As the insurgence of #MeToo movement is now a daily recurrence in the media, taking no prisoners at all times regardless of statutes of limitation, it seems that men now live in vigilance of what accusations they might one day be faced with for the misdeeds of the past. In this predominantly matriarchal social epiphenomena born out of latent political dissensions in the background of virulent partisan ideologies, it’s only a woman’s story afflicted with her tearful narration of the tainted experience that we hear. It’s a no man’s world. It’s an amazonian world where women’s voice means dominance, power, and truth. But then we live (or like to think we live) in a highly civilized world of democracy where Reason takes precedence over Appetites (raw feelings and unbridled emotions) that leads to Judgment of Truth. However, this draconian #MeToo tribunal forfeits men’s chance to speak for themselves so that we can hear the other side of the story, whereas there are two sides to every story.
That all women are victims and all women are veritable is a dictum of the movement, which exempts all women from their blemish pasts. As a woman myself, I know that we women can become malicious, vengeful, flagrant, and mendacious if we are hell bent on doing harm on ones who have damaged our egos or destroyed our ambitions. There is no god-given dichotomy of human nature between man and woman. But this mobilization of alleged sexual accusations has, I think, gone too far. It reminds me of the craze of the Salem witch trials, the Jacobean Reign of Terror, and Bolshevik Regime in terms of the vitriolic sound-and-fury rhetoric and militant attitudes toward their sworn public enemies. Any man who has had even the faintest shadow of doubt cast on a supposedly unseemly behavior is now guilty of the generalization of the misdeed and deserves of social defenestration, let alone personal stigmatization for the rest of his life. In sum, he becomes a pariah wearing a scarlet letter till his death.
For instance, we all know the case of Bill Cosby, the legendary comedian who was charged with rape this week and sentenced to a 10-year term in prison, despite his attorney’s plea for leniency on account of his being 81 years old. I can’t say what the women accused him of was true or false, but his accusers do not seem very credible to me, either. Their manners of speech, deportment, and contents of accusations seem all but flamboyant and tritely bromide. And many of the accusations are over 10 years old. They say his punishment meted out justice. What a grand measure of justice, when there are even worse cases of injustice, such as evicting the poor out of their homes for the behoof of gentrification and systematically perpetrating sexual harassment tacitly against women of low social status at work, including female janitors whose stories once covered in the LA Times? These people seldom or hardly tweet the injustice they have experienced to lay it bare to mete out justice to the perpetrators.
Another example is the case of Ian Buruma, the editor-in-chief of New York Review of Books, who was recently made to resign from his post because he published an essay by a certain Canadian DJ named Jian Ghomeshi, who recounted his personal feelings about being a victim of the #MeToo tribunal without being given a proper stand to tell of his side of story. Just as anyone defending any innocent aristocrat during the French Revolution or any guiltless bourgeois person during Bolshevik Revolution was also punished ruthlessly for being sided with the public enemies, Mr. Burma’s journalistic conscientious act of publishing the other side of the story was thwarted, being condemned for his courageous deed that was regarded as treachery.
I am not here to defend the unseemliness of all men reputed to be lecherous. Not an iota. But looking at this insurmountable #MeToo movement riding on the crest of demagogic wave emboldened by the gratuitous social and political tendency of accusing almost anyone for vindication, I am egged on to say that we should be critical in deciding the credibility of accusers in the context of regarding the nature and truth of all cases as reported based upon evidence, not supra-abundance of vehement hatred and malice to destroy a man’s life for good. The Greek historian Thucydides also knew mendacity of popular belief and warned of eclipsing impact on the truth of any such event; hence he always tried to find out the veracity of historic events by toiling to investigate them through records. Therefore, it is imperative that we also give equal chance to the other (that is, men) to decide who’s to deserve ignominy. That is why I find Cosby’s sentence and Mr. Buruma’s resignation a fortiori fiendishly harsh in the wake of bellicose textual campaign that seems less plausible and empathetic.
P.S.: This essay is based upon my review of an article called “Men should be angrier about #MeToo” by Lionel Shriver in this week’s The Spectator. Ms. Shriver’s perspective on this subject matter strikes a chord with mine. This courageous article emboldened me to write this essay on the subject that I felt strongly about for its politically motivated element. Mind you that real victims do not reveal themselves in fear of retribution and ridicule in public.