I’d like to revise my comments over the weekend on the burgeoning sexual harassment epidemic. Some thoughtful CO contributors have made some persuasive arguments on two points: 1. I might have been too quick to buy the MSM attacks on Roy Moore. 2. Women might be worse horndogs than my sheltered experience has taught me.
But first, there’s been some good news this week, mostly in the death-and-disgrace category. Charles Manson has finally died, and good riddance to him. We should never forget how the elite left romanticized counter-cultural creeps and criminals (that’s some sweet alliteration right there) like Manson. For one example, hat tip to Breitbart for glossing a sickening 1970 Rolling Stone interview with Manson, which included quotes from a Manson friend to the effect that, “Charlie is very Christ-like and has a Christ-like philosophy.”
Yep. Very Christlike. Remember when Peter came running to Christ, warning that the Roman centurions were approaching, and Christ said, “Verily, thou shalt off the pigs, and pronounce that the time for Helter Skelter has arrived. James, John, Barnabas, Tex, go forth and slay all whom ye find!”
Also Mugabe is finally out in Zimbabwe. Or is it that Zimbabwe is finally out in Mugabe? I don’t follow African politics as closely as I should. I can never remember whether Tanzania is a guy or a country. I know that Congo is both a country and the son of King Kong in a great 30s sequel, and that Rhodesia is gone, but the Rhodesian ridgeback is a fine dog. Also, Toto had a nice song about Africa. Where was I?
Oh yeah. I’ve read enough about Mugabe to know that he’s in the Idi Amin school of horrible post-colonial dictators who combined the worst of tribal backwardness with the dysfunctional, destructive socialism that might be the worst thing the European colonizers gave to Africa. (And yes, that includes making the pre-existing slavery systems even worse, if that were possible.)
In other “things I’m thankful for” news, at least one more female has come forward to have her tush dusted for prints left by smarmy Al Franken during an encounter at the Minnesota State Fair. One of the CO commenters on my last piece coined the term “schadenboner,” and though that kind of term might be beneath the dignity of an august gentlemen like myself… YES! Man is it fun to watch some Youtube footage from just a month or two ago, in which Franken was self-righteously mouthing platitudes about how women deserve the utmost respect, and what a shame it is when powerful politicians behave badly!
If only Lil Peep were still alive, and knew the word “derriere.” I’m sure he could rhyme that with “State Fair” in a devastating rap “song” lambasting Franken!
Speaking of lambastable jerks now caught up in the harassment-palooza, smug leftist mummy Charlie Rose is out after his harassing ways have come – you’ll pardon the expression — to light. Even more fun, creepy octogenarian racial arsonist John Conyers (guess which party?) seems to have been an abusive jerk for many decades.
It turns out that Hugh Hefner may have died just in time. And if things keep going the way I think they’re going to for Bill Clinton, I suspect that within a few months, he may well be wishing that he would have checked out from a massive heart attack while ensconced in an “intern sandwich” a year or two ago.
All the lefty fratricide is looking like it’s going to be the feel-good hit of the winter. Kirsten Gillibrand suddenly discovers that her patrons the Clintons are horrible people. Donna Brazile suddenly realizes that Hillary done Bernie wrong. Anthony Weiner suddenly realizes that he’s not even in the top 5 most embarrassing Democrat Weiners.
Gillibrand’s transparent fecklessness is especially sweet. Quick, tell me what new info has come out about Bill Clinton in the months since Gillibrand was sucking up to him and touting Hillary’s wonderfulness as a potential prez? That’s right: nada. Yet Gillibrand has reversed herself like Sulu coming across a bevy of naked green slave women on the planet Gorlok. (Yes, I enjoyed Star Trek as a kid. And even then, I sensed that there was something off about Sulu.)
Anyway, I have taken under consideration the charge from some COers that I may have been too hasty to condemn Roy Moore. It’s not that I wouldn’t put it past the MSM to try to smear a GOP pol right before an election, and it’s not that I think all female accusers are automatically believable. For example, Anita Hill.
I think the strongest evidence that Moore might be innocent is that there are no reports of his piggish behavior in the intervening 40 years, and I think that that’s super-rare. Generally, if you’re the kind of guy who will repeatedly prey on vulnerable women when you are young, you keep doing it for years, until you are eventually Bill Clinton. In other words, this kind of behavior very rarely flares up for a year or two, and then goes into abeyance for the rest of your life.
On the other hand, and though I haven’t followed the story extremely closely, at least one of the women that I saw seemed pretty credible, and there are enough similar accounts that it would be unusual if there was no fire in all of those clouds of smoke.
I just think we need to resist the impulse to believe the worst of our political opponents and simultaneously bend over backwards to dismiss and overlook bad behavior on our side of the aisle. It’s a human and natural impulse, but it can take us to bad places.
Finally, I got a kick out of some of the responses to my weekend column from female COers, including Georga Collins, Erva Mercer, Tina Smith and Vera Rivers. They pointed out that women can be as raunchy and offensive as men, but they did it in such a disarmingly frank way, and they obviously have a point.
I’m of mixed minds about this. Biologically, males have a greater hard-wired interest in pursuit and seed-dispersing to the maximum extent, and between that … design feature, let’s call it … and the natural size and strength differences between the sexes, and the power differential that older men often have compared to younger women, male-to-female harassment is always going to be a more serious issue.
I remember an old Larry Miller routine about male/female differences. In response to a female friend arguing that women can be just as horny as men, he pointed to the difference between women watching male strippers, and men watching female strippers. The former are always in giggling groups, and their groping and sleaziness is light-hearted, celebratory and ultimately non-threatening. But the latter, whether in groups or alone, are usually creepily serious, staring at the flesh on display like a cheetah watching a gazelle for signs of a limp. He was not wrong.
The harassment issue is so vexing partly because it includes such a mix of real victims and villains, mixed with political opportunists and hypocrites, and there are so many variations in context that it is difficult to address one type of harassment without either dismissing or exaggerating other types. The gender feminists’ tendency to lump all sexual behavior together – from an uncomfortable stare to a clumsy proposition to a hand on a shoulder to a drunken kiss attempt to a pat on the butt to an attempted assault – doesn’t help.
I also know that perceptions of the negativity of harassment varies hugely from males to females. Most males are rarely displeased when females – any females! — express a sexual attraction to them. During my first year of college, I was going into the cafeteria when I thought I heard my name, and looked over at a group of 4 girls, who were looking at me and laughing. I checked to be sure that my fly was up, and went about my business.
That evening, I asked the only one of the 4 girls I knew what that had been about. She told me that one of the girls asked who I was, and when she told her my name, the other girl said, “I’d like to jump his bones.” Not exactly a vulgar comment, I know, and not Weinsteinian in its offensiveness. But to hear a lot of gender feminists talk, that would be an offensive, even devastating comment if the genders had been reversed. But was I devastated?
Are you kidding?! I was over the moon! A pretty girl wanted to jump MY bones? I told all of the guys in my dorm. I may have told my mom, the next time I called home. I walked around campus for weeks with the melody to Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walking,” repeating in my head, as I mumbled to myself, “These bones are made for jumping, and that’s what you can do…”
I admire the attitude of the above-mentioned CO commenters. In the case of relatively minor offenses — a clod making an offensive comment or grabbing a tush – the best response is probably a slap or a groin kick and a rebuke, following by getting on with one’s life. If we start criminalizing every awkward and unpleasant interaction, or handle charges of harassment with one extreme (dismiss them or blame the victim) or the other (destroy the accused’s life with no attempt to determine the truth of the charge), we’re going to create a cultural mine field.
On the other hand, watching the lefty elites get into a circular firing squad over this is pretty entertaining. Who do you think will be next?
Please God, let it be Schumer. Or Stephanopolous. Or Keith Olberman. Or John Oliver. Or Stephen Colbert. Or…
To read Martin’s other columns – or some of his short stories, more of which will be posted on his site in coming weeks – go to Martinsimpsonwriting.com