What I am about to say will not make me popular with some people, but hear me out first. I am worried that the #Metoo bandwagon is going to backfire and cause women who present allegations of truly horrible and violent assault to be labeled as “snowflakes” or “overly emotional.” That would truly be horrible.
What started with accusations against Bill Cosby for drugging women to have sex with them, then progressed to Harvey Weinstein exposing himself and forcing himself on women, and led us to Roy Moore who, at age 32, preyed on teens as young as 14. These men clearly fall into the category of sexual predators. On the other hand, a 93-year-old President Bush telling a junior high joke and patting a woman on her rear from a wheelchair does not rise to the same level. And while being kissed by someone without consent can be unsettling at best, the response for most women would be a firm “stop” or a slap on the face and walking away. In my mind, these incidents are not even in the same ballpark as the first.
I agree that the culture in many parts of our society is such that men have been permitted to get away with some very abusive actions. This does not mean that every man who tried to kiss or grope a woman he finds attractive (but who does not return the feeling) is a sexual predator. Let’s not dilute the reprehensible cases of rape and sexual assault with incidents of piggishness. As women we certainly need to stand up for those who have been abused and preyed upon. But we also need to be careful of painting the nature of sexual assault with too broad a brush.