Blow Hard (Update)

Among the many things shared by Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken, Kevin Spacey and Roy Moore, is that none of them have been convicted of a crime. Weinstein might, but he hasn’t yet. Another thing shared is that they have seen their jobs, careers, ambitions and positions lost or put at risk of being lost.

But since these are all bold-faced names, and their actions are parsed by media so that everyone knows they’re guilty regardless of evidence or argument, we don’t lose sleep over this minor detail that they’ve not been convicted of anything. Charles Blow reminds us that the shit is about to flow downhill.

It is impossible to say too often or loudly how important a moment this is, when many women feel brave and empowered enough to speak up about being sexually assaulted or harassed by powerful men.

It feels like a watershed, like something is fundamentally shifting.

But the greatest measure of fundamental change will be when everyday offenses by everyday people are also named and shamed, the trickle down of speaking up.

What if you go to the office today, like you do every day, only to learn that Dolores in accounting informed HR that you sexually harassed her? You never touched her, but after searching your memory, you recall that she was walking past the water cooler when a few of the guys were talking about how horrible it was that someone used the word “boobs.” Dolores heard a snippet of the conversation, specifically the word “boobs,” put her head down and kept walking. When she got back to her cubicle, she cried.

Or Dolores just doesn’t like you for some reason. Or any one of a million other possibilities, and Dolores is singularly sensitive, whether for good reason or no reason at all.

But she went to HR, emboldened by the power given to fragile women who are now brave enough to complain about every hurt, real or imagined. And HR sends you a note to come to them, and put all your belongings in a box.

But you didn’t do anything? There’s no denial. There’s no due process. There’s no fairness. There is fear and loathing, and HR isn’t taking any chances. They don’t ask you what happened because no one cares. You’re a man. Dolores is not.

For most, the decision to speak up will still feel fraught and without sufficient benefit to outweigh the possibility of negative repercussions.

That is where the majority of this battle must be waged, among the ordinary, the powerless, the invisible. These women (and some men as well, it must always be noted) are the true Silent Majority of victims.

Whether Dolores is part of the “true Silent Majority of victims,” or just over-sensitive, mistaken or self-serving, was once the subject of scrutiny that included due process. You remember due process, Al, which is what you would vehemently deny a college freshman who was accused of half of what you did under Title IX before he was expelled and branded a rapist, right?

Speaking up, and even pressing charges when the law allows, will send a powerful message and will definitely have a chilling effect on this kind of behavior. Loss of livelihood and liberty after bad behavior is a strong deterrent.

“Even”? See what Blow did there? Your conduct may not be criminal, but if it hurts a woman’s feelings, isn’t it worth your job, your income, your children’s source of food? And the beauty is that things that hurt another person’s feelings have nothing to do with whether you did something objectively offensive, but merely that they felt offended. There is no challenging another person’s subjective feelings. If they say their feelings are hurt, then hurt they are.

But I believe that something far more fundamental has to take place. We have to re-examine our toxic, privileged, encroaching masculinity itself. And yes, that also means on some level reimagining the rules of attraction.

And Charles takes charge of this reimagining.

We have to focus on the fact that jokes that objectify women are not funny.

And we have to focus on the fact that society itself has incubated and nourished a dangerous idea that almost unbridled male aggression is not only a component of male sexuality, it is the most prized part of it.

We say to boys, be aggressive. We say to our girls, be cautious. Boys will be boys and girls will be victims.

It’s not that Blow hates girls and thinks them too dainty to be as responsible for their actions as boys. It’s that he’s into victimhood, where it’s not only not a failing to be weak and irresponsible, but it’s a virtue. Maybe he was raised to rape, and is paying penance for his “unbridled male aggression” now by elevating female fragility to new heights, but if so, his projection isn’t universal. I didn’t raise my son to rape. I didn’t raise my daughter to be a victim.

This is the list of oppressions that women are read with religious rigor. These are the rules of the road. This is the outrage.

Women are not responsible for men’s bad behavior. The idea that horny men can’t control themselves is a lie!

Men have been so conditioned against emotional intelligence — that’s for women, we are told — that they are blithering idiots at reading the subtleties of allure or aversion.

Let’s assume that Blow is right, that there is no such thing as equality and that guys are “blithering idiots.” Let’s assume that he’s right that women are not responsible for men’s bad behavior, which they’re not. And let’s assume Blow’s tacit assertion that women are emotional puddles of irrationality, weak and incapable of dealing with “horny men” and living with a “list of oppressions” that constitute the rules of the road.

Say good-bye to Dolores on your way out the door. Better yet, don’t say anything to her, since no matter what you say it can be misconstrued because you might mean no harm but you’re a blithering idiot ruled by your horniness. Then again, if you don’t say “bye,” Dolores’ feelings may be hurt anyway. Whatever, the guards will walk you out of the building now.

Update: Since this morning when this post was written, Glenn Thrush of the New York Times and the venerable Charlie Rose have been taken down. I hear there’s a job opening at CBS, but you have to work with Gail King.

80 thoughts on “Blow Hard (Update)

    1. SHG Post author

      How many guys are willing to be thrown under the bus for the sake of fragile womanhood? How many wives will be understanding when their husbands lose their jobs or are branded harassers by co-workers? At the moment, insanity rules, but the consequences will soon become apparent. What happens then?

      1. B. McLeod

        I have to think most of the guys who are throwing in with this are either trying to deflect attention from their own issues, or trying to hook up with some fanatical women they know.

        1. SHG Post author

          Imputing motives is a dangerous game, just as their imputing motives to those of us who grasp the dangerous irrationality of their sobs. I assume Blow’s motives to be pure and well-intended. He’s dangerously wrong nonetheless.

          1. B. McLeod

            Comical if he thinks he will be spared. (If it were Talk Tuesday, I would link to a vintage YouTube video of “Seeräuberjenny”).

            1. SHG Post author

              Although the smart “crisis management” response for progressives is to confess, repent and dedicate your future to the cause, whether guilty or not. It doesn’t seem to work for anyone but male feminists. So when his turn comes, he need only cut off his nuts and put them on full display to atone for his sin of being male.

  1. Erik H

    “We have to focus on the fact that jokes that objectify women are not funny.”

    Well, shit. There go half of my good jokes.

    (The other half objectify men, but I guess those are still OK….? Someone please let me know.)

  2. Skink

    I can take no more. The rubber hoses and phone books worked their magic–I must confess! I am compelled. I groped. Men and women. I’ve slapped asses, especially after a good play. I did so without the least thought of the subjective impression. In the long-ago past and when I was much more able, I sought sexual relations with women. Some may have felt shamed; others took the offer. Looking back, some that accepted might have experienced regret. Again, I didn’t care about their regret. I am Man, so I must be changed. Legal, illegal; moral, immoral; expected, shocking. None of it matters. Only new definitions and recovered feelings matter. I am irretrievably bad.

    So there, I’ve exited the closet. I no longer lurk in the perpetual shadow secreting the horror of Man. I can promise to be better, but I can’t expect anyone to believe my promise. After all, I might start all over when dementia kicks in.

    What I will not do is pull my penis off and toss it on the pyre.

    1. SHG Post author

      Larry Tribe twitted “Sacrificing people to a cause teaches its own terrible lesson.” But then, that was about Al Franken. Your confession notwithstanding, you are no Al Franken.

      Then again, he’s only confessed his sins for that one instance. What will he say when the others come out because toxic horny males don’t just thrust their tongue once?

      1. B. McLeod

        If you mean the newly-alleged 2010 buttocks-grabbing incident, he claims not to recall it, but regrets that the complainant “came away from the interaction feeling disrespected. “

          1. B. McLeod

            Well, there is that. The piling-on could continue until his colleagues are forced to throw him under a bus. Many are already bouncing off the walls over the alleged ass-grabbing.

            1. B. McLeod

              In fairness, Yvette Vega, Charlie Rose’s longtime executive producer and alleged chief enabler, should join him in the stocks. She shouldn’t get a pass for her mercenary complicity simply because of her gender.

  3. DaveL

    I’m still struggling to understand when our culture condoned whipping it out in front of unsuspecting female co-workers? Or masturbating into potted plants? Considering the various scandals alleged so far, are we really talking about how society conditions ordinary boys to express their sexuality, or is this really more about how popular or powerful people are given a pass because they’re powerful or popular?

    1. SHG Post author

      Do you do this? I don’t. I don’t know anyone who does. So Weinstein and Louis CK do, and so do we all? Not my thing.

    1. David

      The “metoo” kick was for women to vent, a catharsis intended to let the world know how many women suffered from sexual misconduct.

      As SHG makes clear (over and over), what’s happening here has nothing to do with female catharsis, but with women making specific accusations against men that are being “prosecuted” extra-judicially in the media. This is a very different issue and problem. Conflating the two is foolish and very dangerous.

      1. SHG Post author

        Trying to make some sense out of Turk’s obsession (he’s generally a pretty smart guy), perhaps it’s just some gestalt thing where he needs a word to latch on to in order to make sense of all this, rather than an actual appreciation of the nuance of what’s happening here.

  4. Mario Machado

    It’s one thing that White Knights like Blow get paid to be professional hysterics. It’s a sign of the Times.

    It’s another for this dangerous “believe-the-victim-and-slay-the-accused-no-matter-what” mentality to affect those who can really ruin people’s lives, and not just make them stupider: prosecutors. Gotta wonder whether this en vogue mentality will affect the (over)charging decisions for young, progressive prosecutors. Maybe what used to be a close call/no charge for some D.A.’s will now be a no-brainer/throw the book. There’s got to be a few Lena Dunhams out there who have the time & coin to get a law degree and net a gig at a D.A.’s office.

    Also, H.R. wants to see you. Because of that title.

    1. SHG Post author

      Have you met any of the young criminal defense lawyers who are deeply passionate about social justice lately? They’ll hang you long before the prosecutors will.

  5. Turk

    As SHG makes clear (over and over), what’s happening here has nothing to do with female catharsis, but with women making specific accusations against men that are being “prosecuted” extra-judicially in the media. This is a very different issue and problem. Conflating the two is foolish and very dangerous.

    Well, none of us here get to decide the full extent of MeToo. What is clear is that people are feeling empowered to step forward where they had not done so previously. Similar, in one sense, to the priest molestation issues, after the first few took headlines.

    What the media decides to do with any particular issue, insofar a people being subjected to extra-judicial “prosecution,” is based mainly on what it thinks will catch eyeballs.

    But I suspect that what happens outside the media as people step forward and discuss past incidents with friends and family will ultimately be more significant than those high profile media “prosecutions.” And once again with an analogy, it wasn’t any one particular celebrity coming out as gay that influenced the public to very rapidly accept same sex marriage, but the snowball effect from friends and relatives coming out.

    In legal terms, think of it as the perception of the jury pool being changed as past incidents are recalled.

    This is not an opinion on what should happen, but rather, an observation as to what is happening.

    1. SHG Post author

      There are certainly superficial similarities. There are also significant differences. Why you can’t stop digging this hole is beyond me.

      And try using the reply button, please. Even you aren’t special.

    2. David

      What I think you’re trying to say is that MeToo opened the floodgates, rather than the floodgates were opened with the series of women who revealed their experiences with Harvey Weinstein, then came Kevin Spacey, et al., and then came MeToo, as well as additional revelations bearing no evident connection to MeToo, but the specific allegations of Rose McGowan. While the general feeling of piling on certainly contributes to an atmosphere that makes women feel empowered to disclose things they might not otherwise disclose, or make things up to be part of the gang, your obsession with making this about MeToo is likely misguided and, in any event, contributes nothing useful. You can be as obsessed about it is your pathology demands, but it deflects attention from the serious issues.

      And good try with analogies, for those who struggle with explaining concepts directly. Even though your priest analogy doesn’t quite work, you still did a better job of it than Mary Anne Franks.

      1. SHG Post author

        I think we’ve had enough with this sideshow. No more about MeToo, analogies or Mary Anne Franks, please. This contributes nothing of value.

        (This is like a dog whistle to Tyre to make a really bad joke. Don’t do it, Jim. Just don’t.)

          1. Miles

            You realize, of course, that aside from Turk’s inexplicable need to harp on the #MeToo thing, this is just quibbling over nonsense, right? RIGHT?!?

            1. SHG Post author

              Thank you for explaining that, Capt. Obvious. This is turning into one of those days when I really wish I turned off the comments.

      2. B. McLeod

        Doesn’t matter. Whichever way, the floodgates were opened, so now it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights and all the sewers will back up.

  6. Terence Roberts

    The law of unintended consequences:
    Dolores and most of HR might be in the gunsights of those recently escorted out the building?

        1. SHG Post author

          Or he could sue for Space Alienation of Affection. Why do non-lawyers think there’s a lawsuit for everything?

  7. Boffin

    It’s Communism, is what it is. Remember denunciations? For being a counter-revolutionary, or a wrecker, or a kulak, or a capitalist roader. Simply to be denounced mean ruin, and not a soul would dare to make a peep in defense of the accused. Punishment first, trial later (if ever). The only way to survive is self-criticism, or even better – to denounce others.

    It sure as hell isn’t a world I want to live in.

    1. SHG Post author

      Ironically, Franken was “disappeared” from PBS’ upcoming broadcast of David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize. A very Stalinesque thing to do.

          1. B. McLeod

            I saw that. Finally a glimmer of recognition that every special snowflake in the Big Tent can’t be paramount. Also, a descent into moral relativism, as Ms. Goldberg concludes that the forcible kissing alleged to have been committed by Franken was in no sense criminal, so that is the new basis (today) for applying believe-the- women exclusively on a partisan basis. Bottom line, she acknowledges women are stuck with the churlish behavior if they want the votes from their “allies” (essentially the same thing Ms. Conway said about Roy Moore).

          2. B. McLeod

            Also of note, Ms. Goldberg seems to be assuming the conduct alleged against Roy Moore (fondling a 14-year old) would have been criminal in 1979. The early Washington Post story that pushed that theory linked to an unofficial, unannotated version of the 1975 Code of Alabama, which, however, is that Code as supplemented today. The Washington Post may have missed this point completely, as the sections it referred to appeared to consist of 1977-era provisions as amended in the 2000s. Based on the materials they linked to, and the limited material available online to identify the changes made by the amendments, it is in fact not possible from those sources to determine what the referenced sections provided in 1979. This could be highly significant to a proper analysis, because it is possible to determine from online sources that the Alabama enactment setting 16 as the minimum age to contract marriage in Alabama was Alabama Acts 2003-150, adopted in 2003.

            1. SHG Post author

              There’s a peculiar irony to your noting her “tit” compared to your “tat,” as if doing the same thing she’s doing is different when you do it than when she does it.

            2. B. McLeod

              I’m just noting that the assumptions reported about Alabama law 40 years ago may be wrong, in which case, the distinctions attempted based on relating current law back 40 years in time would not be valid.

            3. SHG Post author

              I understood. I’m just noting so what? Each stands or falls on its own, regardless of what the other team’s rapist does.

            4. B. McLeod

              But if they have tats today, that’s just as good. For the record, I have never met Ms. Goldberg or her tats (or the others).

    2. B. McLeod

      The uninitiated think “denouncing others” makes them safe, but as Franken (and now Glenn Thrush) have demonstrated, it does not. Obviously, any women they have harassed know that they are phonies, and may be prompted to turn them in for that reason alone (I.e., to drive the evil wolves from the fold). Whatever the cause, this month The Terror has been doubling as the Career Death March of the Holier-Than-Thou Pontificators.

  8. Sol Wisenberg

    “But I believe that something far more fundamental has to take place. We have to re-examine our toxic, privileged, encroaching masculinity itself. And yes, that also means on some level reimagining the rules of attraction.”

    Sweet Jesus. The Russkies are going to roll right over us someday soon.

  9. Sara

    Anybody else concerned about the likely coming wave of third party allegations? Given what’s been happening on college campuses, it’s not just Dolores, but somebody who witnessed the exchange and decided to take offense on her behalf that we have to worry about. (I’d link to the Yoffe article about the USC case and the little information we have about how many college cases involve third party allegations but for the prohibition.)

  10. wilbur

    Yes, and if you fail to properly examine and confess your toxic masculinity or your various other privileges, the New Red Guard will be paying you an ever-so-friendly visit. But they’ll call it something else.

    A new Cultural Revolution? Perhaps. Instead of death, public beatings and banishment to a Re-education Center, you may just lose your job. So be happy.

  11. B. McLeod

    Oh my. Now the NYT has reportedly suspended Glenn Thrush. Even in the heart of wokieness country, believe-the-women strikes home!

      1. B. McLeod

        The Vox story (which appears to have forced NYT’s hand) points out in its opening how Thrush bagged on Halperin while Halperin was being pilloried. This is how The Terror works, run with the rabbits, then hunt with the hounds!

  12. Matthew S Wideman

    Jordan Peterson said it best, that the dominant culture is becoming feminine and feelings based. How are men supposed to cope in a work place, school, or college when their norms are suddenly unfashionable? Men are used to conflict with others as right of passage and an everyday part of life. Some of my best lawyer friends and I have had it out in court and in the hall way. We have used all kinds of unacceptable language and names when talking about one another. But, yet I know where those attorneys and colleagues stand.

    1. SHG Post author

      He’s right that the push is to feminize and emotionalize culture for a while, but the question is whether most guy will change. I see some, mostly young and academics, embrace it, while most guys just continue to be guys. But the change is becoming more flagrant, even if not more pervasive. This has nothing to do with the MRA-types, who over react, but with ordinary guys who just want to be ordinary guys, and have no intention of going gender fluid or sharing their feelings. We just want to eat bacon and watch football.

  13. Wrongway

    In a weird way isn’t the Media sort of responsible for this attitude of ignoring victims of sexual abuse?
    If ya think back to the 90’s when there were women that strong enough & came forward to report their experiences with “whomever it might be”, they were dragged through the mud, called bimbos’, & basically just blown off because it was a “political attack” & everyone knew it. Hell, that kind of told everyone that it was ok, & to continue on because nothing will happen to you.
    Now, the same Media is telling us that everything is wrong & believe the victim no matter what !!??

    1. B. McLeod

      Some media. It looks like a split is developing, between believe-the-woman and we-need-our-allies. Rep Conyers reminds us that the fact an allegation has been made does not mean that it is true (Conyers has now shifted to admitting he settled a claim, but he vehemently denies that the allegations were true).

      1. Lucas Beauchamp

        Conyers settled for $27,000. If the sexual-harassment case had an ounce of credibility, he could not have gotten out for anywhere near that.

        But Debra Katz says I’m wrong: the low settlement just shows how flawed the process is. She told the New York Times, “Even with these very serious allegations, the victim of harassment received a very paltry settlement, which is typical of what happens when people even with the strongest claims come forward.” Who needs evidence when you have allegations?

        1. B. McLeod

          Conyers lied about the existence of the settlement, until it was clear the press had documents. The settlement was hidden in his office budget (not even paid from the usual secret buyoff fund). The settling claimant is only one of many accusers, and the House has opened an ethics investigation. So, that will go where it goes. Conyers is clearly not onboard with “believe-the-women.”

          1. SHG Post author

            Your last sentence is wrong. He’s totally on board with “believe-the-woman,” just as Franken and other good alies are. For you. For me. For the law. For re-election. What makes you think inconsistency and hypocrisy stand in the way?

            1. B. McLeod

              Well, he did say in his public statements yesterday that the fact that an allegation has been made doesn’t mean that it is true (he doubts). Plus, after being pushed back from the denial of the existence of the settlement, then his denial of knowledge of the settlement, Conyers “vehemently denied” the allegations that were settled (denial, no apology). That is more like “anti-believe-the-women,” or “the absence of believe-the-women.” But, maybe he will still clarify that he does believe the women, plus, perhaps apologize if any women felt disrespected as a result of his interactions (or his vehement denials).

  14. Sacho

    My latest favourite is Arianna Huffington’s tweet on the story about her being groped by Franken:

    “I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander. I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences.”

    The movement is about “believing the victim”, and if you’re not a victim, then why would they believe you? Checkmate. It’s amusing to see people being so naive as to the real goals of feminism, just because it’s wrapped in pretty slogans that we really like. Welcome to “smashing the patriarchy”, the train has no brakes.

  15. B. McLeod

    Apparently, lists of The Hunted are circulating, as media pundits pull their wokey razors on each other. From Jonathan Easley’s write-up in The Hill today:

    “Media outlets are devoting tremendous resources to investigating their colleagues and competitors. Lists are circulating in journalism circles of men suspected of misconduct. The flood of allegations about top editors, reporters and executives is expected to continue.”

    Lists! “See, with a spot, I damn him!”

    1. SHG Post author

      Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys is accused of raping (by oral sex) a singer in a girl group. Can Mick Jagger be far behind?

  16. B. McLeod

    There’s probably a separate list for the music biz. Mariah Carey has already been accused. It all seems very, very Mikado.

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