#MeToo is another subjective, recipient defined, reaction to Weinstein hysteria

The shy and sensitive Alyssa

Alyssa Milano (who Grumpy understands is a minor actress) started a hashtag #MeToo inviting people who had been sexually abused to tweet, to show the extent and scope of the ‘abuse problem’, typified and made currently topical by the Harvey Weinstein affair.

On 17.10.17 some female was featured on the normally reliable ‘Today’ program as having posted to the tag because a business associate told her over a dinner that he was sexually attracted to her. She stated that she dropped her fork in horror / disgust / surprise / whatever but was too taken aback / timid / weak to respond to this blatant case of overt abuse, with rather more than just the  implication (by juxtaposition if nothing else)  that she had suffered from the same sort of abuse as Harvey Weinstein’s victims.

In some other time, this event over dinner might have been regarded by the woman as a rather crude attempt at a pass, and that would be it. But not now – it’s ‘abuse’ and ‘harassment’.

The fundamental problem and illogicality with ‘abuse’ of this type  (if such this was, so let’s call it harassment) is that there is no objective framework for the harassor to determine if his act or utterance is that – it’s entirely determined by the effect on the recipient. You don’t know you harassed until you have harassed – is commenting on how nice your secretary looks with a new hairstyle harassment ? Grumpy is a serial offender if that is the case. Comment and then discover. It’s rather like having the speed signs at the end of a restricted road.

The issue here is  (as an example) that it is impossible for a man (and we are talking about men here) to know whether looking at a woman will be perceived subjectively as an admiring glance or a perverted leer by the recipient – it’s entirely in the mind of the woman. If the lady in question had been dining with George Clooney or Brad Pitt (or whoever passes for the female icon of irresistible maleness in this age) then she may have been instead flattered by the same remark and smiled coyly in anticipation of the flirting to and fro innate in seduction. But since the man in question was considerably older and not perceived as a  desirable  mate, the self same comment becomes abuse.

Outrageous though it is, Grumpy cannot help but feel that women in his past (if rejecting the person in focus) would have merely given a biting response and shrugged such a comment off; accordingly, one questions whether some current complainers see an opportunity for self publicity, rather than just seeking empathetic responses from their kind. Twitter has a lot to answer for.