In the “but what about the menz” department, I’ve got people all over the Fboo deciding that #MeToo has gone too far and this is a new form of political correctness and WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?
“But it could cost a man his livelihood.”
Yeah, well, it’s about damn time because this garbage has harmed women economically for ages. Here is a terrific piece from the Chronicle on an egregious case at Harvard (of course) titled, simply, She left. He got to stay.
That’s the whole story, for lots of women, but I suggest reading all of it.
After putting up, deflecting, and trying to report horrendous behavior on the part of Jorge Dominguez, Terry Karl wound up leaving Harvard, and while her story ends fine, it might not have for all the reasons:
Karl’s departure from Harvard threatened to ruin her promising academic career. It already seemed to her that she had wasted precious time filing grievances rather than finishing her book. As she searched for positions at other universities, she had to contend with whispers of scandal. In the end, Karl accepted an offer from Stanford University, earned tenure, and finished that book. While she’s given talks about sexual harassment over the years, she did her best to put the ugly episode at Harvard behind her.
Meanwhile, Dominguez got to stay at Harvard, happy as a little clam, continuing to abuse his female colleagues.
STOP. PRIVILEGING. MALE. ECONOMIC. SECURITY. AND. STATUS. OVER. WOMEN’S.
Yep, yessiree, it’s sad when false accusations can end or sidetrack a career. That’s too bad. But you see, most universities design systems to make sure that abusers are protected and victims tire themselves out trying to get some protection from the abuse.
And, importantly: Are you also equally sad when a failure to follow up on legit problem ends or sidetracks a career?
If you are worried about the first but not the latter, then you are part of the problem and you should pull your head out of your butt.
Now, Professor Karl is a educated, high-profile, white, extremely privileged member of the academic labor force experiencing this at the very top of the academic hierarchy (Harvard). What adjuncts and staff have to tolerate in order to retain their livelihood is bound to be on par, or worse, and it has to stop and the only way it stops is by changing norms so people SHOULD be cautious about to stepping over lines, and where abusers are required show care, tiptoe if they have to for a bit, and act professionally if they want to keep their jobs.
I came up in a world where crying at work was the ultimate professional sin. And yet we have allllllllll the excuses for abusing your colleague’s trust and dignity made for dudes.
But hey, they aren’t *crying*.
Another burr under my saddle came across my desk with a widely shared Tweet I can no longer find about somebody worrying about her male friends with difficulties in social contexts, including those with Asperger’s, failing to understand the social cues of consent and running afoul of #MeToo when they don’t mean to.
Sure, absolutely. We should always be concerned about people with social differences from majorities, as it’s very easy for them to become victims themselves.
And yet, are you worried about LGBTQIA or women who may also be neuro-atypical, and who also have problems understanding social cues and, as a result, often find themselves targeted for abuse and exploitation?
Because if you aren’t, then again, you are part of the problem.
We are trained from birth onward to worry about male well-being in a million different ways–some of which are highly harmful to men, btw–and to downplay the sacrifices and harms that others experience. Retraining ourselves has to involve thinking about people as individuals, about their well-being, and about how we are either supporting them or harming them in our homes, workplaces, and institutions.