Isn’t it great to be in the big girl club, where we laugh at people who talk shit about us and then go about our lives without skipping a beat. We’re always happy to meet strong women who fully understand what’s what…
Oh. Ok, well, a thing can’t become what it always has been, but I mean, not everyone was in the thick of the hashtag arguing in favor of due process and against the court of public opinion when it first started, so…
Well, there’s the rub. That’s way too much credit. I promise you, #MeToo wasn’t ever rooted in victimhood, and it hasn’t been hijacked. To understand what it has always been rooted in, you have to understand its purpose and its history. From the very beginning, the hashtag and the movement represented a specific demand, spelled out very clearly in its predecessor, #BelieveWomen. Under the standard it established, evidence has never been allowed to matter. The movement’s purpose was to use an abundance of unfalsifiable claims made by anonymous, unverifiable social media accounts to stigmatize, debase, and obligate the entire male population. This is not a left-right issue. It is a gender-ideology issue. The demand is and always has been that when a woman accuses a man of sexual misconduct, the community in which she makes that allegation must act on it without questioning its validity. It is and always was a call for the community to judge the target based solely on the word of the accuser. It is and always was the assertion that a female accuser’s word is unquestionable, that no allegation made by a woman may be considered false, not even a mistake, or a misunderstanding. #MeToo requires that female accusers are to be presumed honest, sensible, and sure, and their male targets are to be presumed guilty. The standard is specifically gendered in that manner, as evidenced by the way women promoting the hashtag upon its launch reacted when male victims posted their stories. “How dare you!” the male victims were castigated. “This is a discussion of female victims’ experiences at the hands of male perpetrators! Stop invading our safe space! Go start one of your own!” So someone did. #HimToo began as a tag male victims could use to talk about their experiences, but was quickly taken over by #MeToo proponents who deemed it an unwelcome distraction from their big shining moment and began using it to demonize men who complain about reputational damage from false allegations. So male victims of sexual assault were not allowed to be part of the Me Too discussion, but they were also not allowed to have their own space for their own discussion. Their victimhood didn’t matter, and their voices were an inconvenience that had to be simultaneously twisted and crushed. But… why? If #MeToo is about victims, wouldn’t that mean all victims?
Well… it wasn’t about victims. The Me Too talking heads view society’s compassion as a resource that should be reserved exclusively for women to use to manipulate their communities against the male target of their choice. That is a demand that women should be uniquely entitled to wield, with impunity and unquestioned authority, a weapon of massive reputational and social destruction that affects the target’s life like being hit with a poisoned nail bomb the size of a wrecking ball. She can just launch that thing and move on unquestioned and unfettered by the gravity of that choice, as she steps over her gasping, withering target while he tries to gather his shattered, bleeding reputation and protect everything and everyone in his life that depends on it.
The women of the Me Too movement claim this entitlement specifically for women who target men with it, and only women who target men with it… not because they are victims, but because they are instrumental in maintaining, as a social norm, an attitude that values women’s emotional interests above men’s basic human rights. If she claims to feel victimized, that must be more important than his welfare, regardless of what the facts may be.
That is not centered around victimhood. It’s centered around aristocratic entitlement. We’re talking about a movement’s demand for a woman’s authority to compel her community to sacrifice a man based on her word alone, full stop. It is an attack on due process, an attack on equality, an attack on masculinity and men’s very humanity, and an attack on your ability to rely on objective reality in your decision-making… all things that are highly valued by strong women, and deeply feared by the anemic malingering harpies who launched #MeToo.
No woman worth her salt should carry water for those cowards. I guarantee you, in the end it will be heavier than you think.
For every man in this situation there are dozens who don’t have a company to step down from, nor resources with which to fight the battle it takes to come out on top of a false allegation. They can’t rely on skilled attorneys, because they can’t pay the fees. Many can’t rely on character witnesses, because they don’t come from supportive families or live in close-knit communities… or they come from families or communities that would be harshly judged by the court. If they’re faced with investigators who are more determined to build a case than to find the truth and they don’t have the resources to protect themselves against false incrimination, they’re screwed. If they face prosecutors and judges who are more determined to convict than they are determined to pursue justice, they’re screwed. Once a poor or working class man is wrongly convicted, it can take years, even decades, for the truth to come out.. if it ever does.
Don’t get me wrong. After many years of trying to help friends who have have been dragged through the system I just described, and a decade of involvement with the men’s rights movement, which has been talking about this issue for a century, it is gratifying to see political talking heads finally notice the issue… even if it’s just because it is affecting politicians you support. I just wish you could see the bigger picture.
Why wait for it to trend? Why does it have to hit that level before it becomes an important issue? Are common men who experience ordeals with malicious prosecution so disposable? Are they so invisible? And why would you say men can’t speak out, when they’ve been speaking out as a movement for more than 100 years? Do their voices not matter? I don’t want to be ungrateful. I’m glad to see a woman with a mainstream media level of reach speaking about this without condemning due process advocates. That’s very refreshing. It’s just… not far enough to achieve anything, and that’s frustrating as hell. In the wake of Johnny Depp’s civil victory against Amber Heard, hordes of women will say the same things you are saying and yet nothing will change, because the underlying causes will not be addressed. Lies have existed forever, and humans have had to navigate our community decisions around them forever. They are older than dirt. In and of themselves, they may be a problem, but they are not the problem.
The problem isn’t that men can’t speak for themselves, either. Part of the problem is that failing to listen to them and have compassion for them is normalized in society, so when they complain about any issue affecting them, they are all too often disregarded, dismissed, discouraged, or disparaged. You’re right that strong women must help by pointing out the same problems that people refuse to hear about from men… but in the long run, that is still just women appropriating for themselves an entitlement to unilaterally command society’s exercise of compassion, and in doing so, denying men even the chance to appeal for it.
The problem isn’t that some women launch false allegations, or even the harm that weapon does when it strikes its target. It’s the social standards and attitudes that empower that weapon. It’s that our nation has law and policy that is informed by those attitudes and standards. It is that presuming women pure, innocent, and vulnerable, and men inevitably and uniquely corrupt by nature is normalized in society, such that women are able to manipulate society’s credulity and compassion against even the most powerful men, and reality be damned if it dares get in the way.
And the problem isn’t that strong women aren’t criticizing false accusers or standing up for falsely accused men. We have been doing so for longer than you’ve been in politics. We get sidelined as extremists because most women are entirely too comfortable maintaining the status quo that I just described. Far too many female pundits will criticize false accusers when their heroes or their colleagues are targeted, but won’t criticize the Believe Women standard and the believers who adhere to it, and they won’t even touch on the compassion gap and female entitlements that are behind that. Worse… many of the same will even exploit these conditions as a weapon against men on the other side of the political fence.
If a woman condones a corrupt standard until one of her associates is threatened by it, how wise is she? If she stands up for her affected friends, but will not stand up to her friends who exploit that unfair standard, how brave is she? If her sense of justice changes depending on who benefits and who is hindered by her choices, how true is she? Strong women don’t need unfair advantages. We reject them. And if we are not at war with men, why should we need or even want such a devastating weapon to use against them?
Don’t #BelieveWomen. Investigate everything. Allegations must be evaluated based on the available evidence. Everyone who is accused must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, whether you like them or not, and no matter who is the accuser, even in the court of public opinion. Especially in the court of public opinion.
If you don’t want false allegations to be an exploitable weapon that your political enemies can use against the male leaders you support, you have to be willing to help destroy the mechanism that makes them effective, and to stand up and demand that women as a population do the same. That means loudly and forcefully surrendering women’s entitlement to unilaterally control society’s exercise of compassion, so that both sexes may appeal to it equally without the power to surreptitiously or coercively manipulate it. That means loudly and forcefully surrendering the ability to manipulate society’s credulity, as well. And that surrender means demanding that liars who try to exploit that power should face legal and social accountability. No longer should a woman be able to launch a projectile with such destructive capacity against an innocent target and then move on as if she has done nothing wrong. Not only should that weapon be entirely stripped of its effectiveness against the target; it must become a catalyst that sets off society’s wrath against the false accuser. Because it is strictly a woman’s weapon, it is women who are responsible for disarming it and repurposing society’s response to it. That effort has to come from every woman who is smart enough and strong enough to know right from wrong, and to care about preventing further injustice.
Equality is hard, but strong women aren’t averse to doing what is right just because it is hard. We relish the opportunity to become even stronger. It’s politically dangerous, but I am challenging you to show your strength. Are you willing?
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