However distressing to feminist ideology, it’s the way we were made
“When a girl goes out on her first date.” my wife once remarked, “she has two concerns. First, that the boy might become sexually aggressive, because that could mean there was something wrong with him. Second, that the boy might not become sexually aggressive, because that could mean there was something wrong with her.” Even in our day, that is, sex posed problems. But you’d have to look pretty hard through all of history to find anything to equate with what’s going on today. For we have reached the era of the “#MeToo” movement in which, as usual, the quest for freedom has led to bondage, and the people in bonds are all women.
In case you didn’t know, the #MeToo” movement describes the yards-long list of distinguished men who have been accused of everything from sexual harassment to rape, their accusers often distinguished women. The careers of some of the accused have come to an abrupt end because of these accusations, sometimes convincingly proven, often supported only by other women, laying similar charges against the same man.
His career was inevitably shot because the rule has become “guilty until proven innocent.” And against the line-up of accusers, how exactly does one prove innocence? Do you invite a half a dozen or more women you once took out to dinner, or to the theatre, or wherever, and have them all testify: “Not once did he attempt to rape me, fondle me, proposition me, or threaten me in any way. He was the perfect gentleman, and I’d be pleased to go out with him again.” Who’d believe them, anyway? When there’s a scandalous and innocent version of the same story, the former commands the audience. One does not spend 45 years in the news business without finding that out.
Then do I think all these a accusations false? No I do not. Some I’m sure indeed happened and the consequences are being duly suffered. But as the movement spreads — Wikipedia reports on its status in 20 countries — the possibility of false charges, persecution and outright blackmail become ever more probable. Dorothy VanSant, an old friend of mine in Kentucky (old in the sense that she is three years older than I am) who is very sharp-minded and sometimes sharp-tongued, is infuriated by the #MeToo movement. She cites one case in particular.
“So the man and the woman have both been drinking. They’re leaving the party, or whatever. It’s one o’clock in the morning. He invites her up to his office. She agrees. They go there, and he proposes sex. Under the circumstances, what did she expect him to do? Is she that foolish? So now she’s going to destroy him for it. Why do we sympathize with this kind of thing?”
A counter movement has also begun in France with the actress Catherine deNeuve as one of its backers. Some there see the #MeToo as forerunning a return to puritan morality. It certainly appears unfair to males in one respect. In all but the strictest of eras feminine dress has sought to entice attention to the individual who wears it, and that lure is surely to a high degree sexual. To quote my wife again, when a young lady in exceedingly tight pants went prancing by us: “It certainly doesn’t leave much for the imagination, does it!” And that’s the point. More and more, feminine dress seems—no, not seems, is—intended to evoke the very reactions that #MeToo is so vehemently protesting. This makes the movement blatant hypocrisy, which my Kentucky friend finds so offensive. She’s right.
Something else in this movement I find instructive. Where are the male complainants? Why do we not have men in their thousands in countries all over the world naming prominent predatory women who groped them, sexually harassed them,
and began to publicly undress and humiliate them? Why is the sexual aggression always in one direction? The only possible answer is that the two halves of the species have and fulfill fundamentally different roles. Both can be aggressive, but in very different ways. That’s how we are.
Now the feminists vigorously deny this. This is “learned behaviour,” not instinctive at all, they say. Well, we’ve certainly learned it well. Since #MeToo began in the fall of 2017, thousands of cases are coming to light in which women are the complainants. I’ve heard of two male victims, both movie actors. All the rest are women. Small wonder that many feminists refuse to back this movement. Every instance of it argues against one of their central contentions.
Ted Byfield was founder and publisher of Alberta Report news magazine, general editor of Alberta in the Twentieth Century, a 12-volume history of the province, and general editor of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, a 12-volume history of Christianity. His column on education appears in The Christians.com, a web journal. He has recently authored two little books on modern pedagogy: Why History Matters and The Revolution Nobody Covered. You can order both copies here.