The Not-So Funny Irony Of The #MeToo Movement

“Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
-Morpheus, “The Matrix”

With a verdict of guilty being handed down by a jury of his peers, disgraced Hollywood mogul and now convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein – who was in the minds of millions of #MeToo supporters, Public Enemy No. 1 – the movement to eradicate sexual violence and harassment against women – has gotten its man. This follows a string of victories for the grassroots movement turned social media phenomenon in just three short years as other powerful men fell to its sword: Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Tavis Smiley…the list goes on. Moreover, there have been sweeping reforms made on the American workplace front, as the engines of commerce and industry kneel to the demands of the #MeToo movement. One major example comes in the form of a New York Times article, that among other things cooments, 201 powerful men in the workplace have been brought low as a direct result of #MeToo, to be replaced by 124 new or promoted hires – 54 of those being women (“#MeToo Brought Down 201 Powerful Men. Nearly Half of Their Replacements Are Women”, Oct 29, 2018). And that was barely a year after #MeToo exploded onto the American public by way of Twitter.

But there was yet another interesting development in the life and times of #MeToo – its founder, Ms. Tarana Burke, announced to the world via Instagram that she was engaged to be married – suggesting that there is life and love in a post-#MeToo world after all. Burke, a middle aged single mother and roundly denounced by Black men online everywhere to quite be unattractive, has seemingly triumphed against all odds in life – she has survived sexual assault, raised a daughter alone, led a worldwide movement for the rights of women everywhere and has found love. It’s all the makings of a Hollywood fairy tale itself, right?

And yet, as an Aug 4, 2017 piece written for the British website The Week bears out, gender relations in the States are rapidly deteriorating – and not due to #MeToo – but due to freedom (“How single men and women are making politics more extreme”). As social media sensation and bestselling author Dr. Jordan Peterson has noted in many public appearances and interviews, the more societies are free and broadly liberal, the more the sexes diverge in their interests – and this is documented in career choices, lifestyle choices and even political choices.

This article dropped only months before #MeToo became a thing to everyone, which proves that #MeToo isn’t solely to blame for the divide between men and women; but it is clear that, moving forward, #MeToo will become a major culprit.

Let’s count the ways, shall we?

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LEANING INTO THE #METOO BACKLASH
In the spring of 2019 – barely a year ago – Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org, shared the results of a report her group conducted on the state of the American workplace in the roughly two years since #MeToo came along. The results were shocking only to clueless women like Sandberg:

“The survey found that 60 percent of male managers say they are uncomfortable doing common workplace activities with women such as mentoring, socializing or having one-on-one meetings — sharply up from 46 percent last year. Meanwhile, senior-level male managers were nine times more likely to say they hesitated to take work trips with junior women than they were with junior men, a gap that grew from just five times last year.” (“#MeToo backlash: More male managers avoid mentoring women or meeting alone with them”, Washington Post, May 17, 2019)

Your correspondent was quick to weigh in with my passionate response to Sandberg’s appearance on the Gayle King-led “CBS This Morning” segment where she discussed the matter. You can listen to that podcast of mine on my YouTube channel (“Dear Ms. Sheryl Sandberg: Please Kindly STFU”) – and while you’re there, you can also checkout this excellent interview with Dr. Helen Smith, author of the excellent work, “Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters” – where Smith makes the case that men are cost-benefit calculators – and where they see the costs outweighing the benefits anywhere in life, they simply vote with their feet (“Dr. Helen Smith Stands Up For Men Across America”, YouTube).

While Sandberg, King and other women were taken aback by the results of Sandberg’s own survey, men simply looked on in wry amusement, precisely because of what Smith said above. Indeed, more and more men are following the lead of US Vice President Mike Pence, who has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he will not meet with a woman who is not his wife unless said wife is also present (“Mike Pence Rule”, Urban Dictionary), way back in 2002 – 15 years before #MeToo came along. Pence, who is known for his religious views, got the idea from the late Rev. Billy Graham, who instituted the rule back in the late-1940s(!) – you can read it for yourself and I strongly urge all men reading this piece to do so (“Billy Graham Rule”, Wikipedia).

Talk about being visionaries! Whew!

What Sandberg and other women simply refuse to accept, is that while there were no doubt male offenders on the job that needed to be gotten rid of, there are also crazy bitches on the job who see a “harasser” under every rock, bed or desk – and some of these crazy bitches have the power to make their hallucinations real as they sit in positions like Human Resources. Simply put, men ran the numbers, did the math and came to the conclusion that dealing with women on the job wasn’t worth the trouble. I personally predict that as the post-#MeToo world grinds on, even more men won’t bother with going to college and those who are in the workplace will be seeking an exit, as if they were in the Matrix and trying to get out. I see more and more men opting to go into the blue collar trades, where women have always been far less represented – for example, yours truly was a career skilled-trades blue collar guy, and in the 22 years I was on the job, less than ten percent of my coworkers were women. BlackDemographics.com concurs – while Black men presently makeup 36% of the blue collar workforce, only 8% of Black women – or less than one quarter – do (“Male Statistics” and “Women Statistics”). Which tells me that my “lived experience” aligns with the data. Again.

Men will simply arrange their lives such that they will have as little direct contact with women as possible – and in a high-tech age, trust me, it’s A LOT easier to do than one may think. A classic case in point is talk radio host Tom Leykis and my personal patron saint of the airwaves. Back when he was doing terrestrial radio in the late 90s and early 2000s, Leykis had a huge contract deal with Westwood One, a major player in the radio business back then. Instead of doing his daily talk radio show from their studios in Hollywood, Leykis invested in his own gear and hired a tight knit team of around five guys to help with all the stuff it takes to do a world class radio show four hours a day, five days a week. Their studio was in a different location from Westwood One’s and they piped the signal into the former where the onsite engineer relayed said live feed to listeners all around the country. This meant that Leykis and his crew never had to enter the Westwood One grounds and thus, interact with any of the female staff for any reason whatsoever. And Leykis today is a multimillionaire! He is living proof that a man doing his work in this way not only can work, it can pay off bigtime. And that was back when the changeover from analog to digital was a very clunky process. Today, yours truly does much the same thing that Leykis did, only cheaper, more seamlessly and yup, I don’t have to deal with any woman unless I WANT to. Which means, most the time, I don’t.

I predict that more men will simply do what Leykis and I have done – work in fields that are male-dominated, like the trades, software engineering and the like, and/or form small firms staffed primarily by guys where they will be able to fly under the radar of Big Govt regulations and draconian oversight – and it will be a direct result of #MeToo. Good job, girls!

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FROM AZIZ ANSARI TO THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN VERDICT
Another way #MeToo will further erode relations between the sexes can be seen in the cases of funnyman Aziz Ansari and the aforementioned conviction of Harvey Weinstein. In the former case, Ansari was accused of sexual assault largely as a result of an anonymous woman’s refusal to take personal responsibility for being complicit in engaging in the bootycall with a famous man, while in the case of Weinstein, evidence of some of his accuser’s prior consent wasn’t enough to shield him from being sent to the proverbial gallows – and as his (White) female defense attorney Donna Rottuno noted in a Jan 14, 2020 New York Times article, #MeToo whether it wants to admit it or not, is doing more harm than good by undermining everyone’s fundamental rights (“She’s Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer, and She Thinks #MeToo Is ‘Dangerous’”). While no one is defending Weinstein’s actions, it’s hard to see what Ansari did wrong, especially since his faceless accuser never filed a police report, as longtime respected journalist Ashleigh Banfield pointed out (“Banfield slams Ansari accuser in open letter”, Jan 16, 2018, CNN.com). And with all this coming in the years following Bill Cosby’s highly questionable conviction itself, where women were coming outta the woodwork with accusations more than a half-century old(!), it all adds up to the un-escapable conclusion that a not insignificant number of women want to be able to have their “buyer’s remorse”, a matter that can be dealt with in the courts.

This means that fewer men will want to be bothered with women in a romantic and sexual sense – at a time when marriage for all Americans is at an all-time low, when there are more single men and women in America generally and when for Black America it is an order of magnitude worse. Entire businesses that depend on the sexes coming together to socialize and pair off, are going by the wayside – as David’s Bridal and numerous nightclubs, bars and lounges, clearly attest to. Here again, women, even those as ostensibly on the ball as Sheryl Sandberg and Gayle King, fail to grasp what Helen Smith observed about men: that we are cost-benefit calculators. And when we perceive women to not be worth the hassle anymore, we simply walk away.

Many women – and let’s be honest, especially Black women – perceive themselves to be so irresistible to (Black) men, that the latter will, to paraphrase JFK, “Pay any price, bear any burden” to get next to them. That roiling debate-marathons lasting in excess of 12 hours(!) can be heard on Black social media about SYSBM and sex dolls, seriously puts to the acid test, this proposition.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at GoGetFunding.com. Now, back to the article!

HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOR TARANA BURKE & BLACK LOVE?
While it is certainly happy news that a couple is engaged to be wed in Black America these days, one must consider the source here – and whether supporters of Burke like it or not, all it takes is one good eye to see that across Black social media, Black men see Burke as a highly divisive figure hellbent on destroying Black men – and her highly contentious conversation with Black movie legend Spike Lee last year certainly doesn’t win her any friends on the Black male side (“Spike Lee & Tarana Burke Have A Heated Discussion Over His Portrayal of Black Women in Films”, YouTube). Her engagement announcement on her personal Instagram page then, is rather odd; was she trying to blunt this perception of her? Was it simply yet another display of narcissistic self-aggrandizement? Was it a statement that even seriously unattractive Black women like her could find love, too? Or…what?

Whatever Burke’s motivations may be for this seemingly out of joint announcement in the midst of her life’s work, her reaction to it is clear – she is livid. Going from “zero to ratchet” in record time, the life long community organizer was quick to open fire on any dissenters to her announcement on her Instagram, which again begs the question in the first place – why’d she post it?

The world, may never know.

But what we do know, is that Black Love is fast dying on the vine. No need to once again rollout the numbers; we all know them all too well at this point. The question, I submit, at this juncture must be: What could some of the unintended consequences of the #MeToo movement be, on Black Love itself? After all, unless you’re talking about gay and lesbian Black Americans – who, taken together, makeup less than 10% of all Black Americans – you’re talking about Black men and women coming together. And as I noted above, it is abundantly clear that Black men in the main, do NOT see Burke as being on their side, full stop.

May we live in interesting times!

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, newly minted dating coach and soon to be book author. You can catch his daily live shows on Mixlr, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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