Has the #MeToo movement become a witch-hunt to a significant degree?


#954

I meant to restrict the dress code to certain places. Otherwise, I think strangers can be expected not to make personal comments about strangers, except at their own risk.


#955

You are correct. Having said that, it is possible to select clothing with the intention of attracting sexual attention. I think it is reasonable to have work and school dress codes that discourage that.


#956

To be fair, I can’t show up in sweatpants and an old t-shirt at work either, and I’m pretty sure that’s the last thing that would be considered attractive.


#957

Who do you know has been unfairly condemned by this movement: that is, there is evidence that the accuser is lying? I don’t know why you jump to the conclusion that I’m a “feminist” because I’m trying to protect the person trying to turn from sin against the person who would force their sin on someone else.

When people go into the enterprise of sexual activity that is a mortal sin, they need to be 100% certain that it is on them to confirm at all times that their accomplice truly is choosing the same thing. This is far far more true of the total self-gift that sexual consort entails.

And no…false accusation is not as serious as rape. I cannot believe that you yourself can imagine having someone penetrate you sexually without your consent and yet you still say that. Think about that. Think about that happening to you. Think about deciding “no, I’m not going to do this, it is wrong” and your partner forcing you to go through with it, anyway. Imagine even having a partner who is so intent on doing to you what she wants that what you want has ceased to even cross her mind. I mean a woman who is physically capable of doing what she has in mind to do to you with or without your help. No, people are going to think what they think. That is not the same as being sexually violated. Not even close.


#958

Do the Catholic ones take mortal sin into account? I’m pretty sure you know that’s what I meant.


#959

I don’t know any man who would say that about make up unless he was mentally ill. And I work with people in PR, so I know a LOT of men and women.


#960

And I do think women should be cautious and prudent. It’s only in good taste. They shouldn’t go about in string bikinis, crop tops, super short skirts, see-through clothing, etc. That’s inviting trouble. It looks terrible, too. I’m not a prude. I do have a string bikini, but I don’t wear it much. I wear most of my skirts just above my knee. I’ve been known to go to black tie affairs in a dress with a plunging neckline. But then I am not a feminist and I don’t object to compliments from men.


#961

The problem comes when we try to impose today’s standards on acts that occurred in another era. It doesn’t make the act correct, nor does it excuse those who commit them, but if something is a crime today, but wasn’t a crime 20 years ago, then we can reasonably prosecute someone for something that happened 20 years ago?

What we can do, is hold those who did those things 20 years ago to today’s standards, assuming they are still alive and in a position to do the same thing, and if they transgress again, then it’s fair to throw the book at them.

20 years ago I may have made some off-colour jokes concerning, say, gays. I wouldn’t dream of doing the same thing today; similarly, up to the 1960s, institutionalized racism was considered normal. Now it isn’t. That doesn’t mean that institutionalize racism was ever good, but it does mean that today we hold people to a higher standard. People need to be given the chance to adapt to their times and only if they remain a neanderthal should they be prosecuted.

I was distressed, as a male, to hear that one person at a Canadian university complaining of “sexual harassment”, when asked how she was harassed, responded “I got the feeling that he was undressing me with his eyes” (my italics). I thought that was way over the top and did not constitute “harassment”. Nor could that ever be proven in court.

Also, clumsy boorish behaviour isn’t a crime, but it becomes harassment if it’s repetitive. I agree with you that someone in position of authority or power over someone else should never make romantic/sexual advances on them (although one wonders about the underling who makes sexual advances on his/her boss, as the reverse most certainly does happen!).

As a male, I was in an uncomfortable position once as a recipient of unwanted behaviour in the workplace, when I had a woman boss. When she came into my office to discuss something, she would come around behind my desk and would sit uncomfortably close, or if I had to go into her office (which I dreaded doing alone), she would always motion me to sit close to her.

I had zero interest in a relationship with her. It never went beyond that uncomfortable closeness, which I wonder whether it was sexual, or more likely to exert some sort of “power” over me as she struck me as very insecure in her position (doing things like withholding important data or info to protect herself); but it was inappropriate. Never enough though, for me to try to destroy her career (she managed to auto-destruct on her own for good reasons without my help!)

Anyway long ramblings to say that not everything is a “sexual assault”. Real harassment or assault needs to be taken seriously and acted on promptly. Spurious claims, not so much…

And whatever happened to due process, and presumption of innocence?


#962

I expect that PR people are probably more aware than average, honestly. In my experience it’s more prevalent among men in blue-collar occupations, or those with very few women in them.


#963

I don’t doubt that there are accusers who are trotting out false stories. I would bet there are far more falsely being accused of being liars than there people falsely being accused of taking liberties they should not have taken because they were counting on being able to escape all consequences for their offense.

The truth is that not even a small fraction of the stories that could be told are being told. Most women who have had someone at work who had a habit of putting a hand where it most certainly did not belong and who never reported it are still not reporting it, but not because they don’t think it is necessary to insist that this kind of thing stop from people who think they are above questioning.

What is not being reported here are those who actually do leverage their sexual attractiveness to their advantage. I have seen that, too. I mean blunt flirting in order to be treated with favoritism. When someone does that, yes, he or she is asking for those whose attention they do not welcome to try the same kind of thing. I do not feel sorry for them, because they established that they do welcome sexual come-ons at work from some people. This isn’t the same as socializing with some co-workers and not with others. I mean carrying on sexual flirtations and allowing physical liberties to be taken on the job.

I just hope the same thing happens to bosses who think that they have a right to abuse their underlings in other ways, just because they have the power to hire and fire, their underlings don’t, and everyone knows it. It is not just, and it should not be something that employers or managers think they have a right to do because they are in a position of power.


#964

Good point, I overlooked the completely frivolous complaints that attempt to criminalize normal male sexuality that are also part and parcel of this metoo business and feminism in general.


#965

If something wasn’t a crime when committed, the person can’t be held responsible today.


#966

What “completely frivolous” complaints were an attempt to get someone charged with a crime? Really–be specific about which accusers and which cases you are referring to.

What aspects of “normal male sexuality” were you referring to? Do you mean the sexuality of fallen man or do you mean something a Catholic would feel a duty to defend, such as a desire to marry?

Really though: what criminal charges have been filed as part of the #MeToo movement? There are criminal charges being considered against Harvey Weinstein, but who has actually had charges filed?

If you’re accusing someone else of overinflating their complaints, you had better avoid claiming someone has been charged with a crime when no one has. That is itself overinflating a complaint.


#967

That sounds like revenge and collective punishment, not equality. Revenge makes you feel good in the short term, but afterwards, then what? There is a long term goal here.

Of course that fear factor that has nothing to do with the misandrists who insist that rapists are lurking around every corner.


#968

Try rereading my post in the context of the post that I responded to.


#969

The goal isn’t to make decent men afraid. Men who harass women, men who try to coerce women into sex, men who press drink on women to take advantage of them - many of those men have convinced themselves they are “just being normal men” too. They should be afraid. There’s no need for men who treat women as equal partners, and not as conquests or opponents, to be afraid.

Trust me, conservatives do that too. They just flip it around so that it’s your fault for being alone with a man, or what you were wearing, or whatever. My grandmother warned my mother the same way her mother warned her - and my grandmother was no feminist. If anything, the feminists I’m around are far more trusting of men than any conservative or traditionalist I’ve met. The difference was the feminists treated it as bad behavior some men engage in; the traditionalists treated it as the natural state of the male sex.


#970

No, I wasn’t sure - that’s why I asked.


#971

Which is my point. What was acceptable behaviour 20 years ago shouldn’t be used to tar and feather someone today, whether a “crime” or simple boorishness.

Women are right to call out boorish behaviour, What they can say is “that behaviour is boorish and has no place in today’s workplace”. What is not fair is to say “John Smith behaved boorishly to me 20 years ago” if such behaviour was socially acceptable then, unless John Smith continues to do so today in which case he deserves to be called on it.

If we are all held to be accountable for youthful indiscretions, or to standards that didn’t exist back then, then we’ll all end up on the dole… heck in my lifetime it there was a time we joked about driving with a beer held between our legs and one arm wrapped around our girlfriends. Most of us have adapted and no longer behave like that. The odd few that still do deserve to be punished severely.


#972

And if some men were to take your “plunging neckline” as an invitation to “harass you or more,” would you blame yourself for your lack of prudence? Or would you blame the boorish jerks for taking your clothing as an invitation?


#973

Single motherhood is hard.

You can kind of tell this from the fact that single mothers rarely have large families anymore. Single motherhood means decades of poverty and life-long struggle. If single motherhood was easy, fun and lucrative, the US TFR would be WAY higher than 1.84.


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