The #MeToo Stories

Gotta say I was shocked to read some of the detail reported in the #MeToo posts I saw yesterday, by both women and a few men.  When you read phrases like “friend’s dad” and “hated the locker room” and “had to fight back,” I get a better sense for why my wife always looks for the closest parking spots at the grocery store. Some men are animals, and some of them apparently hunt in packs.

It’s been thirty years since I was out in circulation, but I never really understood what was interesting about attraction that was forced. The thrill of love, and sexuality, rests in mutuality. Of all the people in the world, this one wants you. Right? Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work?

I do think I know why our modern world is so full of misunderstanding and it has something to do with the way the mating dance is played.  Take a look at this dialogue from the television series Mr. Robot:

Our “liberated sexuality” doesn’t come with old world introductions anymore. Your dad doesn’t send his servant out to find a Rebecca by the well. You go and find the girl on your own, and when you do, it’s considered “lame” to ask. Most men don’t ask a woman to fill out a pre-relations consent form, even though some universities are beginning to ask for that. Among normal people, someone holds a hand and it either gets embraced, or it’s avoided. A man leans in for a kiss and it’s either accepted or rejected. I can see why women get so tired of men’s aggression. They are the gate keepers and they have to guard the garden non-stop–and, if this Amazon television series is any guide, any other course is clumsy and “lame.”

Obviously, the Harvey Weinsteins of the world actually appear to get off on being rejected, but I’m guessing reasonably decent men certainly will think twice about the “next time, don’t ask” advice. As an attorney friend once observed, it’s not harassment if it’s welcomed, and it is harassment if it’s not — but to “ask” is “lame.” How would any reasonably decent man thread that gauntlet?

Maybe we should go back to Father Abraham’s way of doing things?