Disgusted. Shocked. Horrified.
That’s how I felt as I listened to the testimonies of the victims of the unprecedented sexual abuse of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. How could someone be so vile and conscienceless? How could all those women be so brave as to face their tormentor? And perhaps more importantly, why didn’t anyone in power do anything to stop it for so long?
It’s a diseased blight on everyone involved and something that everyone should be aware of, not just for posterity, but to ensure that it never happens again.
I almost didn’t hear about the story, though. Mainly because just beforehand, social media and mainstream media alike were overrun by coverage of the Aziz Ansari story, thanks to the #MeToo movement from modern feminists.
If you somehow managed to avoid coverage of the incident, here’s what went down. According to Babe, an anonymous 23-year-old Brooklyn photographer with the pseudonym “Grace” had pursued Ansari until eventually being asked out on a date. The date progressed to some sexual activity and then unwelcome further sexual advances by Ansari, which made it Grace’s “worst night of her life.”
By many accounts, the article and the stigma generated by the #MeToo movement has humiliated Ansari and practically ruined his career.
Ansari insists that the encounter was purely consensual, and based on even the accusatory article, I would tend to agree. From what I can tell, it was a date that didn’t turn out how the woman wanted. She pursued the man, went up to his place, made herself sexually available, even engaged in sexual foreplay, then felt “uneasy” about Ansari pushing sexual intercourse.
Let’s be clear—if Ansari had violated Grace or done anything nonconsensual, it would have been reprehensible and unacceptable, but this woman was uneasy about the object of her desire simply wanting sex.
This is typical of a modern feminist that strives to throw off the shackles of traditional Victorian sexual morality, then gets upset when pushy, pervy guys play along. As Heather MacDonald writes, under traditional morality, the default response to premarital sex was “no.” Feminism changed that default to “yes,” and the very people who sought out the switch are now complaining about the unintended consequences. They’re complaining—not about rape, mind you—but about unwanted interest.
Granted, the #MeToo movement has rightly made an example of serial harassers like Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK, but it squanders valuable political capital when it targets the likes of Ansari based on the Babe accusation. And when people like Minnie Driver claim that “there is no hierarchy of abuse” and you can’t tell a woman that being raped is worse than having genitals exposed to her, they risk losing all respectability.
This is problematic because it will no doubt be weaponized and used against innocent people who share the wrong political affiliations, as it was in an Ontario election recently. Or in a witch hunt against people like Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Stephen Henderson, who got fired for having “sexually-themed conversations” outside of work.
When all you have is a torch and a pitchfork, everyone begins to look like a witch.
But that’s not the worst part.
The concentrated focus on trashy talk and bad dates by the #MeToo movement takes away from the condemnation of actual sexual abuse like the Larry Nassar case. That despicable human being abused his power, corrupted innocence, and tormented hundreds of people for years. It was also covered up and the victims were silenced and mistreated when they tried to fight back. That case is everything the #MeToo movement ostensibly fights, but where were they then and where are they now?
Sexual abuse and harassment is a real problem in American society, but it does no good in fighting it by crying wolf about a bad date. There is limited attention span in mass media culture. The #MeToo movement would do well to focus that attention on the many real victims of sexual abuse, instead of petty sexual politics.
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