Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown is kicked to the curb. In the court of public opinion, he has been convicted. Had he been in an official, court, he would easily walk like Jian Ghomeshi, and could rebuild his fortunes.
Actress Germaine Greer said something that those averse to reality did not want to hear,
Because suddenly, in 2018, women have taken a giant step backwards.
And women have turned downright Victorian.
They have been reduced to being seen as delicate little flowers.
Greer has said something that I heard often in my early twenties from other women whenever discussion of the casting couch took place: I shunned it and refused to swap sexual favours for work. I was told, by other women my age, that there was "nothing wrong" with it, that I was being naive, and that's a good plan.
I wasn't being naive. I refused to play the game, and it cost me work in journalism, but the work I got was substantial. Others who played the game got burned and were sent to positions that were demeaning, and pretty much let the world know how they got their jobs.
That's where Greer is coming from when she talks about women "spreading their legs", but even so, she doesn't get it.
Who put the idea in young women's heads?
Movies, television, and fiction -- where men dominated, telling women that's how cunning women claw to the top. It was rigged for the get-go.
I saw through it. I knew the score: the man in charge would have nothing happen to him if he didn't use the casting couch. If the woman said no, she'd be out of a job.
The narrative was rigged to put the burden of blame on the woman.
But that kind of thinking did Ghomeshi's accusers in -- by his female attorney. Women get abused -- and then go back to the abuser.
To the uninitiated, this implies nothing bad happened.
But it is a Beauty and the Beast rig: the abuse is a challenge, and up to the woman to "tame." She's "done something wrong", and now she must use her feminine wiles and nurturing prowess to tame a beast.
So she goes back.
So many women go back and marry the abuser who ultimately kills them. She doesn't cut her losses. She takes abuse at work. She takes abuse at home. She is trained since the day she is born, to take abuse and "make it better" as if that were a badge worth wearing.
It is so ingrained in our world, that there is not a single culture or nation that has a truly liberated and matriarchal structure. It is drilled into women from the first bedtime story to the last novel she has read.
Patrick Brown, I am certain, has no idea what pink truck hit him. The trick for #MeToo has been to hold court on Twitter where the burden of proof is low.
If it gets to court, everything falls apart, but both courts miss the point.
Abuse of women in every single culture is normalized. Holding men accountable in the court of public opinion has worked because every institution on the face of this earth is rigged to fail women -- and then blame them for being abused. It merely codifies abuse.
The court of public opinion seems to be more sympathetic, but it comes at a price: women are forced to fit into some Victorian narrative that does not do them justice, or is realistic, meaning sooner or later, the court will no longer work its magic, especially if someone comes out and says some accusers were willing participants and offers proof.
It would more constructive if we didn't expect women to be flawless, and a single negative quality not only nullifies her credibility, but of every woman after her.
The bottom line is if you have power, you cannot abuse it -- not just not abuse conformist people, but the mavericks, too.
It is that default Victorian assumption that made so much trouble for women to make their abusers be held accountable in the first place.
It is not about being sympathetic and having power in people pitying you and feeling superior to you: it's about the simple fact that for too long, men in authority wielded their power very irresponsibly, and rigging social exceptions that always favoured them to be believed as they continued to harm others, priming and grooming their prey into honestly believing they wanted these traumatic things to happen to them and were the architects of it.
No one should be abused: whether she is a virgin volunteering to help the dispossessed in a war-torn country, a hooker walking the streets for her next hit, or all the ones in-between -- and beyond.
If you cannot be professional and civil, you have a problem.
And it's high time we look at workplace dynamics to see how dysfunctional they are -- not just when it comes to abuse, but how it is structured -- from lousy pay to dangerous working conditions -- to how employees with children are penalized for not being young bachelors.
We never take women into our equations.
And it is time that we did.