In the interests of full disclosure, let me be clear, I am a man!
I'm with Germaine, the ‘me too’ movement's crap
Those readers familiar with my posts will understand it when I say I have no time for the ''me too'' movement.
I will also be up front and put it on the record that I have little time for many advocates of this same movement. This includes the all too self-righteous Oprah Winfrey in the United States, and the all too ''hell hath no fury'' Tracey Spicer in Australia.
Oprah seems to think she is an expert on every subject, rather than a TV talkshow host who struck it big. Meanwhile, Tracey seems to have been retrenched once too often for her ego.
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This said, I have no quibble with the objectives of the ''me too'' movement and find the alleged behaviour of Harvey Weinstein and Don Burke, among others, distressing in the extreme.
If these men and others like them are guilty of what they are accused, they need to be charged, prosecuted and jailed. If their offences were as they are said to have been, but no laws have been broken, they deserve to be shunned and the laws may need to be changed.
But none of this provides a rationale for the ''me too'' movement, a bunch of women trying to develop and flex political muscle the way that men have over their treatment in the Family Court.
In both cases, there are issues that need to be addressed. But there are also far too many generalisations, people convicted without ever having their day in court, meaningless platitudes and far too much pack behaviour.
For most of my adult life, I've been a big fan of Germaine Greer. She is very smart and well educated, unlike Tracey Spicer (as far as I can see); and very considered and academically rigorous, unlike Oprah Winfrey (as far as I can tell). Unlike Tracey, Germaine is a thinker; and unlike Oprah, Germaine is not a populist, or pack animal.
Germaine’s response to the ''me too'' movement was swift and precise. She said: ''Women facing sexual harassment should take direct and immediate action against the men preying on them.''
That's spot on, in my view.
Why didn't the actresses and models take ''direct and immediate action'' against Harvey Weinstein and Don Burke? Was it because the money and the fame associated with what they were doing with Harvey and Don were more important to them than doing the right thing?
Rather than complaining at the time, leading to immediate action being taken by the authorities (and thus potentially protecting many women since), these women took the money and fame, and only acted when they were no longer dependent on Harvey or Don.
Instead of having the courage to take a stand when it happened, these women did so when a pack was formed. A bunch of women bitter about how the media and entertainment worlds had treated them saw an opportunity to be in the limelight again.
It reminds me of the famous words of Martin Niemoller after World War II.
First they came for the Communists
Then they came for the Socialists
Then they came for the trade unionists
Then they came for the Jews
Then they came for me
It is much easier to speak up years later.
My other concern about the ''me too'' movement is their passion for trial by media. I have never liked Don Burke or anything he stands for, but he has also never been convicted of a crime.
From what I've seen, Harvey Weinstein personifies all that I dislike about the American nation, but he is yet to be convicted of a crime. I have little interest in actors such as Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey, but I know that they've never been convicted of a crime.
This all smacks of the Salem witch hunts. Let’s point the finger at a bunch of people, convict them in the court of public opinion and then destroy them, because we can.
I will close with a quote from Germaine Greer:
"What makes it different is when the man has economic power, as Harvey Weinstein has. But if you spread your legs because he said 'be nice to me and I'll give you a job in a movie', then I'm afraid that's tantamount to consent and it's too late now to start whingeing about that.
"I want women to react here and now. I want the woman on a train who feels a man's hand where it shouldn't be … to be able to say quite clearly, 'stop!'“.