#MeToo Is Turning Into a Witch-Hunt

Article here. Excerpt:

'Movements collapse when they become more interested in collecting heads than advancing their cause. Unfortunately, the very worthy #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse might have just reached that point.

Last week, #MeToo took down Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Henderson, the editorial page editor of the liberal Detroit Free Press (or Freep as it is called locally). Henderson was fired for "inappropriate behavior"—even though no women actively complained about it—that allegedly violated the newspaper's "zero tolerance policy." But if this standard—both too vague and too strict—is going to be religiously enforced on workplace interactions in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, few men—or, women, for that matter —will ever feel safe in their jobs.

Henderson is something of an icon in Michigan, where I live. He is a prolific writer and a popular media personality. I first became acquainted with him when I was a scribe at the Detroit News conservative editorial board in the mid-1990s and he on the liberal Freep board that he later headed. He also hosts Detroit Today for WDET, a local NPR affiliate, where he occasionally invites me to spar over ObamaCare and charter schools (on which we vehemently disagree) and discuss immigration reform and President Trump's draconian law-and-order agenda (on which we largely agree).
All of this suggests that the climate of censoriousness that #MeToo has generated spooked the Freep so much that it wanted to take no chances. But there is something quasi-totalitarian when a company starts going after employees for victimless behavior that has been retroactively branded as inappropriate. It might also end up targeting women who engage in "sexually themed" conversations—replacing the fear of sexual harassment with that of HR inquisitions.

Henderson's plight is the clearest case yet of #MeTooism run amok. Jenna Wortham wrote in The New York Times that she is unperturbed by the excesses of the movement because she wants "every single man to be put on notice" and "feel vulnerable" just the way women do. But a movement that thoughtlessly and reflexively throws decent men under the bus will discredit itself and hurt its ability to take down the real abusers. That's a pity, because a responsible reckoning to hold genuine monsters accountable is something that women do indeed need.'

179 users have voted.
I like this