At the time of writing the Weinstein affair remains an ongoing and evolving media phenomenon. The hypocrisy of this one does my head in.
Imagine … All men being demonised for being the same gender as the alleged perpetrator at the centre of a major scandal. Men offer comments supportive of female victims of sexual harassment, and condemnatory of male perpetrators, but are dismissed or even shamed for doing so. Meanwhile other men are shamed for not commenting.
Men subseqently re-frame/qualify their thoughts/feelings in the light of well-publicised research – research that proposes that men understand and empathise with women better when they have sisters, wives and daughters. Men are then shamed on the basis that their amended and qualified message of support doesn’t treat women as humans.
Men, the beasts that they are, just can’t seem to say or do the right thing.
Women are a different kettle of fish. It goes without saying that nowhere, nowhere are they responsible. For anything. Not for being victims or alleged victims. Not for helping Harvey trick/lure women into private meetings in hotel rooms (their excuse). Not for willingly following the casting-couch route to financial rewards. Not for remaining silent when they knew what was going on, in many cases accepting payment for doing so. And absolutely not, for they themselves harassing others.
Note that I have addressed the topic of harassment in the workplace in another blog post. This current post is more about feminist shaming, bitterness and hypocrisy set against the backdrop of the media furore surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s real and alleged misbehaviour.
Feminists have long been telling men – even feminist men – that they have no legitimate right to talk about feminism, or about specific topics that they (feminists) consider to be women’s issues. They typically assert that men have no understanding of women’s lived experience, and have nothing worthwhile to contribute. Here’s a recent Australian example.
As a consequence men are most reluctant to offer up public comment on such matters. This situation is addressed in the following blog posts:
Beware the ire of an angry feminist
Nice guys, nice guys™ and the friendzone
A feminist laments: “Why do so few men turn up to hear women speak?”
Karen Straughan and others on feminist shaming tactics
The media informs us however that men move one rung up the ladder when they have wives and/or daughters. See for yourself – just do a google search using terms such as “when men have a daughter” or “men change after having daughter”. Year in and year out, article after article based on this assertion:
Why the best words a dad can hear are… It’s a girl! (7 June 2017)
Men Really Do Get Less Sexist When They Have Daughters (3 June 2017)
This is the backdrop to the emergence of the Weinstein affair. Or at least the October 2017 version thereof. Because, as we are finding out more each day, plenty of people were ‘in the know’ before now.
The first development after the publication of the initial allegations was men being blamed for not speaking out against Harvey Weinstein. See for example:
Hollywood men silent over Weinstein allegations as women speak out (11 October 2017), with a later contribution being … Men who are silent after #MeToo: it’s time to speak up (20 October 2017)
Sure enough, after being given what they assumed to be the media’s ‘green light’ to enter the debate, more men spoke out to condemn Weinstein and/or to condemn the problem of sexual harassment generally.
Thus the next wave of outrage was in relation to men speaking out against Weinstein, especially those mentioning that they were motivated to do so, in part, because they had wives/daughters. Some examples of the media coverage include:
Men don’t need to have daughters to be concerned about women (13 October 2017)
Does any reasonable person seriously believe that men referencing the girls/women in their lives meant women any disrepect? Think of any other instance where this ‘logic’ has been proposed, because I can’t. I can think, for example of discussions regarding childhood disability or illness whereby parents comment along the lines of “as a parent of a child with autism …“. Were those parents insinuating that their autistic kids were less than human?
Then there was the push-back against the push-back. Men are mostly guilty and should do more to stop themselves and their brothers, including but not limited to public self-flagellation:
Dear Men: It’s you, too (19 October 2017) by Roxane Gay & attracting 1,397 readers comments
How men can help after Weinstein and #MeToo (22 October 2017)
“After the flood of #MeToo posts, critics charged that the hashtag continues to put the onus on victims to speak up while letting men off the hook. In response, some have shared lists of tips on how men can stop this behaviour from flourishing.”
And to remove any doubt about who’s wearing the pants in this debate, the usual feminist voices pressed long and hard on the ‘all men are responsible’ button:
It’s not the job of “Hollywood women” to ‘fix’ sexual harassment (12 October 2017)
The men who kept Harvey Weinstein’s secrets safe are all around us (11 October 2017)
Harvey Weinstein Scandal: Men In Hollywood Staying Silent? | The View (10 October 2017) Video. Reddit discussion thread here
Oh, and for any other men who dared offer an opinion, because “… some people – and more particularly, men – seem to think that it’s not the feelings of the alleged victims that matter. No, it’s actually their feelings that are important.”
Men of Hollywood – don’t make this Harvey Weinstein situation about you (13 October 2017)
‘Cancel the Christmas party’: 2017’s the year of the ‘confused’ man (16 November 2017) Rather than working with men to resolve confusion about what constitutes appropriate behaviour, feminist journo prefers to mock for what she sees as a weak ‘excuse’. Anything but helpful.
As is usually the case, any rebuttal was muted and provided by male-positive writers like Martin Daubney and Kathy Gyngell:
This #MeToo witch-hunt will destroy women’s happiness (23 October 2017)
So male voices were silenced again and the debate wrested back into the hands of feminists/liberals satisfying their ongoing imperative to control the narrative. But things didn’t entirely go their way, as derailments followed (and continue to this day), namely:
Articles highlighting the hypocrisy of the Hollywood democrat/leftist elite in turning the backs for so long, and regarding Harvey Weinstein as an archtypical nice guy & supporter of feminism, for example:
“Weinstein, the reports noted, had been a prominent donor to causes that address gender inequality, especially in the entertainment industry” (Source)
Harvey Weinstein and Feminism (19 October 2017)
Ah but of course the feminist lobby will never admit weakness or fault, so their strategy here is to double-down on their ongoing ‘feminist men aren’t feminists’ offensive (example, with more in the opening section of this blog post).
Articles highlighting the elements of dog-piling, misandry, vengeance and hysteria that is occurring, for example:
#MeToo: A moral panic about men (18 October 2017)
Male Victim Erasure and Backlash in #MeToo Campaign (17 October 2017)
The hysteria in the Harvey Weinstein scandal (12 October 2017)
Finally, I note that mention has yet to be made of sexual harassment perpetrated by influential women. There has, however, been some limited and peripheral acknowledgement of the harassment of men/boys by men:
Corey Feldman celebrates ‘turning of the tide’ on Hollywood sex abuse (17 October 2017)
Actor Terry Crews recalls being sexually assaulted by Hollywood exec (11 October 2017)
In closing, Cathy Young has written an excellent article that touches on a number of the issues mentioned above.
A panic is not an answer: We’re at imminent risk of turning this #metoo moment into a frenzied rush to blame all men (26 November 2017) by Christina Hoff Summers
Kathy Gyngell: The silence of the males (13 November 2017)
Other posts in this blog related to this topic include:
Don’t look at me! No wait. Look at me!
Girls showing their bits = empowerment? patriarchal exploitation? self-indulgence? other?
#HeForShe: Men pressed into service with nary a hint of ‘quid pro quo’
Nice guys, nice guys™ and the friendzone
On Gender Traitors, White Knights and Manginas