This blog dances along a dicey path that my wife thinks is off-base. She thinks I am trying too hard to draw a parallel between two entirely different topics. Usually I take her word for it because I am limited to about 750 words and that, in itself, limits accurate communication. She is also eminently sensible and I am NOT always. Still, I am going to post it and see how it flies…please read it as a blog making a statement about the new-world of allegations rather than anything else.
Apropos of very little lately written, I must point out that in the Me, Too movement currently, an allegation of misconduct by a woman is deemed sufficient to convict the man. Our Prime Minister has said as much (‘we must believe them’). He was not alone – almost all the M2 movement is based on believing all sexual allegations made by women without questioning.
Now the following is a bit of stretch and I am not accusing JW-R of doing this or purposefully using the Me, Too mindset. I am, however, saying that the Me, Too mindset is at play here anyway. Maybe. Maybe not. I think so. My wife thinks not.
To wit: JW-R alleged by her actions and subsequent strategic silence that she, too, had been Me, Too’d (politically) and she expects that we will all believe her. (And most of us do to some extent). Butts likely thought so as well, so he jumped. “Why wait for the facts? The allegation is out there. I’m done!”
The truth could very well be that Butts or the PM talked about SNC-L to W-R and they may have had some heated words and, possibly, they did NOT put any REAL provable pressure on her…
……BUT, BUT, BUT she definitely ‘heard’ it that way. She heard directly or in nuance and tone and, as a result of that hearing, ‘did NOT feel comfortable’. And then, like when a movie producer chooses another actress for the lead, she KNEW when she was demoted that she had been ‘propositioned’ and subsequently punished. And she reacted by resigning her portfolio.
Now, when a woman claims a Me, Too experience, I tend to agree with her simply because I know men often make the first move clumsily (often many times) and they are not always the best communicators – plus testosterone is a powerful force in nature. So, the initial proposal can sometimes be ‘seen and heard’ in a way that wasn’t really intended. (Certainly NOT enough to be called assault or harassment as much as it seems to be these days (‘course, as a male, I am blind to this…..so that is part of the weakness in this blog)).
And, of course, all men are pigs at times so they are sometimes guilty as alleged. NB: NOT ALWAYS. But sometimes. In addition: to distinguish between something normal but not welcome is entirely in the hands and head of the recipient of that attention. The proof of that is in the classic, “He made me feel uncomfortable”.
Now, Me, Too is generally applied to ‘proposals’ or worse of sexual intimacy. If Jane receives the proposal well, a pleasant encounter may occur. No story to be written. If Jane does not find the proposal attractive, she seems to have the power to allege being made to feel uncomfortable and the fellow has to lose his career and reputation. And, of course, hundreds of degrees of human interaction in between can and does occur.
Yes, I know I am painting a worst case scenario above but there have been more than a few miscarriages of justice in the NEW RULEBOOK FOR MEN as written by Me,Too. And, hugely ironically, one of the males-in-the-movement is our own self-professed feminist, Justin Trudeau. He supports allegations as being sufficient to convict – when a woman says them against a man.
So, how might that work in another realm? Politics, perhaps…..?
Enter Jody W-R. This recent case is NOT sexual in nature but it is still unsubstantiated allegations having the same effect – a man resigns. Another is in deep political trouble. Careers are derailed. Reputations ruined. The world goes nuts. AND THE REAL IRONY here is that JW-R didn’t actually say a word (officially). She merely acted as if she had been propositioned and then later made to feel uncomfortable (by her demotion).
The allegation is in the implications.
To be clear: I am NOT accusing JW-R of doing this on purpose to Gerald or Justin. In fact, I am sure she didn’t. Nor am I saying the ‘boys’ are innocent of the allegation. Maybe they are guilty. But the weird ‘mood’ we have created around female allegations has certainly exacerbated the very normal and common, ‘He said – she said’ dynamic of life. This time at the political level.
The purpose of this blog is NOT to beat any detail of the actual Jody/Justin/Gerald situation to death except to point out the newly altered weird and unholy power of unproven allegations. In fact, with this president, Fox, the internet, trolls, twitter and all social media, we are seeing a revolution of sorts. Lies, spin, deflection, rumours, gossip, tweets, allegations (and the list goes on) have ascended in the minds of people to the point that not only are they confused and left unknowing on most everything, they are also losing trust in the Rules of Evidence, due process, institutional trust and the role of the media.