When will #metoo become a public policy discussion?

Part 1

Watching the dust-up over “Grace’s” Aziz Ansari character assassination has really been too much. I’ve been following all these various controversies associated with the fallout of Weinstein and the subsequent mass feminine hysteria calling for the death of all men and their penises cut off and hung out to dry into beef jerky so we can all eat them with fava beans and Chianti with some consternation which lead to the reading of Laura Kipnis’s amazing, edifying, concise, devastatingly written book Unwanted Advances, which reaffirmed my gut feelings that this shit was heading in the wrong direction. Grace proved that. I mean, have you ever seen such a quintessentially millennial complaint from a naive starfucker as hers, written by a more odious millenial brat author as the babe.net’s Katie Way? All you need to know about that story is the babe.net author coming for Ashleigh Banfield in her entitled little email where they only insults she could think of was that Ashleigh is old and has bad lipstick because that’s all a 22 year old ‘journalist’ has in her arsenal at this unpracticed stage in her life. and she said Grace was the bravest person she knows. AHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Bitch, you are not a journalist at 22. You have not gone to J school. Get some fucking education and some experience and then come for an actual journalist with better artillery than pretending you have any fucking clue what second wave feminism is because you encountered a reading or two about it in your college class, and definitely later complained to the professor your grade wasn’t high enough on your final paper and it’s not your fault because you were really sick and the professor is not being sensitive enough to your situation. Entitled millenial twat who probably says ‘literally’ all the time and should be a contestant on the SNL skit ‘You can do anything!.’ A couple of 22 year olds feeling brave so very BRAVE for their snuff piece, and I doubt very much either one of these brats could put their instagram and facebook accounts down long enough to vote in 2016. And I just CAN’T with her assertion that Grace is brave. Grace had to drink red wine instead of white wine and no one asked her what she wanted. Yes. That detail made it into Way’s piece. Go read this, which is probably the worst thing I have ever read. It made me cry to read it, whereas I laughed at Grace’s story and wanted to vomit in a bucket about what a fucking privilege it is to go cry in a taxi on the way home because after oral sex and oysters you got asked a bunch of times for other kinds of sex and you didn’t want to so you left. FUCK OFF.

PART TWO

There were thankfully a few women who were not busy reading Our Bodies, Ourselves and discovering their clitorises and pubic hair with a mirror at the time of this story and they spoke up to call this what it was, which is revenge porn, a particularly apt metaphor for snuff pieces like this which are designed solely to punish and humiliate: Grace saved the mental footage of this horrible, awful, no good, very bad date, and waited for just the right moment to release the footage and let him know she had something on him.  Just like the James Franco accuser who tweeted about how the voluntary car blowjob she gave him was coerced because he asked a bunch of times and she did it just to shut him up and then pretended she saw someone close to the car as a way to stop sucking his dick. She waited until he won a Golden Globe to trot out that sad tale of blowjob woe. Bitch, how about if you don’t want to suck a dick, you just don’t suck that dick? It’s easy. I’ve done it a lot. There’s like hundreds of dicks I haven’t sucked because I didn’t want to and I didn’t give a shit about what feelings I hurt.  Dave Chapelle, in his new Netflix series calls out this ‘brittle-as spirit’ ‘women-as perpetual victims’ narrative about the woman whose comedy dreams were shattered upon seeing Louis CK’s sad and needy penis performance and says maybe she didn’t really have that much of a dream to begin with if that’s all it took to kill it. And thank god Louis CK didn’t whip his freckly penis out at Martin Luther King because he actually had a dream. People hated him for calling out this current brittle-ass spirit shit for what it is, but I rejoiced. If we can’t survive an idiot whipping his dick out or can’t figure out how to put the phone down if someone is obviously masturbating on the other end, well, shit, how can we make the claim we should have the codes to the fucking nukes? For all Hillary’s faults, you can bet she,  at every single point in her life (I’m not talking about candidate Clinton only), sure as shit would have told Louis to put that shit away and hung up the phone.

Then I had to slog through a few other pretty stupid pieces about how the babe.net story didn’t really qualify as assault, but how we needed to open up the conversation about sexual encounters that FEEL like assault. FEEL, FEEL all the fucking FEELZ now days.  We don’t need reason or logic or critical thinking skills, we just need to Lean In (to pure, unadulterated emotion). This isn’t the #metoo movement, this is now the #mememememememetoo movement. Feminist author Jessica Valenti’s responses have managed to be both infantilizing of women and sanctimonious towards critiques of this story every having been put in the public domain.  Jill Filipovic offered her take and glaringly refused to call out Grace on her absolutely shitty revenge porn character assassination OR the fact that she and many other females can’t be bothered nowadays to take responsibility for their own decisions, decisions that have mixed consequences. Her encounter wasn’t A+. Nothing criminal happened. Don’t date him again. Move on. Nothing about the encounter gives her the right to trot this story out as evidence of anything other than her own dating choices and questionable expectations. What is happening on college campuses all around the country with the weird and secretive Title IX investigations into all manner of consensual sex is that women are being conditioned to have no agency and go looking for the bureaucracy to solve anything they might feel conflicted about. It’s spilled off campus and instead of tribunals and kangaroo courts, we have the kangaroo court of public opinion on Twitter and silly pieces about sexual encounters that FEEL like assault. And then all the pieces about how we need to talk about female pleasure and enthusiasm (is this before or after we sign the informed consent waiver and NDAs before we fuck?).

Part Three

Here’s what we do need to talk about: The fact that nearly no one so far is linking any of this #metoo stuff to public policy and the regulatory environment in this country, and the nexus of public policy, culture, and attitudes/behavior towards women. I recently read another of Kipnis’s pieces in the New York Review of Books in the early stages of #metoo, and though she was very sympathetic towards the hashtagging, you got the sense she had an idea of what it would devolve into, which she hints at in this piece for The Guardian about whether #metoo has gone too far or not far enough. She threads the needle admirably, and states, “It’s the historical amnesia of the Deneuve document that’s so objectionable. To the extent that women’s bodies are still treated as public property by men, whether that means groping us or deciding what we can do with our uteruses women do not have civic equality. To miss that point is to miss the political importance and the political lineage of #MeToo: the latest step in a centuries long political struggle for women to simply control our own bodies.” Let me just expand on this a little bit. The best way for us to own our own bodies would be to, you know, own our own bodies. #metoo has thus far failed in the extreme, in my opinion, to translate into any sort of policy discussion about structural change rather than how we all need to get that mirror out and stare at our vaginas a little bit more. We don’t need to own our bodies by talking more about female pleasure. We need to own our bodies in the way Kipnis is calling for. We should not have to be fighting off challenges in 30 states to Roe v Wade, we should not have to tolerate the pay gap that persists for no goddamn reason, we should have gender quotas on corporate boards like many countries do for companies that are publicly traded, we need more women in public office, we should not be the only developed country (can we even call ourselves that anymore?) without a federally mandated parental leave policy, we should not have to fight for access to birth control, or access to abortions, nor should how to fuck women be literally the first thing that crosses republicans’ minds every time a bill comes up.

While we have all been feasting on the delicious chicken wings with buffalo sauce of the Ansari story or the Franco blowjob and and reading stories about our FEELINGSFEELINGSFEELINGS, and how we need to orgasm more,  HHS has opened a division to protect healthcare workers who want to refuse to provide medical care because of their religious objections. We are not fucking paying attention.  And when being shitty to women and discriminating against them is legally codified into basically every aspect of life in this country and our bodies are under constant attack and surveillance, is it any wonder men don’t think we are equal and deserving of respect of our persons?  It’s so pervasive that lots of women don’t like women, and couldn’t even vote for one, and voted for Trump.  I mean, this started way way way before Trump but we are now at the point where the patriarchy is emboldened enough to hold human females captive and try to force them to give birth, exactly like animals.  The way women are treated by many men in our culture is the result of a diseased system.  The way women treat other women and the way we treat ourselves , such as forgetting we have agency or not exercising it or not wanting to deal with the consequences of our agency when we exercise it (ahem, Grace) is also a symptom of this diseased system. We are infantilized at the highest levels of the system, so Im not exactly shocked that women nowadays can’t fucking own a goddamn thing they do, but it still is gross and something  to which we shouldn’t resign ourselves.  When devaluing women and denying them agency is a function of the system, it has an effect on culture, and culture explains attitudes/behavior towards women. It will take a couple generations to really inculcate the idea that women are equal members of society in our culture (the idea needs to take root among BOTH men and women alike) if we could fix some of these systemic issues. Culling a few bad actors (and a few good ones) from the herd will do nothing. It is treating a symptom and not the disease. The idea that the patriarchy is taking a hit because a few soldiers are falling is absolutely laughable. And I’m not ok with the collateral damage of the current Blitzkrieg though it’s very evident that some are, as we saw with Al Franken. We couldn’t be bothered to look up from hunching over the bloody corpse of Harvey Weinstein and rubbing his blood and guts all over our faces in some kind of Lord of the Flies frenzy to notice the Franken situation wasn’t deserving of the same ritual sacrifice. Dave Chappelle, incisive as usual, said sure, you’ve got men terrified, but if you ever want the system to change, you need allies, and he’s right.  Making men scared is not changing the balance of power in a sustainable way and fear is not equal to respect. Boiling in oil every man who is impure is such a fucking distraction and gets us no closer to what we actually need. And the men are still laughing their way to the bank on the 20 cents to the dollar they just saved paying us to write about our pleasure and pubic hair 45 years after that shit was discovered during the 70’s.

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