Maybe part of the cultural punishment is that some innocent men will be hurt.
jay25, reader comment
No, we haven’t gone too far, nor far enough. … The only way to change the equation is for men to begin paying that price, guilty or not.
los angeles reader, reader comment
Feminism is a partisan movement on behalf of females. Advancing the status and circumstances of women is its first and only priority. One problem with single value movements, such as feminism, is that it disregards other values that are important. For feminists, every other value may be suppressed in aid of female supremacy. Most notable, at this moment, is the feminist suppression of justice.
Justice is not problematical for radical feminists because they already know who is innocent and who is guilty: women throughout history are innocent victims of male oppression. As one enunciation of this understanding puts it, “Male privilege, male hegemony and male chauvinism has been around for millennia all the while women and girls carrying the burden and paying the price for doing nothing but being female.”
Feminism sees the world as divided according to gender category: male versus female. The mandate of feminism is to advance the interests of females by undermining the status and power of males, and replacing them with females. For example, in 1999 Mary Daly argued that the population of men should be radically reduced: “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff any more.” Sally Gearhart proposed a way to do this: “It’s not genocide, exactly. … A 75 per cent female to 25 per cent male ratio could be achieved in one generation if one half of a population reproduced heterosexually and one half by ovular merging”.
Susanna Danuta Walters, professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, as well as the editor of the gender studies journal Signs, has a more modest proposal: “So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy. It is long past time to play hard for Team Feminism. And win.” (Demographic note: no one living today, or ever, has been alive for “millennia,” or has suffered or benefitted for millennia.)
Feminism thus construes females not as complex and often conflicted human beings, but as pure and good victims; it construes males as bigoted, brutal, evil oppressors. Note that both females and males are reduced to their gender, with no distinctions made amongst them. Feminism addresses people according to their gender categories, not to each individual’s multiple dimensions and multifarious characteristics.
Reducing people to categories and dealing with them as such is a time honoured, or time dishonoured frame of reference. History is replete with examples: tribe vs. tribe, Persian vs. Turk, Persian vs. Byzantine, Arab vs. infidel, Chinese vs. Turks, whites vs. blacks, Germans vs. Jews. The other is treated as inferior or subhuman or evil, and thus any attack is allowed, any atrocity celebrated. This is the model adopted by feminists: women vs. men.
The feminist war against men pursues many strategies. One is to demand equal gender representation in all important organizations: parliament, courts, universities. But only where women are under-represented; where women are over-represented, feminists have no objection. Females are over-represented among university graduates and increasingly among university professors, deans, and high administrators. The Principal of McGill University brags that female deans are now the majority.
Another strategy is to claim that male oppressors have corrupted public culture in favour of male supremacy and brutality. Feminists, especially those in universities, now are unanimous that we live in a “rape culture.” This makes no sense, because culture is a set of rules and goals, and Western culture (unlike some others) forbids rape, councils against it, and punishes it severely. But it neatly frames all men as brutal rapists, driving home the point that men are evil. And it frightens females, drawing them into the safe haven of feminism. The claim that we have a “rape culture” is false and dishonest, but has proven effective in advancing feminist ideology.
Even more effective than imaginings about “rape culture” are the accusations and allegations of misbehavior directed at particular men. Here feminists can attack men through the resources and coercion of institutional regulations and laws. And the feminist position, much repeated, is that all accusations by females must be believed. This was stated explicitly by Democrat Presidential nominee for the United States Hillary Clinton, past Secretary of State, who demanded that AEvery survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.@ The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, a self-identified feminist, insists that we must Abelieve all allegations.@ New York University’s “Wellness Exchange” advises about rape allegations, “Believe Unconditionally.” President Obama’s Department of Education instructed colleges and universities to give the benefit of doubt to any accusation of sexual impropriety or violence. Colleges and universities obeyed to a fault, severely punishing accused males without an assumption of innocence or due process or convincing substantiation. Feminists applauded. The courts of law did not.
Notwithstanding rebukes from the courts, accusation and allegations go viral. The process is foreshortened; now we go directly from allegation to condemnation, from accusation to verdict of guilty, and from asserted guilt to punishment. Left out entirely are due process, substantiation, and evidence. At best this is a kangaroo court; at worse, a lynching. In July 2018, a female violinist claimed that the Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra had “forced himself” on her in 1998. With no presumption of innocence, no investigation, and no trial, the Concertmaster was suspended from his job. After all, in our feminist era, what a female says must be true.
This is not justice by any historical idea of the term. In procedural justice, “the procedures that together make up a fair trial are justified on the grounds that for the most part they produce outcomes in which the guilty are punished and the innocent are acquitted.” This astonishing idea, that “the innocent are acquitted” is contrary to the feminist view, which is that all men are a priori guilty.
The feminist approach to law as an instrument to undermine and punish men contradicts the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, in Article 7 says, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.” Thus the plea to believe whatever a female says is a violation of the human rights of men.
Aside from accusations being assumed to be true, there are several odd features of these denunciations of alleged sexual impropriety. First, there is the anonymity of the authors of many of these allegations, which precludes facing one’s accuser. Although the identity of the complainant may be unknown or inaccessible, the accusation is nonetheless always deemed valid. Second, there is the bandwagon effect of accusers piling on, as the #metoo phenomenon illustrates. Third, there is the miraculous escalation of allegations against a person, with no substantiation whatsoever, from accusations of a consensual if inappropriate relationship, to not being a person that the recipient wishes to engage with, to making someone feel uncomfortable, to undesired invitations, to sexual harassment, to sexual predation, to violent rape. Somehow, once the feminist spotlight is turned on a man, he automatically becomes a rapist. What is remarkable is that this feminist mob hysteria is assumed to be legitimate and true.
Feminist lynch mobs not only destroy men’s reputations, jobs, and lives, but also inflict wounds on many women. Benny Frederiksson was the director of the Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Stockholm’s premier arts and culture center. In December 2017, accusations against him were published in the Swedish press. An internal city investigation did not substantiate the claims. Frederiksson was stunned, and decided to take a leave from his job. He fell into a deep depression, and, in March 2018, committed suicide. His wife, Anne Sophie van Otter, world famous opera singer, says it was the metoo movement that expelled her husband from his job, sent him into depression, and caused him to kill himself. “She said a herd mentality had taken hold, threatening ‘independent, critical thinking’.” According to the Washington Post,
‘The opera singer fiercely backed her husband’s innocence, saying he was a difficult boss — “he could yell sometimes,” she said — but that he was blameless of sexual misconduct. “Benny was not a womanizer, he didn’t look at women’s breasts or behinds,” she protested. She judged that it was unwise for her husband to have stepped down so quickly, a view that he came to share, she said. “The atmosphere was extremely charged,” she said.’ Van Otter said hopefully that “We all have good and bad sides, but we no longer live in the Middle Ages,” she said. “We do not publicly pillory anyone and spit on or stone him or her.”
In 2015, Professor Steven Galloway, the head of the writing program at the University of British Columbia, was suspended due to “serious allegations,” the nature of which he was not told. UBC appointed a retired Supreme Court of British Columbia judge to investigate. The external investigation, which UBC did not release to the public, exonerated Galloway and awarded him $167,000. The University fired him anyway. In 2016, six dozen members of the Canadian arts community and others published “An Open Letter To UBC: Steven Galloway’s Right To Due Process.” After reviewing events, the letter concluded as follow:
“Professor Galloway himself has been denied the right to speak publicly while his case is being grieved. The University’s willingness to allow the suspicions it has created to continue to circulate is surprising and appears to be contrary to the principles of fairness and justice that should guide any distinguished academic institution.
“The University’s conduct in this matter is of great concern. We, the undersigned, respect the principle of protection for individuals who wish to bring complaints. We also respect the right of an accused to fair treatment. There is growing evidence that the University acted irresponsibly in Professor Galloway’s case. Because the case has received a great deal of public attention, the situation requires public clarification.
“We therefore request that the University of British Columbia establish an independent investigation into how this matter has been handled by the Creative Writing Program, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and the senior administration at UBC.
“We are not requesting that privacy be violated and understand that there are grievance proceedings in process. Justice, however, requires due process and fair treatment for all, which the University appears to have denied Professor Galloway.”
After what happened next, several signatories removed their names from this letter.
What happened next is very informative. One of the signatories, Margaret Atwood, arguably the most prominent Canadian feminist and author, was rapidly vilified as a “bad feminist,” by University of Alberta English professor Julie Rak. Dr. Lucia Lorenzi tweeted
“Margaret Atwood. The women who signed the UBC Accountable letter. Donna Karan. The list goes on. That betrayal feels like hot knives.” Another critic wrote, “Margaret Atwood’s latest op-ed is a very, very clear reminder that old cis women are not to be trusted. They care more about poor widdle [sic] accused men than they do about actual f****** rape victims. They spend as much time advocating for rapists as they do attacking victims.”
In a reply to her critics, Atwood says, with reference to the Galloway case,
“A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see. We are grownups: We can make up our own minds, one way or the other. The signatories of the UBC Accountable letter have always taken this position. My critics have not, because they have already made up their minds. Are these Good Feminists fair-minded people? If not, they are just feeding into the very old narrative that holds women to be incapable of fairness or of considered judgment, and they are giving the opponents of women yet another reason to deny them positions of decision-making in the world. …
“If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? … In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.”
Attacks on Atwood and the co-signers of the Open Letter to UBC come not only from toxic feminism, but also from its associated identity politics and its “social justice frame” which denigrates whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews, and, amazingly, North American Asians as “privileged oppressors.” This is now the substance of what is taught in North American colleges and universities, and why indoctrinated university graduate are feminist extremists.
‘It is increasingly common for academics to see and teach literature as fundamentally a kind of activism, and their role as critics as an activist one as well,” a successful Ontario-based novelist told me. “And there is really a very easy way of determining [a book’s value]. It is not by its content or form. It is in the identity of its author. The author’s privilege or lack of it is calculated using a simple points system, and the book’s worth is then established according to the total. A book by a straight white female author [such as Atwood] is unlikely to be considered useful to social progress, unless that author is seen to have another disadvantage such as a physical disability—and so on.’
Attacks on established authors are nothing new in Canada. ‘Our country has long been vulnerable to “tall-poppy syndrome,” by which mediocrities in a particular métier will work together to cut down the reputation of an outlier who has achieved success beyond Canada’s borders. And thanks to the modern fixation on gender and race, these poppy cutters can now cynically present their scythes as tools of social justice.’
Other senior feminists have rejected the anti-male witch trials and lynchings that are now de rigueur. In January 2018, one hundred French women in the arts signed a petition in which they rejected the #metoo movement, called in France “Balance ton porc” («Expose Your Pig») hashtag. In response to angry objections, Catherine Deneuve followed up with a letter explaining her position: “Yes, I love freedom. I do not like that we live in a time when everyone feels they have the right to set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner. A time when mere accusations on social media lead to punishment, resignation and sometimes – indeed often – trial by media. … I pass no judgment on their guilt or innocence; I am not qualified to do so. Very few people are. And, no, I do not like the mob mentality that is far too common today.”
Isn’t it peculiar that “great causes,” such as purifying the race, establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, and bringing everyone to the worship of Allah, all dispense with civil and legal protections in the name of the greater good, all end up targeting disfavoured categories of people, and all end up destroying the lives of untold numbers. Sadly, feminism has joined the list of “great causes,” targeting men, and celebrating the destruction of their lives.
 Los Angeles Reader, reader comment, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2018/01/13/ladies-lets-be-reasonable-about-metoo-or-nothing-will-ever-be-sexy-again/?undefined=&utm_term=.57bd5d069449&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1
 Highlights from the April 26, 2018, Board of Governors meeting / Faits saillants de la réunion du Conseil des gouverneurs tenue le 26 avril 2018
 AMoment of Reckoning Has Its Own Dangers,@ Andrew Coyne, National Post, A7, 27 January 2018
 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice/#JustImpa, Section 2.3