The fundamental problem with the #MeToo movement is that it ignores the actual problem. A new Harris poll provides hard numbers to support this. While women are feeling more empowered to speak out, to their surprise, they’re discovering that, by and large, their male bosses aren’t listening.
Over many millennia, men have become very adroit at acting on our insatiable lust for the fairer sex. There’s a reason the male-dominated marketing field convinced women that it’s okay to go swimming in their underwear. There’s a reason that instances of female nudity in film and TV far outpace scenes containing male nudity. There’s a reason that movements like #FreeTheNipple are met with the testosterone-fueled chuckles and delight from men.
Men love to have sex with women and men love fantasizing about having sex with women. And starting around puberty, men will bend over backward to be able to gratify our lust, whether with our imagination or in reality.
For the record, while I’m using pronouns that fold me into the problem, I unequivocally denounce the objectification of women. As a conservative Christian, I believe that sex outside of the boundaries of marriage between one man and one woman is a sin before God (including lustful thoughts in the mind). But that’s another article for a separate section of this site. My point is that there are innate obstacles preventing society from ridding ourselves of the denigrating objectification of women. The #MeToo movement doesn’t recognize this, and, hence, is doomed to fail.
Claiming that the movement is doomed to fail may sound overly cynical in the face of the Harris poll’s revelation that 62 percent of women are now more comfortable speaking out about the harassment and abuse they suffer. As the article accompanying the poll says:
“Millennial women are far less tolerant of sexual harassment than are millennial men,” Dr. Denise Cummin, a cognitive scientist, author, and elected fellow at the Association for Psychological Science told The Takeaway. “They are also far less tolerant than any other generation. What we’re seeing is a rise of millennial women.
“Baby Boomers and Gen-X worked very hard to put in place laws and workplace rules to protect women from sexual harassment, and what we’re seeing is that millennial women are flexing their muscles, and making use of these laws.”
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to recognize that victories are Pyrrhic.
You see, the same poll also reveals that a mere 20 percent of the women polled believe that their boss and company care enough about the harassment claims to act on them.
Growing up, I frequently heard from progressives that morality can’t be legislated. On one hand, moral actions can be legislated; this is why we have laws prohibiting murder, for example. On the other hand, true morality cannot be legislated. Laws cannot change a person’s heart.
When we’re talking about constantly moving targets like harassment, men’s lust will always find a way around the current zeitgeist. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that only a small minority of women believe that their concerns about harassment matter to their bosses. If they’re not careful, the #MeToo movement is going to create an environment that hinders young women from being employed. Until society is willing to deal with the actual problem and submit to the actual solution, men will take advantage of women.