News & Politics

A Conservative Woman's #MeToo Thoughts

Harvey Weinstein

The Daily Signal‘s Amy Swearer has some thoughts on #MeToo. She’s in a unique position to offer her thoughts to the conservative world; after all, she’s a conservative. Also, according to a post she wrote last week, she’s a rape survivor:

This wound is still fresh. Not long ago, shortly after moving halfway across the country to Washington, D.C., I was roofied in a bar. I recall telling myself I would just have one drink, since the friends I was supposed to meet canceled on me. The next 12 hours are black. Not figuratively black, but literally black. They do not exist in my mind except for a handful of hazy, dreamlike snapshots of context-less moments toward the beginning and end of that period.

What I know from hospital staff is that someone called an ambulance after finding me screaming for help in a Metro station, a strange and as-yet unidentified man at my side. I was covered in vomit and incoherent, but even drugged-up Amy still put up a fight –apparently, I was kicking at the EMTs.

Swearer goes on to detail a few things about her ordeal, enough to know that she went through hell. She offers up some thoughts that we on the right need to keep in mind:

There are a disconcerting number of people who, while ferociously and rightfully tearing apart the likes of Harvey Weinstein and his enablers, simultaneously denigrate the experiences of victims in the name of “confronting the lies of leftist feminism.”

When someone confides in you that they were roofied, assaulted, molested, raped, or harassed, they have rendered themselves the most vulnerable they will likely ever be to you. Do not presume to sit in judgment of a person’s reaction to a horror you can never understand until you have lived it.

And no, I promise you, you do not understand. I did not understand, either.

I have sat in quiet judgment of so many women who did not respond to victimization in the precise way I imagined “angry, no-holds-barred, take-names-but-not-prisoners” Amy would respond. I have sworn to anyone who would listen that many victims are partially to blame, that my handguns and I could take care of myself, and that I would always be vigilant enough and smart enough and prepared enough.

Amy is right in so many ways. I urge you to read the whole thing.

Look, there’s no one saying you have to believe every woman who claims she was the victim of something. But you don’t need to denigrate women who are stepping forward now, especially if you’re pissed they didn’t step forward before. That’s just not how it works.

When I was in the Navy, a close friend of mine was sexually harassed by a senior enlisted sailor in our chain of command. As she exited the area, she walked past someone who noticed she was upset and went to speak with her. My friend confessed what had happened … to the sexual harassment coordinator for our command.

Pure dumb luck, but it started a chain reaction. Several women who had been in the command stepped forward. The chief had harassed them, too. He was found guilty of five of the six charges against him, but it all started with one person finally saying something to the right person.

Swearer is right that it’s easy to talk about how women should react, but what actually happens is very different.