Global News, a popular Canadian new organization, has a new article titled Not all men: Why does #MeToo make some men angry? Let’s see if the question is answered.
There’s no question that what these men allegedly did was (and is) wrong.
Well, if these are allegations, clearly there is a question. Not a good start.
Amid the accusations and cries for justice is a community of men who don’t want to be lumped in with the predatory riffraff, yet they feel there’s no way to extricate themselves from the collective.
Rather, they see that they are being lumped in to a collective by people practicing identity politics.
In a survey conducted by Chatelaine of 1,000 men across Canada, 25 per cent of respondents said they felt “nothing” when the topic of sexual harassment came up. But of the remaining 75 per cent, 42 per cent feel “sad” and 32 per cent feel “angry.”
And anger is likely being under reported. Being criticized for something you didn’t do can have that effect.
Yet, while the average Canadian male takes a clear stand against sexual misconduct, he also seems to feel that there’s no place for him as a “good guy” in today’s cultural climate.
There certainly is a place. That place is among many men and a smaller number of women who don’t buy in to identity politics.
Mike, one of the men interviewed by Chatelaine, said he was reluctant to even engage in a conversation about #MeToo for fear of coming across as a misogynist.
Understandable. I have had some crazy commentors that make similar fact free claims.
“We can’t as a society sacrifice the presumption of innocence of accused men,” he said.
It’s too late, Mike.
According to Janice Fiamengo, an English professor at the University of Ottawa and outspoken supporter of men’s issues, this is a feeling that has plagued men for the last 20 or more years.
I became aware of it much more recently, within the last half dozen years or so.
“Most men I know believe that the general cultural climate today is negative toward them,” she tells Global News.
I would have to say that I believe this.
“It’s not just since #MeToo; for years, they’ve been hearing that everything they [say] and do in regards to women can be an assault or sexual harassment. They’re terrified and they feel resentful.”
I wouldn’t say terrified, but cautious certainly. And resentful, to a degree.
Fiamengo, who says she knows “a number of men” who’ve lost their jobs due to wrongful workplace sexual harassment accusations, says that men today don’t only feel persecuted on a social level, but have also lost confidence in a court system that inherently believes women are victims and men are perpetrators.
To say that men have “lost confidence” in the family court system is like saying atheists have lost confidence in God.
“Feminist legal activists have weakened men’s ability to defend themselves against allegations. In the mid-1980s they made changes to the sexual assault laws lifting the statute of limitations,” she says. “A man could be accused of something that happened 20 or 25 years ago.”
These changes are problematic for the legal system, as such cases are unlikely to have much evidence, and therefore rely on the testimony of the accusers. In such cases, the principle of innocent until proven guilty is essential, and yet that is exactly what we see being eroded.
According to the results of Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, 635,000 incidents of sexual assault were reported in 2014, which was virtually unchanged from 2004. In 87 per cent of the incidents, women were the victims. Rates of all other types of crimes had decreased in the same 10-year period.
Surveys are hearsay. What do the actual crime statistics say?
“Women feel powerless in situations where we discuss sexual violence and we’re just kind of dismissed. ‘Oh, it doesn’t happen. Oh, he didn’t mean it. Oh, he was drunk. He thought you were consenting,’” says Holly Johnson, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa who focuses on violence against women. “All these things are continuing.”
From her bio:
Associate (Janvier 2007 - ) University of Ottawa Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies
And despite the fact that some men feel there’s a cultural impetus to punish them for having “gotten away with bad treatment of women for a long time,” according to Fiamengo, the fact that only five per cent of sexual assaults were reported in 2014 indicates that the punishments are in fact few and far between.
The five percent “fact” is based on a survey by feminist social “scientists”, so forgive me if I’m skeptical. There isn’t a grain of salt big enough to take it with.
“There’s a movement to blame women for all the problems of men, primarily white men, and it precedes #MeToo,” Barbara MacQuarrie, community director of the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children at Western University, tells Global News.
Says a person involved in a movement to blame white men for all the problems of women. MacQuarrie is projecting her own sexism and racism onto men.
“This has acted as a magnifying glass on women’s experiences, and it seems as though men are rushing to prove that they’re more victimized than women.”
And in some ways, they are. For example, far more men are murdered than women. And yet the feminist movement has harassed men’s rights activists for daring to talk about men’s issues.
She says a lot of this has to do with global forces that are creating economic changes. The high participation of women in the North American workforce has led to subtle changes in dynamics, and while many (both men and women) see it as a positive, some men feel they’re losing their unquestioned place of privilege in the world.
As long as women earn their positions, no man I know will care. Women themselves seem to be the ones who are unhappy having to work.
MacQuarrie points out that male victims don’t need to conceal their experiences. In fact, many women’s organizations are more than willing to help them establish support systems.
I call bullshit on this. Feminists have actually opposed funding men’s support systems.
“There’s a commitment to not completely blame another gender for their problems. And certainly, feminism has always been really clear about wanting to address the systems where abuse thrives to create conditions where everyone can live more healthy, whole lives.”
Again, bullshit. Feminism blames men; it doesn’t help them.
For her part, Fiamengo says she doesn’t know any men who condone “real” sexual harassment. What they’re not on board with is not being given a second chance, and being publicly humiliated or fired. We need a climate of serious investigation into women’s complaints because sometimes they do lie and are overly sensitive.”
It’s ironic that articles like this one are part of the reason why some men are angry. Personally, I’m not mad. I do think it’s a shame that a movement that could have done a lot of good for real victims is being hijacked by those who want to turn it into a weapon, because the baby will likely be thrown out with the bath water.