me too campaign

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6079_Smith_W

I was responding to Meg, actually. And while I didn't say so explicitly I did indicate I agreed that the focus had gone a bit sideways - not because it was just links, but because it was turning into a parade of demons rather than an analysis of the systemic problem - that we all play into this. That was my feeling about it, anyway.

But I also said I didn't care whether it got removed (even though I would prefer that the focus stayed on feminist issues). Moving it out would not have been the same as a shutdown; it would just have been an indication that it had drifted. 

Can we get back to the topic at hand now?

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Would it be so objectionable to poll posters on how they feel about posts that are just links and if they should be allowed or not and if so in which forums? 

I don't think anyone's suggesting that posting just a link should not be permitted, ever.  But neither should it become a lazy recurring feature here.  I guess I expect to discuss things at babble, with other babblers.  I have much less interest in responding to some blogger or to some news site that I could presumably find for myself. 

Links are great for supporting an argument, or providing background or details that don't need to be repeated in a post.  But if someone posts a link to something I'd generally like to see something to tell me what that link is, and maybe hear what they think of what's at that link.  Are they posting it because they agree?  Disagree?  Have some questions?  Why are they posting that link?

Quote:
Those are mainstream aggregators whereas the majority of posters here are on the left side of the political spectrum so the links are naturally curated.

Well, sort of.  But I think the first stuff to get weeded out in that curation isn't "the MSM stuff" so much as "anything that doesn't show agreement with me".

I honestly think what it comes down to is that one can post 10 blind links faster than one well-reasoned argument.

Pondering

Mobo2000 wrote:
I thought the pussyhat protests were great, for example, but I do think the writer has a point that the Occupy movement was critized heavily for not having concrete goals or leaders and this was not the case with pussyhat protesting.   I see that discrepency as coming from the media's inherent bias against giving a fair hearing to anything critical of capitalism, rather than hypocrisy on "the left", unlike the counterpunch writer.

I don't think either applies. The pussycat protest was prompted by Trump's "grab em by the pussy" remark. There was nothing to demand. It was protest intended to call attention to Trump's attitude towards women. It worked. We have had raped and never reported, me too and now times up. All these movements are solidarity building and are impacting people's opinions on what is acceptable behavior towards women. It has empowered women and the court of public opinion has turned against men who are sexual predators regardless of whether or not they have broken a law or committed rape. Sexual coercion is being identified as hostile towards women. The "woman who sleeps her way to the top" meme is being replaced by a narrative illustrating that more often than not women are not sleeping their way to the top by choice but rather being required to offer sexual favors in return for what men get for free, career advancement.

In contrast Occupy began as a protest against Wall Street. There was an opportunity to focus on renewing the New Deal and on banking regulations and trade deals, on developing specific demands. Instead it just sort of died a slow death not that it can't be resurrected. It also put the topic of income inequality on the front page.

voice of the damned

  

Mobo wrote:

I do think bottom up organizing within workplaces, through unions and collective bargaining is a great approach that has worked in the past to make workplaces more equal and free from harrassment.   In Canada, the unions I have worked with or in, require the addition of a Health and Safety Committee, and an Anti-harrassment/nondiscrimination policy as necessary inclusions in any first collective agreement.  Along with a grievance procedure to give them teeth.   By pooling small amounts of money in a collective, workers can fund these methods themselves, and control them.  Conversely, civil lawsuits require the charity of the rich, if one is not rich, and that is subject to their whims and attention, which is here today but may not be next year.

According to their wiki page, the Time's Up project is working in conjunction with the National Women's Law Center. This is the NWCL's statement on unions...

https://tinyurl.com/ycfdrucq

 

 

 

Mobo2000

Timebandit:   I agree in general that a multiplicity of methods is required for social change.   But that general point doesn't address the specific concerns about civil lawsuits or TimesUp in particular, in that it is primarily a redress available only to the rich.   It also puts the person bringing the person launching the suit in the postion to be countersued, and while rich Hollywood actors can outspend some smaller companies, that will not necessarily be the case with other employers or wealthy Harvey Weinstein wannabes.    There is no guarantee the TimeUp funders are in it for the long haul, and real solutions shouldn't rely on the charity of the rich.     To me that's more George Bush I/thousand points of light territory.

VOTD:  Yes, great info in that NWCL statement.   Is it curious to you why Hollywood has not touted the advantage of unionization for women?   Has there been a positive portrayal of a union in a Hollywood movie since Norma Rae?  

Pondering:    I'm sad to say I don't agree with this characterization of what is happening at all:

Quote:

All these movements are solidarity building and are impacting people's opinions on what is acceptable behavior towards women. It has empowered women and the court of public opinion has turned against men who are sexual predators regardless of whether or not they have broken a law or committed rape. Sexual coercion is being identified as hostile towards women. The "woman who sleeps her way to the top" meme is being replaced by a narrative illustrating that more often than not women are not sleeping their way to the top by choice but rather being required to offer sexual favors in return for what men get for free, career advancement.

Pondering, why do you think the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke when it did?   It's been known for decades, literally decades, and they had witnesses and enough to publish on it in 2014.   

Pondering

Mobo2000 wrote:

Pondering:    I'm sad to say I don't agree with this characterization of what is happening at all:

Quote:

All these movements are solidarity building and are impacting people's opinions on what is acceptable behavior towards women. It has empowered women and the court of public opinion has turned against men who are sexual predators regardless of whether or not they have broken a law or committed rape. Sexual coercion is being identified as hostile towards women. The "woman who sleeps her way to the top" meme is being replaced by a narrative illustrating that more often than not women are not sleeping their way to the top by choice but rather being required to offer sexual favors in return for what men get for free, career advancement.

Pondering, why do you think the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke when it did?   It's been known for decades, literally decades, and they had witnesses and enough to publish on it in 2014.   

I think it's changing attitudes coupled with a snowball effect starting around the Polanski time, and Cosby. I think the Weinstein scandal happened in large part because his victims are famous powerful women. If he had restricted himself to going after script girls and hotel maids he would probably still be sitting pretty.

Mobo2000

Pondering:   I don't think that's it.   His victims have been rich and famous women for years (decades).   He had an army of lawyers and enablers, and I think he was not unusual in the least within Hollywood.  For every famous woman he harrassed or abused, there were thousands more coming to Hollywood hoping he or someone like him would hand them their golden ticket to fame, who get abused and discarded by the various male gatekeepers of the industry, and never make it on screen.    I think the press cycle about this was launched because a decision made at an editorial level to go ahead on a story they've been sitting on for years, for reasons unknown but likely political.   I don't think Hollywood and this press cycle is responding to a growing awareness coming from the bottom up, I think this is damage control and an attempt to rebrand in time for 2018 elections.  

Had the Harvey Weinstein scandal broken in the month preceeding Trump's election, do you think it would have helped or hurt his chances?  

More generally:  I agree with some of the earlier comments by Smith and Timebandit that this is a moment with possibility, and in some ways it gives me hope and is inspiring that things will be better for women generally in workplaces.   But there is also a large aspect of the current media cycle around workplace harrassment and  #Metoo that are alarming and make me very suspicious.   I am not talking about individual women's stories posted on #Metoo, I am talking about how #Metoo is talked about in the (DNC lead/liberal) media.  

Much of the media commentary around # Metoo seems to function as an ad for facebook and twitter.   The Time Magazine person of the year article, and the recent Toronto star editorial on #Metoo both are examples of this.    The path to justice for women, offered up in the MSM is:  tell your story on twitter, we will take it seriously and publish it, and report on the reaction, and out shame and the fear of losing business, the harrasser will lose his job.    The effectiveness of this depends on the press maintaining their interest, and gives the press all the discretion to decide which #Metoo accounts are worth publicizing and which can be forgotten.   Corey Haim has been telling the same story for almost 20 years, for example.

This path is not solidarity building among the general public, it is very divisive as it provokes a backlash among men and women who are concerned about due process.    I think there are better paths already fought for by countless women over decades that social media / twitter / facebook and the most compliant sympathetic press in the world can't equal -- organize locally, unionize, speak up, assert your legal rights.  

Pondering

I don't think the press was sitting on the story. Investigative reporters choose stories they hope will sell. The Toronto Star broke the Ghomeshi story. The only reason the Weinstein story was printed is because famous women were willing to put their names to the accusations. The other mainstream media couldn't afford to ignore the story once it broke. Since then there has been an avalanche of accusations against many powerful people. The media could not ignore that. They couldn't ignore Kevin Spacey being removed from a film after it was shot. There is pressure from on high for the editorial board to lean in a certain direction, stories can be approved or not, but control is not so blatant that a story this big can be ignored. Social media has made it impossible to quell a story people are interested in.

Sadly this is a great media story because it involves rich famous beautiful people behaving badly and it involves sex. It could not be easier to sensationalize but it doesn't need to be. It's click bait. The press isn't going to maintain interest unless there are new developments, like the accusations against James Franko. The mainstream news media is little more than an entertainment gendre. The biggest stories are disasters and wars. Political scandal is the next best thing, the more outrage the better. Then there are sports scandals and heroes. Sex scandals in any field are always good.

Whatever backlash exists it is very weak. Due process is for courts of law. People are allowed to decide they just don't accept certain types of behavior and don't want to reward it with fame and fortune. It doesn't have to be anything illegal.

Over the past decades public attitudes have shifted from agreeing with Catherine Deneuve to leaning more towards Emma Watson. It's made a difference in women's ability and desire to come forward.

Mobo2000 wrote:
I think there are better paths already fought for by countless women over decades that social media / twitter / facebook and the most compliant sympathetic press in the world can't equal -- organize locally, unionize, speak up, assert your legal rights. 

Yes of course, but changing public sentiment creates support for people who want to assert their legal rights and just because something is not illegal doesn't mean it isn't coercive. When it is "he said she said" with one accuser the courts are in a difficult position. What is taking these men down is the multiple accusations and the court of public opinion. I'd rather see Weinstein in prison but failing that destroying his career works for me.

voice of the damned

Mobo2000 wrote:

 

VOTD:  Yes, great info in that NWCL statement.   Is it curious to you why Hollywood has not touted the advantage of unionization for women?   Has there been a positive portrayal of a union in a Hollywood movie since Norma Rae?  

*************

 

Despite being about one of the more, shall we say, "colourful" figures in the labour movement, Danny DeVito's film Hoffa has a fairly positive portrayal of unions. The main characters indiscretions are defended in the tag line "He did what he had to do", and the script takes the view that what he did was no worse, and in fact considerably better, than what the owners had been doing to workers.

Also spits in some sacred liberal chalices by, among other things, accurately portraying the Kennedys as Mccarthyite red-baiters.  

 

MegB

I'm pretty disappointed that the discussion is now focused on celebrity and Hollywood. I guess everyone did their FB rounds of the Golden Globe Awards ...

Unionist

Have the Concordia University revelations been discussed/reported yet? It's huge news in Montréal - even though it's been an "open secret" at Concordia for decades.

Concordia University vows to probe 'disturbing' allegations of sexual misconduct

Quote:

When asked why the university only began investigations “ when a white man comes forward, ” [Concordia President Alan] Shepard responded that it was only then, on Monday, that he learned about the “open secret.”

Former students, including Montreal author Heather O’Neill, told the CBC that many involved with the program were aware of the misconduct taking place. “Everybody knows” O’Neill said.

“It was not an open secret to me,” responded Shepard. “If I had been aware, I would have acted sooner.”

Here's the Jan. 8 blog post by Mike Spry which broke the silence:

CanLit Accountable

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Make no mistake: English departments and publishers are guilty of sustaining this environment. Publishers could end this cycle of abuse by simply refusing to endow those who abuse the agency and legitimacy that they provide. The departments could fire professors, withhold tenure, censure faculties, punish deans. At the very least they could prohibit fifty year-old profs from trying to date twenty year-old students. They all know about profs/writers harassing, abusing, and inappropriately dating students. They all know about drunken nights of misbehavior. They all know of the prevalent lechery of writers.

Interesting.  Interesting article, too.

It does seem to me that in the context of this, "the Arts" seem to punch above their weight.  I'm certain that somewhere out there a professor of Astrophysics is harrassing his grad student, or a theoretical mathematician is clumsily hitting on a T.A., but I guess what looks like a pattern to me (besides the obvious:  male aggressor) is the idea that someone involved in the arts, who's well known for this kind of shit can't be stopped, because what if that meant they'd stop shareing their awesome creative genius with us (and/or "what if that meant they'd stop making us money?"). 

I'm not trying to set up a showdown between the arts and STEM here, but it does seem like this sort of shit is more common when someone's potential success or career hangs on the subjective and non-falsifiable opinion of one larger-than-life individual (or, when many people's potential wealth hangs on the continued approval of one larger-than-life individual).

I think it's why some people still stand up for Roman Polanski.  .

I think it's why so many people didn't know how to confront Jian Ghomeshi. 

I think it's why people refused, for so long, to believe that that fatherly man who sold us Jell-o pudding would drug women and rape them.

"I want to be mad at Woody Allen, and boycott his whole life, but I just love his movies too much!"

Unionist

2 Concordia University teachers reassigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Quote:

According to the student-run association CASE (Concordia Association for Students in English), two teachers accused of impropriety have been reassigned to other duties.

"As of this moment, the courses taught by the professors named online are being reassigned pending investigation, the books written by those faculty members have been removed from the display window on the sixth floor of the Webster Library Building, and a third party is conducting the investigation," said CASE in a statement released Friday afternoon.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Magoo, I've been reading blogs by women in STEM and following them on twitter for years now - No, STEM is no better than the arts. Where you'd think that hard evidence will be taken into account, all it takes is an advisor who calls you "difficult" (much the way actors are) or that you are too emotional or not all in, and there goes that offer of a postdoc position. You'd be amazed at how many have been harassed at conferences and day to day in the lab. It's eerie how similar STEM departments were to the fine arts faculty I was part of. Worse, in some ways, because there were so many fewer women for support - especially women in any kind of position of authority.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm certainly not suggesting there's any little world, in the bigger world, where women (or subordinate men) will necessarily be safe.

It just seems to me that in the arts, what's good or bad (and by extension, who is good or bad, who can succeed and who must fail) consists mostly of the opinion of a few people -- men, generally.  If you're a female mathematician and you solve Fermat's Last Theorem then what your faculty advisor "feels" isn't as important as the fact that every mathematician can see your proof and agree with it. 

But if you're a fiction writer, and some (older, male, spurned, famous) author says that your novel was drivel then you're sunk.  He can punish you for rejecting him far easier than the faculty advisor can disprove your proof, because we take that author's word for what is or isn't good writing in a way that we don't take one individual's word for what is or isn't sound math.  In short, the math guy can't just tell us, he would have to SHOW us.  But the writer only needs to say it.

We expect science to provide proof of things.  In cinema, music or literature, all we need is one genius to tell us what's right.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

It should, but it often doesn't. 

Sciences are stil very much an old boys' club, still very male dominated. By the accounts I've read, being good, even exceptional, doesn't negate or overcome the opinions of the old boys and one you've slighted can end your career. Brilliance notwithstanding. 

What you say about the arts is partly true, but we're a couple of decades ahead of STEM in having more women in leadership positions. When I started making TV a couple of decades ago, I pitched projects to men. Nearly all the broadcasters were male. Now, most are women. I'm going to be moderating a panel on international coproduction next week - all my panelists are female. 

Thats not to say it's over or there's no problem, but there are people you can turn to who get it and more every year. So we're making better progress, IMO. 

Just don't get starry eyed about objectivity and the sciences. Or the institutions, anyway. It's about having access to the mentors, grants and programs and there are many completely subjective obstacles for women to get around. 

Unionist

Thanks for the reality check, Timebandit. Your account of systemic gender discrimination rings true in so many other disciplines that come to mind.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Absolutely. And some fields have more women in them to start with, so the changes are going to come faster. 

Im my line, producing has started to reach gender parity. Strides have been made for women in the position of broadcaster or commissioner. Where we fall down is on male dominated technical crews and directors. 

So while I see change coming, there's still opportunity for abuse. We have to keep holding people to account. 

Im actually grateful to the Hollywood women who brought this to the fore. We just have to get people to understand that that's not the whole conversation. 

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Here's the Jan. 8 blog post by Mike Spry which broke the silence:

Except it didn't break the silence because women were already speaking about it.

But Spry also referenced a previous piece published in 2014 by Toronto-based writer Emma Healey. She had written her own graphic essay revealing a consensual, yet troubling relationship with a prominent author and professor at Concordia University that began when she was a 19-year-old student in 2010.

Moments after Spry's piece was published, Healey shared the piece with the comment: “I published that Hairpin piece five years ago. This is the first time a man this close to the situation has acknowledged it publicly and unequivocally for what it was AND drawn something bigger with it than a self-flagellating Facebook post about f*cking up.”.....

...O’Neill, the award-winning novelist who was a student at Concordia’s creative writing program, quickly took to Twitter to remind everyone that she had been openly and publicly talking about sexual misconduct at Concordia since the late 1990s.

The difference is, a man came forward, or it got attention because the media is on a roll with this topic in the moment.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm not trying to set up a showdown between the arts and STEM here, but it does seem like this sort of shit is more common when someone's potential success or career hangs on the subjective and non-falsifiable opinion of one larger-than-life individual (or, when many people's potential wealth hangs on the continued approval of one larger-than-life individual).

I think it's why some people still stand up for Roman Polanski.  .

I think it's why so many people didn't know how to confront Jian Ghomeshi. 

I think it's why people refused, for so long, to believe that that fatherly man who sold us Jell-o pudding would drug women and rape them.

"I want to be mad at Woody Allen, and boycott his whole life, but I just love his movies too much!"

And coaches love children and priests are godly and the grocery store manager has control over your schedule. Unless a woman has absolute proof everyone feels bad but nothing can be done. It's "he said she said" and men are innocent until proven guilty. When it's "he said, she said she said she said and she said" then maybe it's true. Ten plus "she saids" or VIP "she saids" start to be believed but even then some people suspect the women are being opportunistic and jumping on the bandwagon for fame or settlements.

There is a huge shift happening in public opinion. Many of these accusations do not involve prosecutable offences. There is no clearly stated quid pro quo. In some cases it's technically consentual. A 50 year old professor dating a 20 year old student is not illegal.

Women who supposedly slept their way to the top were disgusting (even if it's just one man she slept with) but no one judged the boss for granting favors to women who had sex with them. It's a cliche that if it were found out the woman would be fired or transferred out while the man remained in place.

Then there is the military. And on it goes.

Pondering

Timebandit wrote:

Im actually grateful to the Hollywood women who brought this to the fore. We just have to get people to understand that that's not the whole conversation. 

I'm not. They are the 1%. My bet is their perfume companies and clothing lines and the companies they are invested in are rift with sexual abuse of workers along with every other kind of abuse.

It's good that they came forward. There will be a trickle down effect. It moves the conversation forward. But I'm not grateful to them because they aren't doing it for us or for women they are doing it for themselves. These powerful women could be doing so much more both as members of the 1% and as rolemodels.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:
We expect science to provide proof of things.  In cinema, music or literature, all we need is one genius to tell us what's right.

In science breakthroughs are usually a result of teams of scientists working together often a lead scientist with students.  In education and grant giving there is a lot of room for subjective judgement and professors hire students to grade papers and even teach their classes.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I found this on my social media this morning - it's an interesting interview on a long view perspective on sexual harrassment, #metoo and generational feminism. Katha Pollitt has been writing on this stuff for about 30 years.

It's interesting to me because I see some fair criticism of older women around harrassment and some unfair criticisms as well. Like anything to do with feminism, it's complicated. There's no getting around, though, that the foundation of #metoo started with the second wave - but this is also an opportunity to think about how we did define feminism and how we're defining it now. Anyway, a quote and a link, have a read.

Isaac Chotiner: What have you made of the generational tensions or differences between different waves of feminism that have arisen lately?

Katha Pollitt: I’m a little bewildered by it, for several reasons. One is that second-wave feminist is being used as a synonym for woman writer of a certain age. I mean, Katie Roiphe is not a second-waver. Daphne Merkin, Andrea Peyser—these women are not feminists at all, in my view. And they are not old enough to be second-wavers. I mean Katie Roiphe was minus 5 years old when The Feminine Mystique was published. So I think I would wish that the young women who are making this claim would read a little bit of history. I found it very offensive when Katie Way, who was the author of that piece on Babe.net about Aziz Ansari, insulted Ashleigh Banfield by calling her a “burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been.” I mean, it’s at that point you want to say, “Hello, my pretties, soon you too will be wearing the burgundy lipstick.”

The second point is that the very concepts that these young women are relying on—consent, date rape, acquaintance rape, sexual harassment, believing women, intimate questions of power relations between the sexes—where do they think they got these ideas? They got them from the second wave, those old harridans who are now, in fact, 75 and 80 years old. So that does bother me—the lack of history and the ageism. I mean, the young people always have this idea: It’s like no one ever had sex before I had sex, and no one had these ideas before I had them.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/katha-pollitt-on-second-wave...

 

NDPP

#MeToo Movement is 'Kremlin Propaganda' says Russiagate Conspiracy Theorist Louise Mensch

https://on.rt.com/94tv

"Me Too is, and has always been, Russian propaganda." - Louise Mensch

Latest words of wisdom from Babblers go-to Russiaphobe..

Badriya

NDPP wrote:

#MeToo Movement is 'Kremlin Propaganda' says Russiagate Conspiracy Theorist Louise Mensch

https://on.rt.com/94tv

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/28/trump-tweets-hoax-louise...

"Me Too is, and has always been, Russian propaganda." - Louise Mensch

Latest words of wisdom from Babblers go-to Russiaphobe..

Louise Mensch is not a credible source. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/28/trump-tweets-hoax-louise...

Mobo2000

Preaching to the choir there, Badriya.

bekayne

NDPP wrote:

#MeToo Movement is 'Kremlin Propaganda' says Russiagate Conspiracy Theorist Louise Mensch

https://on.rt.com/94tv

"Me Too is, and has always been, Russian propaganda." - Louise Mensch

Latest words of wisdom from Babblers go-to Russiaphobe..

https://www.buzzfeed.com/hayesbrown/putins-spokesperson-compared-metoo-v...

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