Resistance to changes brought about by the #MeToo movement by a particular type of Man has left subsets of that Man to either A) turn to the violent incel movement or B) claim they are now “afraid” to interact or flirt with women.
The former, while disturbing beyond words, is less common while the latter is uncomfortably mainstream. Consider Superman actor Henry Cavill’s statement about being afraid to date in the wake of #MeToo for fear of being “called a rapist,” or the recent finding that nearly half of male managers are “uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman.”
It’s become such a “normal” thing for men to joke about their inability to interact with members of the opposite sex (pro tip: don’t be a f*cking creep!) that even male supporters of #MeToo—the supposedly woke among them—make jokes about the “grey area” between what is “inappropriate” behavior and what isn’t.
Comedian Amy Schumer is not here for it. She penned a response detailing the harm in making light of #MeToo and shared it to her Twitter early Wednesday.
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) September 19, 2018
Schumer wrote, in full:
“Any dude saying ‘I’m scared to be in a room with a woman now’ or ‘is it ok to say hello? I don’t know the new rules’ STOP.
What you are doing is belittling victims who have been wronged. They say 1 in 6 women in our country are sexually assaulted. That’s based on who reports it. It’s been proven to be closer to 1 in 3. Your sisters/daughters
Stop making fun of the terror and indignity most of us have faced in our lives. Again RBG quotes Sarah Grimke, ‘I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.’
If you’re confused about the new rules. Just ask and don’t make it a joke. Because that’s harmful and we don’t want to hear that kind of joke right now. Mmmmmkay?”
Responses to Schumer elaborated on her point; mainly, that common decency and courtesy and kindness as virtues have not moved or changed—they are just pulled into the spotlight again.
It is refreshing to see how many men are on board, though still distressing to read the many hateful comments on the comedian’s post—none of which I’ll share here. No use giving a voice to victim-blamers and misogynists.
The most important thing the latter group can do is participate in the kinds of dialogues that shed insight on the meaning and importance of the movement. Her skills as comedian aside, at least that much, Schumer has done.