Obligatory post: Me, too

To be fair, every issue fades away from the front page. Eventually.  Usually within a few weeks.  Occupy,  Tiger Woods,  Cosby and Climate change being amongst the longest legged recently.  But, still none of those are on the front page today.  It’s hard for anyone, save for the ongoing orange spectacle that is Trump, to stay at the top of the ‘popular interest’ list.  But, one would think that the Me,Too movement will persist whether or not it remains front page.  It should.

I will attempt to breathe a little life into it today by saying: It should ‘grow up’ a helluva lot but it should endure.

A quick summary-to-date: Me, too is the universal mobilization of women against an all-too-common crime-upon-the-person syndrome in all or most societies most women experience in their lifetime.  They call this ‘crime’ (and, in many cases, so do I) sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a hugely ill-defined term but they are against it because, quite simply, it is usually unwanted behaviour, wrong-headed, evil and immoral (amongst many other things).  None of them like it.  All of them want it stopped and, in numbers, there is strength.

But, there is NOT consensus about what it is.  Or even what to do about it.

The biggest problem I have with Me,Too is that it demands that all allegations be believed without question, that all allegations are tantamount to convictions and that the punishment should far exceed the crime.  Further, Me, Too, rejects the requirement of due process and differing opinions (from the accused) and worse, extrapolates the ‘crime’ as a pervasive, underlying condition of society that can only be righted by condemning all men and elevating all women to higher positions of power.

Furthermore, all men are deemed guilty of something!  And that is insane.  It is NOT enough to condemn Harvey Weinstein but all men in the vicinity of him were also guilty for NOT coming to the woman’s rescue.

The irony of that dependence on men seems to escape them.  

I have other issues as well.  If an attractive man (think Brad Pitt) exceeds the unwritten rule book and lays on the charm to some woman and she likes it, there is no harassment to complain about.  If an unattractive man (think ‘everyman’) lays on his best-but-unwanted efforts and it is regarded as ‘undesired’, that man is subject to life-destroying ‘allegations’.  In other words: sexual harassment is, in at least some cases, limited in definition by the eyes of the beholder.

That is the very definition of subjective.

That is hard for me to accept.  I have, myself, been attracted to a female who may have even made efforts to be attractive (make-up, etc.) and been well-received and a pleasant if not short-lived encounter was achieved.  I have also employed the same approach-style to other attractive women who did NOT find my efforts engaging and little or nothing was achieved.  It seemed – at the time, anyway – my biological imperative to make the first OVERT move.  I was socially conditioned to take the ‘risk’ of being told to F-off.

Trust me.  It is extremely hurtful for a terrified teenage boy to be rejected so viciously and so often but most of us simply developed over time a thicker skin.  Why?  Because we were also encouraged by our culture that persistence was part of charm.  The ‘guy’ who ‘chased’ the girl often won her heart.

We were conditioned to try and try again.

With Sally, I laid it on as thick as I could.  And I persisted.  And I did not take ‘NO’ for an answer.  Admittedly, she did not scream “F-off!” at me or phone the police but I got used to ‘NO’ for awhile.  By today’s standards, I could be accused of harassment (I like to think of it as charm but we know what credibility we are now giving the male’s point of view – none!).  Sal and I have been together for 47 years and I, for one, would sign up for another 47 in a heartbeat.  So a little persistence paid off.  It was considered ‘part of the mating ritual.’  Presumably by both of us.

In other words, some level of effort that might be perceived as charm by one and annoyance by the other was deemed natural.  Where such perceptions differed, forgiveness and benefit of the doubt was expected.

Now?  Not so much.

Many women friends of mine will counter: “We are not talking about that!”    

And I know that – for the sane friends I have, they are not.  But Me, Too is talking about ALL that.  Most women I know have a clear distinction between sex ‘crimes’, harassments, bad behaviour, naughty behaviour and ‘misunderstandings’ or even clumsy attempts.  My friends are NOT stupid.

But by NOT making those distinctions in every case and all the time (due process), they are guilty of unfairness and power-tripping.  The need for distinction and analysis in those behaviours is HUGE and, further, even though much of this is subjective, some kind of due process that puts subjectivity in it’s place needs to be employed.

Something even bigger is happening.  Maybe it should but I don’t think so.  Blanket condemnation of all men for all sexual behaviours is simply insane and a form of denial about the species.  Men and women are in this together and yet we are very often completely different in our thoughts and feelings.  Misunderstandings will happen.  We need to condemn only the real crimes and forgive the misdemeanors.

One female friend said something on this topic just the other day, “But due process hasn’t worked!” 

I’ve been thinking about that and I agree.  Due process has not worked.  Not for either gender but especially for women.  But that does not mean we abandon due process and head for the lynching tree.  It simply means due process needs to be improved.  We all know the law is an ass and very few of the laws work as we would like them to but that does not mean we  abandon the justice system.  If we do, we put ourselves in the position of judge and jury and we all know what power like that does…..it corrupts.

NB.  This is 1000 words.  I could write a book.  No one cares about my opinions that much so I leave it at 1000 words.  Plus these few more: the battle of the sexes has been waged for eons.  It is not likely to ever be fully resolved. The genders are programmed differently.  But we are all in this together and I think we have to put more effort into understanding, forgiveness and acceptance.  Yes, that even means accepting outrageous condemnations of men for their natural tendencies because outrageous condemnations are also natural tendencies. This is the yin and yang of it.   

 

17 thoughts on “Obligatory post: Me, too

    • I fear that your comment – benign as it is – will be the only one. Why is everyone so afraid of this topic? If it ain’t sex, religion or politics what’s there REALLY interesting to talk about? Ya jus’ want ravens and the weather……..?

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      • As you point out it is also about insecurities, fear, ego, rejection, revulsion, entitlement, privilege, delusions, inequality, perceptions, misunderstandings, and other psychological factors.

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  1. David, When I was a young man, and had already been through a disastrous marriage, I changed tactics. I had quit my job and gone back to school to get my degree. I was about 10 years older than most undergrads, which didn’t seem to make much difference in our relationships. After being rejected unceremoniously by a few women, which did very little for my self esteem, I decided my ego couldn’t handle much more of that. Here’s what I did. I let them make the first move. This resulted in a few changes in my life. I didn’t get laid as much. I didn’t get rejected anymore, but I also had to learn to politely but firmly turn a few (very few) offers down. So I learned what it was like to be on the other side. I also learned what it was like to say no, and have the other person ignore my response and keep on keepin’ on! (this happened once!)
    The other point I want to make is that I was taught by my parents, mostly by example, how to treat women. I remember my father telling me, as part of “the talk” that I stood zero chance of having a girlfriend if I did not treat them with dignity and respect. I’m pretty damn sure that doesn’t happen very much these days!

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    • I was taught the same. In fact, to be honest, I was perhaps influenced a bit to ‘put them on pedestals’. I don’t remember exactly but I have always had a high regard for the feminine way of doing things and I have never treated women poorly. Ever. Mind you, I have not always been well received so SOME women may have interpreted my behaviour differently – I assume. Not every guy likes me either.

      And, like I said, ‘persistence’ (done politely) was always seen as a measure of interest and sincerity – NOT harassment. I would never go too far. I have never had even the most repulsed woman say, ‘you are harassing me’. But I have had more than a few say “f-off!” when I asked them to dance or some other public event mingling occasion.

      Put more succinctly, I am not writing what I am writing because I have any guilt or history. I am writing what I am writing because I think Me, Too is imprecise, sexist, biased, unjust and in denial. I think it is currently violating themes of natural justice and the Golden Rule. That Me, Too is also correct to a large extent only means that it needs to ‘grow up’ and be more responsible. In my opinion.

      Really? Some women pursued you? You?

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      • Pursued might be the wrong word. Hard to believe, I know but remember this was MANY years ago, and it was in the middle of the “sexual revolution”! There’s a topic for you David! Play that one off of “Me Too”

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      • The sexual revolution? The myth of free love? Or the burning-bra Betty and Gloria show? Which, btw, was ‘right on’ in so many ways but not in all ways (IMO). I am not so sure that I am capable of holding my own in this minor Me, Too skirmish. I sure as hell am not able to comment too intelligently on the whole Sexual Revolution of the 70’s. But I know of more than a few casualties from those battles. See: the divorce rate as a metric.

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  2. ‘’It makes it interesting” because Me Two, has become a hashtag for voicing assorted discontents both small and momentous. Degrees ranging from…Embarrassment to harassment.

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    • My point exactly. Degrees. Like in soccer or hockey, when do you let the game play on and when do you call a penalty? Both questions recognize the ‘pushing of the rules’. Humankind pushes the rules. BOTH genders.

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  3. Total agreement.
    While I know that there are many lecherous pigs out there in the world that deserve “outing”.

    #metoo….

    Judge, Jury, internet executioner………

    I was watching the CBC the other night and they were interviewing the lady who “Metoo’d” a Liberal minister (Kent Hehr) and her accusations(revelations) eventually forced him to resign.

    The CBC breathlessly “walked her through the sexual encounter”.
    The reporter, the victim, and the camera man entered an elevator in the Alberta Legislature where she described “the assault”.
    20 years ago she was alone, on the elevator, with a quadrapelegic(Kent Hehr) in a wheelchair.
    He looked her up and down and said,” Yummy”……….

    I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting. for anything….groping, pawing, self gratification……nada, nothing,

    THIS is what we’ve become?

    When the 20 year old lecherous comments of a disgusting pig are 6pm NEWS?
    And thats considered “assault”?
    A quadrapelegic leers at an intern and says “Yummy”?

    My god.
    Pathetic

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  4. Well, take some solace in this: as people get older, their perspective gets more general, less polarized. That woman will have to live with the consequences of her actions. She was NOT the victim, she was the victimizer. She just used different weapons but was no less cruel and brutal. She beat the hell out of a quadraplegic. Her guilt will only grow heavier.

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    • Nah.
      I think that gal is very proud of what she did. No regrets there.

      And then there is the Marshall McCluhan “15 minutes of fame” aspect to her #metoo tv “extravaganza”……Look at me everyone. I’m famous.
      All brought to you by the socially aware, gender neutered, sym-pathetic CBC “news” reporter lobbing “puff ball” questions at her.
      Taxpayer funded politically correct pablum wrapped in the guise of “News”.
      Harper tried killing the CBC and now that Trudeau is in power…..they’re back with a vengence. A socially correct indoctrinated vengence.
      “Have any kind of environmental or social concern? Call the CBC for a sympatheitc ear. A pipeline? A Dam? Residential schools? No problem. The ever friendly CBC is there por vous. Anything where the CBC can help in any way.
      Keep it up CBC. Nail meet coffin.
      Because I believe the tide is turning on all this pc horseshit
      That being said.
      What the hell is happening in university journalism classes these days?
      What ever happened to asking hard questions? And challenging the answers.
      Oh right. I forgot. Dont want the viewers outside their “comfort zone”.
      If Jordan Petersons youtube videos of gender nazi’s haranging him verbally and physically are any indication of what universities in general have devolved into…….
      Politically correct Orwellian thoughtspeak from the Ministry of Gender Neutralism or you will be silenced.
      I believe an anti Peterson protester was arrested a week ago at one of his lectures. The protester was search by police after a scuffle. He was carrying a garrotte.
      “I dont like what you say so do as I say…….. or else”

      Freedom of speech?

      God help us all.

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  5. Can’t say the raven stories are my favourite (one just killed a Steller’s Jay in front of me), but I do enjoy the OTG stuff. High school and college in the late 60s and early 70s. I remember them as good times even though you would never have called me a looker (no David that was not a typo). Dating between marriages was interesting, some fun, some not so much, but no regrets. Now I’m settled into a comfortable later life relationship. Got the best of all worlds. Guess you would call me #notmetoo

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    • Of course I asked Sal. “Aside from me, have you ever suffered from sexual harassment?”
      “No.”
      “But you are a well-established mature adult who has had numerous jobs interacting with all sorts of powerful people and, to my mind, you are also gorgeous. No one has ever hassled you?”
      “No. One time a guy on the ferry was a bit too persistent and I just yelled at him and he went away.”
      “So, you agree with me? Me, too is a bit extreme?”
      “I didn’t say that.”
      “So, you disagree with me. Me, Too is a good thing?”
      “I didn’t say that.”
      “So, you are proving once again that men and women simply do not understand one another and have trouble communicating?”
      “I am not talking to you.”

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  6. If you’re just casting about for numbers, I’ll add my complete consensus. (Did I use that in the right context?) I’ll bet old George Bush got a chuckle about that! ’bout the only thing he could get up .and she was too distraught to move? Gimme a break.

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    • Yeah. That allegation, although admitted, is truly bullying and stupid. The guy is in his 90’s and demented. AND in a wheelchair. There IS a problem but the Me Too movement is casting a net too wide. Too much by-catch.

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