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BLUE WAVE: Poll: Menendez lead narrows to just 4 points over GOP foe Hugin. Amazing for New Jersey, but then again, the whole underage-Dominican-hooker thing probably doesn’t sit well in the #MeToo era.

JORDAN PETERSON AND THE FAILURE OF THE LEFT:

I’ve read and listened to enough Peterson to make up my own mind and that’s not how I see him at all. Rather than being forthright about this, though, I’ve tended to cower silently in my alienated corner, fearful that revealing my rejection of the stock anti-Peterson narrative will cause my progressive friends to denounce me and the social media mobs to swarm.

It’s not that I’m an uncritical Peterson devotee. Although I find both his work and the furor surrounding him quite fascinating, I don’t share his way of thinking about the political issues (such as socio-economic inequality) that most concern me at all. That said, I would never look to someone like him, who I see as a classical conservative, to provide thought leadership on such matters. That’s the role of the Left. And in my view, the Left is doing an abysmal job on that front.

‘The Left’ is admittedly an overly broad and imprecise term. Still, it’s certainly possible to identify a dominant leftwing discourse in the U.S. and Canada today. And within that discourse, a stock anti-Peterson line indisputably exists. The Left faces many challenges, and the issues surrounding Peterson only represent one. Still, it’s important. The anti-Peterson crusade is an instructive example of a larger dynamic that needs to be named, discussed, and hopefully, addressed.

The hyperbolic uniformity of the leftist attack on Peterson is emblematic of the growing tendency to reduce left-of-center thought to the status of a rigidly simplistic ideology. Increasingly, what passes for progressive political thought today offers little more than a scripted set of weaponized hashtags (you must be pro- #metoo and anti-patriarchy, no further thought required). This narrowing of our public discourse is disturbing, and worrisome on multiple, mutually reinforcing levels.

Leftist politics is basically Mean Girls.

TERRY TEACHOUT’S PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN UNPERSON:

I won’t lose any sleep over the twin descents of Messrs. Cosby and Levine into the dark pit of disgrace. But there’s a difference—a huge one—between shunning such men and rewriting the history of which they are a prominent part. Not only was Mr. Cosby the first black man to star in a weekly dramatic TV series, “I Spy,” but “The Cosby Show,” for which he is now best remembered, was universally praised for portraying a middle-class black family in a way that appealed to viewers of all races. As for Mr. Levine, he was one of the half-dozen greatest opera conductors of the postwar era. Yet the Kennedy Center and Met Opera Radio seem to be trying to pretend that neither man ever existed.

Few of us like to admit it, but most human beings are impossibly complicated, none more so than artists. You can simultaneously be a great comedian and a sexual predator, a great musician and a pedophile. To argue otherwise is to falsify history, and to falsify history is to dynamite the foundations of reality.

I used the word “unperson” earlier in this piece. It was coined by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” his 1948 dystopian fantasy about a totalitarian society similar to the Soviet Union whose ruler, Big Brother, rewrites history every day to expunge his enemies from the record books. To this end, his Ministry of Truth prints new editions of books and newspapers from which the names of politically incorrect “unpersons” have been scissored out, even as the offenders themselves have been jailed and brainwashed. As a character explains, “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?”

Perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much that the Kennedy Center has hosed Mr. Cosby’s name off its increasingly trivial roll of pop-culture sycophancy. But Met Opera Radio did something far more consequential when it chucked Mr. Levine’s historic recordings into the memory hole, an act of suppression that bears a distant but nonetheless definite resemblance to book-burning. By doing so, it effectively declared that great musicians must also be good men—a position that can be defended only by the tone-deaf.

In addition to the real-life acts allegedly committed by Cosby and the Met conductor James Levine, there’s that massive amount of badthink on display throughout even the most left-leaning old television shows and movies, which the modern left insists be judged by the current standards of #MeToo.

The Great Purge of 20th Century Mass Culture will be astonishing to watch, a much more insidious version of the way the arrival of the Beatles to America completely pushed swing music, America’s pop music from the 1920s through the early 1960s, into the dustbin of history. With no past to draw upon, what happens next to pop culture won’t be pretty, as Mark Steyn warned in a piece titled “The Totalitarianism of the Now,” written in August of last year, when the left was transitioning from toppling statues to toppling real-life men in pop culture and the fine arts:

I’ve said many times that, when a people lose their future, they also lose their past: There will be no West End theatre in an Islamized London – no Oscar Wilde, no Bernard Shaw, no Noël Coward, and eventually no Shakespeare. There will be no Berlin Philharmonic in an Islamized Germany — no Brahms, Beethoven, Bruckner. There will be no classic rock on the radio dial in an Hispanic Florida — so no Motorhead, no Def Leppard, no Blue Oyster Cult. Such are the vicissitudes of demographic transformation.

But perhaps it won’t matter anyway. Our age not only disdains its inheritance, but actively reviles it, and wishes to destroy it. It is a totalitarian impulse. Nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit id est semper esse puerum: To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child. To despise what happened before you were born is to remain forever a juvenile delinquent in the thuggish gang of the present tense.

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches,” Ray Bradbury wrote in the 50th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451.

HOW #METOO UNDERMINES PROGRESSIVE MORAL AUTHORITY.

As Richard Fernandez says, the torpedoes the Democrats put in the water to sink Trump keep circling back on them.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Commencement speaker slammed for criticizing #MeToo movement. “Nella Gray Barkley caused a stir with her commencement speech at Sweet Briar College, during which she said she has only ‘partial sympathy’ for the #MeToo movement. Barkley argued that women must stand up for themselves by setting ‘high expectations’ and ‘ground rules,’ which some students and alumni called a ‘shameful and disgusting’ display of ‘internalized misogyny.'”

Expecting women to display agency and take responsibility is now anti-feminist.

THE #METOO MOMENT DIDN’T LAST LONG: Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Keep Dem Rep as Chair of PAC Despite Sexual Assault Allegations. “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will not call on Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas (Calif.) to step down as chairman of its political action committee following allegations that he assaulted a then-16-year-old girl in 2007. . . . Earlier this month, Cárdenas identified himself as the unnamed ‘John Doe’ in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in late April. The complaint alleges that, in 2007, an ‘elected politician’ sexually battered and assaulted a 16-year-old girl. Under California law, the civil suit cannot name the accuser or the alleged assailant.”

ALLY SHEEDY ON HER EXPERIENCES WITH HOLLYWOOD SEXISM AND WHY IT WILL NEVER CHANGE:

I realize I am privileged: I am white and work in the film and television industry. I’ve had great opportunities, worked hard for them, and done the most I could do with them. But I also made the conscious decision to not market myself in a sexual way, and it cost me. It is very, very hard to create a career as an actor without sexualizing oneself; I have been navigating this minefield for over thirty years with varying degrees of success. I’ve spoken out about the sexism in my industry before and faced backlash. I’ve been called “bitter” and told my behavior was “cringe worthy.” Whatever.

There were things I just could not bring myself to do: the film by the (great) director that would require me to shoot a scene in a shirt but no panties, for example. (He was making some kind of statement, I suppose.) I rejected the advice to “date” men that could possibly advance my career. I didn’t go on auditions for films that I felt glorified sex work, that depicted women being sexually abused in a gratuitous way, or that required me to leave my sense of self on the doorstep. (All of these films became huge hits.)

But this is the way women are set up in the media. There has been some movement, I suppose, but not much. It’s a frustrating and demoralizing struggle with some moments of triumph in spite of itself. And I still love acting. I still love a good role more than just about anything.

Why is the female physical appearance so important in the arts? Sean Penn is the most gifted actor of my generation, and I don’t think he’s gotten Botox. I don’t think Bryan Cranston had butt implants.

What is a woman to do? Turn on the TV and you get a good look at rape culture. I have tried to make a career without contributing to it.

I’m still trying.

Linking to a New York Post article last month headlined, “70 years before #MeToo, women ruled Hollywood,” Sarah Hoyt wrote, “Then the liberals took over the industry and it became a cesspit of intolerance and harassment.”

Or as Kevin Williamson wrote yesterday in his column titled “Advice for Incels,” “In the 1960s and 1970s, there were some social disruptions touching marriage and family life. It was, they told us, a ‘sexual revolution.’ The thing about revolutions is: Somebody loses.”

CATHY YOUNG: The two faces of #MeToo: justice for Eric Schneiderman & grave overreactions for others.

The latest news from the front lines of #MeToo, the cultural war on sexual abuse that began with the downfall of Hollywood mogul and accused predator Harvey Weinstein last October, is a particularly shocking bombshell: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal #MeToo supporter who was in the forefront of efforts to bring Weinstein to account, abruptly resigned Monday three hours after the publication of a New Yorker story detailing several women’s claims that he physically and psychologically abused them during intimate relationships.

While Schneiderman denies the allegations, they are backed by some solid corroborative evidence. There are also disturbing overtones of abuse of power, with some of the women saying Schneiderman made references to the authority of his office as an intimidation tactic.

It is a horrifying story, and a stark example of what #MeToo means to most of the movement’s supporters: A powerful abuser, once shielded by his position, finally facing the consequences of his misdeeds.

But the Schneiderman reckoning is only one of several recent #MeToo-related stories in the news. Here are some of the others:

►Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at King’s College London, was found guilty of making an “offensive and inappropriate” remark by the ethics committee of the International Studies Association and ordered to make an “unequivocal apology” to Merrimack College gender studies professor Simona Sharoni. His offense? When the two shared a crowded elevator at the ISA annual meeting in San Francisco last month, someone asked for the floors to be announced, and Lebow responded by joking, “Ladies’ lingerie” — referencing the old system of floor announcements in department stores.

►Writer Junot Diaz is at the center of a major scandal due to accusations that surfaced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival and were amplified in the social media. Writer Zinzi Clemmons said Diaz “forcibly” kissed her six years ago when he spoke at a workshop she helped organize as a 26-year-old graduate student at Columbia University. (It’s unclear whether she is alleging use of physical force; such language is now routinely used to refer to kissing without explicit permission.) Several other women came forward to say Diaz argued with them in an overly aggressive manner — claims that have oddly Victorian overtones of female frailty. Diaz withdrew from his remaining appearances at the festival and several bookstores are dropping his books.

► According to a New York Times report, the children’s books industry has been reeling from sexual harassment charges against some of the relatively few men in the field — charges that generally involve unwanted but non-coercive advances, badly handled consensual relationships, or inappropriate comments. The print run of one picture book was pulped because the artist, David Diaz, was accused of making unwanted flirtatious remarks to several women at industry events; the publisher is now seeking another illustrator.

Well, blurring the lines gives activists more power. And that’s what activists mostly want.

WHY IS LEFTY POLITICS SUCH A CESSPIT OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND HYPOCRISY? Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse: Eric Schneiderman has raised his profile as a voice against sexual misconduct. Now, after suing Harvey Weinstein, he faces a #MeToo reckoning of his own.

Well, Eliot Spitzer crusaded against prostitutes, too.

UPDATE: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on Schneiderman to resign. And it seems as if Donald Trump had an inkling earlier.

ANOTHER UPDATE: From the Ronan Farrow New Yorker story: “After the former girlfriend ended the relationship, she told several friends about the abuse. A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose. She described this response as heartbreaking.”

Flashback: “The woman even said, according to the transcript of her interview with Portland, Ore., police made public on the Internet, that her ‘Birkenstock Tribe’ friends told her to ‘suck it up’ and not tell anyone or the ‘world’s going to be destroyed from global warming.’”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Schneiderman has resigned.

WELL, HE’S A DEMOCRAT, SO. . . Democrats take cautious approach on sexual assault allegations against California congressman. “More than a day after the child sexual assault allegations against California Congressman Tony Cardenas became public, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she was withholding judgment on Cardenas until a House Ethics Committee investigation is complete. A broad array of other Democratic officials in California and in Washington have declined to comment publicly. The cautious response to a sitting congressman accused of assaulting a then-16-year-old girl more than 10 years ago is striking after a year in which the #MeToo movement and the Roy Moore scandal dominated the headlines. “

THE #METOO MOVEMENT, WHICH WAS DESIGNED TO DESTROY TRUMP, SEEMS TO BE LEAVING A TRAIL OF WRECKAGE THROUGH LEFTY INSTITUTIONS: Sex assault scandal postpones Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018.

#METOO: The US Military Wants Giant Transformer Robot Subs.

The Aquanaut unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, can chug beneath the ocean’s surface for hundreds of kilometers and then transform into a vaguely insect-like robot to perform delicate operations in the watery depths. Its biggest backers are players in the oil and gas exploration like Transocean, which are looking to better maintain oil rigs, offshore equipment, and help with operations. Houston Mechatronics co-founder and chief technical officer Nicholas Radford said the robots might would travel from site to site, like a frog swimming from one lily pad to another without ever having to be pulled out of the water. “‘We intend to blanket the Gulf of Mexico,” he said.

While big oil is the primary investor, the Defense Department — through a cooperative research and development agreement with the Navy — is also supporting the project. Radford expects additional financial funding from other sources within the military soon. The near-term objective is counter-mine missions “in area-denied water, or where you don’t want the presence of a top-side vessel,” he said.

Let’s just call this what it really is: Mechagodzilla.

#METOO: Jeff Bezos dreams of a world with a trillion people living in space.

Bezos’ vision of a civilization that lives both in space and on Earth has been evolving for almost his whole life.

“First of all, of course, I’m interested in space, because I’m passionate about it. I’ve been studying it and thinking about it since I was a 5-year-old boy,” says Bezos. “But that is not why I’m pursuing this work.”

Bezos — who is currently worth $130 billion, according to Forbes — says if humanity does not become multiplanetary, eventually it will stagnate.

“I’m pursuing this work, because I believe if we don’t, we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing. I don’t want my great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren to live in a civilization of stasis. We all enjoy a dynamic civilization of growth and change,” says Bezos.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur and SpaceX boss Elon Musk is also inspired by a future of getting to space. “Fundamentally, the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we are a space faring civilization and multi planetary species than if we are not,” Musk has said.

I agree entirely, and I’m glad this generation of tycoons feels the same way.

HUH: Why Did The NY Times’ Metro Editor Resign Yesterday? The Times Won’t Say.

Yesterday, NY Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson resigned his position at the paper after an “internal investigation” revealed…something. HuffPost published an email sent out by the Times to its explain the change to their own newsroom.

After an investigation, Wendell Jamieson has resigned from The Times. Susan Chira is stepping in as interim metro editor effective immediately.

Wendell has asked us to express the following to his colleagues in the newsroom: “Leading Metro for the last five years and working with the incredible Times team has been the high point of my professional life. I regret and apologize for my mistakes and leaving under these circumstances. I’m especially proud of all the talent I’ve helped bring to The Times. Susan Chira is a wonderful editor, a true New Yorker, and I know Metro will rise to even greater heights under her leadership.”

To protect the privacy of those involved, we do not intend to comment further.

Mistakes you say? What kind of mistakes? The Times has decided the sudden exit of a senior figure on its own staff isn’t news. And sure enough the Times’ own story on this says a spokesman refused to tell the paper’s own reporter what it was about, though there is a hint in the final paragraph of the story.

The investigation involved “several women,” so it’s a safe bet what kind of behavior forced Jamieson’s resignation.

One question however remains unanswered: Would Facebook rate the New York Times “trustworthy” after burying a story involving its own Metro Editor and a meaty #MeToo investigation?

“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW:” MEGYN KELLY WARNS NBC STAFF WHO DEFENDED TOM BROKAW.

She’ll catch hell for this even though she says she’s skeptical of the allegations against Brokaw too. But she’s right. In the end, all you can say of a friend’s behavior behind closed doors is “He doesn’t seem like the type,” which is worth next to nothing. Does no one remember all of the Foxies who sneered when Gretchen Carlson first accused Roger Ailes of harassment?

* * * * * * * * *

The risk isn’t that they’ll end up being personally embarrassed if more dirt comes out on him; the risk is that there are women who are right now weighing whether to speak up about him and suddenly find themselves discouraged because the most prominent progressive female stars at the network are laying out the case for skepticism preemptively. If you’ve been harassed, you expect the man who harassed you to call you a liar. You don’t expect liberal heartthrob Rachel Maddow to signal you’re probably a liar before you’ve even opened your mouth.

What do you do in this situation if you’re Maddow, then? You don’t want to let a friend be hanged in the court of public opinion when all of the evidence you have on him suggests he’s not guilty. But you don’t want to be Hannity either, assuming that you have all of the evidence, period, when you don’t. #MeToo is a witch hunt with the twist that some of the accused really are witches.

That wouldn’t be first time that was proven true of a so-called “witch hunt.”

“THE ROBESPIERRE MOMENT OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT:” Roger Simon asks, Who Was Worse — Michelle Wolf, or Her Audience?

STEVE HAYWARD MISSES POPE BENEDICT:  #MeToo

#METOO FEMINISTS MAY NOT REALIZE IT, BUT THEIR OTHER TARGET IS SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL:

Last fall, as the first #MeToo scandals scrolled across the cable news chyron, I happened to be reading “Sticky Fingers,” Joe Horgan’s [sic – Ed] biography of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. As Horgan describes the magazine’s early years in the 1960s, just about everyone on the staff was having sex with everyone else.

Did the women of Rolling Stone consent to the goings-on at what today would be regarded as an illegal den of harassment? It seems they did. In the ladies’ room, they scribbled graffiti ranking male staffers for their sexual performance — not, as girls do on college campuses today, the names of rapists in their midst. Jane Wenner, Jann’s wife, was known to judge job seekers by “whether a candidate was attracted to her” and, in some cases, to test the depth of their ardor personally. Photographer Annie Leibovitz, who made her name at Rolling Stone, routinely slept with her subjects.

Different as those days seem, there’s a direct line between then and now. Today’s clear-cut protest against workplace harassment is mutating into a far-reaching counterrevolution against the combustible contradictions set in motion 50-odd years ago. But as in the 1960s, this sexual rebellion is utopian and deeply naïve about the tangled knot of human motivation. Don’t expect the young women who are building the #MeToo barricades to succeed.

It’s fair to say ’60s-style liberation endorsed the value of female sexual desire, autonomy and consent. This was a genuine moral achievement, and we can be thankful it is a settled part of modern life. But the sexual revolution also helped midwife the soaring number of single-parent families and the related ills of inequality, poverty, achievement gaps, and men MIA from family life. And all these many years later, younger feminists are exposing new flaws in the sexual deregulation bequeathed to them by their elders.

First and foremost is the revolution’s blindness to la difference.

Read the whole thing; I wonder how Kay Hymowitz’s column in the L.A. Times is playing amongst its core readers, given the chief industries of that company town.

Flashback to some related links in a post I wrote back in October, at the height of Weinstein-mania:

THE SEXUAL PREDATORS EVERYONE STILL WORSHIPS:” “What do we do about predators we actually think are cool?…What is the point at which it becomes necessary for us to channel our inner Savonarolas and just start burning? Is one confirmed incident enough? How many Station to Stations or Physical Graffitis are worth the assault of a single woman or child? Are we affirming or materially contributing to their crimes when we watch films or listen to music made by abusers?”

Earlier: Hugh Hefner, Gangsta Rap & the Emerging Moral Majority: “Slowly, however, the elite of our culture seem to be drifting toward a new, far-more jaundiced and suspicious view of popular culture from the 1960s to the 1990s.”

And for my own thoughts on Joe Hagan’s biography of Wenner, click here: Sticky Fingers: A New Biography Explores the Seedier Side of Jann Wenner.

THEY’RE LIKE THE DIRTY DOZEN, BUT ARMED WITH GERITOL, VIAGRA, ROOFIES, AND SELF-LUBING CATHETERS: Charlie Rose Will Reportedly Host a Show About Men Brought Down by #MeToo.

WILLIAM MCGURN: The Elitists’ Trump Excuse: His critics may be more corrupting to democracy and decency than he is.

The election and its aftermath have been an education in how the smart set responds when the American people refuse the judgment of their self-styled betters. In its most honest form, it is the “Resist!” movement. In the more genteel version, it turns out to mean not just opposing Mr. Trump’s policies, which people can reasonably do, but throwing fairness and principle to the wind so long as it might help bring down the 45th president. Consider:

• In the thick of the 2016 election, the New York Times ran a front-page article in which it advertised that the particular dangers posed by Mr. Trump’s candidacy meant that the long-held norm of journalism—objectivity—might have to give way to a more oppositional approach.

• Good liberals once found the idea of spying on American citizens without just cause unconscionable. But when the target is a former Trump campaign associate, it becomes OK to get a warrant based on an unverified dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

• James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, revised procedures to make it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of Americans in intelligence reports and share the information among themselves, making leaks all but inevitable. The illegal leak of Mike Flynn’s name in connection with a phone conversation with Russia’s ambassador was one result. But again, it doesn’t matter because he was a Trump transition official.

• When Sally Yates was acting attorney general and President Trump issued an executive order on immigration she objected to, Ms. Yates ordered the entire Justice Department not to obey, despite a finding from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the order was lawful. She was applauded in her insubordination by Andrew Weissmann, then a Justice attorney, who now serves on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. But it’s all for a good cause, right?

• In the middle of a #MeToo moment ostensibly all about more respect for women, the president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has been derided as everything from a “summer whore” to “a slightly chunky soccer mom.” Though the columnist who wrote the latter has since apologized, the accomplished Mrs. Sanders must wonder what happened to “when they go low, we go high?”

• The pardon power enjoyed by the president is among the most unfettered in the Constitution. But because the president is Mr. Trump, and the pardon for controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has opted for lawlessness: appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the pardon’s legitimacy, in clear violation of the separation of powers.

Meanwhile, week after week, the same people who accuse Mr. Trump of lacking depth and nuance toss off allusions to Hilter, Stalin and a parade of murderous dictators. Channeling Mrs. Clinton, they insist that anyone who would chose Mr. Trump over her—or God forbid, agree to serve in a Trump administration—isn’t just wrong but forever morally tainted.

The people aren’t stupid. The 63 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump—some as an unappealing but better alternative to Mrs. Clinton, but many with gusto—recognize that what is going on here is a concerted effort to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election. Is it really unreasonable to ask whether this might be as much of a threat to American democracy as anything Mr. Trump has said or done?

Nope. Trump’s election — or, more specifically, the reaction thereto — revealed that we have been ruled by moral and intellectual failures for some time. But what they lack in competence, humility, and integrity, they make up for in self-importance and entitlement.

SHOCKER: Some male sexual assault victims feel left behind by #MeToo.

THE ULTIMATE #METOO: Remembering Girlfriend Murdered by Earth Day Founder.

Why are Democrat monopoly institutions such cesspits of violence?

IT IS ALMOST AS IF THE MOVEMENT WASN’T ABOUT ABUSE BUT JUST AN ATTACK ON MEN:  Male victims of sex abuse feel left behind by #MeToo parade.

SO IT GOES: Six Months in, #MeToo Has Become Infantilizing and Authoritarian.

#MeToo has become an orthodoxy intolerant of criticism or even question. Women who have suggested that it may have gone too far, that conflating rape with crude flirtation risks trivializing serious incidents and falsely demonizing innocent men, have been hounded for thought crimes. Katie Roiphe prompted outrage when it was rumored she might go public with a list of “shitty media men” that had been widely circulated among writers and journalists. Roiphe recalls that “Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me ‘pro-rape,’ ‘human scum,’ a ‘harridan,’ a ‘monster out of Stephen King’s “IT”‘ a ‘ghoul,’ a ‘bitch,’ and a ‘garbage person.’” Catherine Deneuve and over 100 other prominent French women were met with a similar tsunami of name-calling and criticism following their public letter comparing #MeToo to a witch hunt. The result has been a censorious closing down of debate through a crude division between “good women” who stick to the #MeToo script and “bad women” who digress.

Criticism of the wrong kind of women respects no limits. Film producer Jill Messick, best known for her work on Mean Girls and Frida, committed suicide in February. Messick worked for Weinstein’s Miramax between 1997 and 2003 and was manager for Rose McGowan in the late 1990s. As #MeToo gained ground, McGowan alleged she was raped by Weinstein and that Messick knew but did not take appropriate action. Messick was reportedly already suffering from depression; it seems unlikely that finding herself caught between McGowan and Weinstein, between claim and counterclaim, can have done much good for her mental health. The speed with which Messick was written out of history makes clear that to the #MeToo activists, some people’s lives are worth more than others.

#MeToo is a moral crusade where facts are readily sacrificed for the greater good of the cause. When it comes to declaring rape, sexual assault, or harassment, what matters to activists is not objective evidence that can be proved or disproved but the subjective feelings of the accuser. #MeToo has redefined sexual misconduct as unwanted behavior. As the case against actor Aziz Ansari showed, defining abuse as unwanted behavior takes us into the realm of the bad date. Leaving a restaurant too early, pouring wine without asking, even attempting a kiss might all be considered rude, but they are only violations in the mind of the most zealous #MeToo crusaders. Women in such scenarios are robbed of all agency; apparently unable to say no, they are forced to rely on men’s presumed mind-reading skills to protect them from the unwanted. Not only does this pave the way for miscarriages of justice, it makes all interactions between men and women inherently risky.

I witnessed this same thing in action a quarter century go, during a sexual harassment seminar required by all employees of the large corporation I was working for at the time. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that harassment was defined by the feelings of the victim. That’s no standard of justice, but it’s a great way to subjugate men to the whims of women.

MORE BAD PRESS FOR JAMES COMEY: Reading the Comey interview transcript, I get a “Cat Person” vibe. “I feel as though I’m reading a #MeToo story told by a young woman. Why didn’t he say ‘I thought…’ like a plain-spoken adult? It’s like the inside of his head is an environment with moods and wisps of cognition. He’s invited into a private space, he has his trepidations, but other people will be there, and he’s hoping he won’t be alone with the man. . . . I feel like I’m reading about a 20-year-old female fictional character. Is this what the inside of Comey’s head looks like or is this some psychological narrative concocted, with ghostwriting help, for the American reading public?”

When we find out who the ghostwriter was, we’ll probably know.

Plus: “What seems odd to me is how awkward and passive Comey is. Even in Comey’s own telling, he seems inert: he’s waiting to follow instructions and trying to please a man he feels no connection to. Comey doesn’t come across here as the embodiment of FBI tradition and integrity. He seems like a man hoping to hold onto his job and unsure how to make that happen, hoping to be told what to do. He’s so wary, and I assume Trump did not like him or trust him.” I can’t imagine why.

IT’S COME TO THIS: USA Today Declares ‘Ebony and Ivory’ Offensive, Insufficiently Woke.

It’s nice to see 2016’s “Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies” is easily adaptable to other mediums as well.  

UPDATE: Given the paucity of rap and hip-hop lyrics given the Central Scrutinizer treatment in the above referenced USA Today article, as NewsBusters asked earlier this week, In the Era of #MeToo, Why Does Hip-Hop Get a Pass?

QUESTION ASKED: In the Era of #MeToo, Why Does Hip-Hop Get a Pass?

JOHN HAWKINS: Tony Robbins Is Right About the #Metoo Movement (And It’s Not for the Reason You Think).

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies.

There are interesting ideas floating somewhere beneath the surface of The Guardian’s article, but whatever insights might be offered are lost in the all-too-typical emphasis on personal experience as objective analysis. I’m open to reading an article about what The Shining lost during the adaptation process, or why Wendy Torrance is a disappointing female lead given the horror genre’s history of progressive female characters, or even how a movie like The Shining transitions from a disappointment to a work of genius in just a few decades. Instead, we get two very familiar and, frankly, boring arguments: I Was Personally Unimpressed and This Film’s Audience Is Annoying.

But you know what? I’m a helpful guy. If authors are dead set on publishing these types of pieces, then the least we can do is take a moment and work out the perfect template. This way, the argument gets made, the author gets paid, and audiences can breathe a little easier knowing that they aren’t actually missing anything if they don’t click. Film criticism moves a little closer to its future as a perpetual motion machine that chugs continuously on without outside interference. Let’s give it a shot.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

Note that in the era of #metoo, with just a few minor changes, the template that follows the above quoted passage can do double-duty, serving those who priggishly choose to hate on old TV sitcoms as well for insufficient wokeness.

AND NOT WITHOUT REASON: Men are concerned about what #MeToo is doing to men at work. Though the gender divide here is not that big: “Sixty-eight percent of Republican men and 59 percent of Republican women say it’s ‘harder’ for men to interact with female colleagues while 45 percent of Democratic men and 40 percent of Democratic women feel the same.”

Plus: “Few respondents from either party said the #MeToo conversation would improve women’s economic mobility: 28 percent of Pew’s sample said it would lead to more opportunities for female workers. (Twenty percent said it would decrease opportunities, and 51 percent thought it wouldn’t make a difference.)”

#METOO!  Obama is ‘relieved’ to no longer be president.

WAR ON BOYS: Why raising my son made me question what female empowerment is doing to boys.

It recently occurred to me, however, that if I had a daughter I might be more concerned with passing on different messages.

Just as my own mother repeatedly told me throughout my youth, I would be advising my daughter of the importance of being independent, becoming educated, earning her own money and not relying on anyone. I would be encouraging her to be strong.

But I’m not teaching my son any of those sorts of things. Why? I suppose I’ve always thought it was a given that males will grow up to be strong and independent, self-sufficient and confident, no matter what messages they receive in childhood. . . .

While we’re all happy to talk about our desire for ‘strong women’ in society these days, I’m ashamed to admit that I somehow feel disconcerted to hear someone discuss a ‘strong man’.

Because, if I’m honest, when hearing the words ‘strong man’ I subconsciously think of negative connotations — things like misogyny or bullying. But when I hear the words ‘strong woman’, I think of victory over oppression.

So engrained has this divide become that any display of male strength seems almost discouraged. And when I imagine Fin growing up, that doesn’t sit well with me.

Well, it’s nice to see at least a glimmer of awareness.

Totally, completely, unrelated: Sarah Vine: Women are going off sex because the modern man has lost that raw, masculine edge in this #MeToo world of ours…which doesn’t make for much fun in the bedroom.

Sorry, Ladies: Not everyone can be as hypermasculine as me.

Related: Why Millennial Women Are Dating Older Men.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Actually Easter Is Not A #MeToo Story.

#NOTME: Outspoken #MeToo advocate Rep. Elizabeth Esty rejects fellow Democrats’ calls to resign.

THEN THE LIBERALS TOOK OVER THE INDUSTRY AND IT BECAME A CESSPIT OF INTOLERANCE AND HARASSMENT:  70 years before #MeToo, women ruled Hollywood.

#METOO WINS HOLLYWOOD? Video Game Movies Tomb Raider and Ready Player One Are Sexually Tame.

I DIDN’T EXPECT THIS: Hartford Courant Editorial: Elizabeth Esty Must Resign.

Elizabeth Esty will likely spend the next several days defending her failure to take strong steps to protect a woman who’d been threatened and bullied — by a member of her own staff — by blaming the system and talking about the good she’s done in Congress.

She shouldn’t. She should resign.

After learning about the allegations against her chief of staff, Ms. Esty, the Democratic U.S. Representative for Connecticut’s 5th District, should have ensured that her former staffer was safe and that the man who’d threatened her was held accountable. Instead, she circled the wagons, called the lawyers and kept things quiet.

That’s appalling.

Well, it’s pretty typical actually, and nothing compared to Bill Clinton, whom I’m pretty sure the Courant never called on to resign. But the #MeToo torpedo that the Dems put in the water for Trump keeps circling back around on them. I’m cynical enough to think that they want her to resign more out of fear of losing a Democratic seat than anything else. Though there is a hypocrisy/payback angle:

Ms. Esty herself was among those who called for the resignation of fellow U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who stepped down late last year after allegations that he had sexually harassed female staff members.

Here’s what Ms. Esty had to say about Mr. Conyers at the time:

“I do think that reports that have come to light in the last 48 hours are of an extremely serious nature,” she said. “They involve people he had direct authority over, staff in his congressional office who are entirely reliant upon him for their livelihood. … I think it’s entirely unacceptable and I think he should resign.”

Ms. Esty’s responses so far have been disappointing. She has blamed the system and hasn’t taken nearly enough responsibility for her own actions.

But any prior year this wouldn’t be resignation-fodder. And, I predict, it won’t be next year, either. But this is 2018 and the Democrats, as part of a deliberate strategy of weaponizing female anger, have made such things a hanging offense, at least until it becomes inconvenient to the narrative. In the meantime, there’s collateral damage.

Related: Former Elizabeth Esty Aide: Congress Enables Domestic Violence and Harassment.

Full disclosure: I went to law school with Elizabeth Esty and quite liked her then. I don’t think we’ve spoken since, though, and I haven’t really followed her career, though I knew she was in Congress.

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND HAS A FAMILY #METOO PROBLEM: Gillibrand rival slams her father’s ties to alleged sex-slave cult.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines, citing #MeToo movement.

Flashbacks (for those who’ve forgotten how far to the left Walmart’s management leans):

Walmart CEO criticizes Trump but is not stepping down from advisory council.

Walmart’s Walton family backing [Hillary] Clinton.

Walmart Ripped for Supporting Cap and Trade at Annual Meeting.

● “Leslie Dach: a well-known progressive and former senior aide to Vice President Al Gore. In July 2006, Dach was installed as the public relations chief for Wal-Mart. He drafted a number of other progressives into the company, seeking to change the company’s way of doing business: its culture, its politics, and most importantly its products.”

Related: After the Pervalanche.

JANN WENNER SAYS #METOO SUFFERS FROM ABSENCE OF DUE PROCESS.

The University Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi could not be reached for comment.

ROLLING STONE FOUNDER JANN WENNER, 72, SAYS #METOO MOVEMENT IS A ‘WITCH HUNT’, three months after being accused of sexual assault by male friend who says he attacked him after a night of cocaine and booze in 1983.

To be fair, after what his publication did to the University of Virginia fraternity, the man knows a thing or two about sexual witch hunts.

Flashback: From December, my of review of Sticky Fingers: A New Biography Explores the Seedier Side of Jann Wenner.

 

HOW THE #METOO MOVEMENT IS BACKFIRING ON CAMPUS:

Rape hoaxes like what took place at the University of Virginia, Duke, and Columbia, added fuel to the fire and amplified the debate on whether campus sexual assault cases should rely solely on due process or if campus authorities can act without ample evidence. In many circles, it is thought that sexual assault accusers should be readily believed, even if all the facts aren’t yet presented. However, two recent cases have shed light on the dangers of jumping to conclusions.

Last December, a student activist at Middlebury College published a “List of Men to Avoid” in the campus newspaper. It brandished individuals as “physically /emotionally abusive,” “physically violent,” and even as a “rapist.” Elizabeth Dunn, the student author, “evidently took no steps to verify any of the claims she posted,” according to one of the men accused as a rapist.

While Dunn, the author of the list, lacked any compelling evidence, many students at Middlebury jumped to conclusions. The fallout from the published piece was brutal for the students accused. One individual, who insists all his sexual encounters were consensual, penned a letter for The College Fix, explaining the social and psychological setbacks he experienced. He lost friends and has sought professional counseling. He’s even had suicidal thoughts.

Dunn claimed to have been motivated by the #MeToo movement.

A case with additional repercussions took place at Clemson University earlier this year. Sarah Katherine Campbell submitted a fake police report against the Delta Chi fraternity at Clemson, claiming to have been sexually assaulted. When the local sheriff deputies concluded that actions between Campbell and the male she was accusing were consensual, she was arrested for filing a false report. Based upon the investigation and the evidence gathered, it was actually found that Campbell wasn’t the victim at all. Instead, the man she falsely accused was a victim of her wrath.

Despite the due process, Clemson Interfraternity Council suspended all Greek life on campus.

Sounds like a hostile educational environment on account of sex. Let the lawsuits bloom!

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: How Does Submissive Sex Work in the Age of #MeToo?

Like all of us in the throes of #MeToo, I have been taking rigorous inventory of my sexual history, rolling back the tape on past highs and lows: the disturbing teenage experiences no longer chalked up to miscommunication, those times I gave in because it was easier, some unwanted advance successfully fended off.

And then there are the memories of being brusquely, and without permission, pushed up against a wall — and loving it. In fact, those were the steamiest moments I could recall. I wondered if I would ever experience such an unscripted embrace again — and then immediately worried: Did my secret desires make me a traitor to #MeToo and what it stands for? . . .

“After being exposed to so many accounts of different women’s sexual abuse or harassment, I was hyper-aware and hyper-sensitive about it,” said Jessica Tallarico, 30, of Toronto, a newly engaged friend of mine. “So on one occasion, playing around affectionately in bed, my fiancé got the tiniest bit rough and I had such an adverse reaction to what would normally be playful. Adverse as in, I became defensive, flooded with a bit of fear.

“This felt so strange to me because it happened with my partner who I love and trust immensely, and he did nothing wrong or really that out of the ordinary.”

Making women feel fearful and defensive toward men who have done nothing wrong isn’t a side effect of the movement. It’s a goal.

HOLLYWOOD SHOULD ACCEPT FRANCES McDORMAND’S INCLUSION-RIDER DARE:

What you see on the screen is a matter of artistic vision. If you think a role calls for a black actor, then you’re not being unfair to Russell Crowe by casting Denzel Washington. But if you tell a lighting director that he can’t have the job he’s qualified for because he’s not gay or a woman, that’s a bit different.

Hollywood’s various powerful unions will likely be quick to point this out. As Christine Rosen of the Weekly Standard notes, the Costume Designers Guild is 80 percent female. So if we’re to take this idea seriously, a lot of qualified women are going to lose jobs to less qualified men. It would work in reverse for the Art Directors Guild, which is 73 percent male.

So why do I want Hollywood to go for it? Because Hollywood rarely practices what it preaches. We get lots of nice award-ceremony speeches about the superior values of Hollywood and how evil big business and Republicans are. We get lots of movies indicting capitalism and glorifying organized labor. The upshot of much of this stuff is that it’s easy to do the right thing, so when society does the wrong thing, it must be because evil people wish it so.

Well, here’s Hollywood’s chance to put its money where its biggest mouths are. And not just the amorphous entity called Hollywood, but the individual actors and directors who just love to preen about their enlightened views. Let’s see them prove they have the courage of their convictions.

Curiously, post-Weinstein and hashtag #metoo, I haven’t seen a lot of headlines on male Hollywood executives voluntarily retiring or retraining for other professions to make way for more women as studio heads or directors. Perhaps that will change now that Frances McDormand has spoken. What say you, Coen Brothers?

STANDARDS: “But breaching the privacy of an intimate relationship seemed worth doing to gynecologist Jen Gunter (writing in the NYT), because it was the male who (from her perspective) lacked interest in having sex. . . . This one individual deserves to have his personal story told in the NYT because in general people have a stereotype that the man is the one who wants sex all the time and it’s women with the lack-of-interest limitation. That’s such an awful basis for betrayal. . . . In the old days, that was called gossiping, and it was considered wrong. Then came consciousness-raising sessions and, later, telling your stories about all the sexual things. . . . Imagine a man telling a similar tale about a woman: I scheduled a night for sex and I got in bed naked, but she didn’t give me sex. What would people say? Who the hell does this guy think he is?! At best! I could imagine him getting denounced in full-on #MeToo mode.”

Remember: A man wants more sex than his wife? Men are awful! A man wants less sex than his wife? Men are awful!

Plus, from the comments: “I have asked myself, in this metoo moment, what is the analogous tendency in women to man’s lust which, when allowed to run to excess, becomes harmful and indecent? My answer was gossip.”

RAPE CHARGES BELONG IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Yale Student Found Not Guilty in Rape Trial. “In an interview after the verdict, Norman Pattis, a lawyer for Mr. Khan, said he had tried to challenge ‘the outer limits of the #MeToo movement,’ which he called ‘a form of mass hysteria.’ ‘Sex happens, especially on college campuses,’ he said.”

MICHAEL GRAHAM: OSCARS’ #METOO SHOW MIGHTY FISHY.

When the guy who hosted the breast-obsessed ‘Man Show’ appears onstage with an NBA player once accused of rape to give awards to people who spent decades doing business with Harvey Weinstein — you know Hollywood has gotten serious about sexual harassment.

I have no comment about the crop of overrated movies honored by the Academy Sunday night — other than to note that giving the Best Picture nod to ‘Handicapped Woman Has Sex With Fish Man, Is Saved By Communists’ may be the most #Oscars! moment ever. What is worthy of notice is the nonstop self-congratulations from society’s most notoriously corrupt class, the Hollywood Left.

Elsewhere, Jonah Goldberg writes:

[M]ost people don’t see the movies that the Oscars honor — only two of the nominees for Best Picture grossed more than $100 million — Jimmy Kimmel said that making money isn’t the point. ‘We don’t make films like Call Me By Your Name for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.’

Hah hah and all that. But Kimmel’s right (though probably not literally). Hollywood does make a lot of movies to be transgressive. In one sense, that’s fine; self-styled artistes are allowed to make the movies they want. And as I said, some of them are great. But no one should be surprised when the ratings for the Oscars are lousy, given that they mostly celebrate movies that are hostile — or simply unappealing — to vast swathes of the movie-going and TV-watching audience. Particularly when those honored are so liable to preen about how clever and brave they are.

Speaking of Call Me By Your Name, over the weekend, the New York Times asked “How Do You Solve a Problem Like ‘Manhattan’?”, exploring how problematic Woody Allen’s 1979 film, once considered a stylish modern classic, has become post-Weinstein:

[As] Lisa Schwarzbaum, the former movie critic for Entertainment Weekly, pointed out in an email interview, ‘‘Manhattan’ was always about a middle-aged man with a high school girlfriend. Back then, ‘Manhattan’ was made by Woody the Lovable Neurotic Nebbish, and now it has been made by Allen the Monster. And it’s the same movie.”

Call Me By Your Name also concerns a relationship between a 17 year old and an adult, except this time around they’re both of the same gender. Other than to troll Mike Pence, why isn’t this film considered equally problematic among today’s allegedly reformed denizens of Hollywood?   

Update: Post was slightly reformatted for ease of readability.

#TIMESUP: Nashville’s Democratic Mayor Megan Barry Is Expected To Resign Today.

UPDATE: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry pleads guilty to theft charges, resignation imminent.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mayor Megan Barry thanks Nashville as she resigns from office. This is hard for Tennessee Democrats, as she was going to be their great female hope for winning statewide office again, especially with an expected wave of #MeToo enthusiasm from women voters. Instead, well . . .

WHILE UNLEASHING INSANITY ON THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, HOLLYWOOD DOESN’T CARE:  #MeToo Means Nothing To Hollywood.

KYLE SMITH: Virtue-signaling reaches a new extreme in the silly ‘#MenToo’ online petition.

Attention all problematic dudes: Would you like to distance yourself from any sleazy behavior toward women in the past and proudly attach the adjective “former” to your problematic-dude status? The New York Times has the means. Sign an online “affirmative consent pledge.” Swear to the following: “I’m a Man, and I Commit to Making Sure All My Sexual Encounters Are Fully Consensual.”

The man behind this nonbinding, meaningless, and superfluous consent pledge is author Michael Ellsberg, whom the Times is promoting in a splashy, fawning feature, complete with animated graphics (“#MeToo” is transformed into “#MenToo” when a friendly-looking anthropomorphic “N” saunters into the headline, waving at readers) and one of those dramatic portraits that features Ellsberg gazing courageously into a more honest and better future. Presumably Ellsberg’s future will be more gentlemanly than his past, because in the interview he admits to Aziz Ansari–like behavior and acting like the guy in the New Yorker short story “Cat Person” — which is to say, being a major jerk.

Yes, well, Hollywood is trying to reinvent itself with conspicuous virtue-signaling now too: Hollywood Is Suddenly Serious. That’s Exactly What America Needs Right Now.

But if America overall seems to have backslid into a darker age, Hollywood is examining everything in a new, more starkly revealing light. Over the past five months alone, Hollywood has moved quickly to right long-established wrongs and to rattle ancient modes of thinking. The revelations about Weinstein crashed like a tidal wave: even though the fallen mogul had plenty of enablers, relatively few people–beyond the women he abused or harassed–grasped the full extent of his manipulative, devious behavior. In our naiveté, we’d always assumed that beautiful, successful female actors just drifted through life, untouched by the travails ordinary women deal with every day; suddenly, we knew differently, as women risked their careers to speak out first about Weinstein and then, in a swell that became bigger and louder by the day, other abusers. The subsequent and swift downfall of other Hollywood players changed everything about how we view women–or anyone who doesn’t hold the big power cards–in the entertainment business. Now Hollywood isn’t just part of the political conversation; it’s actively driving it, motivating its denizens to speak out about certain core American values in a way we’ve never seen before.

But you know the rule: The more virtue signaling, the less actual virtue. And in Hollywood’s case, it’s just more whitening applied to the sepulcher.

CATHY YOUNG: Monica Lewinsky Is No #MeToo Heroine.

The #MeToo revolution against sexual abuse has a new unlikely heroine: Monica Lewinsky. The former White House intern, now a 44-year-old activist, has a new essay in Vanity Fair reexamining her past in light of the post-Harvey Weinstein reckoning.

The piece has been widely praised as a smart, necessary contribution to our national conversation about sex, power and consent. It is indeed a fascinating essay. But its main takeaway should be to raise more questions about whether #MeToo in its current version represents progress.

Until now, Lewinsky has always insisted that her relationship with President Bill Clinton was fully consensual and mutual, despite the vast gap in their position and age — and despite efforts by Clinton foes to portray his actions toward her as predatory.

“To Lewinsky’s credit, she never portrayed herself as any kind of victim of Clinton’s advances,” Jeffrey Toobin wrote in his 2000 book, “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.”

In her first confessional piece for Vanity Fair in 2014, Lewinsky stuck to that position. She asserted that she felt abused in the aftermath of the affair, when special prosecutor Kenneth Starr strong-armed her into testifying while Clinton minions tried to smear her to protect the President. But the affair itself? “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: It was a consensual relationship.”

Well, “always” didn’t last long — only another four years. . . . Lewinsky also asserts that her earlier denials of victimhood were a self-deluded way of dealing with trauma and reclaiming her dignity.

So it was consensual until she changed her mind. I swear, someone’s going to write a book calling for a return to patriarchy, using nothing but the words of #MeToo advocates as evidence that women can’t make good decisions on their own.

#METOO IS RACIST? Woman Who Lied to Police About 3 Black Men Raping and Kidnapping Her Faces Zero Years in Prison. Sadly, it’s newsworthy when women get prison time for lying about rape in any circumstances.

WELL, POSSIBLY THE FIRST FATAL VICTIM: Searing Big Screen “Chappaquiddick” Thriller: Mary Jo Kopechne as First #MeToo Victim of Kennedy Family Money, Power and Corruption.

I think the ghosts of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Rosemary Kennedy might take exception with Roger Friedman’s headline.

WARREN BUFFETT’S ANNUAL LETTER FAILS TO IMPRESS:

Warren Buffett on Saturday released his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, covering the year 2017. This year it struck me as newsworthy more for what was omitted than for what was in there.

Despite Buffett’s Democratic-leaning politics, there was nothing in the letter complaining about President Trump. No pleas for free trade, no pleas for immigration reform to accommodate the “dreamers,” no pleas for gun control, no major complaints about the tax law (though some brief discussion of how it affects Berkshire). No mention of the #MeToo movement, though there is a borderline inappropriate comment in Buffett’s letter about how board members encouraging CEOs to consider possible acquisitions is “a bit like telling your ripening teenager to be sure to have a normal sex life.”

Nor was there any discussion of Berkshire’s selling of its roughly $10 billion stake in IBM. There was no discussion of the problems at Wells Fargo, which at year-end was Berkshire’s largest single common stock investment, with a stake valued at $29 billion. Buffett previously has been all too happy to testify to shareholders about how “very well-run” a bank Wells Fargo was. There was no discussion of the joint health care project that Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JP Morgan Chase announced recently.

Much more at the link, from Ira Stoll.

#METOO, NASHVILLE EDITION: Megan Barry’s lover Sgt Rob Forrest paid $53K more than other bodyguards combined. To be fair, he was providing more services.

The nice thing is, when you’re a female Democrat you can have an affair like this — at taxpayer expense — and a female columnist in the New York Times will womansplain how you’re the real victim here.

#METOO’S LATEST: Womansplaining Megan Barry’s Affair With A Married Subordinate.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: When It Comes to Sexual Assault and Rape, Why Aren’t Women Believed?

—Headline, Yahoo News UK, December 16th, 2017.

● Chaser: How an Alt-Right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken.

—Headline, Yahoo News UK, today.

As Iowahawk tweets, “Now it can be told: he was lured into a honey trap by Natasha X-11, the Kremlin’s secret ultra bootybot.”

Note that the article on Franken is by Newsweek’s Nina Burleigh, who famously told Howard Kurtz in 1998 that “I would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.” Propping up Clinton’s White House during his impeachment hearings is an understandable maneuver for a Democratic activist with a byline; does Burleigh believe that Franken’s career in politics can be resuscitated?

Update: As Glenn tweets, “So #MeToo is a Russian influence op? Now it all makes sense.”

Heh, indeed comrade.

WHAT IS SHE, 14? California Democrat, and #MeToo activist, allegedly urged staffers to play ‘spin the bottle.’

HOW WE GOT HERE: From the Family Parlor to the Back Seat to #MeToo.

Read the whole thing.

BLUE ON BLUE: The Left’s War Against The New York Times.

The Times has flourished under Trump, witnessing a surge in digital subscriptions and regularly breaking major news about the administration and the Russia inquiry (not to mention #MeToo). Yet liberal criticism of the Times has also intensified, especially on social media. Not a day passes, it seems, without a prominent Twitter user complaining that the Times is biased against the left, too friendly to Trump and his supporters, or engaging in false equivalences between Democrats and Republicans.

Reporter Michael Schmidt was criticized for not asking more follow-up questions during an impromptu sit-down with Trump in December. His colleague Richard Fausset was accused of normalizing a neo-Nazi in his profile of an Ohio white nationalist the month before. Critics frequently charge that the Times is preoccupied with giving a voice to Trump supporters or even just saying something nice about the president, and the paper has openly struggled with how to cover racists. Broader criticisms go to questions of framing and context—whether news analysis of Trump is too gentle, like when Peter Baker described the president’s “reality-show accessibility,” or why the Times’ mobile phone push notifications seem strangely favorable to the White House. And then there’s the steady moan about the Times opinion section—not just stalwarts like Brooks and Ross Douthat, but Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, both of whom joined the paper last year from The Wall Street Journal.

“I think there’s been a lot more anger from the grassroots against the Times,” Willis told me. “They’re able to be more vocal about it because of social media and Twitter specifically.” Sean McElwee, a socialist policy analyst and columnist at The Outline, said this anger sometimes “unites everyone from a deeply anti-imperialist socialist to someone who works at a center-left think tank.”

The Left turns on its own, always.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO HARASS: California #MeToo advocate hit with new claims of misconduct. “California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, a vocal #MeToo leader, faces fresh allegations of misconduct in her office, including frequent discussions about sex and alcohol consumption at the Capitol. San Diego lawyer Dan Gilleon filed a formal complaint Wednesday with the Legislature detailing the allegations on behalf of four anonymous former employees in Garcia’s office.”

WELL, #METOO IS ABOUT THE PREFERENCES OF A FAIRLY NARROW SLICE OF WOMEN: ‘They Don’t Want to Include Women Like Me.’ Sex Workers Say They’re Being Left Out of the #MeToo Movement. “Sex workers say they have often been marginalized by mainstream feminist movements.”

STEPHANIE GUTMANN IS NOT HAPPY: #METOO IS KILLING SEDUCTION: Male assertiveness is not necessarily a bad thing. “Feminist writing can be extremely dense – in the academic manner – but it boiled down to ‘We’ve been distracted by this consent/no consent question. This hang up over consent, emerging from legal codes which were of course written by men, is obsolete. Sex itself… er, the kind with men.. is the problem.’”

I see no reason why social mores should be determined by the preferences of women’s studies majors with mental health issues.

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Student Snowflakes Sign Petition To Ban ‘Offensive’ Valentine’s Day.

Unexpectedly.

Related: Woke bros wonder: How does a woke bro get laid in this difficult #MeToo era?

AYN RAND DIDN’T WRITE THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE AS A HOW-TO GUIDE: #MeToo Fashion Show Features Pig-Faced Men Handcuffed to Models with Angel Wings.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: We All Live On Campus Now.

When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. If elites believe that the core truth of our society is a system of interlocking and oppressive power structures based around immutable characteristics like race or sex or sexual orientation, then sooner rather than later, this will be reflected in our culture at large. What matters most of all in these colleges — your membership in a group that is embedded in a hierarchy of oppression — will soon enough be what matters in the society as a whole.

And, sure enough, the whole concept of an individual who exists apart from group identity is slipping from the discourse. The idea of individual merit — as opposed to various forms of unearned “privilege” — is increasingly suspect. The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment — untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights — are now routinely understood as mere masks for “white male” power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwhites. Any differences in outcome for various groups must always be a function of “hate,” rather than a function of nature or choice or freedom or individual agency. And anyone who questions these assertions is obviously a white supremacist himself.

The biggest loser from this will ultimately be higher education, because of the inevitable reaction. But it’s bad for America, too.

Plus:

An entirely intended byproduct of this kind of bullying — and Roiphe is just the latest victim — is silence. If voicing an “incorrect” opinion can end your career, or mark you for instant social ostracism, you tend to keep quiet. This silence on any controversial social issue is endemic on college campuses, but it’s now everywhere. Think of the wonderful SNL sketch recently, when three couples at a restaurant stumble onto the subject of Aziz Ansari. No one feels capable of saying anything in public. In the #MeToo debate, the gulf between what Twitter screams and what pops up in your private email in-box is staggering.

This is what happens when Gentry Liberals get political power. Which is Trump’s strongest argument in 2018 and 2020.

#METOO FALLOUT: Almost Half of Male Managers ‘Uncomfortable’ in a Work Activity With a Woman.

Unexpectedly.

 

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN STATES SUCH CESSPITS OF HYPOCRISY AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION? #MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations: California legislator cut national profile as activist against sexual harassment.

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — whose high-profile advocacy of the #MeToo movement earned her national media notice — is herself the subject of a state legislative investigation in the wake of a report that she sexually harassed and groped a former legislative staffer.

In December, when Time magazine announced that “Silence Breakers” who spoke out against sexual harassment were its Persons of the Year, Garcia’s face was prominently included in the art accompanying the cover story.

But Daniel Fierro of Cerritos told POLITICO that in 2014, as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon, he was groped by Garcia, a powerful Democratic lawmaker who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee.

He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left.

Fierro said he never reported the incident, which occurred years before the current #MeToo movement and new whistleblower legislation to protect legislative staffers. But after he mentioned the issue last January to Calderon, his former boss, the matter was then referred to the Assembly Rules Committee, which launched an investigation.

Fierro is not the only one claiming improper advances by Garcia. A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser. He spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals.

Read the whole thing.

SHE THOUGHT #METOO MEANT SOMETHING ELSE?  Assemblywoman at forefront of #MeToo movement accused of sexual misconduct.

HEATHER WILHELM: #METOO INFANTILIZES WOMEN AND MEN.

Companies such as Facebook and Google, of course, are free to do what they want — according to Google, the company has had a dating policy since 2004. But the cultural assumptions behind the “only ask once” rules, paired with the rise of similar #MeToo-inspired policies, should bother anyone concerned with equal opportunity. After all, why would you need such stringent rules unless you view women as essentially weak creatures who can’t stand up for themselves? Women, the assumption seems to be — and let’s be real, these rules are largely centered on “protecting” women, not men — can’t handle even the most minor uncomfortable situations, so HR must stop them before they start.

It’s strangely Victorian. It’s also pretty darn anti-feminist, as far as I can see. Strangely, modern feminism seems to have shifted our cultural focus from supposed “empowerment” and “choice” to treating people like not-so-resourceful children. Well, never mind. We’re rolling, and the consequences aren’t pretty.

As Megan McArdle wrote last month, “Listen to the ‘Bad Feminists’ — They’re the ones who still believe women have power.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Embraces #MeToo Era.

It’s no-escapism in action — because who doesn’t want a big heaping helping of victimhood-based identity politics accompanying photos of bikini models?

“ANYONE CAN SAY ANYTHING WITH THE DOOR SHUT:” A male backlash against #MeToo is brewing.

I wanted to do a research project on judicial hiring, to see if there are fewer female clerks hired by male judges next year, but sadly the data aren’t available.

WELL, SHE’S A WOMAN, SO IT’S DIFFERENT: #MeToo need not apply: Faculty support Ithaca College President after disclosure of 2001 sexual abuse conviction. “Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado was accused of sexually abusing a female patient while working as a psychologist in Washington, D.C., in 2000 and was convicted of sexual abuse in 2001.”

UNEXPECTEDLY: A male backlash against #MeToo is brewing.

“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’”

This kind of thinking is catching on in aggressively P.C. Silicon Valley, where men are taking to message boards like Reddit to express interest in sex segregation — sometimes labeled “Men Going Their Own Way,” or the “Man-o-Sphere.” How will that work out for women in the tech industry, where they already face substantial challenges?

Read the whole thing. On Thursday, Dr. Helen wrote, “There must be a better method that results in more true predators being brought to justice than a movement like #MeToo that results in so many false positives, but then, that may be their underlying goal. Because sadly, #Me Too thinks all men are guilty.”

And that all women are victims. Or as Megan McArdle wrote last month, “Listen to the ‘Bad Feminists’ — They’re the ones who still believe women have power.”

NOT WELL: How Will #MeToo Affect the Average Guy?

WELL, SOME GOOD FALLOUTOF #METOO:  David Stras confirmed to Eighth Circuit.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: Feminists have a new target: working-class women.

This is the nature of feminism today: it has become a well-off women’s racket. It has become a means for educated women to secure their position in the media, business and politics. Witness the new feminism’s myopic obsession with numbers of women on company boards, or the exact ratio of male-to-female guests on the Today programme, or how female MPs are addressed on Twitter. The vast majority of women, and men, do not work in these fields, of course. Feminism, clearly, isn’t for them. In fact, feminism is very often against them, especially if they are those ‘bad women’ who take jobs or have points of view that mainstream feminists disapprove of. Those women will be raged against by the sisterhood.

But they aren’t all that “new” a target; as Fred Siegel wrote a few years ago in The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, “The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. ‘Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,’ Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, ‘and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.’”

Based on the number of #metoo tags emanating from women working in Hollywood and the news media, that project doesn’t appear to be going all that well for the left.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. If Hillary were President, the #MeToo movement would not exist.

PERVNADO SACKS ALVY SINGER: Can Woody Allen Work in Hollywood Again?

[Mia Farrow’s] allegations are not new, but the response from stars who once worked with Mr. Allen is now different. Mira Sorvino, who won an Oscar for her breakout role in Mr. Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” publicly apologized to Ms. Farrow, while others, like Colin Firth, have distanced themselves from the director. The shift raises questions about whether Mr. Allen can maintain the clout to attract A-listers to his future films — he is at work on another screenplay — and how much any of his projects can outrun the controversy. Ms. Aronson and others believe that it helped sink Kate Winslet’s Oscar chances for Mr. Allen’s 2017 film, “Wonder Wheel.”

Onscreen, another casualty could be “A Rainy Day in New York,” Mr. Allen’s soon-to-be-completed next movie, which was financed and due to be distributed by Amazon. The company has not made any decisions about the film’s future, but Amazon is having serious conversations about ending its relationship with Mr. Allen, which could leave the movie without distribution, according to two people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Amazon has contractual obligations to Mr. Allen and the film, one of these people noted.

Making the situation more thorny for Amazon: Roy Price, who was ousted as the head of Amazon Studios in October amid sexual harassment allegations, was the one who brought Mr. Allen to the streaming service, spending lavishly to do so. He bankrolled “Wonder Wheel” for an astounding $25 million, a huge step up from Mr. Allen’s pre-Amazon films. (Released in December, it took in just $1.4 million at the North American box office.)

According to the New York Post, “Insiders predict that, even if ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ ever sees the light of day, none of its actors will even support their own work. ‘There will be no premiere, no print or TV ads, no interviews. No one will promote it,’ said a movie distribution executive. ‘I wonder if it will even make Cannes?’ speculated a film festival insider of the May event. ‘The French love him and don’t care about sex scandals. [Actresses Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve have scoffed at the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.] But Amazon does. Jeff Bezos is not dumb.’”

Related: In sick defense of Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin accidentally compares Dylan Farrow to character abused by her father in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

I’m sure Baldwin considers Allen to be a thoroughly “modern human being,” just like Anthony Weiner.

LICENSE TO KILLJOY: As Tom Wolfe wrote, paraphrasing Malcolm Muggeridge, “We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.” Back in October, while Harvey Weinstein was being defenestrated near-daily in the news, Rob Long, as part of his “The Long View” column in the dead tree edition of National Review, wrote up a satiric lawsuit featuring a dozen Bond girls suing the living daylights (sorry) out of Her Majesty’s swinging secret agent.

The above-named plaintiffs — and others to be included at a later date — allege that in separate instances the above-named defendant, James Bond, repeatedly made unwanted advances upon their persons, in locations including public areas, private hotel rooms, corporate-jet interiors, ski slopes, and hollowed-out volcano hideaways. Further, plaintiffs claim that defendant refused to accept their demurrals, would not take “No” for an answer, and in some instances used his considerable latitude vis-à-vis License to Kill etc. to coerce, intimidate, blackmail, and relentlessly pursue the plaintiffs into unwanted situations.

Half the article is behind the NR subscriber paywall, but you get the gist of it: how could James Bond survive in the Weinstein-inspired #Metoo era? It turns out that maybe he can’t.

Continue reading ‘LICENSE TO KILLJOY: As Tom Wolfe wrote, paraphrasing Malcolm Muggeridge, “We live in an age in whi…’ »

LEFTISM SUCKS, AND EVEN LEFTISTS ARE BEGINNING TO CATCH ON: Call-Out Culture Is a Toxic Garbage Dumpster Fire of Trash.

“Trash”—as well as its sister term “garbage”—has become the word du jour to describe everything from men to Tinder to, perhaps most frequently, Lena Dunham. It’s a term hurled, not tossed, and the feeling it seems to convey is “You are a terrible person/place/thing, no better than a pile of wet newspapers moldering in a roadside ditch.” While plenty of terms convey exactly the same thing (“scum,” “vermin,” “dregs”), “trash” has an extra bite to it, because it doesn’t just mean you suck, it also means you aren’t woke.

“Woke”—for those of you who don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter—indicates, roughly, that one is enlightened to the social causes of the day. You believe black lives matter (or you believe it enough to put a sign in the window of the palatial $1.5 million townhouse you just built in the Central District); you unequivocally support the #MeToo movement; and you would never, ever, ever, ever vote for Donald Trump (although you might vote for Jill Stein, which is basically the same thing). “Woke” may have entered internet consciousness in the last few years, but according to the invaluable internet resource Know Your Meme, “The earliest known instance of the ‘woke’ as slang for political or social awareness comes from an article in the New York Times Magazine. On May 20, 1962, the Times published a piece on white beatniks appropriating black culture by African-American novelist William Melvin Kelley entitled ‘If You’re Woke, You Dig It.’” Woke, today, is still being appropriated by white people, plenty of whom will happily tell you, if you’re not woke, you’re trash. . . . Progressives used to be able to handle dissent. The Democrats were the party of free speech and free thought. No more. Among far too many leftists, if you disagree, you are wrong. And if you are wrong, you are bad, and if you are bad, you are trash.

The ungrammatical phrase “get woke” indicates the intellectual level of the entire concept. But when sanctimony is your only coin, people will try to accumulate it.

CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD: Most Men Aren’t The Predators The #MeToo Movement Portrays.

What unsettles me about #MeToo is that the norm it broadly describes — a desolate moonscape of predatory men, vulnerable women suffering a litany of abuse and indignity — is so contrary to my experience.

I don’t mean here that I am the lucky one who wasn’t physically assaulted, either. There are millions of women equally lucky. Most men don’t attack women, or flash their privates about or parade about the office naked, or masturbate as an opening gambit. . . .

I had dinner last week with two women friends. One was for decades a secretary at a newspaper.

She was brilliantly capable — she organized the predominantly male department and all of us in it — and hideously underpaid. She was the very sort of woman you would imagine male bosses preyed upon: She needed the job, she was cute as a bug, she was vulnerable.

Yet, she said, no one had treated her badly or unfairly (except to pay her less than she was worth), and if that was perhaps because of the immense dignity with which she carries herself, it is also because she worked for and with good and decent men.

The other woman is a producer in the traditionally male-dominated sports world, smart as a whip.

She had gone through none of the ordeals #MeToo would have us believe are universal. My own experience, as a female sportswriter decades ago, when the number of women covering professional sports could be counted on one hand, was similar.

We aren’t the freaks who escaped harassment. I suspect we’re the norm. And whatever percentage of the female population we are, we’d best start speaking up.

Making this about all men, instead of about predators like Harvey Weinstein, serves the interest of feminists, and of predators like Harvey Weinstein.

PROF. ELIZABETH BARTHOLET IN THE HARVARD CRIMSON: #MeToo Excesses.

THE NEWSWEEK BRAND REALLY CONTINUES TO SHINE: Newsweek Pakistan Editor Fasih Ahmed: Child Abuse and Slavery Produce ‘Great Art.’

The tone of Ahmed’s tweets [collated here — Ed] was so extreme that many observers suspected his account had been hacked, but hours after the online tirade began neither Newsweek nor Newsweek Pakistan had put out a statement to that effect.

Breitbart London contacted several senior Newsweek Media Group executives, who could only say that they were “investigating” — and, some time later, the company put out a statement distancing itself from Ahmed, and saying that Newsweek would be “reviewing” its licensing agreement with Newsweek Pakistan.

* * * * * * * *

The Lahore Literary Festival with which Ahmed is associated also distanced itself from him, announcing that “he has recused himself from the LLF and the Board has unanimously accepted his resignation” on January 24th.

Shortly afterwards the journalist attempted to climb down from his position with a public apology, writing of his now-deleted messages: “My tweets of yesterday were coming from anger, were poorly phrased, and misread. I’m sorry to have upset the people who have survived child abuse. I have been angry at the conspiracy of silence around this evil. #MeToo #StopChildAbuse”

Astonishing.

Given the hole Ahmed has already dug for himself, Twitchy is pondering, “Did Newsweek Pakistan editor’s backpedaling just make things worse for him?”

Earlier: Newsweek probe looking at alleged money laundering.

50 YEARS OF WAGING WAR AGAINST THE VERY IDEA, AND NOW. . . . America Needs More Gentlemen:

All the stories we’ve read the past few months about predators—not those accused of rape and sexual assault, which are crimes, but of general piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games—have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they’d never heard of the concept.

We have lost track of it. In the past 40 years, in the movement for full equality, we threw it over the side. But we should rescue that old and helpful way of being. The whole culture, especially women, needs The Gentleman back.

A person of the cultural left would say that is a hopelessly patriarchal thing to say. But one thing the #MeToo movement illustrates is that women are often at particular risk in the world, and need friends and allies to stand with them. That would be men. And the most reliable of them are gentlemen. . . .

David Gandy, a fashion model, wrote a few years ago in London’s Telegraph that his work had taught him “being a gentleman isn’t about what you do or what you wear, it’s about how you behave and who you are.” A gentleman “holds chivalry and politeness in great regard. He holds the door for people; he gives up his seat; he takes off his coat to a lady on a cold evening.” These are old-fashioned actions, but a gentleman still holds to them “even though the world has changed.”

Yes, a gentleman does.

A man once told me it’s hard to be a gentleman when fewer of the women around you seem interested in being ladies. But that’s when you should step up your gentleman game. We are all here to teach and inspire.

I know I keep saying this, but the thing about chivalry is, it’s a system. It’s not just a bunch of rules for men that are designed to benefit women. It’s an entire social approach that lays expectations on women too. Overthrowing those very expectations was at the core of the feminist project. And now the response to the consequences thereof is that . . . men should try harder?

To be fair, that’s the response to pretty much all gender issues these days. Which is also part of the problem.

PEGGY NOONAN: America Needs More Gentlemen.

Here is why we’re discussing this. All the stories we’ve read the past few months about predators—not those accused of rape and sexual assault, which are crimes, but of general piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games—have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they’d never heard of the concept.

We have lost track of it. In the past 40 years, in the movement for full equality, we threw it over the side. But we should rescue that old and helpful way of being. The whole culture, especially women, needs The Gentleman back.

A person of the cultural left would say that is a hopelessly patriarchal thing to say. But one thing the #MeToo movement illustrates is that women are often at particular risk in the world, and need friends and allies to stand with them. That would be men. And the most reliable of them are gentlemen.

There are a million definitions of what a gentleman is, and some begin with references to being born to a particular standing. But in America any man could be one who had the guts to withstand the demands.

The dictionary says a gentleman is a chivalrous, courteous, honorable man.

As Glenn wrote a few years ago, “chivalry was a system, which imposed numerous obligations on women, as well as on men. It is, I think, impossible to critique what has happened to notions of masculinity, without thinking about what has happened to notions of femininity in our culture. But that could lead to dangerous heresies.”

And get you banned from Britain’s Channel 4 TV.

HOLLYWOOD ENDING: “The Hollywood Tide Turns on Woody Allen — Years after his daughter reiterated her allegation that the director sexually abused her, more actors are voicing their regret for collaborating with him.”

Woody Allen won an Academy Award, the fourth of his career, just six years ago for writing Midnight in Paris. He was nominated again two years later for Blue Jasmine, a film that won Cate Blanchett a Best Actress Oscar. The last year that Allen didn’t release a movie in theaters that he wrote and directed was 1981. Despite the controversy that has dogged him since the early 1990s—when he was revealed to be having an affair with his girlfriend’s daughter and was subsequently accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow—Allen has continued to make movies with the same once-a-year regularity as always, and usually with major stars. He has long denied that he abused his daughter.

But the film industry’s willingness to turn a blind eye to the allegations against Allen seems to be coming to an end. More and more actors who have worked with him in the past are announcing that they regret the collaboration, and it appears the sheen of Oscar-winning prestige he has relied on to attract big names to his projects is fading. Allen, who released Wonder Wheel last month and is set to come out with A Rainy Day in New York this year, may try to helm more movies. But with Hollywood finally beginning to grapple with his enduring presence as an artist, could that be enough to destroy his career?

Allen is 82 years old; this Atlantic article feels very much like Michelle Goldberg’s piece in the New York Times at the height of the #MeToo Weinsteinmania when she wrote “I Believe Juanita [Broaddrick].” Both Woody and Bill continued in the public eye, and were eagerly defended by the backers during the 1990s and right up until this fall. (Bill Clinton was fundraising for Democrats as recently as mid-December, at Andrew Cuomo’s birthday party; he doesn’t look to be going away quietly anytime soon.)

As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon tweets, “there’s something grotesque (and, yes, totalitarian) about Hollywood collectively turning a blind eye to the allegations against Allen and now collectively ganging up on him because it’s the politic thing to do,” adding, “You f***ers knew all about this sh*t for decades, spare me your self-righteousness now.”

ANDREW SULLIVAN: #MeToo and the Taboo Topic of Nature.

But it is strikingly obvious that for today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology. This is where they are as hostile to Darwin as any creationist.

And this is stupid. The alternative explanation — that these core natural differences between men and women have been supplemented by centuries of conscious oppression — is staring us in the face. The fascinating conundrum is where one ends and the other begins. How much of this difference is natural and how much is social? That is the question. And the answer is a tricky one. Is the fact that the vast majority of construction workers are male and the huge majority of nurses are female a function of sexism or nature? Is male sexual aggression and horniness a function of patriarchy or testosterone? Is the fact that women now outnumber men among college graduates a function of reverse sexism or nature?

My suspicion is that it’s more about nature than about society, and one reason I believe this (apart from all the data) is I because I’m gay. I live in a sexual and romantic world without women, where no patriarchy could definitionally exist, a subculture with hookups and relationships and marriages and every conceivable form of sexual desire that straight men and women experience as well. And you know what you find? That men behave no differently in sexual matters when there are no women involved at all. In fact, remove women, and you see male sexuality unleashed more fully, as men would naturally express it, if they could get away with it.

All I know is that it becomes increasingly easy to make an argument for restoring the patriarchy, using nothing but what millennial feminists say about the irrationality and fragility of women.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Listen to the ‘Bad Feminists:’ They’re the ones who still believe women have power.

Was it only a year ago that Margaret Atwood was the avatar for feminist resistance? That’s when the TV adaptation of her “Handmaid’s Tale” was widely praised for being “unexpectedly timely” (and I poked gentle fun at the notion).

But oh, how time does fly these days. Suddenly Atwood is defending herself from the charge of being a “bad feminist” because she suggested that railroading the accused out of their jobs without any semblance of due process was not, in the end, apt to be a net social improvement.

There is something odd happening to feminism these days, a stark split between its older and its younger practitioners. Daphne Merkin hinted at it in her recent New York Times op-ed on women’s misgivings about the #MeToo movement. Caitlin Flanagan came right out and said it after the comic actor Aziz Ansari was the subject of a humiliating tell-all about a recent date: “Sexual mores in the West have changed so rapidly over the past 100 years that by the time you reach 50, intimate accounts of commonplace sexual events of the young seem like science fiction,” she writes. “You understand the vocabulary and the sentence structure, but all of the events take place in outer space. You’re just too old.”

I have now had dozens of conversations about #MeToo with women my age or older, all of which are some variant on “What the hey?” It’s not that we’re opposed to #MeToo; we are overjoyed to see slime like Harvey Weinstein flushed out of the woodwork, and the studio system. But we see sharp distinctions between Weinstein and guys who press aggressively — embarrassingly, adulterously — for sex. To women in their 20s, it seems that distinction is invisible, and the social punishments demanded for the latter are scarcely less than those meted out for forcible rape.

There’s something else we notice, something that seems deeply connected to these demands for justice: These women express a feeling of overwhelming powerlessness, even though they are not being threatened, either physically or economically. How has the most empowered generation of women in all of human history come to feel less control over their bodies than their grandmothers did?

You could write a pretty strong argument for restoring patriarchy, just by quoting millennial feminists talking about how weak and fragile women are.

SO IN THE ONGOING #METOO DISCUSSION, IS THERE ANY ROOM TO TALK ABOUT BAD THINGS THAT WOMEN DO? Like “Deceptive Conception?” “If men did this to women, it would be considered a species of rape.”

WELL, OKAY THEN: Actress Shailene Woodley: #MeToo Movement ‘Ushering in Sacred Matriarchy.’ So it’s not an appeal to fairness or decency, then, just a power move. Good to know.

THE VICTORY GIRLS: #MeToo playing as Revenge of the Disappointed. “Here’s a large clue-bat, if you don’t want sex on the first date, don’t go back to the guy’s apartment, get naked, and engage in fellatio. Grace should type that out and put it on her refrigerator for the next time she starts ‘catch[ing] eyes every now and then’ with a celebrity across the party room.”

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:  #MeToo playing as Revenge of the Disappointed.

WAIT! ARE THE WHALES HOLDING UP #METOO SIGNS:  Incidental Harassment Authorization Issued to SpaceX.

JIM TREACHER: Matt Damon Finally Shuts Up — and We Can Thank the #MeToo Crowd.

For the first time in 20 years, Matt Damon is closing his yap! It’s sort of like Al Capone getting nabbed for tax evasion. It’s a relatively minor infraction, and it doesn’t make up for all those years of wrongdoing, but at least it’s something.

Heh.™ It’s Treacher, so read the whole thing.