I used to be a male “underwear model” in Paris, in the 1980’s. I was a tall, 6′ 4″ tall, strikingly handsome, blonde, athletic, Norwegian-looking, model. I’m still in some on-line catalogs around the fashion world. No, I’m not modest about it. I was a tall, handsome dude in very good physical shape.
I had a colleague, who became my friend. I’ll call him Bob (not his real name). We used to call “Bob” “George,” because he looked like a young George Clooney, only more handsome. I spoke with him about all this sexual harassment stuff, and he just laughed. Like me, he’d experienced dozens, hundreds, of incidents of “sexual harassment” — as the definition “out there” is — in his personal and professional life. He, too, had been assaulted dozens of times — again as “assault” is defined in the American landscape today.
All my friends who are normal- to good-looking have experienced the same things that I’ve described above. Not as much as I have, because of my unusual circumstances, but they’ve all experienced what, if a man had done it to a woman, and not the other way around, he’d have been fired.
Truth to tell, if everyone had to adhere to the same rules, then every female boss I’ve ever worked for — except one — would have been fired. Probably every female colleague I’ve ever worked with would have been fired.
And, yes, I’ve done things that could have been misinterpreted as “sexual harassment,” and that would have got me fired. Though, that hasn’t happened in a long time, because I saw this particular writing on the wall a long time ago.
Anyway, this “MeToo” stuff is bad, but it’s way, way, way out of balance too. If the rules are going to be as puritanical as the “MeToo” movement seems to think they should be, then they need to be applied equally… and there needs to be a new dress code in professional settings (as we discussed here (1))
Furthermore, if we, as a country, think that any setting in which we place men and women in close quarters for an extended period of the day, will be devoid of sexual attraction between the sexes, and the hijinks that result from that attraction, then we’re as stupid as rocks Or worse: we’re unserious, and we’re just playing a silly little game. But we’re doing it with real lives.
We’d better think long and hard before we do anything drastic, because it’s a sure thing that there’s nothing whatsoever that we can do — at least in the near term — that’s going to change either human nature, or natural biological urges and impulses, or the natural attraction between men and women.
(1) Here’s a passage from that post:
More to the point, how is public policy supposed to treat women? Like strong, independent, capable people in full? Or like the above-mentioned wilting flowers?
As a country, we’ve been trying to have it both ways for decades, and it doesn’t work. We’ve published several posts in these pages describing a situation that shows all this quite well. It’s “dress code.” In almost all corporations, “business casual” prevails as the dress code. For men, that’s easy: they still expose for all to see: wrists, and the occasional forearm, and their neck and head. That’s it. However, I can tell you from long personal experience that, on colleagues, I’ve personally seen hundreds of arms, shoulders, legs, cleavage, full breasts, panties and the occasional nipple on women who have for decades worn a lot less to work than their male colleagues.
Look I don’t mind that kind of thing, but if women are going to expose things that men find physically attractive, they really ought to forfeit the right to pretend that they don’t want men to look. That shouldn’t be all that controversial.
You can’t on the one hand suggest that there ought to be rules, regulations, laws and policies that prohibit any sexual fantasizing on the part of colleagues, and then dress to excite sexual fantasies. Again, this shouldn’t be all that controversial. And it should be something we can all talk about.
But we can’t.