January 13, 2018

Andrew Sullivan says "It’s Time to Resist the Excesses of #MeToo."

Excerpt from a long column:
I’ve read [Shitty Media Men] list — as almost everyone in media has. I felt like taking a shower afterward. It includes charges that have absolutely nothing to do with workplace harassment. Someone is accused of “creepy DMs or texts especially when drunk,” “weird lunch dates,” or “being handsy — at the very least — with women at parties.” One man is accused of “secretly removing condom during sex,” with no claim of workplace misconduct at all. Another is damned for “flirting,” another for taking “credit for ideas of women of color,” another for “multiple employee affairs, inappropriate conversation, in general a huge disgusting sleaze ball.” And this chorus of minor offenses is on the same list as brutal rapes, physical assaults, brazen threats, unspeakable cruelty, violence, and misogyny. But hey, take it all with a grain of salt!

The act of anonymously disseminating serious allegations about people’s sex lives as a means to destroy their careers and livelihoods has long gone by a simple name. It’s called McCarthyism, and the people behind the list engaged in it. Sure, they believed they were doing good — but the McCarthyites, in a similar panic about communism, did as well. They believe they are fighting an insidious, ubiquitous evil — the patriarchy — just as the extreme anti-Communists in the 1950s believed that commies were everywhere and so foul they didn’t deserve a presumption of innocence, or simple human decency. They demand public confessions of the guilty and public support for their cause … or they will cast suspicion on you as well....

... I’ll tell you what’s also brave at the moment: to resist this McCarthyism, to admit complexity, to make distinctions between offenses, to mark a clear boundary between people’s sexual conduct in a workplace and outside of it, to defend due process, to defend sex itself, and privacy, and to rely on careful reporting to expose professional malfeasance. In this nihilist moment when Bannonites and left-feminists want simply to burn it all down, it’s especially vital to keep a fire brigade in good order.

66 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

The Duke (Lacrosse) Boys wonder what took people this long to figure that out.

Matthew Sablan said...

Though... "The act of anonymously disseminating serious allegations about people’s sex lives as a means to destroy their careers and livelihoods has long gone by a simple name. It’s called McCarthyism."

No. No it was not. And, even if we DO think that, 60-70 years is hardly "long gone by." By God, it hasn't even been a century! There are some historically illiterate people who may not even know what that term *means*.

Mark said...

In his world, women have never been called sluts or bitches behind their back.

No one in Andrew Sullivans world has ever accused anyone of anything incorrect privately or in public.

Next up, Andrew Sullivan tackles high school gossip!

I didnt know Sullivan decided to chamge into comedy writing

chickelit said...

When both men and women opt out of real relationships, where does that leave us?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Then there’s the nascent notion, among many Democrats, that Al Franken’s banishment from the Senate was obviously overkill."

-- The Democrats only think it was overkill because they'd gotten their cudgel to beat Roy Moore with, they didn't think it would actually cost them anything.

Matthew Sablan said...

"This strikes me as a new development for the social-justice left: They now believe in suppressing free speech — even before they know its content."

-- That's been happening for several years. It is commonly known as "deplatforming," where speakers who might say something inflammatory find their speeches rioted against.

How out of touch IS Sullivan, exactly?

Fernandistein said...

"I guess we were all guilty, in a way. We all shot him, we all skinned him, and we all got a complimentary bumper sticker that said, 'I helped skin Bob.'"

But serialously, the hysterical sex-warlock witch-hunt should become more and more frenzied until a few children's Media Men role models are burned at the stake.

Only then can we lay claim to the bumper stickers. And hats, maybe.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Getting doxxed by alt-right loons is a horrifying experience no one should have to endure."

-- Getting doxxed by people on the left though is just justice.

Amadeus 48 said...

Andrew is describing hysteria, but is calling it McCarthyism instead. If he can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.

Quayle said...

Here's the missing or hidden footnote to Sullivan's piece: these protections and prescriptions in no way apply to those who opposed gay marriage, who are vile, hateful, bigoted people and deserve to be publicly shamed and banished to silence in the public sphere, and joblessness.

campy said...

these protections and prescriptions in no way apply to those who opposed gay marriage, who are vile, hateful, bigoted people and deserved to be publicly shamed and banished to silence and joblessness.

Need to insert "after Obama switched" just before the comma.

Sydney said...

I have trouble taking him seriously knowing how he reacted to Sarah Palin's candidacy. He promoted stupid gossip as if it was the truth. What is the word for people who have no true beliefs but are good at arguing any side? (other than "lawyer," I mean).

Sebastian said...

"In this nihilist moment" It is and it isn't. It's just another moment in progs' long march to scorch the earth, control the culture, and impose the Vision of the Anointed, by any means necessary. A few good men's lives ruined is just collateral damage.

When Sullivan contemplates how his advocacy of gay marriage, and the attendant vilification of any defense of traditional sexual norms, contributed to the "nihilist moment," we might get somewhere. Otherwise, even this attempt at restoring common sense remains useless handwringing.

tcrosse said...

Maybe Sullivan is worried that they'll be coming after him.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

The progressive cares about one thing: power over other people.

They will do and say whatever they have to to get it.

narciso said...

Welcome to the reign of terror, andrew, have an ale.

Quayle said...

But who can blame people for wanting power to put down evil? Isn't that the good and fair use of power? You surely cant blame them for that.

(The fact that their definition of evil is as malleable and as ever-shifting as fine sand is a feature to them, not a bug.)

"We want all power because we want to put down evil, as we wake up each day and define evil anew."

What could go wrong with that?

William said...

Russell Simmons tried to start a #notme movement, but he had to call it off when all those women made rape allegations against him. Sullivan may have a point, but there are better people to make such a point. Morton Sobol in his nineties admitted that he was a Soviet agent and not a victim of McCarthyism.

Jupiter said...

"the extreme anti-Communists in the 1950s believed that commies were everywhere and so foul they didn’t deserve a presumption of innocence, or simple human decency."

Just for the record, McCarthy was right. Commies were everywhere. The Long March was well under way in the 50's. And their numerous sympathizers did not bother with a presumption of innocence because they denied there was any crime. And you need a tag for "decency bullshit".

CJ said...

No Andrew. No. If you start defining what constitutes misconduct then you’ll rob the Left of its unilateral veto power.

Curious George said...

The left fucks up everything they touch. Every goddamn thing.

narciso said...

In the UK they composed the Cambridge five, plus a host of others, in print they included guevara fanfoi Richard gott at the times

Gk1 said...

Bannonites? Is that a thing? Is that like being a Peronista? Or are they followers of Race Bannon from the Johnny Quest cartoon? I guess Andrew had to take a swipe at the republicans somehow in order to get people to take the medicine of critique of Metoo'ism.

bagoh20 said...

Saying "me too" long afterward is admitting to being an enabler and a co conspirator.

We don't need women to be more vocal long after. We just need tougher women.

"There's no crying in baseball."

Curious George said...

I'm sure #IngaKnew will be by shortly to set Andrew, and the rest of us, straight.

Fred G. Bates said...

$5 for every intern with a sexual harassment story about testosterone-popping Andrew Sullivan.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

MeeToo is the grand effort to cover for Harvey Big donor D Weinstein.


Marty Keller said...

It's hilarious for flamethrower Sullivan to now praise the fire department. "It all depends on whose ox is being gored."

Tommy Duncan said...

I have recently been wondering about the unspoken side of this issue: Unless rape was involved, weren't many of the complainers in some sense complicit in using sex to advance their careers? I admire the morality of those who refused sex and lost a career opportunity because of it. I don't know how to feel about those who decided to advance their careers at any cost. Isn't trading sex for a movie role a quid pro quo?

rhhardin said...

It's not McCarthyism. It's woman-specific. Women are entertaining themselves with outrage.

james james said...

There was a guy who used to come to the bar on a fairly frequent basis; this coincided with when he lost his job. Some people, when they lose their jobs, gravitate towards the bar. I assume the reasons are pretty self-explanatory. If an explanation is needed, then: alcohol.

He said he lost his job because of a woman at his work: she had it in for him. He never quite explained why she had it in for him -- details are often hazy when people don't want to go into detail. The key was she had it in for him: that's where it all started, although it obviously started before that.

She complained to him to their company's HR woman. He said it started as a misunderstanding, but that then the woman just began to out-and-out lie about him. Which may indeed be something that someone who has it in for you does; again, details were hazy. He always made a point that his company's HR person was a woman, though: I assume his reasons are pretty self-explanatory. If an explanation is needed, then: women.

What finally got him fired was the company finding out that someone had viewed porn on his work computer. He said he was not stupid enough to do such a thing. Which would indeed be a stupid thing, but people do stupid things, even when they know they are stupid: the awareness of stupidity doesn't negate the possibility of having acted stupidly.

But he attributed this not to stupidity, but to malice: he said the woman obviously looked up porn on his computer while he was away from his desk, then reported to HR that she saw him viewing porn. They checked his computer history, found the record of porn, and promptly fired him.

So: he was framed. A devious plot. And -- of course -- the HR woman didn't believe him. Because: woman.

A devious plot seems less likely than simple stupidity, but one could argue that technology has made being devious much easier. And things being easier may make them more tempting. Before, you would need the Shadowy Things that were complicated and that only a Spy might have; now you just needed a few minutes and a keyboard.

Years ago, when the good guy in the movies needed something from a computer, he typed furious code, and then watched a progress bar crawl slowly across the ungainly monitor as the music ratcheted up the suspense. Now you can cue up a cute cat video from Japan pretty much instantaneously. On your phone.

Digression aside, was she that devious of a woman, or was he that stupid of a man? When stupidity is an option I tend to go with stupidity as a reason. But you don't have to be that devious anymore to make someone look stupid. Which is why technology will be our downfall. Just like the computers in Eighties Movies that always seemed to want to start World War Three. And -- at least back then -- the computer would be slow about it, and probably freeze and crash before any harm was done.

- james james

Angel-Dyne said...

A day late and a dollar short from Sarah Palin's gynecologist.

Gk1: Bannonites? Is that a thing?

No, I think there's just a rule in contemporary punditry that any expression of sanity or decency has to be sandwiched by a couple of slices of Teh Crazy, to stay in good odor with our Mad Hatter cultural commissars. Here Sullivan makes use of "McCarthyism" and "Bannonite" to book-end a be-comma'd string of good sense that might otherwise be judged, as they say, "problematic".

"...to resist this McCarthyism, to admit complexity, to make distinctions between offenses, to mark a clear boundary between people’s sexual conduct in a workplace and outside of it, to defend due process, to defend sex itself, and privacy, and to rely on careful reporting to expose professional malfeasance. In this nihilist moment when Bannonites...

n.n said...

#MeToo has progressed as a cover-up for #HerChoice and #SheKnew in the pursuit of social, political, and financial [unqualified] progress. Its late conception and breech birth are conclusive evidence that it was always a leverage scheme.

As for McCarthy, his concern was the progress of national and foreign socialist factions, and particularly their influence and corruption of our elections and culture. No, this is social justice run amuck, less the wars, abortion fields, and immigration reform, but characteristically witch hunts (public), baby hunts (private), trial by press, and public lynchings.

n.n said...

#MeToo was conveniently scheduled after Deep Plunger exposed the Obama/Clinton/DNC axis spying colluding, and denying the Democrat nomination to the Jew.

cronus titan said...

Comparing it to McCarthyism is apt. There really were communists in the government, but the hysterical overreaction smothered that basic truth. If everyone is a communist, then no one is. If a "weird lunch date" constitutes sexual assault, then all women are victims (truth be told, if weird lunch dates are assault, most men are victims too. Lotta weird people in the world). If everyone is a victim, then no one is.

Inga said...

“I'm sure #IngaKnew will be by shortly to set Andrew, and the rest of us, straight.”

I’ve dropped in to wonder why Dumb Monkey is so obsessed with me that he must mention me in a thread I haven’t even commented in. Don’t you realize that’s odd?

Mark said...

James james, for well over a decade, business computers require a login and every decent IT department has suggested you lock or log off your computer when away from your desk.

Pretty easy to see who was logged in viewing the porn. Or who ignored IT's advice.

robinintn said...

If you can forget it's Sullivan, and you know he's specifically reacting to that vile woman whose anonymous dissemination of made up nasty smears against actual, real, named men, it's hard to disagree with his premise. I'm hard to shock, but I am shocked that the overwhelming response to the woman has been "you go grrrl!!!" and "destroy Katie Roiphe!!!".

Ann Althouse said...

"If you can forget it's Sullivan, and you know he's specifically reacting to that vile woman whose anonymous dissemination of made up nasty smears against actual, real, named men, it's hard to disagree with his premise"

Please click through and read the whole thing. He names the woman and has a lot more detail than I've copied here.

Quayle said...

Reminds me:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

Gahrie said...

This coming from a man who has made his career by throwing thermite grenades is rich

james james said...

"Pretty easy to see who was logged in viewing the porn. Or who ignored IT's advice."

Small companies are often not so procedure based.

Sign in in the morning, sign off in evening: in-between, logged in, even when leaving for lunch. Sometimes the computer left on for days at a time.

I have visited small companies where the only log-in is to email; everything else is desktop. And IT is a guy who pretty much tops out at installing Office Suite.

There is a world of difference between Joe's Coffee Supply and Amazon.

-jj

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Please click through and read the whole thing. He names the woman and has a lot more detail than I've copied here."

OK, I did the assigned reading, expecting to find some new revelation. But the only woman named is hardly news. She's a tag on this post. What are you getting at?

Earnest Prole said...

The act of anonymously disseminating serious allegations about people’s sex lives as a means to destroy their careers and livelihoods has long gone by a simple name. It’s called McCarthyism

This from the man who posed as Sarah Palin's amateur gynecologist.

Ann Althouse said...

"OK, I did the assigned reading, expecting to find some new revelation. But the only woman named is hardly news. She's a tag on this post. What are you getting at?"

I was responding to a particular commenter who seemed to be saying there's more to the story than I had presented in the post, but I was letting the link do the work, and I wanted people to know that.

buwaya said...

"Burning it down" is the only true resolution.
What is corrupt needs to perish. It will perish.
And the pain is inevitable, it can only be delayed, if that.
Madness is unsustainable, so is modernity.
Sullivan is a victim of modernity, no less than any poor girl induced into that corrupt industry.

There is no next generation from Sullivan, no continuity, he is an end. Say what you will about Sullivan, but he is a talented fellow and this is terribly sad.

buwaya said...

James james (Laslo)

One word - Websense.
Its not expensive for the trouble it prevents.
Even a small company wants to avoid all the hassle involved.

Kathryn51 said...

Maybe Sullivan has some good points, but I'm not reading (clicking on a link) anything from the man who spent six months analyzing the Palin Women (Sarah and Bristol) vaginas.

james james said...

"Even a small company wants to avoid all the hassle involved."

I did not intend to start a side discussion of small businesses' IT practices. Simply responding to a comment that painted with a big brush: in my experience, some companies do not make safe (or even effective) computer practices a priority. Whether that is a wise choice on their part -- I don't think my opinion matters. It is their money to spend or not spend.

-jj

Brian Balster said...

" every decent IT department has suggested you lock or log off your computer when away from your desk"

you'd be surprised how often your co worker walks across the room, leaving their computer unlocked. We have little placards that we place on people's PC when we see them doing this.
And the person Always says; "but I was just right across the room, talking to Barry"
and we say; "did you see which one of us put the placard on your PC?"
and they say; "no, but I was just across the room"
if your coworker wants to screw with you; you're screwed

robinintn said...

I wasn't trying to say there was info left out of the post (although re-reading my comment, I see how it sounds that way); I read Sullivan's article, and I meant to respond to the commenters focused on [Andrew-Sullivan-of-all-people complaining about McCarthyism] that he has a point.

Jupiter said...

robinintn said...
"I meant to respond to the commenters focused on [Andrew-Sullivan-of-all-people complaining about McCarthyism] that he has a point."

Yeah, we know, It's the point we've been making for some time now. Maybe that's where he got it.

Ralph L said...

He lumped misogyny in with rape and physical assault.

Spaceman said...

Perhaps Andrew has some skeletons in the closet. Getting out front.

Ralph L said...

Perhaps Andrew has some skeletons in the closet. Getting out front.

I was thinking about that condom removal, but he's a power bottom.

Unknown said...

Don't forget, some of the accusers/disseminators of the accusations believe any PIV sex is rape, and that men are inherently monster rapists. It is not merely too much enthusiasm or careless talk.

Unknown said...

Sullivan compares those waging war on "the patriarchy" to McCarthy's accusations about communists in government--but McCarthy was right he just went too far (perhaps). There were communists in the State Department and are still many in universities and the media. At Antifa rallies they hold up the communist flag FFS. In contrast, the patriarchy is to a large extent an imaginary conspiracy in a country where women have more legal protections than men and make of 60% of college students.

Steve said...

James James, a similar situation to your office computer use story is in James Thurber's "The Catbird Seat", a short story in which a man plots to harm his female co-worker's reputation. It is similar, that is,if your drinking pal was telling you the truth.

Jim at said...

I didnt know Sullivan decided to chamge into comedy writing

Really?

Then you must've missed his 875-part series on Sarah Palin's uterus.

Ann Althouse said...

@robinintn

Thanks for explaining.

gg6 said...

Apparently Andrew Sullivan is an expert on 'McCarthyism'? Well...OK, I said.
But commenting on Male-Female/Female-Male Sex?
Oh..ummm...ahh, OK, sure, why not, I guess? Brave New World and all that?
Tomorrow, I will post my editorial deconstruction entitled "Lesbian Love Techniques' ...don't miss it!

tcrosse said...

With all the allegations flying around, Sullivan is hoping the alligator will eat him last.

mockturtle said...

Condi Rice told CNN she doesn't want women to become snowflakes. LINK.

Jon Burack said...

Regarding all the McCarthy comments, Chronus Titan gets it right the most - "Comparing it to McCarthyism is apt." I see a lot of nonsense here about how McCarthy was really after all the real commies and that was okay, when in fact most of the cleaning out of the nest of spies in the federal government had occurred already before McCarthy made his ludicrous "I have in my hand a list" grandstanding. He was late to the party, he slashed and burned and made ridiculous charges helter skelter, accusing even George C. Marshall let us not forget. As to one remark here about how there were too still communists rife in the system who were beginning their "long march through the institutions," that conflates the early 1950s Cold War CPUSA agents, etc., with the post Vietnam 1960s radicals, who did make their long march (a la Rudi Dutschke) and around today in great numbers. Two entirely different phases of things.

As to Sullivan's earlier flaws, in criticizing which I am behind no one here, I think the purism of some of you is a bit much. Okay, Sullivan is flawed. That ought to make his reckoning with the Reckoning all the more welcome. Perhaps if you all had an once of humility you would see in a flawed man a reflection back of your own flaws. Or do you all think you have none?

I will say the McCarthyism comparison, while apt, is not as good as the comparison to the 1980s Day-Care hysteria. You must always believe the children, the women, etc., and due process be damned. Good for Sullivan for coming around on this.

mikee said...

Lee at Appomatox.
Nixon in China.
Spock on Romulus.
Andrew Sullivan on #metoo.

And the century is yet young.