Yesterday in the comments, there was a discussion about the bitter fruits of #metoo.
And it made me wonder exactly what else was supposed to happen.
Sure, in many industries women are treated shamefully. This is usually the kind of industry — like writing used to be, like literature still is, like academia, I’m sure, also is — that is afflicted by oligopsony. I.e. there is only one buyer (the gate keeper) but far more suppliers than could possibly be bought. In such a market it quickly becomes known that the reason you’re being bought or rejected is not just the quality of your work. I mean, it was known in the nineties when countless “how to write” books told you to go to conferences and workshops to meet editors, because it’s easier to reject the work of an unknown.
In writing and publishing — and yeah, other industries — there is another level of crazy induced by not being able to “control” how well your book does. I.e. so many people put their hand in, a critical failure by an office drone at a publishing house — say stealth releasing your book in eform and telling no one, not even the author — can make a book “fail” because by the time the paper book comes out your numbers aren’t great on Amazon, so the bookstores don’t order it, etc.
In that sort of system, where the fault is always the supplier and the supplier is always expendable, it helps to be in good with the gatekeepers. Women are treated shamefully, yeah, but so are men. In different ways, sure (not really always. I’ve heard rumors. Everyone has. Men too can be sexually harassed when they’re powerless.) but still treated shamefully. I’ve heard of men whose publicity for a book was quietly dropped after they disagreed with their editor on a trivial non-book-related matter, for instance.
So, yeah, horrible things happen to women — and men — under systems where people have absolute power over the career of others and have never learned economics, and also, honestly, don’t care for the field or what happens to it.
It seems to me, particularly since in the twenty first century most of these systems are in rapid failure mode, that the way to deal with it is to get around and build around them. It’s surely happening in publishing, and as for Hollywood, the tech isn’t so far off. For education, the tech is here and what is holding us bad is accreditation and prestige, things that should arguably be easier to get around than tech. Or at least which are possible to remedy by being loud about it.
It is patently obvious oligopsonies are poisonous to the soul and the mind. The fact they also engender sexual abuse is almost irrelevant. Oligopsonies by definition destroy the fields they “serve”. (Particularly when the people who exert power have bee misstaught economics, but that’s something else.)
So sure, the #metoo movement had a point in Hollywood and such places. Perhaps too narrowly focused on just women, and just sexual abuse, which in turn led to its being quickly spun into crazy.
I.e. it was rapidly presented as being a problem everywhere and of every woman. Which in turn led to women complaining about men with a slightly off color sense of humor, men who might not have meant what women thought they meant, men who were so old their hands wandered aimlessly and might, maybe, have touched something, and men who were ugly and dared ask a woman out. Oh, yeah, men who knew more than women about any given subject, were also more than ever shamed for “mansplaning” (something that now involves any appeal to logic, so women using logic are also accused of it.)
Look, in the States, in our day and age, no woman my age or older has experienced “patriarchy” nor anything resembling patriarchy at large.
Sure there are toxic work places. I worked in one (physical location employment) and I’m sure other women have also (and not just fields like Hollywood, but places where the boss is a handsy jerk.) but a) this is not the universal experience, far from it. b) if these men are discovered and revealed, they are universally reviled by men and women. It has been so since I came to this country in the early eighties. There are legal and social means to deal with this kind of thing. The cartoon of the boss pursuing the secretary around his desk was at least 50 years out of date.
But women are told that #yesallwomen and #metoo called for every woman to chime in with SOME incident.
It took exactly zero seconds for the movement to devolve to “he looked at me longer than I felt comfortable with.” as well as demands that all men denounce men who do this, and SOMEHOW mind control them into not doing it. Sorry but “I should be able to walk in a dangerous neighborhood and no one will attack me” is fantasy land. In the entire history of mankind, including periods where attacking someone meant death, there have been safer and unsafer times and places, but there has never been a time where somehow no man would ever attack any woman (or man. Again, let me point out that while the “abuse” or “attack” is different, men aren’t safe in this type of neighborhood either.)
Since men STILL lack the ability to mind control everyone who shares the same genitalia with them — just as I can’t mind control the Shabies (sheep+babies) who fall for these “movements” and make these demands — that portion of #metoo was always going to fail. How could it not?
So, what has #metoo and #believeallwomen and #yesallwomen wrought?
Well, what it seems to have wrought is young men (and generally men who might be in mixed industries) refusing to work with women, and certainly refusing to work with women alone.
Because any woman at any time can accuse you of anything, and the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply.
In companies that contract with government and where quotas (of course there are quotas) might be observed, I predict a vast preponderance of open floor plan offices, and maybe as time goes on some kind of morality officer, that keeps an eye on everything.
Also you thought you wanted unisex bathrooms? Ahahahahahahahahahahah. I suspect that bathrooms for the sexes will be soon located at opposite ends of buildings, and if the idiocy doesn’t stop, there might actually be a panty-check which never existed before. At any rate, anyone in possession of a penis, no matter how gay, or how much they identify as a woman would have to be insane to enter a bathroom where a woman could claim to have been raped. Hell, I’m not sure of entering bathrooms with other women and no witnesses, and I don’t have a penis.
Unless of course, you take to filming all your calls of nature from the moment you go in, if not using the all-men bathroom. (Sure, men can probably be raped in bathrooms, and are, but you know, no one ever said #believeallmen.)
Other things are already happening. No man in his right mind will meet with a female colleague in an isolated spot. One of the reasons I didn’t drop out of writing entirely in 2003 was a long talk with a male colleague in a park near the convention we were attending. Sure my husband and his assistant were nearby, but they pretty much ignored us for the whole of it, because it was a long and involved talk about how publishing worked. Would it happen now? I don’t know, but I doubt it.
In my own field I’ve seen men accused of sexual harassment for criticizing a woman — in a non-sexual manner — in a series of emails, or offering to help the woman get over some craft issues. And this was before #metoo.
I’ll point out the other reason I continued writing after 2003 was a bestseller who took it upon himself to call me several times a week to coach me out of the dismals, offered me his agent (didn’t work out) and in other ways tried to get me over the hump. Would he do it today? Who knows?
Now? Any man who offers to help/apprentice any woman he doesn’t know extremely well/trust absolutely is a quixotic fool. Particularly if that involves any kind of in-person mentoring.
In fields like STEM where women are fewer, this will result in beginning, “apprentice” trainees being ignored and isolated. It will result in men being afraid to work for female supervisors when it involves any sort of even vaguely possible time alone.
The fruits of the #metoo tree are strictly segregated work places, in which men for their own protection can’t afford to help and mentor women.
Is this what was intended? I don’t know. The left always talks a good game, which results in a lot of shabies thinking they “care” and therefore giving them the moral high ground. But the fruits are usually the same.
Help the poor? Generational welfare and broken families. Universal education? mal-education and illiterate graduates. Universal health? dead babies.
I think part of it is the insistence on treating men like widgets who should fit their place like cogs in a machine. It never occurs to them that poor people are not exactly the same as rich people and the reasons might go beyond the “don’t have money” to cultural, nutrition and yes, even genetic reasons (though those don’t tell us anything about any particular individual, because human genetics don’t work as eugenicists think they do.) It never occurs to them that the obvious physical differences between men and women lead to differences in perception, or vision, or, yes, culture. No, it’s always “if we make people treat everyone the same, everyone will be alike.” Which results in things like the French terror, or the Stalinist purges, and some pigs being more equal than others, but never mind that.
Men and women are different. Sure, we can work together in the same work places, if you make allowances for the fact that you’re different. Men will, yes, be more interested in ah… carnal matters. Seems to be a function of testosterone. Women will often read meanings into gestures and events that are incidental. If you convince women no sexual jests should be made in their presence (even if not aimed at them) because that victimizes them, or that calendars with pulchritudinous young women are an objectification of ALL WOMEN and also an insult on them, rather than something that makes men happy and hurts nobody, or that any man who asks them out and isn’t their type has oppressed them, then they can no longer work in a field dominated by men. And they will be pretty hard to work with in any field.
The calendar thing? Hell, some of my best professors had them in their offices. It amused me a little when I went into conference, but I never thought it was a sexist thing. Men like pretty women in scant attire. And women like barechested firemen holding kittens (yes, the calendars exist.) Liking the visual means nothing in terms of treating the other sex with respect. Again, why should it?
And yet they’ve convinced us that’s offensive to #yesallwomen and probably would cause all our hair to fall out or something.
Sure those calendars were more prevalent among men, because men are more visual, but women are more verbal. Any number of romances and the equivalent of those calendars. Should men run screaming when they see a woman with a romance novels? And tell me anyone can read the Anita Blake series (even the first few books) and not find men objectified as sex objects. And yet I read them and emerged without thinking of my husband and sons as such.
Again, all this seems to be predicated on people being exchangeable, and all the same.
Even if well intentioned, the fruits of that tree are always poisonous, because they don’t fit reality.
And the fruits of #metoo, like the fruits of feminism in general seem to be to make women isolated, powerless, and unable to work in fields and in ways men do.
Maybe it’s time to reexamine the tree?