Beware the #MeToo Backlash—It Masks Ugly Lies About Women

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The backlash against #MeToo is gathering steam, with a chorus of voices raising concerns about “overreactions” to “minor” transgressions and citing threats to sexual freedom.

The #MeToo movement has launched a tsunami of discussion and awareness on systemic workplace sexual abuse and harassment, building upon decades of activism by the feminist and labor movements.

The backlash rests on two claims: First, good men may be undeservedly punished for their behavior as fairness and due process are discarded in the rush to appear on the “right side” of sexual harassment. Second, this is removing all the “fun” from male-female interaction.

I find these claims infuriatingly wrong.

The specter of many innocent men being accused of minor sexual harassment, losing their jobs, and being branded as sexual predators is extraordinarily unlikely. And it masks an underlying message that women should in fact put up with having their butts pinched, enduring offensive comments, and even having unwanted sex, all to avoid hurting otherwise all-around good guys. This idea relies on a pernicious stereotype: that women lie about consensual sex so often that society has to invent ways to ensure that innocent men are properly protected.

For example, many countries, including my native South Africa, until very recently had versions of the cautionary rule. This required judges to adopt a cautious approach to the evidence of certain witnesses on the basis that they are inherently unreliable and should not be believed without corroboration. The rule was most often used against victims of rape, a crime that disproportionately affects women, is disproportionately perpetrated by men, and mostly happens without witnesses. Undermining women’s credibility contributes to the low rate of prosecution and conviction in rape cases throughout the world.

While it is hard to quantify the rate of false reporting of any crime, research in the US, UK, New Zealand, and Canada put false reporting of rape at approximately eight percent. Human Rights Watch research has found that stigma around sexual violence creates a strong disincentive to complain, confirming other research that shows rape is a vastly under-reported crime. Our research in numerous countries shows how discrediting victims of sexual violence, including workplace sexual harassment, has led to their complaints being ignored, dismissed, or not investigated.

The #MeToo moment is a direct response to a system that has punished victims, rather than the perpetrators, for coming forward. The answer to concerns about fairness and proportionality about penalties, however, is not to discredit victims or undermine their complaints about offensive speech, inappropriate touching, and harassment; instead, it is to ensure that we have fair processes to assess allegations and responses. This means that workplaces must put in place fair and transparent procedures to receive, investigate, and respond to allegations of sexual harassment.

The second argument is particularly infuriating since, yet again, it relies on stereotypes of women (especially feminists) as unable to take a joke or distinguish between a man making a clumsy misjudgment and a predator/serial offender—that we don’t like casual, no-strings-attached sex, harmless flirtations, or a little “fun” by the photocopy machine.

But the #MeToo movement is not about sex. It’s about the implicit system of power in the workplace: who has it, who exercises it, and who suffers due to lack of power. It’s about showing how this power imbalance pushes women out of the workplace, undermines their career progression, and prevents them from competing on an equal basis for jobs, promotions and training. Men have no inherent right to flirt with, kiss, or touch their co-workers. Women (and I assume, many men) generally do not go to work to engage in sexual foreplay, and they certainly don’t go to be harassed, threatened, or victimized.

Fortunately, the #MeToo movement and social media have shone a harsh spotlight on pervasive and depressingly similar sexual harassment in many sectors, and they are also helping to create the space for women to determine how and when sexual encounters happen.

..

Liesl Gerntholtz is the executive director of the women’s rights division at the Human Rights Watch. An expert on women’s rights in Africa, she has worked and written extensively on violence against women and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. 

 

 

  • Ed Jirsch

    Maybe women shouldn’t claim to be so fragile they can be utterly devastated by a simple comment. Then at the same time demand that they be our equals when convenient (only for the jobs they want, never trash collection, say.) It’s equality and chivalry at the same time. It reminds me of the kind of drama headgame some emotionally fucked up women I have dated liked to play. Plato called this hysteria. Nothing is new under the sun. Men are aggressive and violent on one hand, while women use drama and backstabbing as their means of hurting people. Female theatrics are ancient.

    • Liz K

      Ugh, so are male theatrics — like this comment.

      BTW, women don’t “demand that they be [y}our equals” — they ARE your equals.

      And what kind of workplace are you in, that none of the men in it scheme and backbite and set traps for each other? Dodge the dirty jobs and attempt to get special privileges? These are all human behaviors — Machiavelli was not writing for a female audience.

      Men are sneaky and conniving, play drama games and backstab, and demand special privileges to a degree no woman in modern society would ever dare. The biggest difference between men and women is that men just take it for granted that they’re entitled to those special privileges. That’s why men like you are squealing like pigs about having to be polite in public — you think you shouldn’t have to.

      • Ed Jirsch

        Women can be our equals AND demand they be our equals AT THE SAME TIME. Nowhere did I say they weren’t male equals. Learn English. If that sounds harsh and condescending try not to make personal attacks you pugilistic sow.

        • Sandy0

          Am sorry you are offended and glad that you do acknowledge that we girls and women are put down in many (not some) areas. We are taught by society and parents “that’s just the way it is.”
          No one is entitled to be vulgar, harsh, bullying of others.

          I know that men can be better than that…I am married to one for 65 years, so I know. All of us can think harder about how we impact others so we become more effective, Ithink.

      • Edward Yves

        Let me just preface this by saying that I am all for women’s rights. Women are as capable as men and should be paid the same for the same job. Sexual Harassment is wrong, rape is wrong.

        But when you talk about men enjoying special privileges in society I have to wonder what you mean?

        -Men are more likely to be convicted when charged with a crime
        -Men are more likely to receive a harsher sentence
        -Men are more likely to lose custody of their children in a divorce battle
        -A man will almost certainly be the one arrested in a domestic abuse case even if he is the victim of the abuse
        -Most men don’t feel they have the ability to choose between a career and family
        -Men are overwhelmingly the victims of violence in our society
        -Men die from suicide at a rate of more than three times that of women. Though women do attempt suicide more frequently
        -Only around 3% of alimony recipients are male even though men and women cheat at exactly the same rate in marriage

        Those are great privileges.

        • westomoon

          Men’s needs get taken care of as if they were still kids living with mom. A lot of men still dump their dirty laundry on the floor and don’t give it another thought till it shows up again, clean and folded and ironed. A lot of men still think they’re being pretty special if they make breakfast on the weekend.

          Women with non-gendered names still get more favorable credit offers than women with gendered names. Men can dress carelessly and not be blamed for inciting crimes against themselves. Men don’t get toxic effects from birth control, and they don’t die in childbirth.

          It’s just like that dread concept, “white privilege.” Nobody ever said that being a normative member of society means you get to live in paradise. It just means that there are a lot of little comforts, and rules that protect you more than people not like you, which you don’t even see because you take them for granted.

          • Sandy0

            Bravo!

          • Ed

            to someone with a hammer everything is a nail. Some feminist activists see threats everywhere, like they are looking for them. Do some breathing exercises.

        • Sandy0

          Equal treatment of the sexes means equal, not that one runs the show and the other performs a sorrily defined role . We should, I believe, consider other’s personal feelings tho male and female used to be put into fake, hard to live up to roles that strains our relationships…
          especially when we are seen as “invading” and “dangerous” to others’ forced characteristics.

          If I may, may I suggest an interesting book that taught me a lot about these roles we are squeezed into starting at birth?

          The Hazards of Being Male, by Goldstein, I think. Hope it’s in your library. Take a look, and see if you find your own feelings there and examine them. I agree with all; have doubts about chapter 6 which reflects theperiod in which it was written quite a while ago.

          I truly like and admire men and boys. Just that we all are called upon to negotiate relationships in many cases.

          Are you willing to negotiate with yourself first?
          We women need to, also. Okay?

    • Sandy0

      Sadly, so are men’s. That’s what this article is urging all to consider Seriously. We women ARE in the workplace, we are competing where we can and not endure bullying that makes us retreat. The FACT that we face this EverySingle Day from men makes us that way. Heck, we women are prided on our work door to door in war and as accredited Rangers–STRONG we can be ..unless beaten down by raw male jibes for the fun of it!

      Your intelligent insight is needed to guide your behavior.
      When we women and little girls see that behavior, we will be able to launch our own assertive behavior.

      Takes us both . Negotiating positions takes motivation. Try it. Even with your male colleagues. Less adversity or bullying will promote better situations.
      Ease up and see what happens, I suggest.

      • BenTheArcher

        Sorry but I read quite a few of your comments and there are 2 trends:
        1) Men are bullies and rapists
        2) Women are victims
        A self-proclaimed activist like you has no real interest in equality, just in peddling gender inequality. Messages in caps just make you more desperate to push the same false narrative that we are now pushing back against. Women as just as violent physically than men and quite a lot more verbally abusive. There are some facts for you. You want more rights for women than men, and there your hypocrisy is exposed. Your discourse is all about bullying and rape, these problems are rare and equally distributed between sexes in real life outside your echo chamber. Be real and stop hurting yourself.

      • Robert Hernandez

        You are incorrect about the Army Rangers.

        Only two females (that I’m aware of — there might have been a third), out of 19, graduated from the Ranger School. All females failed at least one requirement on the first part of the course after two tries. Three were given another chance to start from the beginning. Two famous ladies graduated. I’m not sure about the third.

        The women who made it through are exceptional. They are not average women. Further, they were part of a trial program that the Army had a lot of political stake invested in to make successful.

        Women are kept out of infantry positions for many reasons, including their lack of ability in the role as compared to men and because men will risk their own lives (and the lives of the men in their units) to save female soldiers.

        Men and women are different.

  • PulSamsara

    I won’t self flagellate for your #MeMeMe gender hating power-trip : )

    • Sandy0

      No call for useless flagellating here. Just offering some FACTS you can use if desired to learn insight into some men’s bullying behavior, as that’s what sex discrimination is…we females experience it daily. It’s No way to have to live. Let us out. Break through to your finer self. You will like it, so will we. Thanks

      • PulSamsara

        I discriminate against no one. I expect the same in return. End the hypocrisy.

        I will not be self flagellating for anyone’s me-centered power trips.

      • PulSamsara

        #MeMeMe

  • Harry Monster

    Its no rocket science to know when your sexual advances aren’t welcome and or are welcome. The gray area is when sex is being used as a weapon and a manipulation tool from either gender. Ive witnessed both sides of this equally. Women who do subtle sexual innuendos to trap a man into a situation that will later be used to harm and men do the same via using their positions in a company to coerce. Youd be lying thru your teeth to suggest this isnt a reality. Turn on your tv and surely at some point in the day you will see a woman suggesting she can gain something a man cant simply by unbuttoning her blouse. Lots of shows promoting MORONS with great looking bodies that are achieving advances in life. When anyone knows you dont advance in life without using a developed intellect. Anyone who attempts to advance in life without it will have to compromise something. Another bargaining chip. SEX is often that chip because its an easy one we are all equipped with by birth! And you can bet your pay check you can see it in play in everyday life. Advertising abuses the hell out of sex to market their goods. Sex is a huge manipulation tool in so many areas of our lives. We will not fix one thing unless we decrease the importance of sex as an influence in our choices and increase the importance of INTELLECT (dare we use this word rarely ever used in any of these discussions!) in our achievements in life. Tell a female scientist staring into some bacteria that her sex has something to do with her achievements and she will give ya the middle finger! She should! She is there because she used her intellect.This is hypothetical but it does exist. She may indeed be a very sexy woman! There is definitely many many more examples of women who DO NOT either throw away their sexual attractions or compromise their intellect with sexual prowess in order to achieve success. Bottom line is sex played no part of that persons career and achievements.

    We are very sexual animals and i think on both sides of the genders we enjoy that exchange a great deal. However like any experience we must act responsibly and recognize what is priority. We simply must address the abuse of sex and use of sex as a tool and vice rather than as a personal enhanced experience between to consenting parties. Sexual abuse isnt just between males and females. Its between males and males and females and females.

  • sigmaalgebra

    Lesson in Rationality 101:

    All or nearly all of

    Liesl Gerntholtz, “Beware the #MeToo Backlash—It Masks Ugly Lies About Women”,
    January 28, 2018.

    is easy enough to appreciate, but there is a “backlash”, and very much there should be:

    (1) The #MeToo movement can ruin the career and life of a man.

    (2) While a man is at risk of having his life ruined, the #MeToo accusations are essentially totally without due process and the protections, standards of evidence, procedures, etc. there.

    (3) With a #MeToo accusation, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between something really wrong and just gossip.

    (4) Men have no way to know what the boundaries are. Some years ago it was common for women to say to a man “Please don’t look at me that way. It makes me feel uncomfortable”. So, in some sense he is not permitted even to look at her, and he is supposed to be responsible for her feelings which he has nearly no ability to understand.

    For some of the “backlash”, any man with even a tiny amount of care about his own career and life will quickly conclude that in public and at work, he must avoid women:

    (A) He cannot permit himself to be in an elevator that has just himself and a woman or girl.

    (B) He cannot permit himself to be in a meeting, dinner, or car that has just himself and some one woman or girl. US VP Mike Pence has a similar rule.

    (C) He is at risk on any airline flight seated next to a woman or girl.

    (D) In a work management hierarchy, he does not want to report to a woman or have any women reporting directly to him. Really, he doesn’t much want any women at all in the hierarchy under him. He wants to avoid any communications with any woman for any reason. Broadly, he wants to make sure he never gives any woman or girl a chance to make a @MeToo accusation.

    Basically, some of the “backlash” of #MeToo is for men to avoid any women or girls except for his immediate family. With #MeToo, in the world of work or in public, any prudent man has to regard any woman or girl as an unpredictable, dangerous poisonous snake able and too ready to give him a fatal bite at any time for any reason or no reason.

    Then a prudent man will advise all women and girls in his immediate family to defend themselves: (A) If a man flirts, then just be nasty; in flirting, men want to get back a smile; if they get back something nasty, then they will usually stop. (B) For more serious situations, have some blunt, defensive comments. (C) In risky environments, be with trusted friends, men or other women or girls. (D) For an actual attack, bite, scratch, kick, scream, use pepper spray, a knife, or even a gun.

    Under no circumstances submit passively to unwanted physical contact.

    • Liz K

      Oh, please. All a man has to do is behave in the workplace the same way he does at a family Thanksgiving dinner, or in church. You all know how to act right, you just don’t think you should have to do it in spaces you consider yours by right.

      If you wouldn’t say it / do it to your aunt, or your nephew, don’t do it to your coworker, or your waitress, or your seatmate on a plane. How hard is that? Don’t pat ANYBODY on the ass — is that so complicated?

      I agree with you, the current witch-hunt energy has gone way too far. As I noted above, I’m not sure that hasn’t been fostered by the troglodyte cartel. But none of this hysteria is being directed at men who treat women as people, not as women. We feel contempt for Mike Pence’s “rule” for a reason — it means he doesn’t know how to interact with a woman with common courtesy.

      • sigmaalgebra

        Oh, please. All a man has to do is behave in the workplace the same way he does at a family Thanksgiving dinner, or in church.

        Maybe with 80+% of women, true. But apparently you failed actually to consider what the heck I wrote: All it takes to ruin a man’s career, marriage, or life is just a few #MeToo accusations, maybe just one. The bottom line, bold, blunt fact is that there are a LOT of really resentful, angry, hysterical, hostile, vindictive, man hating, dangerous women out there somewhere in the 20%. So, sure, there are mostly nice kittens, puppies, and bunny rabbits out there, but for that 20% what you said is just NOT true — there are too many poisonous snakes with fatal bites out there.

        In my life, I had to learn about women: I learned slowly and paid “full tuition”: Far too many women are very afraid, overly emotional, too often even irrational, next to impossible to understand, unpredictable, etc. For men, with the #MeToo movement and the media publicizing the accusations, too many girls and women are just TOO DARNED DANGEROUS to communicate with in any way or be within 20 feet.

        A prudent man can’t take the risk. To be safe, even the Pence Rule is not nearly strong enough.

        Bluntly, a LOT of men just will be sure not to hire women, try not to have them in the office, just have nothing to do with any women at all for any reason except for women in their immediate family.

        I outlined the solution: (A) On a real attack, a woman or girl should fight back and draw blood to leave evidence and then follow legal due process. (B) For less than an actual attack, she should use common, non-violent means, e.g., be with trusted friends.

        So, she went alone to his hotel room for a “script reading”, and he tried to get physically intimate? She expected something else? But, with #MeToo, she gets to ruin the guy’s life even 20 years later.

        For a man, even if the accusation is false, he is still at severe risk, for decades.

        In the US legal system with due process, a man has some protections. But with #MeToo, there is no due process, and with gossip a man can be suspected, accused, tried, convicted, sentenced, and punished knowing nothing about it, and then the media can publicize it all as if it were true and ruin the man’s life.

        But, again, for a man, (A)-(B) won’t work because the media is so eager to report any #MeToo accusation, and there are FAR too many women ready to be poisonous snakes with a fatal bite.

      • sigmaalgebra

        For

        You all know how to act right, you just don’t think you should have to do it in spaces you consider yours by right.

        There you have me suspected, accused, tried, convicted, sentenced, and punished knowing nothing about me except that I seem to be a man.

        Okay we now know that you are, as I wrote below, some or all of a “really resentful, angry, hysterical, hostile, vindictive, man hating, dangerous women”, definitely dangerous. So, no way should I ever be within 20 feet of you. I shouldn’t hire you, work for you, work with you, or ever have any personal communications with you.

        My experience is that there are so many such women that with #MeToo and the media men are at severe risk even from women they have never been within 20 feet of and have never had any personal communications.

        As a result, a lot of prudent men will treat all women and girls outside their own immediate families as poisonous snakes with a fatal bite.

        • Ed

          Sarcasm doesn’t always carry in print. It’s not always legible where the argument ends and the joke begins. At least I think you were joking I should spank my sister….

          • sigmaalgebra

            If you have a much younger sister, she is acting in ways that are irresponsible and even dangerous for her, you know her to be a bit ditsy,
            and there is no father or husband to help her, then it’s your responsibility. So, sit her down and give her some guidance. Maybe at the end, give her a swat on her back side not for pain but for some humiliation and an indication of the seriousness of the issue.

            So, I exaggerated a little, but I’ve had to conclude that in a lot of good families a lot of girls grow up very protected with a lot of leadership, care taking, etc. from Daddy, work hard to please Daddy, but out on their own can be suddenly really short on judgment and in need of some more leadership. If she is your younger sister, then you may have to make a hard decision, do the responsible thing, and be good to her.

          • westomoon

            Rule #1: Just don’t touch women’s backsides. Ever. Period.

            Rule #2: Don’t assume a person is mentally deficient just because they have breasts.

            Rule #3: If you break Rules 1 and 2, women have the right to get angry. They’ll be angry AT YOU, not at all men.

          • Ed

            Rules I can certainly live with. Especially three. Self defence isn’t just a right, it’s an obligation. The world works better when we all stand up for ourselves and respect others for the same.

          • westomoon

            Aw, you’re just happy to find a rule that lets you shirk your “duty” to spank your sister. LOL — after offering her your wise guidance.

          • Ed

            Last argument I had with my sister I got socked in the face. That was fourteen years ago. We agree on everything now.
            I have sparred in self defence classes and can take a hit, but she hit me as hard as she could!
            That was of course the end of the argument cause I left. What can a man do? Sigh…

          • Sandy0

            Any man or boy Can opt to alter behavior, as it does work.
            Same goes for women. If given a chance and is taught assertiveness. AND when the two can discuss disagreements rationally, the problems go away.

            Try it. That works. And nobody gets bullied and bruised or raped.

          • Sandy0

            Nice if we all Could. Girls are not raised to defend themselves using rational assertiveness.
            Neither are boys, so they bully their way through and wonder why women divorce them so quickly, if they’re smart.

          • Ed

            You are clearly a misandrist. It’s trendy nowadays. Women are not helpless. Get help.

          • sigmaalgebra

            My main point here is just the threat to men from #MeToo. Your rules are fine but in this context are irrelevant: #MeToo has no real due process, and that means that any woman can do a #MeToo attack on any man, no matter how perfect, for any reason or no reason.

            Again, my concern is the threat of #MeToo attacks on even perfect men by angry women.

          • westomoon

            Actually, it sounds like you break those rules pretty much non-stop. You were certainly telling Ed it is his duty to break them too. I doubt you’d recognize a “perfect man” if you met one — especially since you seem to think you are one.

            Dude, seriously! No patting, no spanking, no “gentle taps” — just stay away from women’s asses, unless you’re specifically invited!

          • Sandy0

            Tough as it is to find, evidence is required. Message to male and female: just don’t get yourself in emotionally charged situations.

          • Margaret Lillian

            Your sexist attitude to women is right here in that post. No man has a right to hit a woman. At all. End of discussion. No exceptions. Same as no woman has a right to hit a man or a woman. End of discussion. No exceptions.

            At all. The fact you would even post such nonsense as to guide someone to hit their sister tells me and anyone with half a brain exactly what you think about women.

            Women are not going to start accusing men who have done nothing wrong of having done so. It is just you sexist men who don’t want women telling everyone how you act that bring that rubbish up.

          • westomoon

            I agree, this reads like a spoof of 1890’s paternalism.

            But read all this person’s comments. It sure sounds like he’s perfectly serious with this stuff, hard as it is to believe.

          • sigmaalgebra

            I don’t know the 1890s well, but I can believe that I would agree with some of their approaches.

            Look, I tried: She was brilliant. So were her sisters and their mother. She said “Women don’t have just to be cared for. Women can do things, too. I want a career.” Two years later she graduated from college, and we got married. That was about the end for her: She continued on and with life threatening stress got her Ph.D., and that was the end. For the rest of her life, she couldn’t function and, then, killed herself. Her mother and sisters were nearly as bad.

            “Discipline”? “Leadership”? When her father was alive, he was the strong leader in the house. His wife guided the daughters and had them booked solid about 90 hours a week. The daughters hardly had a minute of freedom and were on a track and thrilled to be getting praise from their father.

            In our marriage, I treated her with great respect, took seriously her statement about a “career”, and was patient with her for 20+ years.

            For your 1890 remark, that would have been MUCH better for her than my giving her respect as an “equal”.

            There really are some women who actually can do what the current norms suggest should be the case. But what I observed from neighbors, etc., the fraction of such women is small. Well over half of the women I saw, middle class to wealthy, needed the strong discipline and leadership I suggested, didn’t get it, and suffered terribly.

            For some big evidence of a big problem, the birth rate is so low we are going extinct, literally.

            This site is big on currently popular versions of “women’s equality”. Well, I tried that. My evidence is strong: So far, mostly it doesn’t work, and the women and their families suffer terribly. I have to believe that the 1890 situation was, net, better.

            In simple terms, this “equality” stuff is a really big step down for women, and a lot of women and their families, if they have any, will be seriously hurt.

          • Margaret Lillian

            Firstly one example does not represent the whole.
            Secondly to your example of women needing leadership. I highly doubt any of that is true. Your posts tell all of us what you think of women and in doing so it makes it plainly clear that you will write anything to try and make women seem childlike, incompetent and in the need of a more powerful, more intelligent and more logical male to make the decisions. And I don’t believe a word of it.

          • sigmaalgebra

            You’ve got some really big problems. Although I will be attacked here by people who would rather attack than either read or think, I will do you a big favor and explain your problems to you.

            (1) You have some severe problems in reading comprehension. You just massively misread what the heck I wrote. You have no good excuse: What I wrote is plenty clear, rational, well supported, and reasonable.

            If you don’t like what I wrote about women, then send all complaints to Darwin.

            I have to suspect that the real problem is that your emotions are overwhelming your rationality.

            (2) You are badly, dangerously uninformed. What I wrote is rock solidly true.

            If you are as rational as you appear to believe, then, fine. You are one of the small fraction of lucky ones. But from (1) there is some doubt here.

            Your being uninformed is dangerous because you are wide open to being fooled by reality and, then, causing a lot of harm for others if even not for yourself.

            E.g., no child should grow up with your simplistic, wishful thinking, rigid, absolutist views about gender.

            If those views are correct for you, then terrific — again, you are one of the very lucky ones.

            But if young people go into the real world with your attitudes, then they stand to encounter some really big problems, ones that can easily ruin their lives.

            E.g., some girl will soak up your stuff, conclude that she can do just fine in traditional boy activities, e.g., in school and work in the STEM fields, and then have wrecks in school, career, and marriage.

            Again, once again, over again, yet again, one more time, some girls and women can just f’get about gender in school, careers, and most of relationships and do fine, maybe do something terrific. But they are the lucky ones.

            Be not fooled: There are some solid reasons — even if you don’t see them — for gender differences in school, careers, and big parts of relationships. People who insist as you and some others here do that there are no significant differences stand to encounter some really big “reality checks” in their interactions with others, less lucky than you, even if you are one of the lucky ones.

            Again, ignoring the strong and very common although not quite universal gender differences is being dangerously wrong.

            You’ve been warned.

            In particular, if you send a son into the real world believing in your minimal gender differences, then the odds are high that he will have seriously wrecked life. Instead, if he wants a wife where gender differences are minimal, then he will have to look very, very carefully with a lot of insight that your attitudes will deny him. If he just believes in your views of gender, then he won’t look carefully and very likely will have a disaster for decades.

            Sorry ’bout that.

            This equality of the genders stuff makes good pop culture and maybe good politics, but it is wildly risky for a good life.

            > Firstly one example does not represent the whole.

            True but trivial. I have decades of really, really good examples.

            There is also a lot of rock solid science that, in short, says with overwhelming strength that boys and girls are very different.

            For the rest of the conclusions about patterns and how to apply this stuff in real life, you will have to make your own decisions. The social science is mostly not good enough to avoid a judgment call. But you can’t avoid a judgment call: Your wishful thinking attitudes are already a judgment call.

            But I would warn young men: That young woman you are planning to spend your life with is likely now or within 10 years mostly a lot of hormones that drive a lot of emotions that are aimed at reproductive advantage and being cared for and where rationality is commonly overwhelmed.

            Sure, she will retain plenty of rationality on subjects far from her core femininity; e.g., she can do fine taking measurement for hanging living room draperies.

            So, e.g., where the emotions come in might be that she is insecure and wants the draperies to impress some elites so that she can do social climbing. Eventually her husband may have to conclude that she is pursuing her security more from social climbing than from him and their marriage. Social climbing is rationally a very poor way to do well on the 401(K) account, but that rationality can be overwhelmed by the thrill of rubbing shoulders with the wealthy elites.

            > Secondly to your example of women needing leadership. I highly doubt any of that is true.

            I wish you were right, but far too often you are badly, dangerously wrong.

            > Your posts tell all of us what you think of women and in doing so it makes it plainly clear that you will write anything to try and make women seem childlike, incompetent and in the need of a more powerful, more intelligent and more logical male to make the decisions. And I don’t believe a word of it.

            You are begging for a huge pile of just awful trouble for all your children if not for yourself. You’ve been warned.

          • Sandy0

            Collecting some solid evidence for your opinions, doing some legitimate homework, all would help open your eyes and build credibility among the rest of us.
            As we read you, we see a male that cannot or will not see how some behavior of males is SO silly, and harmful to other workers/colleagues, that there is laughter at the water cooler about you.

            Would be helpful to listen more, collect data/evidence to support your contentions and rely solely upon Reason for your decisions on how to act, not wounded machismo.

            It is Hard, though, when everyone’s been showing and telling you “how real men act” since they are “so powerful” when they bully others, female OR male!

          • Sandy0

            Is hard to believe when we see repeated examples of the hardly wonderful progress some male officials have made toward fulfilling the promise of democracy forced on other nations who don’t want that brand: constant wars, no negotiating, just bombing, etc.

          • Sandy0

            Sounds exactly like the fake story they told women before they fought for and got The Right To Vote that men had had for Seventy Years. Those days they told women even that their uterus would “fall out” !

            Equal treatment for male and female seems hardly like “weird” to us. Sounds more like a democracy that we’ve yet to have for us women and girls. A democracy. imagine that.

        • Sandy0

          How silly. A fake story about women who reluctantly report that they too, along with the thousands of others, have been harassed endlessly, stalked, groped shockingly or raped , etc, and cry out for justice: Please make him stop.
          And the men who “are at severe risk” are Afraid? Afraid of the result of their own slimy actions against women-as-objects to be bullied?

          Don’t want to “be at severe risk” from a deeply harmed woman, just don’t be so immature as to bully her” for the fun of it.”

          That seems a reasonable expectation. Doesn’t it feel like that to you?

    • Sandy0

      Do you believe that anyone should bully , such as rape, anyone else and that should not be legally adjudicated fairly?
      I worry about the many rapes Unreported due to fear of social condemnation that She brought it on herself (though she did plead NOnono).

      Would you please google MeToo and read how many women have experienced soul-scorching sexual bullying invarious ways?

      I’m pretty sure you know how to use Reason. Just put yourself in her place as she is treated to violation as a piece of garbage7

      • sigmaalgebra

        Sandy, I had to learn, too slowly, too late, that boys (men, here and below) and girls (women, here and below) are different and in particular girls tend to be afraid, a lot like a fluttering little bird.

        In particular, girls can be afraid of being forced to accept physical intimacy.

        Sandy, I’m sure you know the precautions: Never be alone in a place where any such thing could happen. Commonly be with one or more of your girlfriends. Be with a man you can trust. If a boy says some inappropriate things, then use your no doubt excellent abilities to return a nasty look, word, remark, etc.; lots of girls have treated me like dirt even in a casual conversation. If some boy does touch you inappropriately, then defend yourself — push back, get away if you can, else bite, scratch, kick, gouge eyes, draw blood, cause pain, change his name from Allan to Alice, and although I’m not a lawyer, use pepper spray, a knife, or a gun. Mom told me that at one point she carried a hat pin, sharp, about 6″ long. Get some evidence, then call a lawyer, the police, a friend, go to a hospital emergency room, etc.

        Sue the guy and maybe his employer, the restaurant, the taxi, the airline, etc.

        If a boy attacks you, then it’s not your fault. You don’t have to be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid.

      • sigmaalgebra

        You are not responding to anything I wrote.

        E.g., I suggested that if attacked she should bite, …, use a gun to shoot the guy.

        I’m sorry about the MeToo cases: Women attacked should have some solid evidence, e.g., some of his blood on her clothes, some of his blood, skin, and hair under her fingernails, and then see a lawyer and the police. The sue the man.

        My reaction is about as strongly in favor of the girls/women as there can be.

  • Liz K

    And yet, right now, the reaction to the #MeToo movement has moved rapidly into the realm of witch-hunting. I fear that this will end up by blurring and discrediting the valid, serious problems women face in the workplace.

    I was thrilled at the outing of Harvey Weinstein, because that was someone who had grossly abused his power over all the women in his industry. I was uncomfortable with the demands for Al Franken’s resignation, as his frat-boy behavior was directed at women who did have the ability to reject it. And I was disgusted when the same politician who first demanded Franken’s resignation said that Bill Clinton should also have been kicked out of office for his ENTIRELY CONSENSUAL affair with Monica Lewinsky — which she initiated.

    Unsavory behavior is being treated identically with the sexualized abuse of power; most women have experienced both, disliked both, but can tell you there’s a huge difference between them. Sexual justice is being diluted by militant prudery. Consequences are being imposed with no attempt at rational judgment or a fair hearing.

    I have halfway wondered if the PsyOps masters of the far right have engineered this wild expansion as a weapon — against women, and against every prominent man who’s not in the far right. Surely I am not the only person to have noticed that hardly any of this hysteria is being directed against right-wingers, even though I know from personal experience that they are every bit as abusive as normal people, and probably more.

    • sigmaalgebra

      For

      Unsavory behavior is being treated identically with rape and the
      sexualized abuse of power; most women have experienced some version of
      both, disliked both, but can tell you there’s a huge difference between
      them.

      So, the claim is that 50+% of women have been raped. Such an astounding claim needs some good data with good references.

      • westomoon

        “So, the claim is that 50+% of women have been raped.”

        Whose claim is this? It’s MUCH higher than any estimate I’ve ever encountered.

        • sigmaalgebra

          The claim was by Liz K in her statement with “most” that I quoted. As I indicated, I also doubted that the claim was true.

          • westomoon

            Dude, read much? She said no such thing.

          • sigmaalgebra

            You are clearly 100% wrong. JUST read again what the heck I posted that was a complete and exact quote from what she wrote: She said that “most women have experienced” … “rape”. Well, “most” means 50+%. Done,

          • westomoon

            “… most women have experienced some version of both…”

          • sigmaalgebra

            > having their privates grabbed by random famous old men

            Yes, but again, once again, over again, yet again, one more time, in her “both” she included “rape”. And she said “most” women, and “most” means 50+%. So she is claiming that 50+% of women have been raped. Then I asked for some data and references on that claim.

            On grabbing privates, in spite of what the media has suggested, the NBC tape of Trump talking to Bush NEVER had Trump say that he had ever done such a thing. He merely said that some women would permit such from powerful men. On this point, he was likely correct and was giving some good mentoring to the Bush kid.

            For the big case of grabbing, that was by JFK in the White House. He grabbed Miss Mimi Alford, White House intern, NJ debutante, engaged to be married, graduate of Miss Porter’s School (right, where Jackie Kennedy went). There was an NBC interview, and she wrote a book.

            I never touched a woman intimately against her will, and here I’ve explained that in case of any such attack the woman should fight back, bite, scratch, kick, scream, use pepper spray and maybe a knife or gun.

          • Sandy0

            You are right, women should learn to be more assertive–some just can’t , as I’ve noted among my 300 000+ supporters.

            And, men should learn insight into why they feel free to insult sexually and verbally. It’s true that they always Have, and “gotten away with it” with females for eons.

            Since more women are in the workplace and some getting promoted, it seems necessary that both re-negotiate for equal understanding, equal treatment so that relationships and personal effectiveness become healthier than they are now.

            Hope we can all meet “in the middle” eventually. But we gotta’ Try.

          • sigmaalgebra

            > And, men should learn insight into why they feel free to insult sexually
            and verbally. It’s true that they always Have, and “gotten away with
            it” with females for eons.

            I’m a man and, still, don’t really know why some boys/men are so eager to grope, bully, dominate, intimidate, subjugate, manipulate, take advantage of girls and women.

            Maybe one reason is, otherwise not much happens.

            In my experience, starting when I was 14, apparently lots of girls, women expect that by doing just some tiny little suggestive thing, a boy/man will do the rest, put an arm around them, kiss, etc. until she clearly says “Stop”. And if the boy/man waits for some definite, unambiguous “meeting in the middle”, then a potentially good relationship, love, marriage, great life together can be lost.

            It’s an old story:

            http://www.exoticitaly.com/images/Tristan-and-Isolde.jpg

            So, poor Tristan is sitting there looking at gorgeous Isolde while Isolde won’t look back at him.

            That was my situation with the prettiest female I ever saw, in person or otherwise. I was 14-15 and she was 12-13. Eighteen months, 500 hours alone together, lots of romantic evidence, but we never kissed.

            Now that I know more, I should have grabbed her, it’s what she expected, what she wanted, what she thought was the way kissing was done. Likely her mom and lots of women told her that.

            I was in love with her. Now that I know more, I suspect she was in love with me. But from the clumsy nonsense, I gave up. I suspect that our breakup broke her heart. That was decades ago, and I’m still in love with her. I should have grabbed her.

            E.g., after two months I told her: “We’ve never kissed?!!”.

            Right away she said, as if well considered: “I might let you kiss me but I might not kiss you back.”

            I thought that just meant that she didn’t want us to kiss; now that I know more I believe I was wrong, that she very much wanted us to kiss. As I have learned more, I concluded that she was desperate for us to kiss but terrified that if we so much as held hands she would soon be pregnant. But she was 100% safe with me — no way would I have gotten her pregnant before we were married and both agreed we were ready to start a family. I just wanted us to be in love, less lonely, more affection, hold hands, hug, kiss, fall in love, continue until I was out of college, get married, etc. Well, we should have, but we didn’t. Later she married some guy who was mean to her — he was mean to an angel. Net, I should have grabbed her.

            I don’t fully understand what girls/women are doing. Maybe they want to play a game of pursuer-distancer having fun seeing the boy charging ahead. Etc.

            Now at YouTube is

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CtN4NXPZMI

            Suspicion (1941)

            There he just grabs her. Soon she is desperately in love with him — some of the best film making about love ever.

            Trying to make good rational sense out of love is nearly hopeless. If she doesn’t want his touch, hug, kiss, then she has plenty of good responses — frown, push him away, bite, scratch, kick, scream, ….

          • Sandy0

            Again, BRAVA!

      • Sandy0

        I can give some personal referencing that I remember very well.

        I was at a Congressional hearing . The speaker asked all of us to rise if we had ever been groped.

        ALL OF US WOMEN STOOD. I was shocked as you might be.
        Yes, there should be determinations made between acts of unconsidered sexism and rape as to adjudication standards.

        All of the shades of sex discrimination , though, should be viewed as any other type of discriminating:

        All are forms of bullying, Bullying is counterproductive to relations as it is thought to be an unnecessary show of power over someone else.

        • sigmaalgebra

          You should NOT be groped. If you were, then it was not your fault.

          You should bite, scratch, scream, …, use a knife or gun although I’m not a lawyer.

  • westomoon

    Wow, every single one of Liz K’s comments — which I thought were interesting and thoughtful — has been challenged?

    Talk about silencing women! I’m thinking that the moral of this story is “Don’t come up against the men’s rights boys with a female screen name.”

  • westomoon

    Maybe I should be the one to say this:

    And yet, right now, the reaction to the #MeToo movement has moved rapidly into the realm of witch-hunting. I fear that this will end up by blurring and discrediting the valid, serious problems women face in the workplace.

    I was happy with the outing of Harvey Weinstein, because that was someone who had grossly abused his power over all the women in his industry. I was uncomfortable with the demands for Al Franken’s resignation, as his frat-boy behavior was directed at women who did have the ability to reject it. And I was disgusted when the same politician who first demanded Franken’s resignation said that Bill Clinton should also have been kicked out of office for his ENTIRELY CONSENSUAL affair with Monica Lewinsky — which she initiated.

    Unsavory behavior is being treated identically with rape and the sexualized abuse of power; most women have experienced some version of both, disliked both, but can tell you there’s a huge difference between them. Sexual justice is being diluted by militant prudery. Consequences are being imposed with no attempt at rational judgment or a fair hearing.

    I have halfway wondered if the PsyOps masters of the far right have engineered this wild expansion as a weapon — against women, and against every prominent man who’s not in the far right. Surely I am not the only person to have noticed that hardly any of this hysteria is being directed against right-wingers, even though I know that they are every bit as abusive as normal people, and probably more.

    • BenTheArcher

      U for real? Perpetrators are leftists in majority. Big eye-opener I know. You conveniently forgot a certain Fox News ex-superstar in that tirade of yours…

    • Sandy0

      Hey, your last line with the “normal people”— tho I think I know you didn’t mean that others are abnormal, just that their Behavior can be at times.

      We need to learn to negotiate . No one sex is because of just that, entitled to bully the other who is already so scorched by it and doesn’t know how to handle it.

      I suggest that both sexes learn to treat each other using Common Reason, not bullying and not non-assertive. All takes relearning…

      And Isn’t that Worth It in the long run. I plead for all to gain insight into their behavior, not scorn The Other One.

      • westomoon

        Oh, it’s just that I’m tired of the right-wing convention that anyone who’s not a 19th-century-style zealot is “a liberal.”

        There are so many people who are just living their lives without marching under some partisan banner. I know right-wingers have forgotten about them / us, but I have taken to calling them / us “normal” — not liberals, not “conservatives” (what a name for these radicals!), just normal people.

  • Devin Tuffy

    Their should & will be a MeToo backlash. “SOME” not all of the allegations against men in the media are ridiculous & just spiteful. A few rotten apples spoil the bunch though, it’s all becoming just completely anti-male. As a gay man I know damn well how the straight ladies talk about their boyfriends/husbands behind their backs when they’re not around & boys, it ain’t pretty! Then they complain that gays make more money then women too because your still…then they stop not saying the word “man” because your only a man when personify some straight world force-fed stereotype right? But women can go against their force-fed stereotypes & be all strong & courageous. Are you kidding me, It’s so hypocritical! When a straight guy calls any woman out on their BS their “too sensitive, not a man or must secretly be gay” correct? Then you complain “oh men don’t communicate” you don’t want them too communicate ladies.You just want them to just grunt & do whatever you tell them to do! Being a bitch & treating people like garbage doesn’t mean you’re strong by the way it just means you’re a bitch using gender to excuse bad behavior so please spare me that manipulating garbage. Do you think straight guys respect/trust you more now or it will help you, wake up it will only make it worse.

  • Bella Robinson

    The sex hysteria has detrailed the #Metoo movement

    So the article (Beware the #MeToo Backlash—It Masks Ugly Lies About Women) by Liesl Gerntholtz who writes. “This idea relies on a pernicious stereotype: that women lie about consensual sex so often that society has to invent ways to ensure that innocent men are properly protected.”

    I thought well this is exactly what criminalization does to consensual adult sex workers. It removes their ability to consent. We have criminalized prostitution to create an uneven power dynamic, creating a system that allows us to discredit sex workers easily, as if their word isn’t enough and somehow needs collaborations. Society creates narratives that prostitutes can’t be raped, and they are all deceitful liars who often rob clients etc. Then this system tricks down to the community who shun sex workers which isolates them and makes their lives even more precarious.

    “Again we hear the echoes that “bad women don’t deserve equal protection under the law” and society insist on punishing women who won’t conform and accept their plight of poverty.” and all over SEX.

    Again Gerntholtz misses the mark with “ rate of false reporting of any crime. I know for a fact that some women lie about domestic abuse and make false reports to the police to have so the police will kick the spouse out of the household. I do agree that few women lie about rape. Yet the #metoo narrative kind of implies that sexual harassment in the workplace is the same as rape. there is a huge difference between a sleazy guy who harasses you and a violent guy that rapes you.

    The system isn’t set up to protect real victims of domestic violence because the police don’t provide the victims of real violence with immediate protection, but the system does allow for some women to lie and make false police reports and use this as leverage when they wants a divorce. Or they want to punish their man. I have had many women tell me they have done this. I know when it comes to real domestic violence that the police don’t seem interested in investigating or providing any real protection. We know restrain orders don’t stop violent men that beat their wives from staying away. The police don’t seem interest in investigating rape either. Police dept’s can afford tanks, yet they claim they don’t have the funding to test the 1/2million untested rape kits in evidence lockers.

    Hollywood #Metoo was a horrible start because right out of the gate because it excluded waitress, maids and poor women who are victims of rape or who have been sexually harassed at work. It divides women in a class war. The privileged women who had their feelings hurt by a man or were offended at a crappy remark a man said became more important that the real violence against women. It didn’t create solidarity, it didn’t stand up for the most marginalzied women. It just created a shit show that create tons of harmful narratives. Expecting men to have different standards and rules for their sexual behavior while ignoring that sometimes women have really shitty behaviors too, is what has kept women from gaining true equality.

    #Metoo is a class war that has been hijacked by privileged women who want to get revenge on men because the man misrepresented his intentions they couldn’t control the his behavior. It threw solidarity for women out the window once again and through poor women who are victims violence under the bus again.

    Here is a more realistic look at sex trafficking and domestic violence.

    Domestic violence is a huge problem- according to the 2016 FBI stats, there were 402,230 reported cases of serious domestic violence… while there were 595 confirmed cases of sex trafficking (of which 49 were minors)… how do we tell which married women (and husbands who are also victims) are victims of domestic violence? Do we arrest married women and force them to confess to being victims? Do we arrest all husbands in case some of them might be violent?

    http://www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com/2016_FBI_rape_domestic_violence.jpg

  • BenTheArcher

    The day that women will want true equal rights between men and women instead of blatantly demonizing men to.get false higher moral ground and get people to believe them without merit. That is the day I will have true respect. Until then, they are their worst enemies. EQUALITY. Even when inconvenient, get it?

    • Sandy0

      Sure do get it!
      There is an Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution that’s pending just 2 more states ratifying it and it’s for men too, just we women feel it in many obvious and damaging ways. It just makes sex discrimination (ie., the 20% average wages that women lose for same job, same hours, maybe even better credentials….just one example).

      Puts 1 of 7 elderly women in Poverty that your taxes then suppport! Never though of that?
      International statistics show that where there is openness and negotiating where needed, where equal treatment is the standard:
      1. communities stablize
      2. marital harmony INCREASES; divorce and abortion rates DECLINE
      3. GDP/ gross domestic product soars as in other nations. Ours is predicted to climb 15%
      ..and much more
      What’s not to Like?

  • Sandy0

    Explanations as here are extremely necessary. They are not apologist statements, not retro at all . Are just FACTS that inform us, to see them for what they are. Horrible bullying by men who feel need to power over us in soul-searing ways!

  • Sally

    https://youtu.be/JmZpFy1QUww

    Segregation doesn’t work, we all need to pull together, there are evil men, but also boys and girls who need to learn to live together. Empathy is required to fix the problem because most men are good yet are being feared…that is why there is pushback, most men want to be recognized as being good. We do need to speak up against the abuses, we need to do it but we also need the men to listen and support it. We need to step back from fear and make real changes, ones that also help our children.

  • westomoon

    You’re making the same assumption that these men’s rights zealots have made.

    Westomoon and Liz K are both my screen names. These rabid boys went crazy over Liz K’s comments — one hears a definite “How DARE this broad say things like this?” Basically, they raised such a fuss about every single one of her comments that they have all been put into some kind of permanent limbo.

    They also assumed westomoon was male, and when “he” re-posted Liz K’s main comment, it was fine with them — and with this site’s moderators.

    Actually, to have a female commenter flamed, bullied, and shut up like this on a moderated site that is ostensibly pro-woman has really startled me. I am planning to sever my connection to womensenews as a result of it. They may talk the talk, but it’s very clear that sisterhood is NOT powerful here.

  • Jason G Walker

    I think there is one type of backlash that you didn’t think about, and we have already seen a couple cases of it. It’s where Men start to hold women to the exact same standards. Men will Start reporting Women for harassment. There has already been one Female withdraw from an election over it, and a California Assembly woman is under investigation for sexually harassing a few Men.

  • David Spear

    In most all the #MeToo cases, there is a key question that has not been asked. At what point in the “date” did the girl say and insist with a definite NO that the man is going too far? From what I read, the girl could have said no by not coming to the mans hotel room alone at night, but didn’t. Any man that the girl would want to work with would respect that. Also, the girl generally could have said no by simply leaving, but didn’t. Also, they could have slapped him in the face but didn’t. Also, they could have said I’m not going to risk my virtue, even for good wages, by going to a casting couch, but didn’t.

    And i suspect it is THIS – the girls failure to say no appropriately – and this alone – is why the girls have been so very ashamed, that they hid the mans request for sex with them for those many years. And now, their shame of THEIR failure is relieved by lynching these men without due process. Perhaps the men’s backlash will be to take away due process from women, though I hope not.

    I agree that the laws concerning rape and harassment should be strongly revised to convict people who rape or molest. For instance, if the woman has the mans semen and if she shows bruises or proves strong resistance, that should pretty well prove rape (my daughter was in such a trial, where he got off anyway). Or if the sex occurred in some ally with an unknown man (my daughter again), it would certainly be hard for him to justify that. Or if the woman’s wishes against sex are stated in front of the man and a reliable witness beforehand, that would be strong evidence if his semen is later found in her. But Cosby’s accuser: “he gave me these pills, and I trusted him”? You’re an adult, lady, you are responsible to know the facts of life.

    There is another factor. What was the woman wearing? If she was wearing something pretty, or tasteful, or Muslim, then she incurs no blame. But if she was wearing something “attractive” such as a low blouse, high skirt, skin in the middle, or tight clothes, then he should not be fully blamed for her invitation getting out of control. To a large degree, she DID ask for it. “Attractive” means “to pull toward”, and women who wear “attractive” clothes better understand this.

    So stop blaming men for the woman’s unnecessary risk-taking. And perhaps understand better how excessively strong men’s natural urge is.

  • muzzythe64

    “Men have no inherent right to flirt with, kiss, or touch their co-workers”….true…But, wouldn’t that also mean that women have no inherent tight to flirt with, kiss, or touch their co-workers” …I mean if we are treating everyone equal, and holding everyone accountable…then that boils down to whats good for the goose is good for the gander? I mean, female teachers are charged for sleeping with male students and are given less severe sentences than me…Ooh what about Katy Perry, sneaking a kiss on that American idol, contestant who said, he had never been kissed and was saving himself for the right girl? I mean, her kiss was UNWANTED CORRECT? So with neither sex having an inherent right to flirt or kiss or touch…Should this be like the 6th grade dance social, where the girls are on one side of the gym, and the boys are on the other side, and they never end up dancing with each other..?? If a male gets laughed out of a police station for wanting to report a woman drugged him and sexually assaulted him…are we then going to advocate for him as well…Or is it just that men have no inherent right…

  • MeMolly

    The #MeToo backlash isn’t about men reasserting the right to harass women. That never existed in the first place. The backlash is division of the sexes. No man wants to be alone with a woman at work… too dangerous. The author quotes rapes stats. Guys aren’t worried about rape allegations. Harassment allegations are enough to get a man fired. And any man over 30 can easily recount false allegations by women seeking attention or vengeance. It’s happened to me 4 times… each time a brazen lie and total fabrication. Men need to start hiring men, freeze out women, and get to where work is fun and relaxing again!