WASHINGTON — In the months following the inauguration of the 45th US President, Donald J. Trump, women across the country have taken to social media and began the #MeToo movement. On the campaign trail, a leaked audio clip of then Apprentice star Trump, revealed the vulgar side of a man vying for the highest office in the land. “Grab her by the pussy,” he said. This was the catalyst for several women to come forward and accuse the candidate of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Fast forward a year into the Trump presidency and we find that Trump served as a harbinger of things to come for powerful men across America. Witness the downfall of Hollywood mega producer Harvey Weinstein. Observe the slow trickle of powerful senators like Al Franken, who are now caught up in a torrent of accusations flooding Capitol Hill. Trump was the turning point.
But what does that mean for women like you and me?
What does that mean for the everyday person you come across at your local grocery store or pass on the street? What effect does the #MeToo movement have on our society?
In less than a year, already, male colleagues – those whom I consider friends – cower in fear of the women at work. While out at happy hours together in mixed company, male coworkers second guess putting their arm around me or the other women when posing for group photos, fearing that the female colleague may misconstrue that as an act of male “sexual aggression.”
At the office, men are even afraid to be in the same room alone with a female coworker because he may be reaching out to grab the stapler and she may accuse him of “air honking” her breasts.
“This #MeToo movement has gotten away from itself and has a new, insidious agenda: to castrate the American male and force him into submission to the neo-progressive, sexist, system.”
This so-called movement not only alienates many men but it inadvertently rejects the notion that a woman has control over her body and supplants one that women are simply victims, subject to her environment.
#MeToo has become so over-encompassing that even bad dates, like the one experienced by the woman who made claims against Aziz Ansari, take away from legitimate incidents of rape, harassment or abuse. This isn’t about ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ rather, this is more akin to the alien invasion hysteria that spread across the US in the 1950s.
When one paper reported it with an alleged eyewitness account, suddenly police departments across America had their phones light up with similar reports. Everything in the sky became a UFO. From shooting stars, to birds, balloons, airplanes or clouds, anything and everything that meandered across the sky was a harbinger of Martian overlords arriving to annihilate life as we know it.
More than half a century later, we are no longer looking for little green men to cause harm. No. Today, in 2018, we simply look to our brothers, our fathers, our uncles, our husbands, friends, and neighbors to be those interlopers who will destroy us by their sheer existence.
What was supposed to be a term of support for women (and even some men), meant to encourage victims of crimes and misconduct to come forward into the light, has now become a sabre to cut down an entire gender.
And worse yet, for you single ladies out there, those who are not #MeToo-ers, have you any idea what this will do to your dating life?
Think about that for just a moment.
Do you enjoy a man holding the door open for you? Or is that a sign of him exerting his physical dominance over you?
Do you want to a man to attempt to court you? Chase you? Fawn over you? Or will you see that as a man purely pursuing sexual exploits?
God forbid a guy try to get laid on a date or a relationship fizzles out. In today’s #MeToo world, that will mean he merely used you for your body or he sexually harassed you because he attempted to touch your ass while you were willingly engaged in a hot makeout sesh.
Let Harvey Weinstein be the posterboy for #MeToo, as his actions against countless young, Hollywood-ingenues serves as a prime example of using one’s money, power, and position to demand and expect sex.
Examples like “Grace”, who made allegations against Ansari, those do nothing but harm the women’s movement. It undermines the strong women out there who have endured and overcome some terrible, unimaginable events that attempted to shatter her dignity and self-worth.
That is what has become of the ‘it-girl’ de jour called #MeToo. She has become a monster.
Let’s continue to support those strong men and women who had some iteration of sexual deviancy lorded over them, but let’s separate that from flawed and failed attempts at flirting, dating, and bad come-ons by many men. #MeToo was supposed to be a rallying cry, not by victims, but rather survivors, not a means to denigrate all men and bully them into fearing women.
An alternative slant may be found here.
Lucy Adler is a reformed
financial services professional,
international woman of mystery