Two years of #MeToo: a disaster for men and women

The movement has turned women into weaklings and men into monsters.

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams
Associate Editor

At Spiked

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This month marks the second anniversary of #MeToo, a movement that began with accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein but rapidly morphed into a global phenomenon that has swept through every aspect of society. It has touched politics – from nominations to the US Supreme Court to members of the Welsh Assembly. And it has cast a shadow over film, theatre, journalism, academia, the law, medicine and – just last week – opera . It has encompassed allegations from the criminal to the trivial. But to what end? The #MeToo movement is long overdue a public reckoning. As a starting point, here are five things #MeToo has taught us.

Women are weak

Forget apocryphal stories of powerful women slowly stubbing cigarettes out on the back of groping male hands, twisting a carefully positioned stiletto heel in the middle of a lecherous man’s foot or administering a well-timed slap on the face. No, according to the leading proponents of the #MeToo movement, the correct response to wandering hands and unwanted advances is for women to smile passively and do nothing at all. Until, that is, a full 20 years later when they can safely describe the true extent of their trauma from a national newspaper column. #MeToo has told a generation of young women that nothing is too trivial to be reported to the authorities or broadcast to the world. A male colleague winks at you? Report it to your manager. Whistled at in the street? That’s a matter for the police.

Middle-class women are more deserving of sympathy than working-class girls

We have heard an awful lot about journalists’ knees over the past two years. Or, in the case of Charlotte Edwardes, her thighs. In fact, we have heard far more about the plight of middle-class knees in posh London restaurants than we have about working-class girls in Rotherham, Huddersfield and Telford. These girls, many under the age of 16, were sexually abused and exploited by now-convicted Muslim men. Yet alleged knee-touching warrants more headlines, column inches and Twitter hashtags than actual criminal convictions. Perhaps northern girls just don’t make for such attractive victims. Or perhaps Muslim men are ‘problematic’ perpetrators. If you really want your #MeToo story to garner sympathy, you need to point the finger at a politician. Even better, go for Boris Johnson or Donald Trump.

Redemption is overrated

How long do we need to wait before it is acceptable to laugh at Louis CK’s jokes again? The ‘disgraced’ comedian has been performing in Canada this week and journalists have been horrified to report that people queued to get in to see him and actually laughed at his show and then clapped at the end. Of course, the only explanation is that the audience was mostly white males. This notwithstanding, #MeToo teaches us there can be no forgiveness, still less redemption, for those accused of sexual misdemeanours. Apologies; loss of work, family, friends and livelihood; time spent in prison — nothing whatsoever can undo an error once made. By the same token, the old-fashioned concept of innocent until proven guilty has been tried and found wanting. Take Harvey Weinstein. The man has been found so obviously guilty in the eyes of the #MeToo movement that there seems little point going through the performance of an actual trial. As Harvard students argued, there’s certainly no need for him to have a lawyer acting in his defence.

Harassment is in the eye of the beholder

#MeToo began with serious accusations of rape. But as it cast its net ever-wider, the crimes became, well, less serious. Joe Biden kissed the top of a woman’s head. Morgan Freeman apparently touched a young woman’s back. Aziz Ansari reportedly poured his date a glass of red wine when, unknown to him, she really fancied white wine instead. This is, at the very worst, bad manners. But #MeToo teaches us that there is no objective definition of sexual harassment. If certain behaviour is unwanted and perceived by a woman to be sexual harassment, then it is sexual harassment. Context, intent, even a man’s actions count for nothing compared to a woman’s feelings.

Deplorables: Trump, Brexit and the Demonised Masses

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Deplorables: Trump, Brexit and the Demonised Masses

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The future is segregated

#MeToo teaches us, above all else, that all interactions between men and women are potentially problematic. In universities, students are taught that physical contact with another person requires explicit permission. Lecturers are advised to leave the office door open during tutorials to guard against false accusations. Codes of conduct proscribe relationships between staff and students. Many happy marriages may have begun with flirting in the office but now the human-resources department is likely to have just the policy necessary to nip any romance in the bud. Post-#MeToo, a majority of male bosses report feeling uncomfortable mentoring junior female colleagues. Way to go, feminism – a victory for women!

Two years on from the start of #MeToo and we are still waiting for Weinstein to face trial. His public downfall could have taught women to be more assertive and less naive. The powerful social-media community that sprang up could have shown women that they do not need to put up with sexual harassment and there will be people to support them when they stand up for themselves. Instead, right from the start, #MeToo became a celebration of female fragility. It’s time for it to be consigned to the scrap heap of history.

Joanna Williams is associate editor at spiked. Her most recent book, Women vs Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars, is out now.

Picture by: Getty.

Posted in Discrimination, False Allegations, Feminism, Hot Topics, War on Men | Leave a comment

11 Sickening Signs You’re Dealing With A Sneaky Female Narcissist

God & Man

1. She can’t stand not being the center of attention. This is someone who continually hogs the limelight, especially from someone she views as a threat. No amount of attention is ever enough. A narcissistic female could have a loving family, but she will still step outside of her most intimate relationships to seek thrills from the attention of strangers. She will manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to get the focus back onto her and her deliberate crazymaking. She will make your accomplishments and struggles all about herself. She will continually steer the conversation back to herself without fail, time and time again, to highlight her own perceived achievements or to stage pity ploys that make her seem like the victim when she is actually the culprit.

2. She uses her sexuality to manipulate others. While histrionic females tend to use their sexuality and appearance indiscriminately and across all contexts, female narcissists are said by experts to use their sexuality to achieve a specific goal or mission. Whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or getting a boyfriend to forgive her transgressions, a female narcissist has no qualms about using her body to get ahead and get over on someone.

3. Her sense of boundaries is twisted. Hitting on your significant other? A weekly occurrence. Sleeping with a friend’s recent ex? No problem. Flirting salaciously with her significant other’s brother? Fun! Female narcissists feel excessively entitled to all of it and have no issue with violating boundaries to get the attention and resources they desire. They care little about who they hurt in the process.

4. Her lack of empathy is startling. Much like narcissists of any gender, female narcissists lack a core sense of empathy for others. When they see someone hurting, even if they caused that pain, they’re unlikely to feel any shame or remorse. Their shallow, nonchalant questions about your welfare, your life, and your goals are often reframed and rerouted to serve their own needs. They only care about the plights of others so long as it relates to them and their agenda. If you’re feeling sick or need a listening ear, she’s nowhere to be found unless it helps her to benefit somehow.

5. They see others – like their own children – as extensions of themselves. Narcissistic females as mothers can be horrific and self-centered. They treat their children as objects, praised only to the extent where their children meet their selfish needs. Otherwise, their children are devalued, ignored, abused and neglected. Narcissistic mothers especially have a tendency to do this as their children grow older, especially with their daughters. They compete with their young daughters, especially if their daughters represent a threat in terms of beauty and talent. Narcissistic mothers may even view their daughters as competitors for their husband’s attention.

6. They sabotage those they are envious of. Female narcissists engage in a great deal of relational aggression to undermine and extinguish those they perceive to be threats. This means you’ll find them underhandedly working behind the scenes to one-up you, sabotage your relationships, spread rumors, stage a smear campaign or ensuring that any attention or recognition that would’ve been paid to you gets outsourced to them or one of their cronies (in other words, enablers) instead.

7. They idealize, devalue, and discard. Whether you’re a friend, a partner or family member of the narcissistic female, she only keeps you around so long as you’re useful to her. She will put you on a pedestal, just to throw you off of it when she perceives you’re not doing enough to worship her, meet her arbitrary demands or when you’re shining bigger and brighter than she ever could. She then begins to “groom” a new target to become your eventual replacement, in an attempt to paint you as the toxic one not worthy of her affections.

8. She enjoys creating harems and love triangles. This is the type of friend that enjoys flirting with her best friend’s husband in front of her, all while knowing they are having an affair. She will ruin a family member’s budding relationship if she feels it takes the focus off of her. She will triangulate her significant other to the nth degree. She ensnares her admirers, various exes, and even complete strangers into her toxic web because she gets off on the attention that her various flirtations, indiscretions, and transgressions grant her.

9. She becomes enraged at the slightest criticism and feels she has to eliminate the source. The narcissistic female’s rage is not unlike the narcissistic man’s in intensity, but because of social stigma surrounding female anger, the narcissistic female may communicate her rage in more subtle ways. You’ll hear her communicate her rage in a restrained but angry tone of voice, giving backhanded compliments with a sweet smile, voicing insults couched in concern or putting you down and humiliating you in public with a sadistic gleam in her eye. She does this all while maintaining a pristine, polished image to the rest of the world. If she’s more of an overt narcissist, she may throw objects, lash out in verbal attacks or even escalate to physical violence depending on where she falls on the narcissistic spectrum.

10. She is hypercritical and micromanages those she feels represent a threat to her grandiose self-image. The pathological envy of a female narcissist is immense and it seeps into the way the narcissistic female fabricates imaginary flaws and shortcomings in others. She nitpicks the targets she perceives to be most threatening (in both public and private) all while maintaining an innocent demeanor so that if you dare to complain, you’re labeled as the unhinged one.

11. She takes a sadistic pleasure in duping, abusing and bullying you. Perhaps the most malignant trait of any narcissist, of any gender, is his or her glee at watching you fall. Research reveals that more malignant narcissists rejoice in inflicting pain. They enjoy putting you down to keep you feeling off balance. They take actual pleasure in the pain they produce. They will introduce new sources of adversity and inject chaos into any peace you may be enjoying. They can’t stand not having a reaction from you – so they will do anything and

everything to provoke you into reacting.

If you’ve been victimized by a narcissist, whether male or female, know that it is not your fault. You were targeted because you’re an empathic, compassionate individual – usually someone with strengths and assets that the narcissist covets. It is not your job to fix them or educate toxic, malignant people on how to be decent human beings. They likely don’t care to change their behavior and feel rewarded by it. The best course of action is doing what you can to move forward in your success and channel your experiences into your victory.

Remember, indifference is their kryptonite. It’s helpful to view their absurd tactics from a more detached perspective and think, “Oh, children.” Invest your energy in building your own resources and sense of strength rather than wasting it on morally impoverished people. Emotional toddlers cannot be schooled properly on empathy – they will continue to operate from the dark realms of their character disorder.

But take heart – all narcissists eventually unmask themselves and many eventually meet their downfall, all while their victims move onto bigger and better things. TC mark

Shahida Arabi

Shahida is the author of Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse and the poetry book She Who Destroys the Light. She is a staff writer at Thought Catalog.

Posted in Domestic Violence, Feminism, Hot Topics, Men's Issues, Violent Women | Leave a comment