Welcome back to Hopelessly Liberal after its long winter nap. Last year we tried to write about the “#MeToo movement” but each time HL’s advisory board vetoed the post. The sage and prescient advice was that the exemplars written about (Kevin Spacey was one, Bush 41 another) would soon attract additional accusers, named and anonymous, rendering the point we were trying to make incomplete, at best.
The hits kept coming as most of us spent considerable and painful effort recalling episodes of sexual aggression that we were party to. The allegations and introspection continue, but some interim reflections are in order.
Politics Skew Perception
Among social conservatives in Alabama, Roy Moore’s alleged pursuit of teenage girls during his thirties was quickly compared to Joseph’s marriage to the 14 year old Mary. Coastal liberals summarily convicted Moore of multiple counts of child molestation, guffawing at due process. They had substantially ignored the many times Judge Moore had been adjudicated a violator of the Constitution, his oath of office and very specific judicial decrees. None of that mattered, but big liberal money and effort flowed copiously once Moore’s ancient shopping mall history surfaced.
While this was going on the same crowd crucifying Moore (his defender’s defense permits the verb) for his pursuit of teenagers was flocking to, billing and cooing about the beauty of the relationship in “Call Me By Your Name” portraying a torrid sexual encounter between a 30 something man and a teenage boy. A relationship blessed by the boy’s parents as one of the mothers of Moore’s prey had encouraged his pursuit of her daughter. But the same liberal crowd summarily convicted Kevin Spacey, who is alleged to have come on to the then teenage actor, Anthony Rapp. Where? On the bed in the bedroom of the 26 year old Spacey that Rapp repaired to because he got “bored” during a party after two previous nights at clubs with Spacey.
Sex Shapes Reaction
During the fall, every report about the male sexual predator du jour was accompanied by two pro-forma statements. One was a somber mea also culpa for the monsters in the reporting news outlet’s midst. At NPR initially there was constant reference to Michael Oreskes and later to John Hockenberry, Jonathan Schwartz, Garrison Keillor and Leonard Lopate. Keillor is alleged to have put his hand on a colleague’s back, beneath her blouse, when she sought him out for consolation. Lopate is reported to have explained to a cookbook author that the etymology of “avocado” involves the Aztec word for testicle. The other chanted pro-forma was that there also were women that had sexually harassed/assaulted subordinates. None were named.
HL shared his recollections with some other men. The ensuing discussions revealed that, by and large, the rare girl on boy assaults that we had experienced resided in our highlight reels. Men usually are the aggressors. That fact and the typical attitude of men “victimized” by women twice illustrates that females and males are different. Boys should be raised and taught not to do these things, and many are, but they should not continue to be primarily and secondarily educated as if they were girls. A generation into that grand experiment we have a college population that is 43% male and falling. This provides fertile ground for violence against and abuse of women.
Worst Moment So Far
The summary execution of Al Franken stands out because of the quality and dashed promise of the person, the nature of the allegations, some anonymous, and because due process was promised but soon denied by a mob led by Kirsten Gillibrand. The disclaimers are, one, that I sat with Franken on a Central Park bench more than once as he fed the homeless from his own hands. Two, that I hosted among the earliest fundraisers for Gillibrand when she first ran for Congress in 2006. Disillusionment was swift as she quickly earned an “A” grade from the NRA.
Gillibrand’s 2006 campaign was greatly assisted by Bill Clinton, whose long, deep and well documented history of sexual predation badly damaged his presidency and the nation, but did not diminish his popularity among women. Clinton could not have campaigned with and for Gillibrand had he resigned in 1999 as the Senator now says he should have. The right to walk one way and talk another is deemed a prerogative of Me Too. Gillibrand’s ability to flaunt and luxuriate in her self-serving hypocrisy has catapulted her into the first tier of Democratic contenders for 2020, where her nomination would ensure a lose/lose outcome.
When for a moment it appeared that the mob led by Gillibrand was rethinking the wisdom of summarily executing Franken, she said that while he was entitled to due process he was not entitled to her silence. As you ponder that reasoning also consider that just because it has become a point of pride that Me Too, which began bravely and nobly has devolved into a witch hunt – “Yes, This is a Witch Hunt, I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You” (Lindy West, NY Times 10/17/17) does not make it not so nor the trashing of due process any less a tragedy. The himbos and bubble heads on CNN and MSNBC ignorantly proclaim that due process applies in criminal proceedings only. While that is frequently repeated with reckless disregard of the law and fact, it is an accurate report of the status quo and the tactics employed in Salem, during the McCarthy era and now.