Usually on Fridays I try to keep it fun, but I think this is a critical topic.
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress who isn’t fully on board with the #metoo movement and I don’t blame her. I actually agree with many of the points in this article.
In my mind, #metoo is supposed to be about actual assault, not someone clumsily showing interest in another.
In the old days, a kiss might go down like this:
- One of you pays the other a compliment.
- One steps closer.
- The other either also moves closer or away to indicate their interest.
- If they moved closer too, repeat until you’re kissing.
- If they didn’t move closer, stop.
Of course, some things are just plain wrong to do. We all know rape is wrong. There are smaller things that are also not acceptable such as putting your hand on a woman’s thigh when you’re not dating, just met, and they’re a classmate or colleague for example. Thighs are near the genitals, so it’s obvious to most people that it’s not a place you should be touching a stranger. And if they’re not a stranger, but they asked you to stop, they shouldn’t need to ask a second time.
I had a teacher explain to us back in grade 8 that the best place to touch someone to get their attention without being intrusive is on the upper arm. Just be careful not to slip and touch somewhere you shouldn’t. This is what I use when I notice I’m walking behind a classmate or friend usually and they didn’t see me.
Some people really hate hugs or being touched, so they would prefer to be asked first, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Jumping to calling something sexual assault is a problem though.
I can see why so many men are drawn to things like Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) rather than bothering to date at all. I can also understand why male doctors will have a nurse in the room during a pap smear or outsource the procedure altogether. I’ve heard some business execs will meet with more than one person at a time in the room or often leave the door open to protect themselves. And it’s sadly necessary because the world no longer waits to find out if they really are guilty before destroying their lives.
How did we get to this extremist point where showing interest is akin to assault? Where accusation is the sentence? I think we only need to look at the other areas in Western society where extremism has taken hold.
While studying for my Film and Media in Canada exam, I learned that there was another period in the 70s very much like we are seeing today. We may actually be going through a normal period of societal growth and things will calm down soon. At least I hope so.
It’s worth to note that there are a lot of people who get the difference between assault and clumsy flirting. I think more of us should speak out to counterbalance the ones who don’t. This isn’t decrying the movement, but helping the movement define healthy boundaries. Maybe we need a hashtag like #bereasonable or something. Dating is confusing enough on its own and we shouldn’t add more layers of difficulty unless they’re absolutely necessary.
And that’s how it flows today.