Disclaimer: If this subject could offend you, I caution you to read further. It could offend some of your sensibilities. I am totally for women’s rights and protecting them, but I think we’ve crossed a line.
Indeed, sexual abuse or sexual misconduct, as well as any other form of derogatory behaviour against women, is on the rise and unacceptable. It’s also known that gender equality is still a problem both in the developing world and the developed world. There is no such thing as equality for all.
A #MeToo movement arises for these reasons. The intention is good. However, it has corrosive consequences that we need to consider. Moreover, it’s not apparent to me that we recognise the detriment that it has caused.
Here are a few consequences that equate to toxic feminism.
The convenience of alleging sexual misconduct
There are others like Harvey Weinstein out there. Alternatively, you have the Bill Cosby types in the world too. Both of these men and others like them are terrible and bring good men a bad reputation. That’s true. However, here is something I don’t understand.
I don’t understand is why we have the Blasey-Ford’s of the world that decide to speak up only at the time that their alleged attacker is running for public office. It surprises me for two reasons. Firstly, 20 odd years have passed and likely the memories are distorted, and secondly, why now?
I am sure that women’s advocates may have arguments and criticism about my case, but I’d like to ask the following important question: if Kavanaugh would have never been appointed to be a Supreme Court Justice, would Blasey-Ford have spoken up?
It seems exceptionally convenient that it was only at the time of Kavanaugh’s nomination that she dared to speak up. Also, I’d go on to argue that she would have not if he weren’t nominated. It was a time for her to shine under the spotlight. While I don’t suggest that someone didn’t attack her, her testimony seemed awkward and even missing critical parts. It just doesn’t make sense.
Diminishing credibility of real victims
It seems nowadays that every time someone touches a woman, there is a sexual assault, especially if it’s a politician who touches a woman. An example is when Flores accused Biden of inappropriate touching.
It seems rather convenient that Biden announces an exploratory committee for the 2020 US Presidential election, and this accusation surfaces. On the other hand, others have characterised Biden as a very touchy person. Moreover, people have mentioned that he has always been touchy — check what Nancy Pelosi said.
Pelosi also acknowledges or mentions the need for respecting personal space. Undoubtedly, a person’s personal space should be respected — no mistake or issue there. However, we need to be careful about characterising the respect of our own space and sexual misconduct.
The challenge that comes in is that more and more people label this touching as a sexual assault. Such labelling takes away real victims’ credibility and reduces their chances of getting justice against their attackers. We shouldn’t allow those who cry wolf to be taken seriously, because those who are genuinely hurt and are victims don’t get the justice they deserve.
Male executives live in fear
The more and more that we have publicised and even politicised the MeToo movement, the more male executives are at risk and live in fear. I’m talking about male executives being afraid to have a 1:1 meeting with a female employee. The reason why they are worried about such accusations is that they will be accused of sexual misconduct when nothing happened. Also, at that level, it may be complicated to deal with it — the media and the press will love to post another juicy story with a headline like “Another CEO using his executive privileges to assault secretary” or “Another suspected Harvey Weinstein in Silicon Valley”.
Such feeling and potential accusations are the reality in which we have come to live. Again, this takes away from the real victims who experienced sexual or other unwanted derogatory behaviours in the workplace and have a legitimate claim for justice. Because of MeToo, we end up in a situation that’s damning and causes undue harm to real victims.
The politicisation of a serious issue
We have politicised the issue of female victims who have experienced sexual assault. Instead of solving the problem, we have taken it to politics. Moreover, that will never end well — politics is dirty, and it’s corrupt.
There may be the Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren who may advocate for women’s rights. So that results in not only an extreme left that is fanatical but also power going into the wrong hands for selfish gains. In the end, politicians want to win. Yes, Harris may claim that she helped California as an attorney or as a Senator, but there still belies the selfish interest of winning the Democratic nomination and the presidency in 2020.
Now, I don’t mean to beat up the left, but Elizabeth Warren is another one. I would say that Elizabeth Warren swings further to the left than Harris. Also, here we have a Senator again from a very blue state that in my view goes overboard. It has become to the point that we go extreme and it doesn’t seem to do anything except help towards attempted political gain.
Of course, it is clear that the Democrats and the left at large traditionally (or at least do in most instances) advocate more for women’s rights and rightly so with their anti-abortion platform. Again, there is nothing wrong with advocating for women’s rights and making issues gender balanced. However, what we can’t do is use this platform for selfish gain and political interests.
Social boundaries are blurred
Honestly, it has become clear that men have to be more careful and at the same time conscientious about touching women even in a friendly way. For example, I think there is a real concern that if a guy takes a lady out on a date — can he touch her? Can he kiss her at the end of the date?
Maybe it seems paranoid, but it’s a reality. The sense of chivalry has disappeared with paranoia replacing it. While there is a fine line between wanted and unwanted sexual advances, we have gone one step too far. It seems quite ridiculous that we need to have a conversation and almost fill in a checksheet to confirm someone’s consent to kiss or touch them.
Where do we draw a line in the sand?
Negative branding for Conservatives
In many instances, some may argue that conservatives don’t always consider women’s rights, especially on the question of women’s reproductive choice. The problem that arises is that there seems to be a blanket assumption that any conservative or someone on the right side of the left, aka centrist leaning, doesn’t protect women’s rights. This is nonsensical and provides a bad name.
We don’t have to even dive into the fact that Donald Trump is a racist and bigot that hasn’t done any justice for the conservative party. He has stained the GOP into a more conservative, bigot filled party. At the same time, Trump’s actions don’t mean that there aren’t conservatives who don’t advocate women’s rights and legitimately want to advance women’s rights. Being conservative doesn’t automatically equate to shunning women’s rights.
More needs to be done to protect women’s rights, but not at the expense of creating extreme leftist platforms to use this issue for political gains. At the same time, we have to be careful that feminism doesn’t become toxic whereby we give good men a bad name, or we diminish the victim’s credibility.
There has to be a delicate balance between protecting victims and preventing toxic feminism.