Arriving, delivering, and why Jordan Peterson’s decimation of Cathy Newman shows why nothing has actually changed for women.

I

Idea-shaming seems to be the only trick in #MeToo’s bag.

It didn’t work for Hillary Clinton. She lost an election because of her perpetual mental laziness and inability to come up with a strategy other than trying to shame enough people not to vote for her rival.

Because shaming doesn’t actually work. 

Once upon a time people who were gay were shamed, but we can see that once a little light went off in an entire shamed group’s head, they rejected the shaming, demanded their rights, and made strides, that in truth, they should have never had to fight for in the first place.

Human beings have an uncanny ability to waste everybody else’s time for absolutely no good reason.

#MeToo, as I have repeatedly said, has way too many problems going for it, and it will backfire. It is not as if the problems outlined aren’t real. They are.

The problem is that people have mistaken an ambush as the one strategy that will continue to work.

And it won’t work in the long-term.

We have gone through this game before. Women’s rights got them so much and then there was the requisite media cheering…and then comes along #MeToo that revealed that these so-called “strong” women were being treated as slaves and victims in their places of work, even if they were bringing home millions of dollars.

So, what that basically shows is that, everything until now was some sort of sham.

It is that reality that can easily undermine #MeToo.

The marches yesterday also greatly undermine #MeToo. People who march are not the wealthy powerbrokers. It is the weak and dispossessed who missed every chance to make changes where they count, and now have been driven out into the streets to throw a temper tantrum because they have no power. It is a de facto admission that you have no influence.

You do not see management striking against workers. You see workers striking against management.

For a reason.

People in power do not resort to marches. It is beneath them. People who have no power do it as a last resort.

So to have a second march actually is an admission that nothing has changed. It is a waste of time and resources.

And the President gleefully tweaks the noses of those who are seeing themselves as victims.

And they earned that tweaking for staying static.

You cannot do the same thing and expect a different outcome.

II

Women have not begun, and proof is the Cathy Newman’s humbling by Jordan Peterson on her own program. The Independent has no clue what actually happened, and babbled some nonsense about how now poor victim Newman is being attacked because things are changing against the Old Boys Club.

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That is deluded wishful thinking.

Those men in power are in power for a reason. They know war strategy and women still think idea-shaming will magically force men to relinquish control and admit they were wrong and the queen bees and fairy princesses will live happily ever after, the end.

The Spectator actually understood what went down.

But there is far more to it than that.

Peterson is the superior intellect and Newman adheres to rules and scripts. People who follow rules blindly huff and puff and rely on feints and ruses, including idea-shaming.

Peterson is an experimental psychologist and an academic. He does his research and presents facts.

As someone whose undergraduate degree was in experimental psychology — and whose graduate degree was in journalism, I can tell you there is no comparison: it is the psychologists who have the upper-hand intellectually. I had once written a piece for my alma mater’s alumni magazine stating that the journalism absolutely needed the psychology to stay relevant.

It’s why psychology thrives and journalism collapsed.

And what proof do we have that #MeToo is effective?

The media reports. That’s it.

And that should worry any woman who thinks they have made true progress.

Peterson understood he was a soldier. Newman thought she was a queen bee. Soldier took apart the queen. The end.

This debate is far more devastating to #MeToo than most people realize: that program was Newman’s. She had editorial control and could do research on Peterson as she set the terms of engagement.

Had she done her homework, she would have never used idea-shaming because Peterson has had his ideas under attack by other academics and journalists for a long time, and he is primed to defend those ideas with ease. He has managed to carve a niche for himself, and there are almost no other psych professors in Canada who can make the same claim.

She grossly underestimated her target, the way Bill O’Reilly grossly underestimated Jeremy Glick. I discussed that exchange in my book OutFoxed, but O’Reilly’s misstep was a rare one for him. He usually was the master of sizing up his prey and then tailor-making his campaign depending on the guest’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses. His schoolyard taunts were used to unnerve guests as they were a cover to hide O’Reilly’s true cunning.

Newman is nowhere near the intellectual mettle of O’Reilly. She is a poor debater, instead, relying on a predictable and confined number of tricks and techniques that preach to the converted.

Her arena is safely rigged to protect her, but the psychologist took one look, saw all the rigs, and then covertly rejigged them to work in his advantage.

The attack was not just a one-off: it screams that it is time for those who wish to truly make changes for women to sit up and take notice that idea-shaming is not effective because unless you can think like a soldier, you are going to get mowed down by a single mediocre soldier who knows it’s all just puffing.

A man like Peterson can undo every gain of #MeToo without even trying.

Because women have no war strategies that work to their own natural ways of thinking and reacting.

III

Most of the changes that came with #MeToo have been shallow, and of the men who have lost power, a good number of them can easily make comebacks. Americans love a comeback kid. They live for tales of redemption and the phoenix who rises from the ashes. OJ Simpson is out of jail, golfing away. Bill Cosby can still pack a theatre as he is a free man. Bill Clinton is still a man about town.

And of the ones on the #MeToo Hitlist, they can stay low, get a crisis management team and a good lawyer, and turn the tables on the accusers.

Woody Allen still makes movies, for instance. He is in his eighties and had his full career and will have a longer and more successful legacy than any female director can ever hope to achieve. Roman Polanski still gets a free pass, too.

That is the truth. That is reality. And no amount of shrill squawking and sophistry can alter either.

There is something else that is equally troubling: even with cosmetic changes of adding a few more women on the news programs, for instance, the structure of the shows remain the same. The stories remain the same. The content remains the same.

They are still patriarchal shows. The ratings are still eroding. The profession is still dead.

In other words, when the profession has hit the skids, jump ship, give it to women, and let them be happy to go down on a sinking ship thinking they are going somewhere.

And nothing gets accomplished and nothing changes.

Why?

Because women have become so obsessed with arriving, that they have not given one second of thought to delivering.

If you arrive, but cannot deliver, you have wasted everyone’s time, including your own.

That’s the blind spot. That’s the weakness of #MeToo. That is what happens when your strategy is based on the slacktivist notion of idea-shaming.

You need facts, logic, strategy, feedback, and ideas. You need vision. Recently, Open Democracy had a very stupid article asking why there wasn’t a feminist Intercept…

Except I had one seven years before the arrival of the actual Intercept. The fact that two authors did not do their homework or ever considered the idea that perhaps there was a feminist Intercept, but was struggling because it is being ignored, showed the absolute ignorance and arrogance that threatens everything riding on this movement.

Their narrative was more important to them them than facts. When narrative is undermined by reality, you lose credibility, not just from enemies, but you alienate allies in the bargain.

You cannot expect victory if you do not do your research. Cathy Newman did not do her research. To be unprepared while your target is prepared and experienced is a recipe for disaster.

The problem is that you have women who can deliver. You have women who are innovators and visionaries.

But they get no support because of that tunnel vision that will derail #MeToo.

At the Golden Globes, you had grown women acting like teenagers: all wearing black dresses, having little pins, ignoring the women who were the impetus for #MeToo, such as Rose McGowan, and then having an opportunist mug for the camera hoping to run for president instead of, I don’t know, using a platform to do bring something tangible that would benefit other women.

It was all #MeMeMe. Fairy princesses and queen bees dance to the patriarchal structure, not their own natural rhythms, meaning their own thought patterns are rigged to fail when they get too close to threatening actual power.

The show was a farce that revealed every weakness of #MeToo, and there are several fatal weaknesses, make no mistake.

You had women who only hopped on the #MeToo express when they saw they could benefit, such as Meryl Streep, at the expense of Rose McGowan.

You had lip service and grandstanding, which underlined just how naive the movement has become.

#MeToo has never been about everyday women. This has been mostly a confessional for women in the arts and communications industries.

There is a great divide, and divides bring resentments, allowing anyone who wishes to throw such a movement into disarray, to easily find those vulnerabilities and exploit them.

Because there has been no plans to deliver, the arrival comes, but at a great disappointment.

Feminism needs to break away from victim-based strategies. Stop relying on passive symbols and victim-marching because you are always in a subservient position. You have visionaries and innovators who can deliver.

But they are being prevented from arriving because #MeToo has always been about following, and following a defeatist patriarchal narrative.

Do not stick to something because it seems to work. Peterson’s victory over Newman happened precisely because he actively read her, got prepared, and then used her own unoriginal and passive strategies against her. She stuck to a script and he adlibbed his way to international triumph.

And on her own program. Her rigs failed her.

Because she arrived, but failed to deliver.

The confines of the victim’s narrative did her in. Peterson is out to win. If you want to have the life of a independent free agent, you have to think like one.

And it is high time women who want a better life start breaking away from the shackles of their own mind to do it.

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