The #MeToo movement, which began in 2017 after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was outed after decades of sexually assaulting women, has backfired against women in the workplace, sexual assault victims, and feminism itself, as was destined and predicted.
How It Began, Via The Economist, Oct. 2018: "ONE year ago Alyssa Milano, an American actress, posted on Twitter: 'If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.' Within 24 hours she had received more than 500,000 responses using the hashtag “#MeToo”. Ms Milano’s tweet came days after the New York Times and New Yorker had published detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer. Mr Weinstein was the first in a long line of prominent entertainers and executives to be toppled by such investigations, which dominated the headlines throughout late 2017."
#METOO WAS DESTINED TO BACKFIRE
As soon as the media started conflating those accusing Weinstein of actual physical and sexual assault, with those that he just "hit on," but never touched, labeling them all "victims," many saw the danger of what soon became the #MeToo movement.
The quote above from the Economist says that within 24 hours the #MeToo hashtag had 500,000 responses, and as someone that observed it in realtime, I noted that people were making accusations, naming men, with absolutely no proof or confirmation, in some cases quite literally ruining a man's career on the basis of nothing more than some random woman making a claim of some type of sexual "misconduct," and slapping the hashtag #MeToo on it, sending online mobs to attack him.
When the undefined "sexual misconduct," and "harassment" is treated the same as actual sexual assault, lines blurred and the so-called "movement" immediately started doing untold harm, not only to the male victims that were falsely accused, but to true victims of sexual assault or workplace harassment, and to women in the workplace.
For example: What is sexual "misconduct?"
To Simona Sharoni, a professor of gender studies at Merrimack College, that included an old, common elevator joke, when a man was asked what floor he wanted, he quipped "Ladies' Lingerie," just to find himself reported for a joke deemed "offensive and inappropriate."
During the peak of #MeToo, another woman thought it appropriate to publish a Google document called the "Sh*tty Media Men" list, which just as noted about the Weinstein accusers, and the #MeToo hashtag users, named men for "flirting," "weird lunch dates," "inappropriate communications," and "harassment," on the same list as men accused of rape, sexual assault, and physical abuse.
So flirting is now some type of sexual misconduct? Who determines what is "weird" on a lunch date? Who dictates what is "inappropriate" in communications?
Those could encompass anything as innocent as the elevator joke mentioned above, to the way a man smiles at them, because of course feminists seem to think they always know what a man is thinking inside his own head.
Even the Feminist Majority Foundation, on their "Sexual Harassment Factsheet," combines "leering" "unwelcome" hugging or touching, exaggerated mocking 'courtesy', sexual innuendo, in the same category as sexual assault, grabbing breasts or buttocks, and stalking.
So, if a man looks at a woman, she can claim she knows what he is thinking and it is really "leering!" Be careful about showing "courtesy" men, because if it is heartfelt, it could be claimed that it is really "exaggerated" and "mocking," and therefore sexual harassment.
You see the slippery slope here?
Which brings us to the harm that has been done by the #MeToo movement.
BUSINESS MEN DO NOT WANT TO WORK CLOSELY WITH WOMEN
The inevitable and predicted backlash is increasing as seen in the most recent survey released Friday morning, sponsored by LeanIn.org, a women’s advocacy group, which found a significant increase from their survey just a year before, in the amount of male managers that do not want to work one-on-one with female underlings, socialize with them, nor mentor them.
60 percent of male workers now say they are hesitant to commit one-on-one times with women, compared to only 48 percent that said the same in last year's survey. The reason is simple, they are justifiably "afraid of being pegged as a harasser."
Many men in today’s workplace are afraid of being pegged as a harasser—and they are willing to reduce interaction to avoid the label. A full 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable engaging in common workplace interactions with women, including mentoring, socializing, and having one-on-one meetings—up 14 percentage points from last year.
Senior men are especially uncomfortable socializing with female colleagues. In 2018, only a third of male managers (34%) said they were uncomfortable socializing with a woman outside of work (like in a restaurant). In 2019, that number rises to nearly half of male managers (48%).
More than a third (34%) have actively taken steps to avoid having to interact with a female colleague outside of work, and men are also more unwilling to accept 1:1 meetings outside the office.
The impact of this reticence is real. Mentoring often includes dinner or drinks outside of working hours, and if male mentors aren’t willing to do that with ambitious women, those women lose out.
Those women can thank the #MeToo movement.
Can anyone blame them when a smile can be misconstrued as 'leering," or an innocent joke can be deemed offensive, or they can be reported for being "courteous" because the woman deemed it "exaggerated" or "mocking," to the point where a woman will report the man for imagined harassment, causing an investigation to be conducted by management, and even if the investigation resulted in a finding of no inappropriate behavior, that complaint is always in their file.
It is, quite frankly, surprising those numbers are not much higher.
It is not only women in business that the #MeToo movement has harmed, but a year to year poll conducted on behalf of the Economist, shows that attitudes against the alleged victims of sexual harassment have increased as well.
Yet surveys suggest that this year-long storm of allegations, confessions and firings has actually made Americans more sceptical about sexual harassment. In the first week of November 2017, YouGov polled 1,500 Americans about their attitudes on the matter, on behalf of The Economist. In the final week of September 2018, it conducted a similar poll again. When it came to questions about the consequences of sexual assault and misconduct, there was a small but clear shift against victims.
The share of American adults responding that men who sexually harassed women at work 20 years ago should keep their jobs has risen from 28% to 36%. The proportion who think that women who complain about sexual harassment cause more problems than they solve has grown from 29% to 31%. And 18% of Americans now think that false accusations of sexual assault are a bigger problem than attacks that go unreported or unpunished, compared with 13% in November last year.......
Then the Economist writes "Surprisingly, these changes in opinion against victims have been slightly stronger among women than men."
The Economist writer may have found that surprising, but those of us that do not consider ourselves part of the modern feminist movement, are not surprised in the least. Many of us predicted the damage #MeToo was going to do to a number of women across the country, by the very nature of taking a movement that, if handled correctly, could have helped women, and turned it into "destroy all men" movement by labeling even the most innocent of behaviors as "harassment" or "sexual misconduct."
Real victims of sexual abuse that are now seeing more skepticism cast upon them because of other "victims" claimed victimhood because some guy looked at them wrong, say "Thank you" to the #MeToo movement for life now being harder on them.
So can the women in business who are now complaining that they are finding it harder to get promoted or mentored because their male counterparts or bosses, simply do not want to take the chance that something they said with good intentions or innocently is going to get them accused of some type of "inappropriate" behavior or even sexual harassment.
#MeToo has set feminism back decades.
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