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I'm curious about how the majority of the people here view this.

It's a great thing that the entertainment industry is rooting out the Harvey Weinsteins from their world. The seedy casting couch way of doing business was long over due of being done away with. It's a shame that it was allowed to go on for so long as an unspoken truth. For talented women to face those types of decisions and have their career hinge on scumbags like Harvey must have been an agonizing experience. And the selfish side in me is like...damn man just imagine the amount of amazing performances but extremely talented actresses we missed out on. The fact that there have been criminal proceedings in some of these cases should serve to the #metoo cause along.

That being said, and I think I will probably diverge from some of y'all's stance here, I do believe that some of men in the entertainment industry have been unfairly caught up as collateral damage in the #metoo movement. Off the top of my head I'm thinking of Louis CK. He has recently tried do a couple stand-up shows that while received well live, have been put through the ringer by the masses and some in the media. I've read articles saying that Louis should never be allowed do stand up again. To indefinitely deprive him of his way of life is a harsh sentence. Was what Louis did wrong? Absolutely. Was it criminal? No. There's a parallel here I want to draw with a female actress's behavior if anyone wants to discuss what Louis CK did.

Where the #metoo movement hurts its own cause and gains haters is when it tries to cast a wide net and draw in the likes of Louis and Aziz Ansari along with Harvey. The fact that Aziz's name was thrown in the ring along with other men that were behaving criminally only serves to put people not 'in the fight' on the defensive. And by that I mean your random reasonable Joe that maintains a busy lifestyle and isn't in tune with things like #metoo and Harvey is going to hear that Aziz's behavior is being equated with sexual assault and immediately be turned off that assertion.

All that being said, and as I said to begin with, #metoo has been a tremendous movement. Nobody should have to experience a Harvey Weinstein as part of their job. All any man has to do is think about how they would feel if a family member of theirs had to face workplace sexual harassment or assault to put things in perspective.

I'm looking forward to seeing talented actresses rise to the top as a result of #metoo. A huge pet peeve of mine is the lack roles for women 40+ years old. There are so many talented actress not in their 20/30s that whenever given the opportunity put on amazing performances. There just aren't enough movies about them.


Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:26 pm
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I heard James Gunn got caught banging children and that was why he was released from Disney and not brought back. I know they said it was over some tweets but it was over child molestation. This is my post in this thread.

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Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:18 pm
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topherH wrote:
I heard James Gunn got caught banging children and that was why he was released from Disney and not brought back. I know they said it was over some tweets but it was over child molestation. This is my post in this thread.

Dude, I feel like you gotta source that.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:27 am
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donlogan wrote:
I'm curious about how the majority of the people here view this.

It's a great thing that the entertainment industry is rooting out the Harvey Weinsteins from their world. The seedy casting couch way of doing business was long over due of being done away with. It's a shame that it was allowed to go on for so long as an unspoken truth. For talented women to face those types of decisions and have their career hinge on scumbags like Harvey must have been an agonizing experience. And the selfish side in me is like...damn man just imagine the amount of amazing performances but extremely talented actresses we missed out on. The fact that there have been criminal proceedings in some of these cases should serve to the #metoo cause along.

That being said, and I think I will probably diverge from some of y'all's stance here, I do believe that some of men in the entertainment industry have been unfairly caught up as collateral damage in the #metoo movement. Off the top of my head I'm thinking of Louis CK. He has recently tried do a couple stand-up shows that while received well live, have been put through the ringer by the masses and some in the media. I've read articles saying that Louis should never be allowed do stand up again. To indefinitely deprive him of his way of life is a harsh sentence. Was what Louis did wrong? Absolutely. Was it criminal? No. There's a parallel here I want to draw with a female actress's behavior if anyone wants to discuss what Louis CK did.

Where the #metoo movement hurts its own cause and gains haters is when it tries to cast a wide net and draw in the likes of Louis and Aziz Ansari along with Harvey. The fact that Aziz's name was thrown in the ring along with other men that were behaving criminally only serves to put people not 'in the fight' on the defensive. And by that I mean your random reasonable Joe that maintains a busy lifestyle and isn't in tune with things like #metoo and Harvey is going to hear that Aziz's behavior is being equated with sexual assault and immediately be turned off that assertion.

All that being said, and as I said to begin with, #metoo has been a tremendous movement. Nobody should have to experience a Harvey Weinstein as part of their job. All any man has to do is think about how they would feel if a family member of theirs had to face workplace sexual harassment or assault to put things in perspective.

I'm looking forward to seeing talented actresses rise to the top as a result of #metoo. A huge pet peeve of mine is the lack roles for women 40+ years old. There are so many talented actress not in their 20/30s that whenever given the opportunity put on amazing performances. There just aren't enough movies about them.

I dunno what to tell you man, you cannot fucking do what Louis CK did. You do it, you gotta burn, period. I don't think his exile has been nearly long enough and I think it kinda showed poor taste and more poor judgement on his part to try to come back so soon. He should be exiled in shame right now and he needs to show the world that he understands that and understands why before he can ever get to work on redemption. Maybe we should start a new movement for people who try to come back from doing deplorable shit before they've really served any kind of penance other than a brief public shaming. We can call it #toosoon.
That's my .02.

Edit: I guess I would add that we don't really need the average reasonable Joe to be slowly won over to the cause. There have been decades of that and it hasn't moved the needle a whole lot. It's time for "here' the news, get on board".


Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:31 am
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The casting couch has been an open secret in Hollywood for... ....ever.

It is insidious in that it reflects a cultural understanding that "this is how things work."#meetoo shines a light on what is wrong with Hollywood, not just Bill and Harvey. People, for example, obviously knew about Harvey. Tina Fey made jokes about Harvey on 30 Rock. Seth MacFarlane made jokes about Harvey at an awards show. And let's not forget how the Hollywood tribe closed ranks to protect Polanski. And let's not forget even seedier messages of child abuse from Elijah Wood and Corrie Feldman. The industry needs to answer for it's sins, not just the worst offenders. Women who have willingly slept with directors to get a part have helped make this happen. Their willingness to trade sexual favors for career advancement have reinforced norms under which women not willing to make that trade have been excluded and under which some women have been assaulted. The assistants and techies and secretaries and friends who have kept their mouths shut are complicit in the normalization of abuse.

What Louis C.K. did was, in fact, criminal (if you block a door and pleasure yourself to completion in front of a captive audience, that's a crime). If someone doesn't want to forgive Louis, then they're free never to listen to his material again. However, the sudden realization that he is an edgy comic who says offensive jokes are obnoxiously disingenuous in their newfound piety. If you enjoyed Louis in the past, you laughed when he was "punching down" on many targets. The whole notion that comics should only "punch up" is bullshit. Louis was one of the few white guys (because his cultural credentials were in order) who could get away with dropping the N-word on stage. What is "sayable" in comedy has much more to do with your ethos than what it is that you are saying. What Louis doesn't get is that he doesn't have that ethos anymore. He is not trusted, so he doesn't get to say those things anymore. The intersection of his criminal activity and contemporary outrage culture will probably make things difficult for Louis for quite some time, perhaps the rest of his career. He's dead to a lot of people already. Comics pride themselves on being able to explore dangerous topics, getting close to wiping out, but dazzling us by "sticking the landing," but Louis doesn't have the store credit that he used to have. He is going to need to reinvent himself. That's not an easy thing to do. Just reaching the top once is hard enough.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:12 am
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I really don't want to get caught up in this discussion, but for the sake of factual accuracy: Louis CK did not block any doors. That was part of the rumor mill that bandied this story around before the facts came to light. There is no mention of that in the NYT article where the women give their personal account of the events.

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Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:24 am
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Macrology wrote:
I really don't want to get caught up in this discussion, but for the sake of factual accuracy: Louis CK did not block any doors. That was part of the rumor mill that bandied this story around before the facts came to light. There is no mention of that in the NYT article where the women give their personal account of the events.


I wasn't there, but this has been a widely reported detail by respected sources, like NPR. It appears that Roseanne Barr claims that his pattern was to lock the door and then do his thing. Gawker made reference to “our nation’s most hilarious stand-up comic and critically cherished sitcom auteur” physically blocking the door and pleasuring himself in front of 2 female comics.

If you have evidence to the contrary to correct the record, feel free to introduce it, but this detail IS part of the narrative of the events.

More troubling is the institutional protection he enjoyed because of his position of power:

Variety wrote:
Also in 2015, comedian Jen Kirkman described a male comic that many believed to be C.K. during an episode of her podcast. In the podcast, which was deleted shortly after it was posted, Kirkman spoke of “another guy who is a very famous comic. He is probably at Cosby level at this point. He is lauded as a genius. He is basically a French filmmaker at this point. You know, new material every year. He’s a known perv. And there’s a lockdown on talking about him. His guy friends are standing by him, and you cannot say a bad thing about him. And I’ve been told by people ‘Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.’ If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that.”


https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/louis ... 202594776/


Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:37 am
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The Gawker article was written in 2012 without any substantiation and a few news sources parroted their claims. The official account, directly from the mouths of the victims -- the NYT article I referred to -- makes no reference whatsoever to this detail, and that article wasn't pulling any punches so I don't think they'd deliberately elide something like that unless it had no basis in fact.

Maybe Louis CK did block the door. But the only evidence we have that suggests that he did is a rumor referred to in an unresearched article written seven years ago. It is a part of the overarching narrative, but it's not part of the credible narrative. That's like saying we should believe in ghosts because your grandma saw one once and some other people did too and fuck science anyway.

And this isn't meant as a defense of Louis CK. It's meant as a defense of the facts as I understand them.

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Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:48 am
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Macrology wrote:
The Gawker article was written in 2012 without any substantiation and a few news sources parroted their claims. The official account, directly from the mouths of the victims -- the NYT article I referred to -- makes no reference whatsoever to this detail, and that article wasn't pulling any punches so I don't think they'd deliberately elide something like that unless it had no basis in fact.

Maybe Louis CK did block the door. But the only evidence we have that suggests that he did is a rumor referred to in an unresearched article written seven years ago. It is a part of the overarching narrative, but it's not part of the credible narrative. That's like saying we should believe in ghosts because your grandma saw one once and some other people did to and fuck science anyway.

And this isn't meant as a defense of Louis CK. It's meant as a defense of the facts as I understand them.


I appreciate your effort at clarification. I am aware of two sources claiming that he either blocked or locked the door, but as you note those are early reports. I suppose the NYT account is as close to official as we can get since Louis stipulated the truth of everything that was said there (since accused and accusers are in agreement, that's "official" in a dialectical sense).


Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:29 am
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Wooley wrote:
I dunno what to tell you man, you cannot fucking do what Louis CK did. You do it, you gotta burn, period. I don't think his exile has been nearly long enough and I think it kinda showed poor taste and more poor judgement on his part to try to come back so soon. He should be exiled in shame right now and he needs to show the world that he understands that and understands why before he can ever get to work on redemption. Maybe we should start a new movement for people who try to come back from doing deplorable shit before they've really served any kind of penance other than a brief public shaming. We can call it #toosoon.
That's my .02.

Edit: I guess I would add that we don't really need the average reasonable Joe to be slowly won over to the cause. There have been decades of that and it hasn't moved the needle a whole lot. It's time for "here' the news, get on board".


How do you quantify "you gotta burn" though? You are trying to judge a person's remorse and shame. I feel like CK's initial response to the article was spot on and demonstrated that he understood the nature of his wrongness. You want him in exile. To what extent and for how long. People are acting like his stand up show was CK "back". The guy's career was red hot when the allegations came out. He had lucrative Netflix and FX deals in addition to his independent productions. So the exile in your estimation should be relegated to him not being able to do anything in his profession for ... what... 5 years? It's such an arbritary 'punishment' mass culture is trying to dole out.

To be clear though, I'm in no way feeling sorry for the guy. It is what it is when it comes to his future career prospects. It's just that I do think that it's not always black and white with these types of behaviors. And to conflate the Louis CKs of the world with Harvey does a disservice to the #metoo movement. I know you don't think that there is a need to win over reasonable people on this issue but I don't agree. But maybe in order for there to be legitimate and long lasting changes the pendulum has to swing to the other side for a little bit. I don't think things work that way though.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:34 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
The casting couch has been an open secret in Hollywood for... ....ever.

It is insidious in that it reflects a cultural understanding that "this is how things work."#meetoo shines a light on what is wrong with Hollywood, not just Bill and Harvey. People, for example, obviously knew about Harvey. Tina Fey made jokes about Harvey on 30 Rock. Seth MacFarlane made jokes about Harvey at an awards show. And let's not forget how the Hollywood tribe closed ranks to protect Polanski. And let's not forget even seedier messages of child abuse from Elijah Wood and Corrie Feldman. The industry needs to answer for it's sins, not just the worst offenders. Women who have willingly slept with directors to get a part have helped make this happen. Their willingness to trade sexual favors for career advancement have reinforced norms under which women not willing to make that trade have been excluded and under which some women have been assaulted. The assistants and techies and secretaries and friends who have kept their mouths shut are complicit in the normalization of abuse.

What Louis C.K. did was, in fact, criminal (if you block a door and pleasure yourself to completion in front of a captive audience, that's a crime). If someone doesn't want to forgive Louis, then they're free never to listen to his material again. However, the sudden realization that he is an edgy comic who says offensive jokes are obnoxiously disingenuous in their newfound piety. If you enjoyed Louis in the past, you laughed when he was "punching down" on many targets. The whole notion that comics should only "punch up" is bullshit. Louis was one of the few white guys (because his cultural credentials were in order) who could get away with dropping the N-word on stage. What is "sayable" in comedy has much more to do with your ethos than what it is that you are saying. What Louis doesn't get is that he doesn't have that ethos anymore. He is not trusted, so he doesn't get to say those things anymore. The intersection of his criminal activity and contemporary outrage culture will probably make things difficult for Louis for quite some time, perhaps the rest of his career. He's dead to a lot of people already. Comics pride themselves on being able to explore dangerous topics, getting close to wiping out, but dazzling us by "sticking the landing," but Louis doesn't have the store credit that he used to have. He is going to need to reinvent himself. That's not an easy thing to do. Just reaching the top once is hard enough.


I'm glad that you bring up the indignation over CK's material since his return. It's another case of conflating issues that bugs me. Like #metoo is the enemy of edgy comedy now. Luckily I think the indignation over CK's new material was a product of his critics not wanting to see him succeed. And that's fine, I just wish it wouldn't be done by throwing risque comedy under the bus. Otherwise we will be relegated to years of watered down award shows. We can't have that.

Interesting point about Louis having to reinvent himself. I hadn't thought about in terms of him losing trust, probably cause I would never trust anybody in show biz. One good thing to come out of these events is that hopefully people stop putting celebrities on a pedestal.

I think it's fair to say that Louis CK the bag of dicks version is finished as a sellable product.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:45 am
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donlogan wrote:
How do you quantify "you gotta burn" though? You are trying to judge a person's remorse and shame. I feel like CK's initial response to the article was spot on and demonstrated that he understood the nature of his wrongness. You want him in exile. To what extent and for how long. People are acting like his stand up show was CK "back". The guy's career was red hot when the allegations came out. He had lucrative Netflix and FX deals in addition to his independent productions. So the exile in your estimation should be relegated to him not being able to do anything in his profession for ... what... 5 years? It's such an arbritary 'punishment' mass culture is trying to dole out.

To be clear though, I'm in no way feeling sorry for the guy. It is what it is when it comes to his future career prospects. It's just that I do think that it's not always black and white with these types of behaviors. And to conflate the Louis CKs of the world with Harvey does a disservice to the #metoo movement. I know you don't think that there is a need to win over reasonable people on this issue but I don't agree. But maybe in order for there to be legitimate and long lasting changes the pendulum has to swing to the other side for a little bit. I don't think things work that way though.

What Louis did wasn't as bad as Weinstein. What Weinstein did wasn't as bad as Ted Bundy. Both still fall under shades of horrible. On the one hand, you don't know what kind of violation and fear his victims felt when Louis put them through that. They had no idea what else he was capable of at that moment and he took advantage of that. On the other hand, he had his agent actively go about fucking over their careers to silence them for a bullshit experience he forced on them. Louis is absolutely and safely #meetoo material. A punishment period might be somewhat arbitrary, but so would a forgiveness period. People should figure it out for themselves. No one has actively stopped him from performing. If he's gonna get pissed off at a few people walking out on him because they don't want to watch him, he'll have to get over it.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:44 am
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Ergill wrote:
What Louis did wasn't as bad as Weinstein. What Weinstein did wasn't as bad as Ted Bundy. Both still fall under shades of horrible. On the one hand, you don't know what kind of violation and fear his victims felt when Louis put them through that. They had no idea what else he was capable of at that moment and he took advantage of that. On the other hand, he had his agent actively go about fucking over their careers to silence them for a bullshit experience he forced on them. Louis is absolutely and safely #meetoo material. A punishment period might be somewhat arbitrary, but so would a forgiveness period. People should figure it out for themselves. No one has actively stopped him from performing. If he's gonna get pissed off at a few people walking out on him because they don't want to watch him, he'll have to get over it.


Absolutely reasonable take. I understand the need to call out the type of behavior Louis exhibited along with the Harvey's criminal acts. I personally feel it's unfair and inflicts relative collateral damage...but I understand the need for it.

As for your last point, my only quibble would be that the people that do not feel it is ok for Louis to be able to perform should allow for others who feel differently to consume his brand of humor. I'm even ok with heckling him. As someone else pointed out, Louis is going to have to evolve his humor. And part of that is going to be to incorporate his egregious past into his act. No getting around that and he shouldn't expect to be shielded from that. But what is not cool is for this specific issue to be conflated with political correctness leading to censorship of comedians. As someone else pointed out in this thread, that Louis is a dirty comedian that talks about extremely sensitive issues is not a revelation. To use that as a tool to pile on to the stop Louis CK mantra serves to distort and polarize the issue/people.

All that being said, I do get your point about why including Louis deserves to be thrown under the #metoo bus. It's a large tent I guess.


Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 am
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donlogan wrote:

How do you quantify "you gotta burn" though? You are trying to judge a person's remorse and shame. I feel like CK's initial response to the article was spot on and demonstrated that he understood the nature of his wrongness. You want him in exile. To what extent and for how long. People are acting like his stand up show was CK "back". The guy's career was red hot when the allegations came out. He had lucrative Netflix and FX deals in addition to his independent productions. So the exile in your estimation should be relegated to him not being able to do anything in his profession for ... what... 5 years? It's such an arbritary 'punishment' mass culture is trying to dole out.

To be clear though, I'm in no way feeling sorry for the guy. It is what it is when it comes to his future career prospects. It's just that I do think that it's not always black and white with these types of behaviors. And to conflate the Louis CKs of the world with Harvey does a disservice to the #metoo movement. I know you don't think that there is a need to win over reasonable people on this issue but I don't agree. But maybe in order for there to be legitimate and long lasting changes the pendulum has to swing to the other side for a little bit. I don't think things work that way though.

I'm saying that coming back as soon as he did shows that he absolutely does NOT fully understand the nature of his wrongness. "You want him in exile" puts this on me. Exile is is his societal punishment and the reaction to him coming back so soon shows that society agrees on the punishment and that he has not met the requirements of that punishment yet. That he has come back to soon.
I don't know how much Louis CK is being conflated with Harvey Weinstein. I think everybody understands what Harvey Weinstein has done and people understand what Louis CK did. They are separate cases and their consequences are separate. I don't think one has much to do with the other except that they are both men who exploited a power-differential over women to use them sexually. But they happened in their own space. Louis CK did what he did. If Harvey Weinstein never existed, CK would be just as wrong.
And, hey, I'm really sorry his societally agreed upon punishment is too arbitrary for you, that sure is unjust.
I think the pendulum has swung, but if the far-edge is "men who exploit women for sex suffer some consequences" where's the fucking middle that we end up?


Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:03 am
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I don't even see any tits in this thread.


Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:31 pm
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donlogan wrote:
Was it criminal? No.

Unless you're specifically arguing on grounds of the statute of limitations, making them currently unprosecutable, what Louis did in at last some of the allegations was absolutely criminal. The earliest allegation involved a production assistant at The Chris Rock Show - in other words, Louis' employee. Louis "repeatedly" masturbated in front of her in his office. This is textbook criminal sexual harassment. Even asking her, regardless of whether she consented or not, would have been criminal. Louis presumably was aware of this, as it was occurring at the same time that workplace sexual harassment law was being discussed in the nationwide Monica Lewinsky scandal. That's just the easiest example.

Masturbating in front of anyone, anywhere, without their consent is a form of sexual assault regardless of an immediate power imbalance or not. In Louis' case, the implied professional advantage of "going along with it" is best reflected in the professional disadvantage that emerged when they did not. This has been mentioned a couple of times, without response, even though this advantage/disadvantage dynamic is the crux of the potential abuse. Jen Kirkman's comment on this "lockdown" is worth repeating: "I’ve been told by people ‘Well then say it then. Say it if it’s true.’ If I say it, my career is over. My manager and my agent have told me that."

donlogan wrote:
There's a parallel here I want to draw with a female actress's behavior if anyone wants to discuss what Louis CK did.

By all means. Let's take this up a notch.

donlogan wrote:
The fact that Aziz's name was thrown in the ring along with other men that were behaving criminally only serves to put people not 'in the fight' on the defensive.

Well, except that people don't really throw Aziz's name around much anymore. That whole "babe.net" thing largely evaporated on the barest examination. The site did run the story as "sexual assault" before back-pedelling by calling that charge a metaphor. When asked about the ethical deficiencies in the story, the site helpfully pointed out that they are not journalists, and therefore not obligated to have ethics. It was exposed as a troll job, confirmed by the editor's cheering on their click-hits in a Trump-worthy tweet: "Not too shabby!" In short, Aziz has a much better claim at being a legitimate metoo victim than some tosser like Louis.

donlogan wrote:
I understand the need to call out the type of behavior Louis exhibited along with the Harvey's criminal acts. I personally feel it's unfair and inflicts relative collateral damage...but I understand the need for it.

I'm having a a hard time imagining the "relative collateral damage" caused by calling out Louis' behavior. The best I can come up with would be the effect that this has on his young daughters, but even then, that impact would probably be lessened had Louis not made them an important aspect of his act.

There are cases of men getting called out for metoo infractions which were likely unfair, but most of these tend to rinse out of the public consciousness. I talking about those cases like Elie Wiesel, Morgan Freeman, Chris Hardwick. I've also defended the relatively bad (crassly juvenile) behavior of those like Dustin Hoffman and Al Franken, and I also don't see any reason why these men should have to share newsprint space with Weinstein or Spacey. And while I haven't necessarily defended him, I've pointed out that the details behind the Garrison Keillor allegations haven't been fully made public, we don't really know if he's guilty or innocent. The problem is that most people don't wait for these kinds of details.

And I'm thrilled that stories like those of Jeffery Epstein and R. Kelly are now (finally) getting their share of exposure, there remain other dubious standards at work. For example, why am I watching 50 Cent on Colbert after he posted revenge porn? Why can't we make this dipshit go away?


Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:42 pm
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@Jinnistan

Lots you posted that I want to respond. Need some time to do it justice. Just wanted to quickly respond about the collateral damage point. Yes, that is what I meant vis-a-vis Louis. Both from a career standpoint in terms of supporting their families as well as being associated with more heinous acts of violent criminal behavior. Perhaps you don't see that distinction as being that important in the grand scheme of changing things, but from a friends and family perspective it can't be a pleasant experience to have someone you love and care about be cast in the same light as Harvey. Obviously your retort will be what about the victims, I get that point. And I have acknowledged that the collateral damage is probably necessary at this point. It still bothers me that any allegation of sexual misconduct is so quick to gain traction and the accused are stigmatized indefinitely. You can't tell me Aziz will be able to shake off the allegations against him and have the same career trajectory had it not been made. Same goes for James Maynard Keenan, who was accused via an anonymous twitter account of asking women to come backstage and have sex with him. It seems like the #metoo net can cast a net too wide at times. You are right in the way you describe how the Aziz allegations were quelled with reason prevailing, but that stigma is still there. I consider myself in the center, politics and otherwise, and where the #metoo, and dare I say the left, loses me is when it so quick to dismiss the collateral damage. On more serious notes, the UVA/Fraternity and Duke/Lacrosse false sexual assaults come to mind. I know they are an extremely small percentage compared to actual sexual assaults taking place but it still does not need to be dismissed as such. Although, I do understand why that would be done in the name of forwarding the #metoo cause.


Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:39 pm
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This Kevin Hart thing is interesting. Michael Strahan went at him pretty hard. NPR just broadcast an interview where they went in on him. Don Lemon is calling him out on CNN (calling the conversation which Hart now wants to end a "life or death" issue---which is why Lemon alleges that it cannot "go away," and stating that Ellen does not speak for the whole LGBT community--then again, who does?), and even Ellen was leaning on him to host, despite his statement that he didn't want the affair to overshadow the awards and that he just wanted to move on.

I think if he'd gone on an open-ended apology tour (even Norm MacDonald did one of these to protect his new Netflix deal and up to that point he made a career of pissing people off on purpose) and hosted the Oscars with a big formal apologies and self-deprecating humor, the mob would be happy that he was sufficiently brought to heel. But he didn't.

He walked away and that is pushing back.

And that is unacceptable.

It doesn't matter that he apologized in bowing out or that Ellen spoke up for him. If he comes out of this "not the asshole," this puts a dent in the call-out culture. Even though his opposition basically "won" (i.e., he did apologize and a person with a "problematic" Twitter history is not simply going to host the Oscars), this throws too much pressure back on to them (we're getting awfully close to asking if the emperor is wearing any clothes), because now the Oscars don't have a host and he is not going to bend the knee any further. If he gets away with this (i.e., not being the asshole after flaunting the new "moral majority"), others might try to do the same thing. It is important, therefore, that Hart is continued to be dragged through the media inquisition, even if it isn't an unqualified loss for him. He can't come out of this unscathed.

Kevin Hart is now on a tough path. This is like watching The Warriors with Kevin Hart playing the role of the eponymous gang and the faceless horde of media pundits standing in for all the other gangs.



Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:33 am
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Janeane Garofalo of all people coming out in defense of Louis. She did it on a feminist podcast too. She speaks to my point about collateral damage. The people arguing that he hasn't paid enough of a price are basing it on nothing. They are arbitrarily saying a year or whatever isn't 'enough'. Destruction of Louis is what they seek, not remorse or a teaching/enlightening opportunity.

Quote:
"Leave Louis C.K. alone. Enough with that," she snapped on the feminist Bust podcast. "He's been my friend — and I stand by that — he's been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered," she said. "And when he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters. If nothing else — if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should — think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel. Why don't you leave him alone for them if you're so women-empowering?"


Quote:
"I think you're running with what you've been told in the [media] — he is not a person who walks into a room and powerfully takes his d—k out," she said.

"He has paid heavily, heavily, and his family has paid heavily," she added.


Quote:
"When it comes to the #MeToo movement, I think it's okay to question the source. It should transcend gender," Garofalo said. "It's human rights. Because if you don't, anyone can be accused of anything at any time, and if you're not allowed to question that — I can say right now, 'I've got pictures of you molesting a child. Don't question me!' You know what I mean? Don't question the questioner! Then it's a 'Twilight Zone' episode."


Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:43 am
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donlogan wrote:
Janeane Garofalo of all people coming out in defense of Louis. She did it on a feminist podcast too. She speaks to my point about collateral damage. The people arguing that he hasn't paid enough of a price are basing it on nothing. They are arbitrarily saying a year or whatever isn't 'enough'. Destruction of Louis is what they seek, not remorse or a teaching/enlightening opportunity.






And his close friend Sarah Silverman having this to say:

“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., masturbated in front of women. He wielded his power with women in fucked up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely. I could couch this with heartwarming stories of our friendship and what a great dad he is — but that’s totally irrelevant, isn’t it? Yes, it is.”
“It’s a real mind fuck, you know, because I love Louis, but Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true, so I just keep asking myself, ‘Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?’ I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims.”
“He felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not okay.”

While Rebecca Corry was less kind:
"I too was his equal on the set the day he decided to sexually harrass me. He took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse. He’s a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it."


Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:41 pm
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Wooley wrote:
And his close friend Sarah Silverman having this to say:

“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C.K., masturbated in front of women. He wielded his power with women in fucked up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely. I could couch this with heartwarming stories of our friendship and what a great dad he is — but that’s totally irrelevant, isn’t it? Yes, it is.”
“It’s a real mind fuck, you know, because I love Louis, but Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true, so I just keep asking myself, ‘Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?’ I can mull that over later, certainly, because the only people that matter right now are the victims.”
“He felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not okay.”

While Rebecca Corry was less kind:
"I too was his equal on the set the day he decided to sexually harrass me. He took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse. He’s a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it."


While Sarah is clear about where the moral ground here is, she isn't dismissive about how she needs to approach her friendship with Louis in light of sexual harassment. She's struggling with how to deal her feelings towards Louis but acknowledges that it's not as important at the moment as what the victims have been through.

What Jeneane was saying is that there should be space to question things when it comes to these matters. But just that assertion will invariably lead to the most ardent ardent #metoo supporters say bluntly for sarcastic effect 'don't rape/sexually harass' or 'he's evil/did evil things'. It's like any attempt at trying to make a not so straightforward point on anything related to #metoo issues leads to an apology tour by the person that made it.

At this point, with regards to Louis, it's not even about showing remorse. The outrage over his new leaked material as well as the 'discovery that he has used the n word makes it clear that his mainstream days are done regardless of how much time he takes off or if he is able to convince people how sorry he is. So even the discussion of how soon is too soon, a discussion that in and of itself seems to set people off, is moot because he's at best going to be small tours around the country. The outrage over that with so little exposure will fade over time.


Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:57 pm
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donlogan wrote:
@Jinnistan

Yes. Proceed.

donlogan wrote:
Lots you posted that I want to respond. Need some time to do it justice.

Thank you, and I'll hold you to this promise, just in case you may find yourself distracted responding to subsequent posts.

donlogan wrote:
Just wanted to quickly respond about the collateral damage point. Yes, that is what I meant vis-a-vis Louis. Both from a career standpoint in terms of supporting their families as well as being associated with more heinous acts of violent criminal behavior. Perhaps you don't see that distinction as being that important in the grand scheme of changing things, but from a friends and family perspective it can't be a pleasant experience to have someone you love and care about be cast in the same light as Harvey.

I still don't see the "collateral damage" part, and maybe that's due to defining what those words mean. For example, if we consider Louis' daughters, then the damage inflicted on them is still Louis' responsibility. He did that, and so I don't see what's "unfair" about calling his behavior out publicly simply because his daughters are privy to public information. Garofalo's protest to "think of his daughters" is bullshit, as I'm willing to wager that Garofalo is also aware that Bill Cosby has daughters. So fucking what? Maybe daughters need to know about Daddy? If anyone is inclined to give Cosby any dignity points at this point, then it may be that at least he hasn't resorted to using his daughters as an emotional kevlar against his accusers. At least he's not that shitty. And Louis, in his latest set, is still willing to trot out his daughters for ridicule, explaining to his youngest that "literally the only interesting thing about you" is Louis CK. You got to dance with who brung you.

donlogan wrote:
You can't tell me Aziz will be able to shake off the allegations against him and have the same career trajectory had it not been made.

Aziz had the misfortune of having a small club gig approximately simultanous to Louis' first comeback shows. I only heard about Aziz's show in proximity to the larger story of Louis' comeback. Aziz may still inspire some reflexive wrath from the woke, but I didn't see the kind of condemnation that accompanied these Louis shows. I still believe that Aziz has an easier path to getting his career back on line.

donlogan wrote:
Same goes for James Maynard Keenan, who was accused via an anonymous twitter account of asking women to come backstage and have sex with him.

I'm unaware of this allegation, so, as a fan of Tool, I'm inclined to believe that this is not having much of an impact.


Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:37 pm
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donlogan wrote:

While Sarah is clear about where the moral ground here is, she isn't dismissive about how she needs to approach her friendship with Louis in light of sexual harassment. She's struggling with how to deal her feelings towards Louis but acknowledges that it's not as important at the moment as what the victims have been through.

What Jeneane was saying is that there should be space to question things when it comes to these matters. But just that assertion will invariably lead to the most ardent ardent #metoo supporters say bluntly for sarcastic effect 'don't rape/sexually harass' or 'he's evil/did evil things'. It's like any attempt at trying to make a not so straightforward point on anything related to #metoo issues leads to an apology tour by the person that made it.

At this point, with regards to Louis, it's not even about showing remorse. The outrage over his new leaked material as well as the 'discovery that he has used the n word makes it clear that his mainstream days are done regardless of how much time he takes off or if he is able to convince people how sorry he is. So even the discussion of how soon is too soon, a discussion that in and of itself seems to set people off, is moot because he's at best going to be small tours around the country. The outrage over that with so little exposure will fade over time.

As an aside, I really, strongly doubt Louis CK is done. We'll see him again and there will be opportunities for redemption for many offenders, as their ultimately should be in any society. But I suspect, and hope, it will be some time.


Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:29 am
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Wooley wrote:
As an aside, I really, strongly doubt Louis CK is done. We'll see him again and there will be opportunities for redemption for many offenders, as their ultimately should be in any society. But I suspect, and hope, it will be some time.


In terms of getting gigs and having people pay to see him at venues? No, he's not done.

In terms of stratosphere superstardom? I don't know that he ever gets back there. He was at the very top.


Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:33 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

In terms of stratosphere superstardom? I don't know that he ever gets back there. He was at the very top.


Which shouldn't upset anyone. If his market value has plunged due to something he absolutely did, and was absolutely shitty by any standard, he isn't owed the wide spread success anymore. If some people don't like him now, and can't get over his misdeeds, who is to blame for that? Him losing a sizable portion of his audience should both be expected and accepted, even by him, if he was being at all lucid about what the consequences of his behavior

All he should expect is that he can get up on the stage and eventually find whatever audience still wants him, whether that be big, modest or small. I'm not a great fan of those who are making an issue of him ever getting a chance again. I think those people are ridiculous. But I also think those, like Garafolo, who seem to think they know what he has gone through is exactly enough penance to satisfy all reasonable people, are also ridiculous. Let him get on the stage. Let him deal with whatever backlash he gets, fairly or unfairly. Let him scrounge back whatever audience still finds him worthy. And let him struggle to get his footing back, because there is no reason I can think of that this shouldn't be difficult for him.


Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:52 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Which shouldn't upset anyone. If his market value has plunged due to something he absolutely did, and was absolutely shitty by any standard, he isn't owed the wide spread success anymore.


I am curious to how it all played out. If he was locking and/or blocking doors, then I'm with 100% you. I've been challenged in this understanding, however. If he was asking for consent and thought he had it, it wouldn't be as bad, but even here it's hard for me to squint hard enough to blurrily see that perhaps he didn't know what he was doing and that these displays were not, effectively, ambushes.

crumbsroom wrote:
If some people don't like him now, and can't get over his misdeeds, who is to blame for that? Him losing a sizable portion of his audience should both be expected and accepted, even by him, if he was being at all lucid about what the consequences of his behavior


It's not just that. It is simply hard to stay on top. Comedians tend to be "tuned in" with the spirit of an age only for a limited number of years. Tastes change. It is very rare to see a comedian make it to dizzying heights and maintain that success. Best case scenario, you slowly fade into being an elder statesman of comedy and are remembered fondly. Add to this a moral scandal in an age of moral inquisition, and he's pretty much done.

Again, what struck me about that set is that he dug in and doubled-down. He spoke of what happened to him, not what he did. I don't see that as a promising strategy. In that set, I sense in him a bit of Richard III:

since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.


Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:13 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

In terms of getting gigs and having people pay to see him at venues? No, he's not done.

In terms of stratosphere superstardom? I don't know that he ever gets back there. He was at the very top.

Well, if his sentence for everything he did is he doesn't get to be the top superstar anymore but still gets to have a robust career, I'd say he got off ok. I mean, I guess we all know he got off ok, but I think it will be fair.


Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:51 am
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I Was Sexually Harassed on Bernie Sanders’s 2016 Campaign; I Will Not Be Weaponized or Dismissed.

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Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:27 am
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"If you ever need people to forget that you jerked off, what you do is you make a joke about kids that got shot."

OK, that's pretty funny.


Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:08 am
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Gillette ad anyone?


Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:34 am
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Not even a thing worth talking about. The people who are self-righteous about it are morons, and the people who are mad about it are also morons.

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Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:41 am
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Macrology wrote:
Not even a thing worth talking about. The people who are self-righteous about it are morons, and the people who are mad about it are also morons.


This along with the Nike/Kapernick ad campaign make me think of the Bill Hicks bit about people in the ad industry.


Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:58 am
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#metoo is a disorganized mass movement which utilizes saturation of the media to raise awareness of the unfathomably commonplace occurrences of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, abuse of power, and disrespect which women have endured for as long as men have had egos and testosterone.

Given that this is a disorganized mass movement which utilizes saturation of the media as opposed to merely relying on careful research by top journalists, mistakes will be made in many different ways. Stories will be inaccurate, the focus will be too strong on certain fields (entertainment) and on certain individuals (Ansari). This is unfortunate. On the plus side, this disorganized mass movement also has careful research by top journalists, and many of the biggest stories have been driven by this reporting with little or no collateral damage.

Now, given that this is a disorganized mass movement, it seems nonsensical to weigh the pros and cons as if some one person was able to predict how this would go or as if one person is able to change how the movement moves forward. With all that being said, we can still do it just to see whether the world is becoming a better place, a worse place, or no change:

Pros:
- Several high profile repeat criminals have been exposed and criminally charged
- Presumably the number of incidents has decreased drastically, sparing millions of women abuse
- The prevailing awareness of this type of behavior has increased exponentially
- The chances of a victim's claims being believed has increased exponentially
- Workplaces are taking more direct action to protect their employees
- Workers in workplaces are behaving more respectfully toward women and are more proactive in shutting down unacceptable behavior
- Conversations around consent are happening which both helps create more respectful and fulfilling relationships and mitigates future unacceptable behavior
- Victims are feeling more supported through finding common cause

Cons

- A number of high profile individuals, that I can count on one hand, have had backlash disproportionate to their behavior
- The prevailing ignorance of how to be a decent human being is causing anxiety in some individuals
- Some assholes like the Vice President refuse to treat women as non-sexual beings and therefore choose to exclude them instead of treat them as equals
- Some men aren't having as much fun at the expense of others as they used to

The question of "has #metoo gone too far?" is hilarious, because the calculus is simple:

A lot fewer women are getting raped.

Tell me what negative outcome trumps that? Frankly, it's difficult to imagine, and there is nothing even remotely close to that thus far. Aziz Ansari has had it rough, but not as rough as getting raped. End of story.

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Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:25 pm
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As for the Gillette ad, it's pretty simple:

The Gillette ad is critical of toxic masculinity. The ad does not define toxic masculinity, but shows bullying, sexual assault, objectification, belittling workplace behavior, bullshit justifications, demeaning social behavior, and unwarranted solicitation.

The question one should ask is: Does Gillette attack masculinity, or only bad behavior? We can think of it like this: If I tell you that romaine lettuce is being recalled, am I telling you that salads are toxic, or only salads with contaminated romaine lettuce? It's clear that I'm telling you not to eat toxic salads, which are only salads with toxic romaine lettuce. In the same way, Gillette is telling people that you should throw out the bad parts of masculinity.

Why is this masculinity, and not merely "human behavior"? That's a bigger discussion, but the simple answer is "because women don't do that shit, and we all know it, and women get raped and assaulted and harassed at ridiculously higher rates than men" and there's nothing else that needs to be said. Again, it's about the rape.

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Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:37 pm
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I know there is something to be said about the problems inherent in commodifying "wokeness" but you'd have to choose your words carefully without accidentally making allies with the kind of people who use the "SJW" initialism un-ironically.

I know I always gotta thread this needle whenever I talk among my buds about franchise movies that make efforts to diversify (Ghostbusters, Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Star Wars, etc.).

(I dunno if that's getting a little off-topic but since y'all brought up the razors....)


Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:27 pm
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LEAVES wrote:

The question one should ask is: Does Gillette attack masculinity, or only bad behavior? In the same way, Gillette is telling people that you should throw out the bad parts of masculinity.

Why is this masculinity, and not merely "human behavior"? That's a bigger discussion, but the simple answer is "because women don't do that shit, and we all know it, and women get raped and assaulted and harassed at ridiculously higher rates than men" and there's nothing else that needs to be said. Again, it's about the rape.

Your point is most cogent.
Not all masculinity is toxic. But let's (finally) get rid of the toxic part. Let's get rid of all the toxicity in our society. Let's just behave better.


Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:04 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Not all masculinity is toxic. But let's (finally) get rid of the toxic part. Let's get rid of all the toxicity in our society. Let's just behave better.

The funny thing is that this happens to be exactly what the Gillette commercial is about: Men can be better.

Those dudes who are upset with the ad because they think it implicates and attacks all masculinity either didn't bother to watch the whole thing, probably zoning out somewhere around the grill sequence, or perhaps suffer from some cognitive inhibition likely caused by a toxic cocktail of energy drink and body wash abuse.


Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:35 am
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LEAVES wrote:
Aziz Ansari has had it rough, but not as rough as getting raped. End of story.

I don't think that victimhood should be quite so transactional as this. The association of rape with Ansari is still misplaced, and it shouldn't be a zero-sum mutually exclusive choice to be concerned about rape victims as opposed to the more rare cases of false allegations (and in the case of Aziz, yes, I'm only considering the legal ramifications here.) I don't think it's acceptable to write off the relatively lesser incidence of false allegation as a necessary priority. Justice has to be more complex than that, able to make individual discernments, and I am skeptical of the trend towards embracing more simplistic proscriptions. ("Sorry you were falsely imprisoned for a couple decades for multiple counts of murder, but it's not as bad as having your entire family killed, is it?")


Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:08 am
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donlogan wrote:
Gillette ad anyone?

By the way, guy, when are you going to get around to "doing justice" to my original comment?

I'm starting to doubt your commitment to this little project you've started.


Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:13 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I don't think that victimhood should be quite so transactional as this. The association of rape with Ansari is still misplaced, and it shouldn't be a zero-sum mutually exclusive choice to be concerned about rape victims as opposed to the more rare cases of false allegations (and in the case of Aziz, yes, I'm only considering the legal ramifications here.) I don't think it's acceptable to write off the relatively lesser incidence of false allegation as a necessary priority. Justice has to be more complex than that, able to make individual discernments, and I am skeptical of the trend towards embracing more simplistic proscriptions. ("Sorry you were falsely imprisoned for a couple decades for multiple counts of murder, but it's not as bad as having your entire family killed, is it?")
I agree with the bolded.

I do not agree that "a disorganized mass movement which utilizes saturation of the media to raise awareness" can function as a meaningful instrument of justice. This is why I initially emphasized that it is nonsensical to weigh the pros and cons. The criminal justice system utilizes specific standards of proof to levy punishment on individuals based on a precise standard of proof, theoretically both being blind to the status of the accused and sparing the guilty to protect the innocent. When laws are written well and the criminal justice system functions well there is less need for a #metoo movement because those who are guilty are, to the extent possible, brought to justice - and society accepts that some guilty go free as an inherent part of the safeguarding of the innocent. The #metoo movement is an extrajudicial movement - it does not and cannot function in the same way. It is a shame that it is needed, but it is. I think it is far more sensible to treat the #metoo movement as a societal change that is meant to change the way that society's instruments of justice function than it is to treat it as an instrument of justice itself.

There are two things to say on this point: The movement cannot approach the same standards of justice because justice requires a system that levies that justice, where #metoo is a "powerless" reaction against a perceived widespread injustice, and its only power is through the masses of people who are inherently far, far, far less precise than a criminal justice system. In a perfect world the masses would exercise prudence and let journalists be the arbiters of "the only justice one can hope for in the face of injustice", but that has worked exactly 0 times in human history. The two questions to ask, then, are: 1.) Is the movement justified at its very inception (after which point there is no way to stop it) based on the perceived injustice vis the criminal justice system? 2.) Is the movement justified at its very inception based on a broader diagnosis of a social malady that includes and exceeds the criminal justice system's issues and limitations?

To me, the answer is a resounding yes on both points. It is not possible to even control the movement after it starts, so it is nonsensical to comment on whether it is justified in its current permutations without speaking of it in particulars. However, even within this nonsensical framework it is STILL justified, as I think it has only rarely and only in the minority overstepped the very high standard of journalistic ethics which is far, far, far too high of a standard to expect of a mass movement anyway. That is to say: I think the movement is both justified at its inception, which is the only question of any merit, and in its current permutations, which is just a bonus. I want to emphasize this point again, though: Anyone who decries the movement because of any negative permutations that it reaches beyond its inception is either misunderstanding a fundamental part of social dynamics, as I emphasized above, or deliberately misleading people into attacking something on false pretenses. You find this blatantly in attacks on feminism (because they don't like the particular actions of particular people of particular waves of particular feminist movements) or in attacks on the black lives matter movement (for even more reasons) - and you will only rarely find an attack that addresses the substance. This is not to say that you cannot attack a particular person in a particular wave of a particular feminist movement - but you will be doing only that. This is simply a limitation of how these things fundamentally work. This is why I emphasize the fundamental thing that this movement is about: Too many women are getting raped. Any argument against the #metoo movement must argue first and foremost against that point. None will succeed. Once 1.) "an acceptable number of women are getting raped", whatever the hell that is (isn't life grand?), and 2.) "women are not subject to "legal" harassment on an endemic scale" - both of which are very low bars to meet - THEN we can have the discussion of whether the #metoo movement has run its course. There should be no talk of whether it should have started its course at all. Such an idea is nonsense and must be confronted as such.

There is a funny paradox that illustrates the problem with criticizing a movement based on some particular instances somehow associated with that movement: "All movements go too far." It is both obviously true, in that movements are made of many people and all of them have different ideas of where a movement should go, and obviously nonsensical, because the only "solution" is to never move. "Everything is perfectly fine the way it is, because the only alternative is to move, and all movements go too far." The solution to the paradox, of course, is not to evaluate an entire movement based on particular circumstances that are associated with a particular portion at a particular point in time, but to only speak of the movement writ large by addressing its fundamental tenets and basis, and addressing any other aspect specifically and without a broad brush.

In the context of the original post, my response is: The fact that Ansari is caught up in a particular instance of particular individuals failing to utilize good judgment is not in any way indicative of the failings of #metoo, and to treat it as such is blatantly misguided and disingenuous in the same way that treating the Gillette commercial as attacking masculinity writ large is blatantly misguided and disingenuous. #metoo will go too far, but there will never be a time when the movement should not have begun.

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Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:12 am
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There is a fundamental part of the #metoo movement that is widely misunderstood:

"Believe the women."

This statement alone has two entirely different aspects:

1.) Interpersonally, if a person you know says that they have been been a victim of a sexual crime or harassment, believe them. It doesn't matter if it's not true, because your function in society is to provide emotional support, not apply a burden of proof.
2.) Legally, if a person says that they have been a victim of a sexual crime or harassment, believe them. This is the case both because it is far, far, far more likely that their story is truthful than that it is fabricated, but also because the standard of proof for most crimes is direct eyewitness testimony of the victim. In some states, this testimony is sufficient for cases of rape and sexual assault, as well. In this context, the statement "believe the women" is also a rallying cry to change the law in order to narrow the gap between the number of violent sexual criminals who are guilty and the number of violent sexual criminals who are found guilty in a court of law.

Clearly, #2 involves a far more complicated discussion regarding the standard of evidence that we accept in order to hold fast to our fundamental ideals as a liberal society of protecting the innocent, but too many conversations that are outside of the courtroom are recklessly disrupted by this nuanced point. This is both because people mostly don't know the standard of proof under the law, and because people have a ridiculously misguided idea of the percentage of allegations of sexual violence that are not true. The decent thing to do is to not hold technical discussions of legal standards regarding extremely serious crimes without carefully establishing context beforehand. This isn't too much to ask, I don't think.

An example of a reckless disruption of a conversation:

"Person A was raped by Person B."
"Person A says she was raped by Person B."
"WTF is wrong with you?"

Is there really any need in common conversation to imply that Person A might be lying? If Person A says such a thing, something is fucked up in Person A's life - the most likely case is that Person A was raped. Show some compassion. You don't need to litigate the entire case in the first sentence of a conversation. The first reaction of a decent person to hearing that Person A says that she was raped should be compassion for Person A. A far, far, far distant reaction should be concern that the criminal justice system perform an investigation in the hopes that justice will be served. In no case will this be a fun experience for Person B, but there is no part of our society which holds that an innocent person who is accused of a crime will have a pleasant experience. The only thing that our society holds is that Person B will not be punished intentionally by the criminal justice system. Unintentional punishment is an unfortunate necessity of the process.

What does this have to do with the #metoo movement? In fact, both meanings of the phrase are incredibly important:

Firstly, people in society are far, far, far too quick to act without compassion for victims of horrible sexual violence and harassment, and the #metoo movement is in part about changing how society treats the victims of sexual violence and harassment. Furthermore, people in society are far, far, far too ignorant of the forms of sexual violence and harassment and how to prevent it, and the #metoo movement is very much about informing people about acceptable workplace behavior and about consent.

Secondly, some places place far too high a burden of proof on the victims of sexual violence and harassment, meaning that the perpetrators of sexual violence and harassment are both not nearly disincentivized enough to perpetrate such crimes, and the repeat perpetrators of sexual violence are far too abundant to be socially acceptable. The #metoo movement is very much about changing the legal landscape of our society so that the rate of conviction of perpetrators of sexual violence and harassment increases dramatically. This is achieved through the way society treats victims on a personal level, the way that victims expect to be treated in society, and the way in which the criminal justice system treats the accused.

The only point of contention in this discussion should be regarding the burden of proof of such crimes, and this conversation should only happen in a level-headed discussion that has compassion for victims, not litigated immediately in every context where sexual violence and harassment is brought up.

Even at its least intentional and most basic, the #metoo movement was always about believing women. Remember the start: "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." What are the elements of this simple post?

1.) There is a huge problem.
2.) People are not aware of the scope of the problem.
3.) In order to become aware of the scope of the problem, you must hear from women and believe them.

I don't think it's much of a leap to jump to "Something needs to change so that this becomes less of a problem" - and the two central tenets of the movement aren't all that hard to figure out from there: 1.) Raise awareness. 2.) Change how society treats women to make this happen less. 3.) Prosecute criminals.

It's not that complicated, but all of it requires believing women in both an interpersonal and legal sense.

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Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:51 am
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Post Re: #metoo movement discussion

:up:


Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:00 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
I agree with the bolded.

Good, as that's the primary point I was contending. To be clear, I agree with the majority of your other points, and I feel that I need to establish this at the onset because much of your post seems more designed to address donlogan's positions rather than mine, and I'm certainly not willing to speak on her behalf. I have no interest in any fundamental argument against the #metoo movement, and I have no intent to make any peripheral argument against some of what I see as either excessive or ineffective exercises within that movement into a conflated argument against the entire movement. By discarding the "simple proscriptions", I'm refusing to abide by the necessity that in order to justify the movement, I need to justify every branch of how it's utilized. Similarly, I don't see inherent injury to the movement by identifying these specific excessive or inefficient branches. The movement will, must, survive a certain amount of vigilant pruning from time to time. At any rate, I think that this particular point is worth discussing further in depth without any pretense of undermining the clear imperative of the movement itself.

LEAVES wrote:
The #metoo movement is an extrajudicial movement - it does not and cannot function in the same way. It is a shame that it is needed, but it is. I think it is far more sensible to treat the #metoo movement as a societal change that is meant to change the way that society's instruments of justice function than it is to treat it as an instrument of justice itself.

I disagree about whether #metoo can be compatible with the standards of justice, and it's worth asking why it should not. Changes to how "society's instruments of justice function" are nothing new, the question lies in specifying the advantages or disadvantages for these changes. These changes are not, however, "extrajudicial", and even if they were, I don't see why that would be preferable. The fact is that the abuse that has been happening to women is what has truly been extrajudicial - laws on the books not being untilizd or enforced. The point of the movement was to eliminate the extrajudicial blindspots in the system in which such abuse takes place. The movement is about expanding justice to women who have been consistently denied their due process.

LEAVES wrote:
The movement cannot approach the same standards of justice because justice requires a system that levies that justice, where #metoo is a "powerless" reaction against a perceived widespread injustice, and its only power is through the masses of people who are inherently far, far, far less precise than a criminal justice system.

The precise problem with "frontier justice" is in its imprecision, and as long as we can admit to this imprecision, we can ask why we should substitute one less precise standard for another rather than working to make our systems more precise. The fact that "the masses" have historically proven to be imprecise in their retribution should be cold comfort at best.

LEAVES wrote:
In a perfect world the masses would exercise prudence and let journalists be the arbiters of "the only justice one can hope for in the face of injustice", but that has worked exactly 0 times in human history.

Hyperbole noted, but of course this is bullshit. It was journalism which first broke the biggest #metoo stories.

Journalists themselves are not arbiters because journalistic ethics are not arbitrary standards. Journalism is an aggregate positive because its standards, when properly and professionally applied, are conducive to most accurately convey truth, and truth is essential to any social movement worth its salt. And by any measure, no one is asking the masses to accept as truth everything that's presented to them by somone in the news. Citizens should also have a basic understanding of journalistic ethics (and media literacy skills more generally) in order to think for themselves, and no one is asking anyone to wait for CNN's approval before getting politically active in any capacity.

LEAVES wrote:
The two questions to ask, then, are: 1.) Is the movement justified at its very inception (after which point there is no way to stop it) based on the perceived injustice vis the criminal justice system? 2.) Is the movement justified at its very inception based on a broader diagnosis of a social malady that includes and exceeds the criminal justice system's issues and limitations?

Again, I don't find the distinction here to be very relevant. The fact that #metoo is fundamentally justified by the sheer demonstrable fact of historic abuse should not be in contention by anyone. That the movement is justified "at inception" does not preclude the potential for unintended consequences or more intentional corruption. History is littered with examples of hi-jacked justified causes turning into vehicles of abuse and/or complacency. Why should any aberrant permutations which arise render the incept cause null and void?

On the "broader diagnosis of a social malady", I happen to agree. In fact, one of my frustrations with #metoo is the lack of focus on everyday kinds of discrimination. There's countless issues - landlords, police, health insurance - where existing abuse continues without much coverage. Not that these "exceed the criminal justice system", as there are legislative fixes to consider, but in order to consider them, the public imagination needs to reorient away from viewing #metoo as an exclusive problem among entertainers and politicians.

LEAVES wrote:
It is not possible to even control the movement after it starts, so it is nonsensical to comment on whether it is justified in its current permutations without speaking of it in particulars. However, even within this nonsensical framework it is STILL justified, as I think it has only rarely and only in the minority overstepped the very high standard of journalistic ethics which is far, far, far too high of a standard to expect of a mass movement anyway.

As with "frontier justice", I don't see how losing control of a mass movement is supposed to be some kind of positive development. I think that in order to be effective, the movement should have a more concentrated focus. We've already seen examples of trolls attempting to sully the movement by appropriating its outrage - James O'Keefe, Mike Cernovich, "Surefire Intelligence". These may be "minority" incidents, but they're also omens. Maybe we should keep our hands on the wheel of the movement so someone with less pure intentions doesn't run it into a ditch.

LEAVES wrote:
There is a funny paradox that illustrates the problem with criticizing a movement based on some particular instances somehow associated with that movement: "All movements go too far." It is both obviously true, in that movements are made of many people and all of them have different ideas of where a movement should go, and obviously nonsensical, because the only "solution" is to never move. "Everything is perfectly fine the way it is, because the only alternative is to move, and all movements go too far." The solution to the paradox, of course, is not to evaluate an entire movement based on particular circumstances that are associated with a particular portion at a particular point in time, but to only speak of the movement writ large by addressing its fundamental tenets and basis, and addressing any other aspect specifically and without a broad brush.

This paradox is a good example of the kind of simple proscriptions I mentioned. It's a simple binary choice between never moving or going too far - "obviously nonsensical" as you say. We shouldn't view #metoo in such either/or language, and we should also recognize the social responsibility for navigating our movements.

LEAVES wrote:
In the context of the original post, my response is: The fact that Ansari is caught up in a particular instance of particular individuals failing to utilize good judgment is not in any way indicative of the failings of #metoo

No, it's not, but it's important to recognize what it is a failing of. It is a failing of some of the worst tendncies of social media more generally, of the impulsive rush to judgment and shaming and the pervasiveness of clickbait and call-out culture. It isn't that many men don't deserve to be called out, it's that the calling out has become an extention of the entertainment, where the outrage is directly proportional to the celebrity of the head being cut. And this impulsive tendency, which we've learned over the last couple of years is a designed feature of social media, is not limited to men and #metoo, and there's a long line of women who have been similarly impulsively shamed online. Social media is the most frequently cited impetus for the spike in teenage suicides since 2009, most dramatically among girls.

And again, making this distinction in no way should diminish the very real validity of the #metoo mission. Men can be, must be, better. All of us being better online is another issue but hopefully we can chew gum and pat our heads at the same time.


Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:42 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
By the way, guy, when are you going to get around to "doing justice" to my original comment?

I'm starting to doubt your commitment to this little project you've started.


I've already gotten plenty from this 'little project.' The responses require me to be at a computer though. I can never formulate thoughtful posts on my phone.


Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:13 pm
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Post Re: #metoo movement discussion

Jinnistan wrote:
Good, as that's the primary point I was contending. To be clear, I agree with the majority of your other points, and I feel that I need to establish this at the onset because much of your post seems more designed to address donlogan's positions rather than mine, and I'm certainly not willing to speak on her behalf. I have no interest in any fundamental argument against the #metoo movement, and I have no intent to make any peripheral argument against some of what I see as either excessive or ineffective exercises within that movement into a conflated argument against the entire movement. By discarding the "simple proscriptions", I'm refusing to abide by the necessity that in order to justify the movement, I need to justify every branch of how it's utilized. Similarly, I don't see inherent injury to the movement by identifying these specific excessive or inefficient branches. The movement will, must, survive a certain amount of vigilant pruning from time to time. At any rate, I think that this particular point is worth discussing further in depth without any pretense of undermining the clear imperative of the movement itself.
I think there's a lack of clarity in how to even discuss such things, though. Even in this post of yours it's not intuitively clear (as a matter of how these things are commonly discussed and classified in common conversation) what the difference between the "movement" and the "branches". Personally, I propose some sort of way to discuss things in a clear stratification:

I. the movement - the set of ideas, which are actually very simple even if there isn't a manifesto. I basically outlined these above:

1.) There is a huge problem.
2.) People are not aware of the scope of the problem.
3.) In order to become aware of the scope of the problem, you must hear from women and believe them.

II. the actions

1.) Social media posts (the start, after all)
2.) Workplace changes
3.) Conversations
4.) Journalism
5.) Legal changes

III. the actors

1.) Each person individually, really, but...
1a.) Figureheads (Alyssa Milano would be the most obvious as the one who sparked the biggest spread of the social media posts)
1b.) Reputable Journalists
1c.) Muckrakers
1d.) Anonymous Person 1
1e.) Anonymous Person 2 (etc.)

Considering the case of the Ansari article, we're talking about a piece of bad journalism by a muckraker and then a sizable but certainly not majority of random anonymous people who don't really understand the principles in question and rushed to condemn. Looking at it in such a stratified way, it's clear that such an article has nothing to do with the movement, it represents only one small part of the whole actions taken in response to or as a result of the movement, and it involved only a relatively small number of people. Taken like this, it's difficult to see why anyone would even mention it. However, it is ALWAYS mentioned, just as it was in the initial post. This is a problem, and I think it's due to people not having a clear understanding of what "the #metoo movement" even is.

Jinnistan wrote:
I disagree about whether #metoo can be compatible with the standards of justice, and it's worth asking why it should not. Changes to how "society's instruments of justice function" are nothing new, the question lies in specifying the advantages or disadvantages for these changes. These changes are not, however, "extrajudicial", and even if they were, I don't see why that would be preferable. The fact is that the abuse that has been happening to women is what has truly been extrajudicial - laws on the books not being untilizd or enforced. The point of the movement was to eliminate the extrajudicial blindspots in the system in which such abuse takes place. The movement is about expanding justice to women who have been consistently denied their due process.

The precise problem with "frontier justice" is in its imprecision, and as long as we can admit to this imprecision, we can ask why we should substitute one less precise standard for another rather than working to make our systems more precise. The fact that "the masses" have historically proven to be imprecise in their retribution should be cold comfort at best.
When we're speaking of "extrajudicial" we can technically speak of all of the social change as "extrajudicial", but we're really probably just talking about people who are "punished" by the movement. If we speak of the multifaceted good that is generated by simply raising awareness and changing attitudes, this is likely to be far more impactful than any actual judicial change or action. If we're only speaking of "punishment", then there are a couple points to consider:

1. The "punishment" is really only being doled out through mass social awareness on a few individuals, and all of those that I can think of are because of journalists. I can't imagine that the common man is feeling a huge degree more "punishment" for any reason. So, since we're really only talking about "negative extrajudicial punishment" from a small set of journalists publishing stories on a small set of people (that then generated a multifaceted array of "punishments" that for some include the judicial system but for others simply meant being fired or being harassed by everyday people on social media and in the real world) - we can get very specific:

2. The reason that the journalists targeted these individuals was because the judicial system either failed or was not involved due to societal failings and business/power abuses. Take a case like Matt Lauer: His sexual harassment was accepted as the "price of doing business". He will not face the judicial system, and his employer either never faced punitive damages or decided he was worth the cost. The judicial "punishment" for Lauer in this case was essentially nothing - perhaps a pay cut because his employer knew his behavior would cost them money, but not much else. What "punishment" he received through public shaming doesn't seem to be a point people complain about. Yes, he faces more harassment than your Average Joe, but it is pretty well understood that being a public figure means that you will face an unusual and even unbearable amount of public scrutiny, so it's a choice he made by becoming a public figure in a sense. In this way, I think most people would say that he received the "punishment" that he deserved, even if the legal system essentially has no punishment for him (and I highly doubt that anything will change in that regard).

The key thing here, though, is: How is such a case supposed to be punished? For an average worker at a typical workplace, a valid sexual harassment charge and conviction will be enormously damaging to their career, and to the degree that it is known that they have behaved in such a way society expects them not to face jail time but to face shame for violating social norms. Given the law, that is how the social contract expects people to be "punished" for sexual harassment - extrajudicially via negative employment and social impacts. This is not a bad thing. I would argue that extrajudicial forces are more impactful on limiting bad behavior than judicial ones. Case in point: Compare an internet troll to their behavior in real life.

To elaborate on this idea, consider why a person like Lauer was so reviled after the allegations were made public: Neither his employer nor his personal life seemed impacted at all by his behavior. He was being paid millions by his employer, and they were helping to cover for him. People were not furious that he wasn't in jail - they were furious that society's normative punishments failed. This, really, is the core point of the movement from its very onsent: Make people aware of how prevalent and how damaging this behavior is so that it is snuffed out before it ever reaches the courts. Most of this "policing" will be done through employers' fear of negative PR and through individuals' fear of loss of reputation and shame. This isn't a bad thing, but it's certainly extrajudicial.

Extrajudicial violence has a bad track record. Extrajudicial normative processes also have a bad record, but mostly because they shame people for being gay or poor or ugly, etc., not so much because they're inaccurate. Furthermore, I disagree with your point above that the point of the movement is merely to expand justice within the courts and to have new laws written and existing ones enforced. That's certainly an action that can be taken, but the initial impetus was merely about removing a stigma, raising awareness, and increasing the shame on those who are perpetrators of sexual violence and harassment. There was nothing in the initial post about changing laws, though it's an obvious action but certainly not the only one and I would argue not nearly the most impactful element.

You said we should consider why #metoo should not be compatible with the standards of justice. I'll address why the "actions" can not and/or should not comport with the standards of justice - though I have much greater affinity for certain common forms of "extrajudicial punishment" than you seem to imply in your post:

1.) Social media posts - Two categories:
Raising awareness - This is actually better than the standards of justice because you can change behavior prior to ever needing to involve punishment, and the normative penalties function in the exact same manner as justice: a deterrent. As such, this should not comport with the standards of justice because it should be proactive and not reactive.
Shaming individuals - Cannot comport with the standards of justice because there is no central authority; I'm ambivalent on whether these should comport with the standards of justice. On the one hand, normative punishments are necessary and good, even if they're certainly not up to the standards of justice. Secondly, indirect influence on others who see the shame is a good thing. Sending a torrent of public shame at an individual is troubling, for sure, though. In this case, though, specifically shaming a person is an explicit violation of the standards of justice (where the judicial system levies punishments, not "the mob") and yet society does not function without normative influences of which shame is an important one. Difficult to answer whether this sort of behavior should be in line with judicial standards.
2.) Workplace changes - Basically compatible with the standards of justice
3.) Conversations - Basically compatible with the standards of justice, perhaps would even help to elucidate them for people
4.) Journalism - This is an interesting case. One of the big questions around Weinstein was whether the non-disclosure elements of his harassment settlements should be legal, since they fail to serve the public good by making others aware of his behavior. In this way, we could say that the awareness of a particular individual's behavior is in the public interest. On the other hand, most individuals in the public will not have their behavior highlighted by the media, so it would not matter either way. While journalistic ethics would be relatively in line with the disclosure of evidence in a trial, and trials are public knowledge, the ramifications of the information disclosed in a trial vs. the information disclosed in the media are drastically different. It's difficult to separate the obvious and unavoidable public action from the journalistic reporting of something like Lauer's behavior. Perhaps that is a good case in point: For the sake of argument, let's suppose that all of the cases were settled in court to the full extent of the law and society is happy with the laws on the books. What are the conditions where journalism should refrain from reporting on the story in order to comply with the standards of justice? In reality, there was a perceived injustice due to Lauer's apparent minor damage for his multiple infractions. What if he was fired for cause, his friends knew about his behavior and shunned him, and his career was heavily damaged. The standards of justice would say that both the judicial system and the normative forces in the world have levied their punishments to the fullest degree. Is the journalism and its accmopanying spotlight then "cruel and unusual" punishment beyond what is acceptable, or is it fine for the knowledge to be out there? If it's fine, what about the Ansari case? I think he certainly crossed the line of socially acceptable behavior, but does this warrant a story to be published about him with his name even in a more objective presentation? I think there is a case where it would be journalistically acceptable and yet outside of the standards of justice. It's not so simple....
5.) Legal changes - Is literally the standard of justice
Jinnistan wrote:
Hyperbole noted, but of course this is bullshit. It was journalism which first broke the biggest #metoo stories.

Journalists themselves are not arbiters because journalistic ethics are not arbitrary standards. Journalism is an aggregate positive because its standards, when properly and professionally applied, are conducive to most accurately convey truth, and truth is essential to any social movement worth its salt. And by any measure, no one is asking the masses to accept as truth everything that's presented to them by somone in the news. Citizens should also have a basic understanding of journalistic ethics (and media literacy skills more generally) in order to think for themselves, and no one is asking anyone to wait for CNN's approval before getting politically active in any capacity.
I don't really understand where you're disagreeing with me here. I didn't argue that journalists were arbiters because journalistic ethics are arbitrary. On the contrary, I was implying that people SHOULD "follow the journalism", and the problem was BOTH that there were shitty journalists AND that some of the masses failed to exercise prudence.

Jinnistan wrote:
Again, I don't find the distinction here to be very relevant. The fact that #metoo is fundamentally justified by the sheer demonstrable fact of historic abuse should not be in contention by anyone. That the movement is justified "at inception" does not preclude the potential for unintended consequences or more intentional corruption. History is littered with examples of hi-jacked justified causes turning into vehicles of abuse and/or complacency. Why should any aberrant permutations which arise render the incept cause null and void?

On the "broader diagnosis of a social malady", I happen to agree. In fact, one of my frustrations with #metoo is the lack of focus on everyday kinds of discrimination. There's countless issues - landlords, police, health insurance - where existing abuse continues without much coverage. Not that these "exceed the criminal justice system", as there are legislative fixes to consider, but in order to consider them, the public imagination needs to reorient away from viewing #metoo as an exclusive problem among entertainers and politicians.
The point I was making is the same point I make above: unintended consequences and corruption have nothing to do with the movement writ large. To not clarify this explicitly in every context is to speak improperly. As to your point in the latter part, there are many, many, many places where #metoo can and should make changes that will not have any relationship to "the criminal justice system" and should not have any relationship to the criminal justice system and yet do involve some sort of "extrajudicial punishment" - and this is good. Consider someone who belittles an acquaintance's assertion that she was harassed. This was often acceptable and even standard, and it should not be addressed by the criminal justice system, but the hope of the #metoo movement is that everyone around the person who belittled the woman will shame him and he will feel the proper punishment owed for his normative violation.

Jinnistan wrote:
As with "frontier justice", I don't see how losing control of a mass movement is supposed to be some kind of positive development. I think that in order to be effective, the movement should have a more concentrated focus. We've already seen examples of trolls attempting to sully the movement by appropriating its outrage - James O'Keefe, Mike Cernovich, "Surefire Intelligence". These may be "minority" incidents, but they're also omens. Maybe we should keep our hands on the wheel of the movement so someone with less pure intentions doesn't run it into a ditch.
The point is that there's not a possibility to control it, so it doesn't matter whether it's good or not. You have a choice - justice or extrajudicial. Clearly judicial was not sufficient. It is absolutely that binary: Either you have a single instrument designated with the power to change or you have "the masses", and the fundamental failings of each. The fact that trolls have agency inside a mass movement that they would not inside a judicial setting. This is a fundamental failing of a mass movement, but it doesn't make sense to criticize it in the same way it doesn't make sense to criticize the criminal justice system for allowing guilty people to go free due to a lack of evidence in order to prevent innocent people from being convicted. It is a fundamental failing that you accept from the outset. The #metoo movement was necessary because the justice system was insufficient. They're not so different, after all: Even in a perfect world, both the courts and the masses might "punish" an innocent man and might not punish a guilty man due to lack of evidence. What about the perfect world where someone releases information about a guilty man that isn't sufficient for everyone to condemn him, and they all magically exercise perfect prudence and don't shame him and ruin his life? It's the same problem. It's just that this is far less likely to happen than in the courts (not possible), but it's also far more likely to take down someone powerful through a mass movement than it is through the courts. Each have their pros and cons, and they are fundamental.

Jinnistan wrote:
This paradox is a good example of the kind of simple proscriptions I mentioned. It's a simple binary choice between never moving or going too far - "obviously nonsensical" as you say. We shouldn't view #metoo in such either/or language, and we should also recognize the social responsibility for navigating our movements.
As far as the fundamental failings of a mass movement are concerned, it certainly is binary:

The fact that there are trolls is not a fault of the movement, but a fundamental failing of all mass movements.
The trolls are an issue to be addressed with the actions of a mass movement, but not a failing of the movement itself.

In this way, the binary good/bad makes it very, very easy to figure out that you don't have to throw out the movement because of certain bad actors. This is helpful, because this lack of a binary way of thinking is what is muddying the water for the original poster.
Jinnistan wrote:
No, it's not, but it's important to recognize what it is a failing of. It is a failing of some of the worst tendncies of social media more generally, of the impulsive rush to judgment and shaming and the pervasiveness of clickbait and call-out culture. It isn't that many men don't deserve to be called out, it's that the calling out has become an extention of the entertainment, where the outrage is directly proportional to the celebrity of the head being cut. And this impulsive tendency, which we've learned over the last couple of years is a designed feature of social media, is not limited to men and #metoo, and there's a long line of women who have been similarly impulsively shamed online. Social media is the most frequently cited impetus for the spike in teenage suicides since 2009, most dramatically among girls.

And again, making this distinction in no way should diminish the very real validity of the #metoo mission. Men can be, must be, better. All of us being better online is another issue but hopefully we can chew gum and pat our heads at the same time.
All of these things you say in this part above I agree with, and I think the OP should realize this, and realize it in a very binary way: These things simply aren't corrosive to the movement. It's that binary. The non-binary part is more complicated, but the simple truth is the most important.

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Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:47 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
II. the actions

1.) Social media posts (the start, after all)
2.) Workplace changes
3.) Conversations
4.) Journalism
5.) Legal changes

This is a strange lineage. It makes "journalism" an afterthought, I would imagine that "conversations" would be most appropriately applied before workplace changes. These would not be how I would prioritize this succession of social change.

LEAVES wrote:
Considering the case of the Ansari article, we're talking about a piece of bad journalism by a muckraker and then a sizable but certainly not majority of random anonymous people who don't really understand the principles in question and rushed to condemn. Looking at it in such a stratified way, it's clear that such an article has nothing to do with the movement, it represents only one small part of the whole actions taken in response to or as a result of the movement, and it involved only a relatively small number of people. Taken like this, it's difficult to see why anyone would even mention it. However, it is ALWAYS mentioned, just as it was in the initial post. This is a problem, and I think it's due to people not having a clear understanding of what "the #metoo movement" even is.

As I said, the movement will need to be vigilantly pruned of those branches which are irrelevant to it. That the article was a bad piece of journalism doesn't excuse the fact that it was promoted as such, initially discussed in that context, and this is clearly why many people associate it with the movement. In fact, those of us at the time who attempted to make the distinction between Ansari's issues and the movement were called part of the problem by some, another manifestation of the shaming machine of social media.

LEAVES wrote:
Given the law, that is how the social contract expects people to be "punished" for sexual harassment - extrajudicially via negative employment and social impacts. This is not a bad thing. I would argue that extrajudicial forces are more impactful on limiting bad behavior than judicial ones. Case in point: Compare an internet troll to their behavior in real life.

I disagree. I'm not sure that the emergence of troll culture is something anyone would proudly use to make this point.

LEAVES wrote:
Most of this "policing" will be done through employers' fear of negative PR and through individuals' fear of loss of reputation and shame. This isn't a bad thing, but it's certainly extrajudicial.

It certainly can be a bad thing. An example would be James Gunn who lost his lucrative directing job due to such a reflexive reaction to a nonsensical rehash of a stupid tweet from nearly a decade prior. I'm not convinced that placing our faith in collective corporate spinal integrity is the best way to go here.

LEAVES wrote:
I have much greater affinity for certain common forms of "extrajudicial punishment" than you seem to imply in your post

I see that, as well as a greater affinity for "social media justice" than I have. More importantly, I think, is that I have a much greater affinity for the "standards of justice", which you frequently describe as something static and impenatrable (ie, "I highly doubt that anything will change in that regard"). It makes sense that legal solutions rank even below journalism (with its exact 0% historical track record) on your list above. What's missing is the sense that these standards of justice happen to be plastic (however slow) and do not stand separately from social, or normative, changes. #Time'sUp, more than #metoo, is specifically addressing the necessary legal changes behind the workplace abuse of women. Title IX issues on campus remains a fertile avenue for codifying these changes beyond normative presumptions. I guess I simply take solace in more practical work.

LEAVES wrote:
Shaming individuals - Cannot comport with the standards of justice because there is no central authority; I'm ambivalent on whether these should comport with the standards of justice. On the one hand, normative punishments are necessary and good, even if they're certainly not up to the standards of justice. Secondly, indirect influence on others who see the shame is a good thing. Sending a torrent of public shame at an individual is troubling, for sure, though. In this case, though, specifically shaming a person is an explicit violation of the standards of justice (where the judicial system levies punishments, not "the mob") and yet society does not function without normative influences of which shame is an important one. Difficult to answer whether this sort of behavior should be in line with judicial standards.

And I think you have far more affinity for shaming than I do as well. It isn't as if we don't have examples of this kind of thing going wrong (there's that teenage suicide rate, for example). The problem is that shaming, for some (more than we're probably willing to admit), has become a sport in itself. Especially in context of #metoo, the overriding normative influence, one expects, should be a greater emphasis on empathy, which is all too often absent in a really good public shaming. The problem with these "normative violations" is inherent in what we want to consider normal. As you pointed out, people have been traditionally shamed for things like their sexuality, ethnicity, their tastes in food and drug. I, myself, have been accused of being a rape apologist for not burning my copy of Last Tango in Paris or my Polanski collection. Normative regulations really only work when you're in control of the norms, but luckily principles like freedom of speech have allowed historically unpopular voices to endure through eras of normative oppression.

LEAVES wrote:
If it's fine, what about the Ansari case?

I already said that I'm not worried about Ansari. I don't think that his Pepe La Pew moves should necessarily prohibit him from working ever again. The main problem with Aziz is that he had built his brand on being a woke, sensitive ally, so the damage between his established audience and his credibility is something he's going to have to overcome.

LEAVES wrote:
The point I was making is the same point I make above: unintended consequences and corruption have nothing to do with the movement writ large.

But there are those who would very much like to have something to do with the movement writ large, and that's the problem, and a problem worth seriously considering. This is not a hypothetical at this point. We've seen the efforts by those who would wish to derail #metoo by capitalizing on any examples of extremism or overreach, by associating the movement with misandry (as they have characterized the Gillette ad). This process is already in place, so, as I've been saying since the outset, the movement needs to be careful to keep it defined and focused. I hope someone is in charge here, because the siege is happening.

LEAVES wrote:
As to your point in the latter part, there are many, many, many places where #metoo can and should make changes that will not have any relationship to "the criminal justice system" and should not have any relationship to the criminal justice system and yet do involve some sort of "extrajudicial punishment" - and this is good.

That wasn't my point at all. Regarding my examples - landlords, police, health care - I absolutely do want criminal justice changes to reflect these problems.

LEAVES wrote:
he will feel the proper punishment owed for his normative violation.

I can't wait to get normative violation notifications on my phone :/

LEAVES wrote:
You have a choice - justice or extrajudicial. Clearly judicial was not sufficient. It is absolutely that binary: Either you have a single instrument designated with the power to change or you have "the masses", and the fundamental failings of each. The fact that trolls have agency inside a mass movement that they would not inside a judicial setting. This is a fundamental failing of a mass movement, but it doesn't make sense to criticize it in the same way it doesn't make sense to criticize the criminal justice system for allowing guilty people to go free due to a lack of evidence in order to prevent innocent people from being convicted. It is a fundamental failing that you accept from the outset. The #metoo movement was necessary because the justice system was insufficient.

This is the crux of our difference: I reject both the choice and the binary. I also completely disagree with your perspective of the justice system. The judicial system, like every other human system, is an evolving reflection of society. I don't recognize this hard separation between these two modes of changes. Society (slowly) changes, and the justice code changes to accomodate it. This is collaborative, not competitive. The justice system is far more sufficient to address sexual harassment today than it was 40 years ago, and, with applied social instigation, it will be more sufficient 40 years from now. The justice system, simply, is as much of a social responsibility as extrajudicial norms. It also ignores all of the other aggregate insufficiencies - but most especially in the corporate media industry - which has been most complicit in obscuring this abuse from public sunlight. Powerful people will corrupt the legal system, the media narrative, and the instruments of social coersion as easily as some trolls will try to corrupt #metoo. The choice is a moral one, not an institutional one.

LEAVES wrote:
This is helpful, because this lack of a binary way of thinking is what is muddying the water for the original poster.

Frankly, I doubt it. I think that such muddying is much more deliberate than a mere misunderstanding.


Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:46 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
This is a strange lineage. It makes "journalism" an afterthought, I would imagine that "conversations" would be most appropriately applied before workplace changes. These would not be how I would prioritize this succession of social change.
It wasn't really ranked in any way, just a list.

Jinnistan wrote:
As I said, the movement will need to be vigilantly pruned of those branches which are irrelevant to it. That the article was a bad piece of journalism doesn't excuse the fact that it was promoted as such, initially discussed in that context, and this is clearly why many people associate it with the movement. In fact, those of us at the time who attempted to make the distinction between Ansari's issues and the movement were called part of the problem by some, another manifestation of the shaming machine of social media.
You see the Ansari thing as damaging to the movement, it seems. I see it as damaging to the perception of the movement due to a misperception of how movements inherently function. The effect is the same, but if people conceptualized how movements inherently work more coherently then I don't think the "pruning" would be as important because "poorly pruned" actors wouldn't be as damaging to begin with - and they shouldn't, because they're clearly not the best apples on the tree.

Jinnistan wrote:
I disagree. I'm not sure that the emergence of troll culture is something anyone would proudly use to make this point.
People behave differently on the internet than in real life because the normative forces that govern their behavior are not present on the internet. It makes the point of the power of normative forces in the real world quite clearly.

Jinnistan wrote:
It certainly can be a bad thing. An example would be James Gunn who lost his lucrative directing job due to such a reflexive reaction to a nonsensical rehash of a stupid tweet from nearly a decade prior. I'm not convinced that placing our faith in collective corporate spinal integrity is the best way to go here.
I mentioned that "extrajudicial punishment" via shaming has bad things, like "punishing" gay or ugly people. However, that's largely because of a societal rot, not because of movements. In fact, movements are the only way to fix that sort of thing. Plus, it's not like you can get rid of that sort of behavior. It's the most basic building block of society. It's like complaining that the sun is hot. So, sure, "It certainly can be a bad thing", but I would say that it's certainly not a bad thing because of the #metoo movement. Plus, corporations are distinct from both justice and from norms. Even if the great majority of people understand that blue humor is meant to be offensive and doesn't make a person awful, Disney's brand is childrens' entertainment and thus their PR "pruning" goes far, far, far beyond the realms of "typical good taste" and into "inoffensive to all parents". It's weird, and not indicative of the larger society. Really, it's just the most extreme example of an issue that's not that big of an issue - and certainly, certainly, certainly better than it was 75 years ago when you couldn't show two married people in bed together. Now you can show all kinds of sex and violence and have all kinds of humor in most places, but sometimes some company will shy away from some bad PR over blue humor. Comedy Central came under immense pressure over some of Trevor Noah's tweets, and now less than 5 years later he's the god damn moral arbiter of the left in a way that John Stewart never even approached. Sometimes the world is just weird, and Disney is always 10 steps weirder. I wouldn't read too much into that.

Jinnistan wrote:
I see that, as well as a greater affinity for "social media justice" than I have. More importantly, I think, is that I have a much greater affinity for the "standards of justice", which you frequently describe as something static and impenatrable (ie, "I highly doubt that anything will change in that regard"). It makes sense that legal solutions rank even below journalism (with its exact 0% historical track record) on your list above. What's missing is the sense that these standards of justice happen to be plastic (however slow) and do not stand separately from social, or normative, changes. #Time'sUp, more than #metoo, is specifically addressing the necessary legal changes behind the workplace abuse of women. Title IX issues on campus remains a fertile avenue for codifying these changes beyond normative presumptions. I guess I simply take solace in more practical work.
"Social media justice" is great in some areas and not others. In politics I think it's been a revelation and allowed people to impact policy in ways that immense protests never were able. In parts of the #metoo movement it's certainly helped move things along much faster. In general, though, I think it's problematic as you do.

As for "ranking" of "standards of justice", like I said I didn't really do that, and the debate over the relative importance in general and specifically in the case of #metoo of journalism vs. mass movement vs. halls of justice isn't something I've engaged in. It's sort of interesting, but not something i think is vital to the conversation. To say one thing on that, I think the most important thing about #metoo is stopping rape and sexual violence. I think social change is going to be a bigger deterrent than legal chances on that front. It is certainly true that rampant sexual harassment in the workplace can have widespread effects on society both through trauma and through deterring victims from continuing their employment, and #timesup is thus vitally important, but I think the awareness which was the most pressing goal of the initial #metoo posts is in fact the most important part. In that, the journalism is often only an indirect aid. For instance: Weinstein was a direct target, and it directly showed how many women he impacted and thus indirectly showed how society can function in such a way to cover up for someone and how one person could do damage to so many people and how so many women were silenced through various means and thus how much power played into things... but #metoo is a story about all of those indirect things, and the journalism is most typically about the individual.

Jinnistan wrote:
And I think you have far more affinity for shaming than I do as well. It isn't as if we don't have examples of this kind of thing going wrong (there's that teenage suicide rate, for example). The problem is that shaming, for some (more than we're probably willing to admit), has become a sport in itself. Especially in context of #metoo, the overriding normative influence, one expects, should be a greater emphasis on empathy, which is all too often absent in a really good public shaming. The problem with these "normative violations" is inherent in what we want to consider normal. As you pointed out, people have been traditionally shamed for things like their sexuality, ethnicity, their tastes in food and drug. I, myself, have been accused of being a rape apologist for not burning my copy of Last Tango in Paris or my Polanski collection. Normative regulations really only work when you're in control of the norms, but luckily principles like freedom of speech have allowed historically unpopular voices to endure through eras of normative oppression.
I probably didn't emphasize the issues with normative regulations enough, and we're probably not as far apart as it may seem. However, I think you're downplaying the fact that #metoo is mostly increasing the good that normative regulation is doing by eliminating both the stigma against women who have been victimized and further eliminating the acceptance of victimizers. We've seen a huge sea change in how normative forces affect gay people in this country, as well. Normative forces are only as good as the society they exist in, and mass movements that are good at their core are both aided by normative forces and serve to improve the good done by normative forces. Since normative forces are unavoidable it doesn't do much good to complain about their negative effects. The only way to change them is through mass movements or slow, slow social change.

Jinnistan wrote:
But there are those who would very much like to have something to do with the movement writ large, and that's the problem, and a problem worth seriously considering. This is not a hypothetical at this point. We've seen the efforts by those who would wish to derail #metoo by capitalizing on any examples of extremism or overreach, by associating the movement with misandry (as they have characterized the Gillette ad). This process is already in place, so, as I've been saying since the outset, the movement needs to be careful to keep it defined and focused. I hope someone is in charge here, because the siege is happening.
I think the better solution is to change the conversation from an endless string of "pruning" to actually talking about the fundamental issues, because the pruning is a red herring. FOX News' main tactic is to make the pruning seem like the core issue. See: "BUT HER EMAILS!" Sure, Hillary was overwhelmingly more qualified and more trustworthy and more decent than Trump, but they were able to sell the false equivalency because the Democrats were willing to fight against the email claims as if they were as important as the innumerable issues Trump had instead of pointing out the core point: Trump is rotten to the core, Hillary's emails are a non-issue.

Jinnistan wrote:
This is the crux of our difference: I reject both the choice and the binary. I also completely disagree with your perspective of the justice system. The judicial system, like every other human system, is an evolving reflection of society. I don't recognize this hard separation between these two modes of changes. Society (slowly) changes, and the justice code changes to accomodate it. This is collaborative, not competitive. The justice system is far more sufficient to address sexual harassment today than it was 40 years ago, and, with applied social instigation, it will be more sufficient 40 years from now. The justice system, simply, is as much of a social responsibility as extrajudicial norms. It also ignores all of the other aggregate insufficiencies - but most especially in the corporate media industry - which has been most complicit in obscuring this abuse from public sunlight. Powerful people will corrupt the legal system, the media narrative, and the instruments of social coersion as easily as some trolls will try to corrupt #metoo. The choice is a moral one, not an institutional one.

Frankly, I doubt it. I think that such muddying is much more deliberate than a mere misunderstanding.
I think these are the seeds of an immense conversation that would take book-length posts to flesh out, and I'm not sure that we would shake out too far apart in the end.

However, I certainly think that the initial post is not best fought by pruning. That much I'm certain of.

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Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:26 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The funny thing is that this happens to be exactly what the Gillette commercial is about: Men can be better.

Those dudes who are upset with the ad because they think it implicates and attacks all masculinity either didn't bother to watch the whole thing, probably zoning out somewhere around the grill sequence, or perhaps suffer from some cognitive inhibition likely caused by a toxic cocktail of energy drink and body wash abuse.

I haven't seen the Gillette ad. Is it a good witch or a bad witch?


Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:01 am
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My thing with the Gillette ad is, are we really gonna endorse that kind of pandering, didactic sympathy play from corporations? Especially a corporation as suspect as Proctor & Gamble, which has been convicted of price fixing and accused of employing forced child labor?

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Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:26 am
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Wooley wrote:
I haven't seen the Gillette ad. Is it a good witch or a bad witch?

Macrology wrote:
My thing with the Gillette ad is, are we really gonna endorse that kind of pandering, didactic sympathy play from corporations? Especially a corporation as suspect as Proctor & Gamble, which has been convicted of price fixing and accused of employing forced child labor?

Right. The problem with it is in following a trend of socially pretentious corporate ads which combine the need to shop for jeans, cars and soda with dewy-eyed pseudo-Malick remembrances of national essence and swollen-throated significance. I guess we can trace this all the way back to Coke teaching the world to sing, but it's gotten really obnoxious as Gen Z has gotten some disposable income.


Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:40 am
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