During the #notallmen and #yesallwoman twitterfest, one twit stood out as the embodiment of the feminist rationale. Ironically, it was a twit by a man.
Put aside the logical and statistical failings of the metaphor, and consider instead its emotional appeal as a justification for women’s condemnation of the 90% for the actions of the 10%. And if you’re a lawyer, wipe Blackstone’s Ratio completely from your mind. This became a rallying twit, and was taken to heart by those seeking to justify their victimhood.
Cut to a video that went fairly viral, of drone flying Austin Haughwout being attacked by Andrea Mears, who was certain he was a “pervert” using his drone to harass women and take improper photos of Mears on the beach.
Had Haughwout not captured Mears assault on video, he would have been arrested. His video turned the tables, and Mears was arrested instead. Her lie to police that Haughwout had attacked her was squashed, at least as far as those who concern themselves with evidence.
But this is where the Poisoned M&M Rule comes into play, as Mears may have been wrong about what Haughwout was doing, and wrong to attack him, and wrong to lie about it, but not wrong enough to be made into a victim for the cause.
While Haughwout may not have been engaged in sexual harassment this time, don’t blame Mears for what she did. Blame the 10% poisoned M&Ms.
Earlier this week, a 23-year-old Connecticut woman was arrested on charges of assault after attacking a drone hobbyist who had been flying his GoPro-equipped quadcopter over a local beach.
An iPhone video captured by the 17-year-old drone operator, Austin Haughwout, shows the woman calling him a “little pervert,” ripping his shirt, and threatening to beat him for “taking pictures of people on the beach.”
The story may seem seem [sic] rather innocuous, relatively speaking, but it’s generated a significant amount of interest around the web this week.
“Innocuous” is a curious characterization.
Since being uploaded on Sunday, Haughwout’s point-of-view video of the incident has been viewed more than half a million times on LiveLeak alone — and has sparked an intense discussion about the use of drones for the purpose of filming people who don’t want to filmed.
The discussion “sparked” is largely dependent on the comments one focuses on. While this article focuses on the “use of drones for the purpose of filming people who don’t want to filmed,” there was also a great deal of discussion about crazed women assuming they’re being harassed because this is all about women being harassed.
Many are relating this week’s Connecticut drone story to previous allegations of drone spying, and while nobody has condoned Mears’ behaviour — quite the contrary — some are saying that her suspicions about drones being used to sexually harass women are not unfounded.
So it didn’t happen here. Mears was wrong. But Mears was right, because there were “previous allegations of drone spying.” And so Mears’ “suspicions” were “not unfounded,” because it’s a “thing.”
Sure, #notalldrones, but stick your hand in that dish of M&Ms and take your chances.
So the problem is drones? Well, an aspect of it is, as they have become a target:
“We heard this whirring noise above us, and I looked up and saw a remote-controlled plane — one of the square ones that can move really articulately in all directions. No big deal. I turned back down and napped more,” she wrote in a highly-trafficked Reddit thread. “Then I noticed: A. It was getting really close to women. Like, straight up in their a**es close, flying really low, staying there for probably three minutes at a time; and B. It had a camera on it.”
She went on to reveal that she discovered two drone operators in some sand dunes nearby.
“You are violating every woman on this beach,” she claims to have told them. “Get it out of the sky.”
Whether this is accurate about how the drone was being used is unknown, but let’s presume it was. People are out in public. Sometimes, pictures of them are taken. Is this creepy? I certainly think so, but does it “violate every woman on this beach”? I don’t know what that means. I’m a big fan of privacy, and would really hate to have someone taking unwanted pics of me, but then I also realize that my control over my privacy is my responsibility. My right to privacy doesn’t trump someone else’s right to take pictures. Even creepy pics.
Yet, this has nothing really to do with drones, or privacy, or women in bikinis on beaches. This has to do with the Poisoned M&M Rule, and how this inapt metaphor has infiltrated the minds of those who believe that their complaint of violation justifies their attacking the 90% because they fear the 10%. After all, you never know which M&M is poisoned, so they are entitled to destroy all M&Ms for their own safety.
One reaction to the Poisoned M&M Rule was to substitute blacks, gays, Jews for men in the metaphor. Suddenly, the metaphor wasn’t so appealing. But if you shut your eyes tight enough, scream “lalalala” as loud as possible, and just keep focusing on the patriarchy, attacks by crazy people like Andrea Mears because somewhere, somehow, someone was alleged to have violated women on the beach the exact same way make it all seem right. Or would you rather swallow a handful of M&Ms?