The World of #metoo
Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave in a third world country with no access to satellite TV for the past few months, you already know all about the #metoo movement.
In a nutshell, a bunch of horrible men in positions of power treated a lot of woman in a truly despicable manner for a long, long time.
And, in many of the situations, a lot of other people knew these women were being treated in an appallingly bad way, and chose to do less than nothing about it.
Before we go further, in the interest of clarity, let’s identify the things these men did.
Basically, it ranged from public masturbation to copping a feel and from sexual assault to rape.
All of the instances involve a man using his position of power and influence to take advantage of the fact that these women would say or do nothing, or at least very little, to curtail their repeatedly bad conduct.
My question is why?
Why when comedian Louis CK asked women he was working with whether they minded him pleasuring himself in their presence, didn’t they all jump up in unison and yell “Hell Yes We Mind!”?
Why didn’t the women abused by Harvey Weinstein insist on pursuing very public lawsuits rather than accept his money in exchange for their silence?
Why didn’t any woman who had to endure a gratuitous copping of a feel from a politician simply slap him across the face in disgust and call him a pig?
Seriously, I am at a total loss.
In what world does this type of conduct not conclude with a reflexive slap across the face or call to 911?
That’s how it is supposed to work.
Bad conduct is supposed to have negative repercussions for the bad actor.
We put people in jail for breaking the law.
Children are punished for violating school and household rules. If a man robs a bank and no one punishes him for it, I’m pretty sure he’ll continue robbing banks until someone does something to stop him.
While I am thankful that women are finally coming forward to put an end to this contemptuous and, in reality, criminal behavior, I am saddened that they felt they lived in a world where they could not come forward at the time they were victimized.
I’m also confused, because the world I live in has never tolerated this type of behavior in the least.
So, I am left to conclude that these victimized women were living in a different world than mine. Indeed, it appears the world where this kind of behavior was tolerated, and even covered-up, is that of entertainment, media, and politics.
That world apparently operates under a different set of morals, ethics, and respect for human dignity than exists everywhere else in our country because this stuff clearly wasn’t happening at regular businesses at the rate and to the extent it has been in the entertainment-media-political ecosphere.
I believe its origins can be traced to men with out-sized egos who seek fame or power through these very public career endeavors, which necessarily attract the type of person who craves attention and adoration.
Mix in a healthy dose of sycophants feeding the egos of these men, protecting them from being revealed for the despicable people they are, and fostering the notion that objecting to this behavior would be the death knell of a woman’s career.
And you end up with someone who is so out of control that they fail to comprehend the most basic of realities.
Like, the simple fact that the women in their presence deserve to be treated with the same respect they would want accorded their own mothers or daughters.
Are you surprised by the notion that people who wield so much power and influence are so morally bankrupt?
Yeah, me neither.
Their world is not our world.
The sad reality is that these are not the type of folks we can count on to police themselves.
The #metoo movement has proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Let me just say, thank you to the brave ladies who have finally pulled the curtain back to reveal these depraved souls who really are deserving of our contempt.
Welcome to our world, ladies, where men who behave like sexist pigs are scorned and their victims are not.
Zicolello is a local attorney.