British actor Henry Cavill, best known for his role as Superman, is under fire from the #MeToo movement for expressing traditional views about women, dating, and love. In fact, Cavill received so much heat that he ultimately apologized for the things that sympathizers within the movement found “offensive.”
In an interview with GQ Australia, Cavill said some very honest, insightful things about women and love.
There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that.
It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like: “Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something.” So you’re like, “Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship, which never really worked.” But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?”
For this, Cavill was excoriated on social media.
What the fuck is this garbage, Henry Cavill?
Rape culture is when women start speaking up about their abuse and men think that they can't flirt anymore.
If your flirting can be interpreted in any shape or form as sexual assault, I recommend you review your flirting game. pic.twitter.com/8OyI5JrtQp
— Jennifer Scheurle (@Gaohmee) July 13, 2018
I remember making comments about relationships between men and women that were very similar to what Henry Cavill said— and my wife called me out every time.
What changed is once I stopped trying 2 justify my intentions and actually started listening – it became painfully clear
— terry crews (@terrycrews) July 13, 2018
It didn’t matter to folks that Cavill admitted, “Stuff has to change, absolutely. It’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things.” Instead, people chose to react to Cavill’s common sense remarks about the shifting dynamics between men and women in light of the #MeToo movement to the point of arguing he was trying to paint himself as a “victim.” Cavill ultimately felt like he had to apologize–and did.
As far as I’m concerned, no apology was necessary and, in fact, what Cavill said about the way men and women now interact–or, can’t interact, for fear or false claims about assault–needed to be said. The #MeToo movement was important for calling out the men of many industries who used their power to cover for their overblown sexual appetite and in some cases, deviant, criminal behavior toward women. No one believes women should have to work in an environment where they are sexually harassed, assaulted or raped.
But as many of us in the center-right pointed out, no sooner had Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer been called out when suddenly accusations were flying all over the place: some with very little proof or standing. Not only that, but soon women were starting to accuse men of harassment and when prodded for examples they admitted it was simply an awkward date or an uncomfortable, flirtatious encounter.
Men and women are naturally drawn to one another’s differences, often in a healthy, romantic or sexual way and this often manifests in light banter, playfulness, affection, and flirty behavior. In most scenarios and environments this is not only normal but welcome and desired. But the #MeToo movement took harassment and rape and threw in with it flirting, touching, and banter, and now men aren’t sure what to do in order to secure a woman’s affections. Women, on the other hand, are soon going to find themselves simultaneously wary that all men might be predators and anxious that the man she finds attractive won’t blatantly flirt or pursue a romantic relationship with her. It’s sad to see Cavill’s honest observations about the pendulum of the #MeToo movement swinging so far in the other direction that men and women cannot enjoy one another without it being completely dismissed for political correctness.