I love the fact that we live in an ever more transparent world where issues like sexual abuse and harassment which have been hidden for so long are now being brought out into the open.
Yet there are things that I dislike about the #MeToo movement also.
First of all it’s political. I have a deep hatred of anything political. Politics is about getting agreement from people in order to get power. A successful politician is someone that packages up a bundle of what you want, to sell you on him getting what he wants.
Politics Is Based On Lies
An honest politician would fail because the truth is that the real issue is not a problem of politician’s incompetence or even corruption, but because what their role is, is to conspire with us in our basic dishonesty.
The truth is we want what is unobtainable.
We want more money spent on education. More money spent on health. More money funding the police and all the other things.
Yet we’re not willing to pay for it.
Our political system continues to exist because it provides enough political bullshit to cover up our unwillingness to make the tough decision, of what we actually want from and are willing to give to society.
Politics is driven by different interests and pressure groups. How much attention and political power a group has is determined by the number of voters and/or money the group can bring a politician.
The problem that creates #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter is that every political system brings winners and losers. These become powerful and so their constituents win, but this means by the nature of politics that someone else loses.
Politics is nothing more than society dressing up the fact that it’s voting for our personal self-interest with a lot of fancy intellectual ideas to make it seem less selfish.
It is also the arrogance of believing despite every evidence across all cultures that we could possibly know what is best. Yet even just a momentary glance at the history of human societies has shown that we never know enough about the ecological consequences of our decisions to societies, groups and individuals to plan in the way that every political movement promises it can.
And so our reactions now are creating the future problems of society. Tomorrow’s wars and terrorists will be bred from the injustices we create with our plan today.
Let’s Be Honest
I’m a white heterosexual man in a first world country. I have heard this makes me unable to comment, which is utterly ridiculous. By most measures I have had every privilege going. I know where that came from.
I come from a country that has historically raped and pillaged half the globe to get rich.
I come from a gender that has subjugated and demeaned women.
I come from a sexuality that has made it shameful and even criminal to be different.
But do the sins of my father make me guilty?
Does that make my voice less worthy than someone who by an equal accident of birth was born into a life of disadvantage?
The pressure and use of shame to suggest that someone not born into a certain situation cannot understand or empathise is just another manipulative kind of abuse of power. I’m all for having an honest conversation, but a conversation is a two way communication.
Or the perception of power. Because the honest truth is that politics really isn’t what drives change or society. Politics likes to give us the perception of Saviours and Villains.
We can sit and intellectually debate political ideals from our cerebral cortex. But what really makes us get up and act is when the fear of losing our job or a loved one from a disease reaches our reptilian brain.
The Future Is Made By Our Individual Choices
What drives our society is the amalgamation of what is in the heart of each of us individually.
Huge businesses will fail tomorrow because we stop buying their products. Tiny ones will become the new giants because they give us what we crave.
Social movements thrive or fail because of how accurately they speak to our hopes and fears.
It is not politicians planning that changes society, it is us with our mini decisions every day that determine the future we’ll all live.
And the reality is that #metoo and #blacklivesmatter are social media fads that affect only those people interested in politics.
Not because there isn’t injustice and unfairness, but because Joe and Jane are busy with the details of their lives and aren’t even aware of the hand-wringing debates going on in intellectual circles.
Yet there persists the idea that politics is the way to solve our political problems.
Much of this is down to the fact that politics enables us to hide from actually confronting our issues. By intellectualising an issue, we make it abstract and so less personal and so we can avoid dealing with it. In much the same way as we talk about diets instead of just stopping eating the shit we pour into our mouths.
Secondly, it gives us an excuse. Both to the perpetrator and the victim.
Shitty, disgusting things have been done.
But they’re done by individuals.
If you groped your secretary because you knew you could get away with it, you’re a scumbag. You know it!
The idea that men might have been unaware is bullshit. If you have to re-examine your behaviour because sexual harassment doesn’t stay hidden anymore, there’s a big red flag that you haven’t really changed. You’re just moderating your behaviour in order to avoid negative consequences.
But not every claim of disadvantage is true either. Sometimes there are other factors that an individual doesn’t want to acknowledge, but are the truth.
People don’t operate by rules. People operate from how they feel. They fit the rules to what they feel.
My second main reason that I don’t like movements like #MeToo is that it makes people feel disadvantaged.
Yes I know if someone has been prejudiced, harassed or abused they have been a victim in a world where people didn’t listen.
And that is a terrible wrong.
Yet what determines our experience is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us.
To have been a victim of any political system is wrong.
However, there is something that’s worse…
And that is to have been the beneficiary of a political system.
Because what matters in our life isn’t riches, fame or OBEs.
What really matters is have we been a good person?
Other people judge us by our looks, clothes and things.
Deep down though, when we look at ourselves we judge ourselves by how good a person we have been.
The victim of assault is damaged by a sense of guilt and violation.
Yet how much greater is the sense of shame and emptiness when perpetrators have to look in the mirror.
Right now, we are facing an epidemic of suicide and emotional health issues for men.
This is because the biggest problem with the patriarchal system is not male advantage, but the illusion of thinking that power and acquisition lead to happiness.
It’s not power and things that make us happy, but purpose and contribution. We don’t feel good by bossing others around for a sense of importance, but by co-operating for a sense of belonging.
The Problem Of Men
Men are struggling emotionally today because we’ve been spoilt brats for the last few centuries. It is only in adversity that we grow and develop emotionally. Men have been underdeveloped emotionally and spiritually. Taking what we wanted and justifying it intellectually. Yet it hasn’t made us happier.
Because nothing will ever replace the knowledge that you have done the right thing.
Especially in the face of temptation and adversity. The realisation that we’ve had the advantage and we’re still not happy is at the root of men’s emotional health crisis.
Self esteem is low because men either know what entitled shits they’re being or they’re confused why having everything still doesn’t satisfy the aching of their soul. And they have to face themselves in their mirror knowing the truth.
Every time they feel their lust is stronger than them. Every time they give way to their greed. Just like the dieter feels guilty for eating a cake. Magnified by how many times more serious a crime they committed was than eating a cake.
But that’s not to say every man is feeling shame on a daily basis.
Partly, because not all men take advantage of an unfair social system. There are many good men who radical movements try to castigate for no reason other than their own ends.
Others don’t feel shame because it is too frightening for them. And so they will ease their pain by intellectually justifying it. By busying themselves and never letting themselves examine it.
But underneath it’s still there. The pressure building up day by day. Like a volcano readying itself to explode.
Male depression and suicide is the result of not talking and opening up.
Shame is why they refuse to examine it too closely. They don’t want to look because they’re scared that they’re a bad person.
Transparency is great.
Politicising is bad.
Trying to gain an advantage is bad.
Co-operating for a better future is great.