Let’s recap the temper tantrum of the #MeToo critics: they have been babbling about a “witch hunt.”
Women have been the victims of slander and witch hunts for centuries. If a woman’s skirt is “too short” (whatever that means), or if she is intoxicated, she is immediately blamed for a man’s behaviour as if he were a little boy who cannot help himself.
Rosie DiManno is the queen of predatory-supporting sophistry, talking the misogynist’s talk. Take her opening for a recent column:
A teenage girl walks into a bar . . .
An unwelcome pass from a much older man.
That’s how you do it, stranger-to-stranger.
It isn’t rocket science.
You don’t stagger drunk back to the guy’s house and then get all damsel-in-distress stressed over a crossed-wires sloppy seduction scene, as, way belatedly, both accusers of alleged sexual misconduct by Patrick Brown have now portrayed their encounters.
I’m not casting blame.
I’m not shaming.
I’m not speculating about motive.
I am simply following the sketchy narrative as provided by the complainants to CTV, which former Ontario PC Leader Brown denied before dropping out of sight.
The hell you are not shaming. Shame on you for not having the courage to be honest with your readers.
This is the logic of bad journalism. That thinking is the very reason journalism collapsed: because you have dutiful patriarchal stenographers mommying predators.
If I had received a story about a teenaged girl walking into a bar and getting drunk as an adult male — who was absolutely sober — offered to drive her home, you bet I would start asking questions.
Right off the bat, I’d look at the age gap. An inexperienced teen versus an adult male with university education, in a position of power…and whose judgement was not clouded by alcohol. That’s an unfair fight, to say the least. What’s he doing hanging around teenagers?
A young woman like that would be ideal prey: she is alone, may not have family support, has, is impaired, and her word would automatically be considered less than the man who has now isolated her and marginalized her. If he was truly concerned, he can call a cab.
I have been the adult in situations where someone was in a vulnerable position. I have made sure the person was placed with someone qualified and trained to help them.
Now, if the man just did this once, his defenders could make a case that he erred and was an absolute moron, but doing it more than once? Not buying a Mr. Innocent narrative.
That’s the point where, as a journalist, you do the digging. You start talking and talking to everyone from his assistants, old classmates, nannies, and anyone who has seen him when he didn’t realize anyone was looking.
Once you get a rough sketch, you move on up.
You don’t put on a Wonder Woman costume and treat a man who was the leader of a political party as a lost little boy. He wants to lead an entire province, but he needs a hack to defend him when a scandal hits?
Are you serious?
I have dealt with predatory men who were extremely charming, and knew how to, as I call it, drop deniable hints at his target. He builds a rapport with someone he wishes to abuse — it is not necessarily sexual harassment or assault, but he could be thinking of fleecing someone, setting them up to take the fall for something he wants to do, and the like.
The pigeon is presented with a little personalized and well-practiced theatre act where he behaves in a certain nonthreatening way, always intimating that he is a victim, or unhappy, or nice or helpful…but should that target later relay this information to someone else, the predator can easily deny he ever did it, or that interpretation was his intent.
They pick their targets carefully.. They lure, groom, prime, and have the advantage that often is very hard to prove, but the damage is done.
It happened too many times to too many women. That’s why #MeToo has resonated and became as strong for as long as it has.
I have dodged those games from predators, but I was always resentful that I was ever exposed to those attempts in the first place.
So now we have teenagers being placed in a lion’s den…and should they expose that predator, people blame the victim.
Because people want those victims to shut up and go away, and not inconvenience some sunny narrative.
Especially those who expose a predator who doesn’t seem to be doing anything “really bad”.
People do not actually want to consider that perhaps a predator was stopped before things got worse.
They want a schoolyard full of dead children, for instance, rather than stop a bully the first time he taunts and torments a student.
Because we can think up all sorts of excuses, and it is those excuses that make predators emboldened.
But worst of all, I find it very interesting that people who speak out against abuse and get death threats and abuse for it…we barely hear the same enablers raging against that.
They also are silent when women who stand up to sexism in all its forms get abused for years.
Brianna Wu, who made her voice heard during Gamergate in 2014, is still getting abused.
Because Western culture — particularly journalism — always shelter predators.
They drool over them and reimagine them into being Great Men.
How many young women — who are never raised with survival strategies because women never had them — trust those Great Men, and then get ambushed and abused.
Then, to top it all off, they get painted as crazy liars for telling the truth.
A predator is a weakling. A predator has no talent and has to bluster, steal, and terrorize to get things he never earned.
Worst of all, he has fawning journalist groupies working overtime to protect him.
Why? If he is capable, he can stand up to the abuse women have been enduring for many, many years.
These are the men whose sins get swept under the rug with their little army of maids ensuring the worst of their acts are kept away from the public — so that no one knows the extent of their untrustworthiness.
And should someone expose that weakling, he will have no shortage of defenders mollycoddling him as they try to destroy the credibility and the lives of his victims.
So there may be enablers who don’t care if someone in power is a randy womanizer — other people do — and they have the right to know who they are supporting and voting for.
People like me have no use for people whose own family cannot trust them — or even realize who it is they are supporting.
Some people don’t care, and that’s their right — they can publicly express their support for inferior predators.
But if a predator is a predator, and he wants something from people who oppose it, we all have the right to know who we are dealing with.