Emotions Running High 😩
Six weeks ago, I published a blog that immediately hurtled to the top of our most-read list – a list that’s been around for more than a decade. You can read “Why Every Man Must Step Up His Response to #NotAllMen” HERE.
One of the reasons that it was read so widely – apart from the generous sharing from friends – is that #MeToo and #NotAllMen were trending globally, pointing to the fact that the various digital blows had caused significant ‘feeling’ within both camps who were vehemently defending their respective hashtags.
Since then, we have seen repeated sackings in parliament and the worlds of sport and celebrity where, like a janitor slapping on a plastic glove to reach down a blocked toilet – unsure as to what they’re going to find – the swamp has slowly started to drain.
Rightly so, the expectation is that all men ‘take new responsibility’ for speaking out against sexual inappropriateness or intimidation against women – and men – whether on the building site or in the office, on the TV, radio or in pornographic underworlds.
Men must do more.
But one of the biggest conspiracies against our shared desire for progress in the culture(s) of abuse of women is the horrendous double-standard – at the hands of both men and women – that we all saw played out on the BBC’s The Apprentice last night. I don’t think there could have been a better, prime-time example of the hypocrisy that we’re seeing around this debate and that acts to hijack a fuller cultural revolution toward increased respect and safety for all, especially women.
Every man and woman watching The Apprentice last night should have been repulsed and angered not only at the outrageous display of sexism and sexual harassment by Elizabeth and Michaela but by the glaringly obvious and despicable double standard that effectively hamstrings the #MeToo campaign.
Why is it OK for a woman to both physically and verbally ‘touch up’ a man, ‘phowarring’ and literally touching his genitals, broadcast all over the world, and for the general response to be playground laughter? The very fact this was allowed in the final edit by the BBC – and the sheer fact that it happened in the first place – proves the point that there is anoher gender imbalance in cultural play that feminists might not want to acknowledge as a key part of the overall problem.
I’ll Tell You Why
It’s not OK. That’s the point.
Do women honestly think that they can piggy-back on #MeToo, slur all men because of ‘rape cultures’ and ‘excuse cultures’, slam all men because of the propensity of all men to harass and excuse – and therefore be complicit to varying degrees – all the while laughing-off what we’ve seen above?
The disparity is frightening.
Last night and this morning, the public are waking up and asking,
‘What would have happened if that had been a bloke asking to see a woman’s breasts, or actually touching the inside of her groin live on TV?’
Again, the point is that it this would never have happened.
Had the gender role-plays been reversed, certain people would have lost their jobs and perhaps even been arrested – even before the Weinstein watershed. The BBC would have been heavily fined, named and shamed and possibly even prosecuted.
I wonder what Theresa May would have been forced to to do if this had been something like a celebrity The Apprentice featuring members of her cabinet behaving like this?
Let’s Get Real
The cultures in our society that want to lurch towards either #MeToo or #NotAllMen have to appreciate that this is not a gender issue…this is a humanity issue!
Just like the intimacy-killing, erectile-dysfunction-producing tragedy of pornography, this hypocrisy is literally fostering, incubating and even protecting the cultures that develop into the frightful Harvey Weinsteins of this world.
We have to get as serious about this feminist hypocrisy – as we are the reality and tragedy of #MeToo – if women and men are to be protected.