For #MeToo to Work, We Must Draw the Line Between Sexual Assault and Being a Jerk

Accusations against author Junot Diaz are pouring in, but not all allegations are equal.


Brian Harkin/TNS/Newscom

At its best, the #MeToo movement has smashed open what had been a closed, whispered conversation, mostly occurring between women, about the prevalence of male sexual harassment and assault. It has exposed serial violent predators like Harvey Weinstein and serial abusive creeps like Louis C.K., and it has apparently led at least some men to rethink their own actions and the boundaries of acceptable behavior. "The #MeToo era has changed my work," the psychotherapist Avi Klein wrote in a New York Times column. "If therapy has a reputation for navel gazing, this powerful moment has joined men in the room, forcing them to engage with topics that they would have earlier avoided."

But with any movement, there's a point where the initial excitement and sense of shared purpose fades a bit. It's time to discuss exactly what the movement is for—what it's trying to accomplish and which goals it should seek. No set of #MeToo allegations better highlights the importance of answering these questions clearly than the story of Junot Díaz.

An article by Mark Shanahan and Stephanie Ebbert, published last week in The Boston Globe, offers a useful summary of the Díaz case. For those unfamiliar with the saga, here's where we are: Since May, the Dominican-born, mostly-American-raised Díaz, author of This Is How You Lose Her, the Pulitzer-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and a host of other celebrated novels and short stories and essays, has been accused by four women, all fellow writers or former writers, of several misdeeds. The problem is that these alleged misdeeds run such a wide gamut, from genuinely abusive behavior to what is little more than alleged being-a-jerk, that it should worry us that they are all being lumped under the #MeToo rubric.

Two allegations involve acts that would certainly qualify as assaults. The novelist Zinzi Clemmons kicked off the allegations against Diaz when she confronted him at this year's Sydney Writers' Festival over a previous incident, but she didn't go into specifics. Later, she claimed on Twitter that six years earlier, when she was a graduate student, he had cornered her and "forcibly" kissed her, and that he had acted similarly toward other women. The other allegation comes from Alisa Rivera, described by the Globe as "a Los Angeles woman who wrote about an encounter with Díaz that left her in tears," who claimed that after an uncomfortable conversation in which he told her her skin was too white, Díaz "grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me onto his lap."

In the immediate wake of the Australia incident, Díaz issued a somewhat vague statement that some interpreted as a mea culpa. But in his Globe interview, flanked by an attorney, Díaz flatly denied Clemmons' and Rivera's accusations. "I did not kiss anyone. I did not forcibly kiss Zinzi Clemmons. I did not kiss Zinzi Clemmons," Díaz told the Globe. "It didn't happen." ("He also provided a cordial email he received from Clemmons the day after the workshop that made no mention of a kiss," notes the Globe. "A Columbia professor also recalled encountering Clemmons after Díaz left the event and described her as delighted, not shaken.") Díaz denied Rivera's account with a similar vehemence, saying it simply never happened; that leaves the incident as a he-said-she-said, since neither side has any corroborating evidence.

Whatever one thinks of the Rivera and Clemmons' accusations, they involve exactly the sort of behavior that #MeToo should be about. Just because the accusations in question don't center around penetrative rape or the years of horrific abuse of power described by, say, Weinstein's victims, doesn't mean they aren't serious and don't warrant investigation. (For what it's worth, the Globe notes that Díaz "is keeping his teaching job at MIT and his editing position at Boston Review after separate investigations found the accusations lacked 'the kind of severity that animated the #MeToo movement,' as Boston Review's top editors put it.")

It's the other two allegations against Díaz where things get extremely fuzzy, especially given the extent to which these charges have been embraced by so many journalists and onlookers as bona fide instances of #MeToo-relevant abuse. These allegations severely blur the line between actual assault or harassment and simple disagreement between adults taking part in consensual conversational exchanges. Blurring that line further would be deleterious to the #MeToo movement.

"During his tour for THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER, Junot Díaz did a Q&A at the grad program I'd just graduated from," Carmen Maria Machado, an award-winning writer in her own right, tweeted in May, in a tweetstorm that began as a quote-retweet of Clemmons' allegation of a forcible kiss. "When I made the mistake of asking him a question about his protagonist's unhealthy, pathological relationship with women, he went off for me for twenty minutes." In her subsequent tweets, she described him as "enraged" during the exchange, and accused him of having engaged in "bullying and misogyny." The experience, she wrote, was "a blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation." Naturally, these accusations, coming as they were in the wake of Clemmons', garnered a great deal of attention and intensified the spotlight on Díaz.

But they're false. In June, someone posted a recording of the talk in question on SoundCloud. It reveals that at no point did Díaz become enraged or engage in anything that a fair observer would define as "bullying," misogynistic or otherwise. He responds to Machado's question with a lot of explaining about his writing, some of it, to be sure, a bit defensive-sounding, but none of it aggressive or abusive. Despite this audio, Machado subsequently stood by her accusations in a series of tweet, accusing doubters of "gaslighting": "You are entitled to quibble about tone," she tweeted. "But to say that what I said happened didn't happen is straight-up not true. If you think so, you probably aren't the best at reading subtext." So before the recording surfaced, Díaz's response was "a blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation"; after, it required "reading subtext" to understand why it was so bad it warranted a tweetstorm positioned as a followup to Clemmons' claims of a forced kiss.

Then there's the accusation leveled by the writer Monica Byrne. In another tweetstorm that began as a quote-retweeted response to Clemmons' claims, she wrote that during a 2014 dinner party she and Díaz both attended, she had suffered a "verbal sexual assault." The Globe describes the exchange thusly:

In an interview, Byrne said the conversation concerned the statistical disparity between male and female authors who get published and reviewed. Byrne told Díaz that The New Yorker had rejected an excerpt of her novel and she questioned whether that was evidence of gender bias.

Díaz, who appears regularly in The New Yorker, responded by saying something like: "I don't know if you know how statistics work, but that's like saying if you haven't been raped then nobody's been raped," Byrne said.

Byrne considered the comment "completely bizarre, disproportionate, and violent."

Díaz recalled it merely as a "messy conversation."

Both parties appear to agree on this version of events, though Byrne claims Díaz screamed the term rape during the exchange. If this is what happened, then Díaz, during a conversation between adults at a dinner party, used a sharp but accurate example to explain why it didn't make sense for Byrne to suggest that her story's rejection was, on its own, evidence of gender bias at The New Yorker. There may well be gender bias there, of course, though if so the situation seems to be improving—as of 2010, only about a quarter of the bylines appearing in the magazine belonged to women, but that number approached 40 percent in 2017. But Díaz is correct that a single person saying that X didn't happen to them has little bearing on how often X happens.


There is what feels like a growing a tendency, in some lefty circles, to use language that has been traditionally been employed to describe actual violence to describe more quotidian forms of conflict or disagreement. Dip a toe in such communities and you will often find claims that a given perspective was "erased" because it wasn't represented on a panel or in a book, or that a scientific claim is "violent" because it could be used to justify the marginalization of certain groups. Sometimes, things that might otherwise be called annoying or unpleasant are instead laced with the language of trauma.

One recent example comes from the same festival where the accusations against Díaz first surfaced. In a Guardian column published in May, Ruby Hamad describes a panel in which an author of color made a statement about white people that a white audience member found offensive. The audience member subsequently asked what the point was of insulting white women who wanted to read the author's work. Being forced to respond to this heated question, argues Hamad, was a form of "trauma."

As part of the neverending bad-faith game that is the national political cacophony, conservatives often overstate the prevalence of this discourse, overhyping the prevalence of "trigger warnings" and making exaggerated and cherrypicked claims about "victimhood culture" among young people. But that doesn't mean this style of discourse isn't real or that it isn't a harmful blurring of what should be recognized as vital distinctions between disagreement and abuse. Plenty of people who live, work, or socialize in lefty circles have recognized this. In 2016, for example, the highly respected writer Sarah Schulman—a leftist with a long history of involvement in lesbian activism—published Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair, a book largely geared toward dissecting and critiquing these exaggerated claims of harm. The book appears to have had a major impact on these communities.

The origin of this discourse style is tricky to pin down precisely, and is a subject that probably warrants an article, if not a dissertation, of its own. In part, though, it likely stems from the adaptation—and sometimes misunderstanding—of academic terms like "discursive violence" in everyday, non-academic speech. There might be a strategic component to adapting this sort of language, too, especially given the (otherwise welcome) ratcheting-up of the national conversation about sexual harassment and abuse: Some people who want to be taken seriously or paid attention to may realize that the best way to maximize their odds of that happening is to rhetorically trump up their experience of conflict. "People think they won't be heard or given compassion unless they can label their experience 'abuse,' and they're not wrong," noted Riese Bernard in an illuminating interview with Schulman last year.

Both Machado and Byrne's accusations seem to fit this pattern: They were involved in disagreements with Díaz that felt heated to them, and they subsequently described those disagreements in terms normally associated with abuse or violence. Díaz calmly and pedantically defending his work against Machado's interpretation was a "blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation"; Díaz invoking rape in an analogy was "verbal sexual assault."

Whether or not Machado and Byrne intended for these allegations to be lumped in with the #MeToo campaign against Díaz—and it certainly appeared they did, given that they presented them as direct responses to Clemmons' claim of an actual physical assault—that's what happened. As a result, the entire picture blurred: Two women accused him of inappropriate physical acts, and two more accused him of…well, what, exactly?

Maybe the guy is a jerk. Maybe he reacted too aggressively to a woman claiming there's gender bias at a publication that does, in fact, publish significantly more men than women. But #MeToo can't be about men who are merely accused of acting like jerks. There is too much serious work to be done preventing harassment and assault. Think of all of the women—and men—who have been sexually assaulted and still haven't come forward out of a fear that they will be attacked or shamed for doing so; think of all the women who have literally had to change careers because of abusive male bosses or managers. #MeToo has enough on its plate without also adjudicating subjective personal disputes that don't come close to rising to the level of genuine abuse.

And yet Byrne, at least, seems to want #MeToo to take a sharp turn in that direction, if the Globe article is any indication:

Byrne—like other accusers—contends there are additional women who have not spoken out, but she will not disclose their names. She said she's compiling a list that includes secondhand stories and published accounts, like that of a man who tweeted about Díaz belittling his manuscript in a writing workshop.

Asked whether such an account from a writing workshop describes a sexual abuser or a jerk, Byrne responded: "What is the difference?"

"Me Too covers a huge spectrum of behaviors as problematic and as specifically misogynist," said Byrne.

Byrne is welcome to argue that #MeToo should encompass the cutting jibes of mean fiction-workshop instructors, in which case I might have a #MeToo story or two of my own from my regrettable college forays into overwrought short-story writing. But if her argument carries the day, that would be a disastrous turn of events. This sort of conflation dilutes the whole point of the movement; it introduces a loud, confusing buzzing into an urgent and mostly intelligible conversation.

NEXT: Why the Heck Are Taxpayers Bankrolling Episodes of The Bachelorette?

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  1. When being a white knight like Aziz Ansari couldn’t keep the (clearly undeserved) pitchfork out of his ass, no one is safe and the whole movement turns into a sham and then a joke.

    Speaking of jokes, we probably should just call it MeToo without the pound sign at the front.

    1. Exactly, the pounding is part of the problem.

      1. All this time, I thought is was a poorly-drawn box.

        1. /slowclap

      2. Women can usually get the pound back if they want to.

        1. Am I talking about sex or beating women now?

          1. The only thing you have any experience with is beating OFF.

            1. I have other experience, but I am par excellence at beating off.

            2. Well, to be fair, he also has extensive experience with beating ON. and ON. and ON. It’s called extreme edging. Look into it.

            3. “The only thing you have any experience with is beating OFF.”

              Ummmm – that’s sexual assault now.


    2. Speaking of jokes, we probably should just call it MeToo without the pound sign at the front.


      1. TacoMeToosday. Sounds promising.

        1. TacoMeToosday. Sounds promising.

          It would be a shame if we got it mixed up with TakosMeToosday (the ‘s’ is silent) and they all got sprayed with kragle from a bunch of tentacle arms.

      2. ^why is great

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    4. Speaking of jokes, is no one gonna call out this Jesse fella for yet another column that is nothing but a virtue Singal?

      1. I thought I was the only one that noticed….

    5. No, PoundMeToo, sums up the idiocy of the entire witch hunt.

  2. For #MeToo to work, we need activists to not be retarded.

    Tiime will tell.

    1. #MeToo seems to be working just fine and exactly as intended.

      1. Yes. It’s doing wonders by reinforcing the glass ceilings as men circle the wagons to prevent any interaction in the work place out of fear.

    2. And pick a name that sounds less whiny and desperate for attention.

    3. Tiime will tell.

      No need. It’s a scientific fact that all activists, regardless of cause, are retards. If they weren’t retards, they’d do something useful instead of being professional whiners.

    4. Here I thought it already died a horrible death when none of the MeTubers stood up for that 18 yr old girl who got raped by two on duty NY cops in the back of an undercover van. I’m sure it was all democratic though, the two wolves said it was consensual so it must have been.

      1. I’m pretty sure they took a vote, so it’s all good.

  3. “…things that might otherwise be called annoying or unpleasant are instead laced with the language of trauma.” And just what do you think Twitter if for, then?

  4. But they’re false. In June, someone posted a recording of the talk in question on SoundCloud. It reveals that at no point did D?az become enraged or engage in anything that a fair observer would define as “bullying,” misogynistic or otherwise.

    I like the Neil deGrasse Tyson approach to recalling quotes and details of a conversation: Who cares if it’s not accurate, as long as it makes a larger point.

    1. I suspect that, over time, even Neil deGrasse Tyson is going to be sorry about the Neil deGrasse Tyson approach, because it is precisely that kind of hubristic nonsense that has totaled the credibility of the Mainstream Media. And of the Global Warming cult. They got caught flat out lying too often, and now a lot of people just assume that they are lying all the time. So, even if they finally DID get something on Trump, it wouldn’t do them much good.

    2. I cant stand that guy, hes so smug from all the smoke people blow up his arse.

      The smartest scientists don’t end up on TV Neil. Thank about that.

  5. All I’m seeing is that progressive institutions are hotbeds for rape and stuff and that male feminists are all pretty terrible people.

    Or…you know, what I expected to see.

    1. When everything they are taught is predicated on power structures.
      How can we expect them to do anything else but try to obtain power?

      Education and the lack of parenting is the problem.
      We are raising soft kids who expect everything to be handed to them.
      Then the system teaches them that if they don’t get what they want it is because someone with more power/privilege/merit has taken it from them.
      Then the system tells them that these people should be destroyed in the name of righteousness.

      Are we surprised that victim-hood becomes virtue in this environment?
      Are we surprised that intense verbal discussions become “literal violence”?
      Are we surprised when awkward encounters become “rape”?

      This shit needs to stop.
      The “equality” the feminists are pushing towards is not the world they think it will be.
      It will be a world where men no longer want to protect and provide for a woman.
      It will be a world where men expect them to compete for resources on an even playing field.
      It is a world they will not like.

      Hell, I’ve been raised right and I find myself now refusing to help women.
      I’ve even told them to carry their own heavy bags in the name of equality.

      1. Lack of parenting has a direct correlation to “Me Too.” Many women have no idea how to relate properly to a man – they either try to be just like one of the guys, which normally results in engaging in vulgarity (and subsequent complaints of “sexual harassment”) or they assume all male assertiveness is “toxic masculity.” The majority of these women were raised in female-headed households, and have never witnessed healthy male-female relationships. They really have had no role models to follow, and are subject to all of the input from mainstream culture or leftist university indoctrination. As a result, you have emotional cripples trying to cope in the real world, with less than favorable results.

        The additional irony is that the handful of women who have escaped emotionally intact and who wish to form a solid relationship with a man are now complaining that “there are no MEN around.” They quickly tire of the soy-boys (think Justin Trudeau) who happily carry their purses when shopping at the mall, willingly take direction from anyone and frankly, show no ability to leave the cave, hunt the mammoth and bring something home for dinner. I had one woman tell me that she was “tired of being equal, and wanted a man who would wilingly take on the household burdens to take care of her.”

        Leftists / feminists foolishly are fighting biology (they are, in fact, science deniers of the highest order). Thankfully, history tells us biology will win this war.

  6. How can you know you did something wrong if no one tells you? I think it’s great that we are now as a society holding men responsible for their loutish behavior. In fact I don’t think they knew it was wrong and now they do. To some extent we have only ourselves to blame for being silent for so many years. But that’s water under the bridge. Now men will be more considerate. However the metoo movement has gone too far because they can now hold men like this guy hostage by threatening accusations against them. And that’s wrong and I’m telling you and don’t say I didn’t.

    1. When can we start holding women responsible for their loutish behavior?

      Teach women not to kill kids.

  7. When did Weinstein become a predator? I understand that he may be a rapist, certainly sexually harassed a number of women, and is certainly a lecherous asshole but all the women he harassed and/or raped were of legal age and were generally not intoxicated aside from his occupation, right?

    I don’t mean to exonerate the guy *at all* but, to me, the word predator means something different than rape, assault, or harass. Kevin Spacey was a predator. Weinstein took advantage of his employees and his position but (again I’m not aware of all the charges against him) he wasn’t out prowling neighborhoods looking for women mentally unfit to sign their own names to an acting contract.

    1. cornered her and “forcibly” kissed her … D?az “grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me onto his lap.”

      I remember when this sort of thing would get a laugh on Three’s Company after the woman knocked the lecher out with her purse or something. Now it’s “assault” that warrants “investigation” and… what? Jail time? I think the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction already; let alone what’s to come at the end stage.

      1. Ironically, I think it remains the mainstay of the romance novels these women buy by the pallet.

        1. I wonder what the crossover between METOO folk and romance novel readers is.

        2. I thought they were replaced by crappy vampire novels.

          1. But the behavior hasn’t changed, it’s just that the ‘aggressor’ is now a fictional batish like person instead of a normal guy. They all also come with disappointment at the end when she says “what’s that?”, “It’s a bat dick”, “who are you going to please with that?”, “Me! HAHAHA!”

            Oh wait, maybe I’m thinking of batman vs superman.

    2. And I thought predation involved eating your prey, not just copping a feel.

      1. LRRH: “Why grandma! What big movie contracts you have.”

      2. Like the T shirt says: “10,000 battered women in this city and I’ve been eating mine plain.”

    3. Tell it like it is. Weinstein traded sex for employment. Nothing more, nothing less. No one entering his office was unaware of the contract. But now the women want the cake and the frosting.

      1. What’s amazing to me is that the old narrative of Courtney Love sleeping her way to fame has now been rewritten as Kurt Cobain abusing his power.

        1. How long before Kamala Harris tells “her story” of sleeping her way being abused to the top?

      2. No one entering his office was unaware of the contract.

        Even then, it sounds like plenty of times women unaware or oblivious to the contract were relatively free to avoid it.

        While I agree that Reason hasn’t hammered hard on the ‘predator’ narrative. It bears pointing out that you can’t be in favor of legalizing sex work and morally or statutorily criminalize reneging on payment. Either it’s a simple contractual dispute or she was raped as a direct result of her prostitution.

        1. Democrats are among the most ardent opponents to prostitution, which they now call sex trafficking. You probably didn’t realize that it’s “liberal” to restrict people from using their genitalia as they see fit.

    4. @mad.casual

      Listen to the recording of him trying to convince that girl to come into his room.
      As soon as I heard that I thought “predator” although a whiny bitch type one.

      1. Listen to the recording of him trying to convince that girl to come into his room.

        Can you be more specific?

        And, again not to defend the guy, assert I know any facts about the case in question, or refute what you’re saying, but the stories of predation I’ve heard involve minor girls and, AFAIK, he only pursued women old enough to hold a job with aspirations for the big screen. There’s likely/probably evidence he’s a rapist scumbag, but at least half the porn industry (men and women) are knowingly sleezy scumbags.

  8. “For #MeToo to work”

    I know I’m out of it because I don’t facebook on the twitters. But….it’s a hashtag! Am I crazy for thinking that is not a medium for lasting and profound social change?

    1. Yeah, the line “It’s time to discuss exactly what the movement is for?what it’s trying to accomplish and which goals it should seek.” struck me. There was a time when you’d figure out your goals, start a movement, and build the steam to achieve them. Apparently, modern technology as it is, you boil of the steam and *then* decide where you want to go.

      1. It’s more of a piling-on than a movement as such. A lot of that piling on is justified. But I think the name really says it all.

      2. I mean, it’s because the movement is really an out-crying of a bunch of people. It’s really grassroots, and it’s a movement only in the sense that certain people are trying to direct that for larger political reasons now.

      3. It wouldn’t be that hard to figure out actual goals and helpful actions to obtain said goals. Like more women creating alternative production avenues in the entertainment industry with less scummy company values so young women have better options for entertainment jobs? But that would require the people involved in the movement to make harder choices than typing hashtags and wearing pussy hats. When women start leaving Hollywood in droves I might start believing there’s a real movement.

    2. Hey, did it bring back those girls?

      Well some of them came back, five years later.

  9. It’s sexual assault if I’m not attracted to him. If I am, it’s a date.

    1. This is a very good in-a-nutshell description of how this looks to many ordinary guys.

      1. You mean rational people.

      2. And some women, too. Not all of us are blind and stupid.

        1. Then put a stop to it.
          This has to be done by women.
          Make the ‘movement’ be about actual abuse, and not about proving that women are in fact NOT equal. As long as the news is about not being able to engage in a conversation without getting offended, and then twisting the offense into rape, rape is moved from a serious criminal act to just another political whine.

          1. Actually, we’d rather just put a stop to the movement at all. It was nothing more than a way to garner attention and start a witchhunt. It met it’s goal, it got a bunch of idiots to start drowning men and then pointing out that, whether they drowned or not, it was proof they were ALL witches.

            Those of us who are paying attention are already doing things to change the conversation. Where do you think that incel shit came from? People were listening and they needed a new boogeyman.

    2. Whoa! Tony! This is a very right wing sounding statement coming from you. You OK?

      1. This being Reason, I assume you are aware this doesn’t qualify as an argument against the validity of Tony’s comment. Your response is a slur, not an argument.

    3. SNL had a sketch with Tom Brady that proves just that.

  10. “If therapy has a reputation for navel gazing, this powerful moment has joined men in the room, forcing them to engage with topics that they would have earlier avoided.”

    Is it just me, or does that sentence make no sense?

    1. Translation: #MeToo has succeeded in making men more woke.

      1. *broke

    2. It is poorly phrased.

    3. Is it just me, or does that sentence make no sense?

      Even a bit anti-thematic considering women joining Louis C.K. in the room and engaging him on a topic they would’ve earlier avoided is part of the problem.

    4. It was written by a psychotherapist, so it’s either gazing at other people’s navels and comparing them to your own or attempting to bridge some original bond you had with your mother shortly before some doctor used dirty pruning shears to sever that bond.

  11. Just because the accusations in question don’t center around penetrative rape or the years of horrific abuse of power described by, say, Weinstein’s victims, doesn’t mean they aren’t serious and don’t warrant investigation.

    OK…. But be prepared to wait for results if the accusations are along the lines of “He looked at me funny.”

  12. There might be a strategic component to adapting this sort of language, too, especially given the (otherwise welcome) ratcheting-up of the national conversation about sexual harassment and abuse: Some people who want to be taken seriously or paid attention to may realize that the best way to maximize their odds of that happening is to rhetorically trump up their experience of conflict. “People think they won’t be heard or given compassion unless they can label their experience ‘abuse,’ and they’re not wrong,” noted Riese Bernard in an illuminating interview with Schulman last year.

    And, of course, conflating words with actual violence also makes it much easier to justify responding to mean words with violence.

  13. On the one hand you have dudes either resisting this stuff in the predictable manner and then dudes diving face first into some fairly unconvincing vagina monologue wokeness. Then you have ladies largely saying “It’s about time. I’ve been raped in various forms all my life!”

    The ladies are the most credible of the three groups what with their actual first-hand experience. And the nefarious motive of emasculating American males seems less plausible than the motive males might have of keeping the status quo.

    Not being heterosexual I have little insight into how true it is that being a woman is a never-ending gauntlet of dicks, or whether being a straight man means being freaked the fuck out right now.

    But hey, it’s rough all around, and I feel for you. The good thing, for me, about this movement acknowledging a clear power imbalance between the sexes is that I get to go back out to the bar and engage in business as usual. Drinks, groping, regrettable evenings, a whole lot of mutual rape going on, and it still feels perfectly normal, what with our equal upper body strength on average. (Just watch out for the Spaceys.)

    1. On the one hand, I can see how the pressure from men is a constant thing. I think it was Chris Rock who said something along the lines of “once you turn 13 every man you meet is trying to fuck you”. That has to get tiresome.

      On the other hand, for us ordinary men the power imbalance isn’t on our side. I don’t have Weinstein-like power to bring to the table. Women have something we straight men want very badly, and we need it more badly than they do. It’s a basic of power dynamics that the person who wants something the most has the least amount of power. As one comedienne once put it “All you guys out there who are wondering if you’re going to get some tonight? We know.”

      1. Seems presumptuous. But often with gay men you’re never really sure if you’re going to get some or if you’re just friends, until evidence presents itself.

      2. On the other hand, for us ordinary men the power imbalance isn’t on our side.

        That’s the thing. Unless a man is willing to resort to violence or coercion, women pretty much have all of the power when it comes to sex. The fact that men are more likely to appear more obnoxious and aggressive about it says more about the difference in mating strategies between the sexes than anything.

      3. That is a joke, not real life. I’m not saying I’m Miss America, but I’ve been hit on my fair share. Not every man I meet wants to have sex with me. This idea is completely self absorbed and vain on women’s part, and rude and demeaning to men. I’ve met too many men to seriously believe that men look at every single woman as nothing more than a piece of ass they are trying to fuck. I like to think men actually have working brains and aren’t just a giant walking penis.

        1. Nothing more? No. But “someone to fuck” is part of it a lot of the time. It’s a thing that humans like to do. Of course we’re thinking it. So what?

          The problem is that some guys force women to do things. I don’t know how widespread that is, but it needs to stop. The best first step is to recognize what force is and what force isn’t. We as libertarians think about that topic a lot and are probably in a better than average position to understand what force is.

          1. No, not every human looks at every other human as “someone to fuck”, just the ones they like or find attractive.

            Some guys are assholes, some women are assholes. It’s why we arrest the really bad assholes. It’s not going to “stop”. You talk about what humans like to do, being assholes is what some humans do.

            The goal should NEVER be to stop, because there is no stopping these things without infringing on the rights of others not engaging in criminal activity. The goal should be to educate (which means understanding it’s not just about women) and to mitigate as best we can.

            1. Which argues in a circle: “Educate” me about what, Jalestra — what you personally prefer in m/f relationships?

              Why should that be the standard?

              Bottom line here is that people like Weinstein clearly treated women as things and simply used them in the moment. We recognize that behavior as harmful but only because our Christian heritage tells us it’s wrong. Now, Jesus well may be considered more an authority than you or I, but Jesus has had his problems recently in terms of acceptance by those who still want to screw their boyfriends up the arse.

              So, can we even consider Jesus an authority?

              And, if he’s not an authority, who is and why?

              1. Educate everyone, not just one particular gender. People have been treating people like crap forever.

                There is no “my preference” in relationships. Each couple will settle into what is best for them. You educate with facts. REAL facts, not convenient ones. Like leaving out that there are MANY male victims of rape by females. Where are their resources? Like women have been just as culpable as men in domestic violence. Because you can’t make inroads on a solution if you only have half the problem. I have no idea why you think Jesus should matter. Not everyone believes and they have that right. Unless you plan on forcing believers at gunpoint?

                You may need a book to tell you what right and wrong is, but not all of us do. The fact that you do is very concerning. If some religious icon dropped out of the sky and told me it’s totes cool with him if I go set people on fire, I’m still not setting them on fire. I shudder at what believers would do.

                1. “You may need a book to tell you what right and wrong is, but not all of us do.”

                  The question was, “And, if he’s not an authority, who is and why?”

                  It’s a good question. Indeed, in moral issues it’s THE question.

                  In Bob’s world, JC is the authority. In your world, there is apparently no authority above or beyond your own opinion. There is no reason Bob or I should accept your opinion as an authority. There is also no particularly logical reason Weinstein should not have his own equally valid (or equally invalid) opinion as to what should be acceptable.

                  If we’re going to reject the authority of Jesus Christ as universally applicable in moral issues, why in the world should we accept the authority of Jalestra.

            2. It’s telling that you’ve combined a statement about people wanting to fuck someone with people being assholes. Unless I’m misunderstanding your point like you’ve misunderstood mine.

              1. Well, some people “force” others and that makes them assholes. I was really addressing the “stop”. Everyone says stop…ok, so what thoughts and behaviors that lead up to bad things happening will we be policing?

                We cannot “stop” people from being bad. We can only punish after the fact. I always hate it when anyone says “we need to STOP this bad behavior”. I hardly think one can be of any libertarian bent and “stop” humans from being humans.

        2. You are clearly not well socialized. Every man looks at every female and asks himself the question, “Would?”

          1. You are clearly hanging out with people who have zero standards.

        3. I’ve met too many men to seriously believe that men look at every single woman as nothing more than a piece of ass they are trying to fuck.

          Why insist on the singularity, can’t we do both? There’s nothing better than getting a piece of ass and then hanging out enjoyably until it’s time to get some more ass.

          1. One could do both and many have. One can also do neither.

            A woman stumbles out of an alley, she’s layered and filth, drunk, and smells very offensively of urine: Are you thinking about screwing her?

            People have standards. Some standards are more strict than others.

      4. I don’t have Weinstein-like power to bring to the table.

        That in itself implies a degree of power brokerage going on, distinct from any allegations of sexual assault. I mean isn’t it amazing these allegations are mostly confined to the rich and powerful? I doubt there would be a 20 year gap in recounting how the local wino was sexually vulgar.

        And taken into context of the supposed college campus rape epidemic (strange how most of the high profile cases seemingly proved something different), and much of this takes on the flavor of a witch hunt. O’ to what ends?

        More telling is that much of this could be addressed by women initiating sexual relations, if we are talking about changing social mores, but that is seemingly off the table.

        Certainly there are loutish men, but there are loutish women as well, and #Me Too seems to be conveying something wholly different than the prevalence of sexual assault.

        1. “More telling is that much of this could be addressed by women initiating sexual relations, if we are talking about changing social mores, but that is seemingly off the table.”

          I guess it’s more appealing to women to expect a man to know ahead of time whether his advances will be welcomed prior to any interaction that would actually allow him to answer that question.

      5. “”As one comedienne once put it “All you guys out there who are wondering if you’re going to get some tonight? We know.””‘

        Rita Rudner

    2. > clear power imbalance between the sexes

      Once again, Tony hasn’t been paying attention.

      There is no historic imbalance of power. There certainly is one today. The types of power are just different

  14. That Ruby Hamad article is painful.

  15. ‘As part of the neverending bad-faith game that is the national political cacophony, conservatives often overstate the prevalence of this discourse, overhyping the prevalence of “trigger warnings” and making exaggerated and cherrypicked claims about “victimhood culture” among young people.’

    – This turd of a sentence would seem to invalidate the entire premise of the article as part of the “bad faith game” or is there as some sort of distancing signal to make the mob of the perpetually aggrieved triggered by this article somehow pass him up. I’m fairly a mob repellent rock would be more effective.

  16. At its best, #MeToo is a witch Hunt that allows attention seeking women to enjoy their fantasy of being both objectified and offended. At its worst, it’s a witch Hunt that says if it was like a duck, it tried to make me suck.

  17. Correction: Louis CK was not an “abusive creep.” He has been crucified solely because his sexual preference was maaturbation. If he had intercourse with the women it would not have been a story. We are sexually repressed prudes, and masturbation gets clicks when in the public spotlight.

    Also, at the time in which those events occurred, he did not wield power over those women. It took him decades to become successful.

    1. Didn’t he invite women into his changing room and then just whip it out and start whacking it?
      “self-abusive creep”?

      1. No. He asked them if he could whip it out, they said yes, and he did. There were several “no” responses to his question as well, but there are no reports that he whipped it out in front of them.

        Again, replace masturbation with sexual intercourse and nobody would think twice about this story. The issue is NOT about sexual abuse, abuse of power, being “creepy”, or anything like that. It is about Americans’ distaste of masturbation and nothing else.

  18. So, what makes Monica Byrne anything more than a demodonkey, jenny-ass clown?

    What this article describes is nothing more than the typical pattern of these jenny-ass denunciations. Notice the essential characteristic: The actual, physical facts never are mentioned but only the woman’s characterization of those facts. And the reason is because, with these people, facts don’t matter. What’s important is the denunciation, itself.

    More people pointing that out no doubt would help end the practice — or at least get it swept into a corner where no one paid any attention to it.

    After all, what makes a demodonkey jenny-ass braying in her back yard an authority on anything?

  19. “You are entitled to quibble about tone,” she tweeted. “But to say that what I said happened didn’t happen is straight-up not true. If you think so, you probably aren’t the best at reading subtext.”

    “Who are you going to believe? Me or the video?”

  20. Despite this audio, Machado subsequently stood by her accusations in a series of tweet, accusing doubters of “gaslighting”

    Honey, they aren’t gaslighting you, they are calling you a lyin’ bitch, and for good reason.

    1. How dear you question her subjective experience as anything less than a full detailed factual account!

      I swear shit like this is why there has never been a successful matriarchal society.
      Subjective reality trumping facts does not make for good scientific development.

    2. Funny thing. Gaslight (Angel Street) was about a woman unable to discern reality.

  21. Take a look at the archival testimonies give in the Salem Witch trials and see if you recognize any similarities.…..div_id=n24

  22. The backlash that will soon be unleashed by “#MeToo”


  23. Fucking bitches.

  24. It’s pretty obvious – unless you have some financial or emotional stake in the culture of victimhood – that these women can’t be taken seriously. Professionally OR personally. Indifference is all that they rate.

  25. “You are entitled to quibble about tone,” she tweeted. “But to say that what I said happened didn’t happen is straight-up not true. If you think so, you probably aren’t the best at reading subtext.”

    Your truth is a lie. My lies are truth.
    Damn, what a debater. Welcome to 1984. Newspeak is ascending.

    1. Subtext is shit. It only exists in the mind of deranged cunts.

  26. This is all shit. If it isn’t rape shut up.

    And avoid these cunts at all cost. Don’t hire them, don’t even talk to them. Cut them off.

  27. I sincerely believe it all could have been so very different — so much better — between men and women. Maybe there’s still hope. See what I think creates sexual harassment and what we need to do to move toward gender harmony:

    “In-depth: How We Waded Into The Sexual Harassment Quagmire — Taking the Long, Hard Path Out: One Man’s View” http://malemattersusa.wordpres…..-quagmire/

    Parts of this may be shocking, but it’s probably the most thorough analysis you can find of what I believe has for many decades been the sexes’ most alienating and destructive behavioral difference.

    This difference, supported by both sexes, spawns not only most of the “ordinary” sexual harassment we hear of, but also much of the sexual coercion of women.

    The commentary shows what happens when toxic masculinity meets up with toxic femininity.

  28. It’s funny how workplace sex was considered romantic when Jim and Pam did it in The Office. That’s because they were cute and the camera never showed any lewd bedroom stuff (because such things offend American sensibilities).

    But now I guess #MeToo is rewriting that narrative. Jim Halpert preyed on his subordinate and assaulted her with constant harrassment that spanned 2+ years. She was engaged to another man at the time, so clearly she couldn’t possibly have consented. This is clearly assault.

    And it’s even worse for Steve Carrel’s character. Michael Scott abused his power as office manager to threaten Holly, his subordinate, into a relationship. She feared for her future at the company since he, as manager, clearly held a lot of influence over the company’s executives. This implicit threat represents a power struggle that cuts at the core of male-female relationships since females are powerless. As a result, and out of fear, she dumped her serious boyfriend in Nashua to start a relationship with Michael.

    When I watched the Office the first time around I thought it was a comedy. But #MeToo helped me realize it was a tragedy.

  29. I can’t feel sorry for this overrated tool whose success has been founded on “look at me I can write a terrible novel in 2 languages!” This is another example of the left eating it’s own. Delicious…

  30. MeToo will never work because it is a sick twisted joke, a f’ing witch hunt. The allegations in the article are meaningless since they can be neither proved nor disproved. Nevertheless, the MeToo movement takes them seriously. MeToo has poisoned male female relationships and legitimized misandry and sexism against men. All men are now presumed guilty. It has set back our society several hundred years to the time of the Salem Witch Trials. It’s totally f’d up.

  31. In the first section, the author lumps in C.K. Louis as one of the “bad guys” this movement should be going after. Might want to read the facts of his situation before making that judgment. C.K. Louis wasn’t an assaulter, harasser, or a jerk! He persuaded women to come to his hotel room (what did they think was going to happen there?). Then, he asked for PERMISSION (i.e. CONSENT) to masturbate in front of them. The dude specifically asked for and obtained consent and he’s STILL seen as a bad guy!? The rationale is because he’s freaking famous that he had an unfair advantage over his groupies???? That’s the kind of ridiculous babble that makes the MeToo movement a joke.

    1. There is no winning with progtards. Best to just back hand them when they run their mouths.

      Best thing for them really.

    2. The argument against Louis CK is that he did all this in the “workplace”. Hooking up with co-workers is normal and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Your employer may not like it, but that’s a different topic.

      Truthfully, the whole CK case is a veiled argument against certain sexual acts that Americans feel are unsavory. The word you see most frequently used to describe what he did (even by his defenders) is “gross”. If he slept with those women instead nobody would have said a word. It would have been an every day occurrence. But that’s not what happened.

      The US is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the west, and that’s fundamentally the motivation here.

  32. A serious question — how is Mr. Weinstein supposed to get a fair trial if his name has become publicly synonymous with ‘predator’? And nowhere in this blog did I see the word “alleged” preceding it or in front of the word ‘victims’. In fact ‘victims’ should be ‘accusers’ as nothing yet has been substantiated or proven in court.

    It may seem trivial (it’s not) but these incremental debasements in language are what potentially distinguish a civilized, modern society from one that gathers up a crowd and pulls people from their homes. Just how far are we willing, behind all this fevered madness, to tip Lady Justice’s scales?

    1. Mr. Weinstein is (mostly) white, and (mostly) male, so there is no need for the ‘alleged’.
      He was accused, so he is guilty. The trial is just a paperwork exercise for government employee drones.
      The ‘social media’ lynching is over and done with. End of story.
      This is not about women. It is about political power.

      1. “It is about political power.”

        Yes. What’s truly shocking in these movements is just how easy it is in the age of social media to implement ‘newthink’ to the degree that society barely reacts when “social justice” has been wholly reengineered to mean “social revenge”. But perhaps Mr. Orwell says it best:

        “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

  33. In what possible way can “#MeToo” ever work? Here is the thing: if you get raped, go to the police immediately and go through the legal process. Accusing people years later on Twitter, without evidence or due process, is unacceptable.

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  35. l’enfer c’est les autres

    You look to others for release or completion and all you find is futility, humiliation, and misery. If you felt the need to push the rock of Sisyphus, why wouldn’t you just pay a professional sex worker instead playing Brer Rabbit to your delusions of idealized sex and relationships? No one will ever truly love you and when the dopamine glow from the orgasm is over, you’re still left with the emptiness of your existence. You know other people are a dead end, yet you compulsively pursue new avenues of disappointment. When some shade of hell with a borderline or histrionic personality disorder decides to attack you for whatever you did or didn’t do, you aren’t a victim if you didn’t try to avoid them in the first place.

  36. Is it me or does a movement called “poundmetoo” seem to invite abuse?

  37. My real problem here is that I have no reason to want #MeToo to work. It started as an elitist “movement” among female starlets wanting to blame their career failures on rotten men. It quickly got swept up into other things, but the common factor throughout was charges without trials or anything even remotely resembling due process, leading to many of the targets becoming what in the Stalinist era we knew as “unpersons”. Its partisans seem to think that consigning somebody to perdition is the same as solving a problem across society. It is not.

    #MeToo can bite the dust as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps we may find a replacement in some sort of coherent effort that is more attuned to distinctions such as those outlined here. But I’m guessing not.

  38. Amy Schumer is way more of a rapist than Havey Weinstein and nobody is hunting her.

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