The #MeToo movement as overdone political Correctness

Perhaps people who work to be on the right side of the truth sometimes just let themselves go off the rails. That could account for a fairly vile op-ed that appeared in the NYT yesterday.

I wrote a response which the Times did print. They also told me how to send off as a more formal letter to the editor. Here is that version:

Merkin’s op-ed piece:

Dear Editor,
The appearance of this article is puzzling. On Dec 29th, an article in the NYTimes held that “sexual harassment has been endemic in blue-collar workplaces from the moment that women entered them and continues to this day, according to interviews with more than a dozen employment lawyers, academics and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission workers, as well as dozens of women who described such incidents.” Yet, without any research beyond discussions in supermarket lines, Merkin maintains that those of us not at the Golden Globes think the #MeToo movement is just political correctness that’s gotten out of hand. What happened?
Clearly, Merkin and her sources are not blue-collar workers. This perhaps makes it even more likely that they’ve had the training – which comes from all angles in our society – that women are supposed to please men, as a slightly older op-ed piece claimed.
She says, “The women I know — of all ages — have responded by and large with a mixture of slightly horrified excitement (bordering on titillation) as to who will be the next man accused and overt disbelief.” The women I know have very different perspectives. To see some of them, try or

Anne Jacobson
Houston, Texas, & Oxford, England.

The author is a senior research fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.

7 thoughts on “The #MeToo movement as overdone political Correctness

  1. Thanks for responding to a very objectionable piece, albeit clothed in one or two items of apparent reasonableness. It’s difficult to know whether the author has been naïve or artful.

  2. Thanks Anne!! My experience with women too is that we respond as if we have suddenly been allowed to breathe freely. Sure it’s exciting to see the truth continue to unfold, but titillating it is not. Those who find it titillating must think (if unconsciously) that women are properly sexual toys for men.

  3. Ye gad, prolly should’ve spelled out the thoughts for them when you had the chance- no one needing the education will click onto this site, nor the other. Apparently, we should all just wait for shoes to drop and be tittilated.

  4. Anne, I think the reference is to tittilating in a sense similar to that of gossip, with attention particularly on a caught or accused abuser. That’s what sells- that’s what several levels of ‘they’ want.

    As another mentioned, there seems to be a kind of relief, feeling, too- I’ve seen what seems like both, but that’s the one that seizes me a little to see. It’s mixed with a sense of both immediacy and inevitability that I didn’t know was there. A few times, I’ve felt like having a bit more time might’ve ended up in with catharsis, or grief.

    I disagree with those who see this as a blip. I’m not sanguine, and we’re still hiding our friends and family, who arguably do the bulk of it. But we are turning a corner on both seeing opportunities to fight, and ending the opportunity to think it’s actually going to work out for them. These are our precious rich going down, after all, anything can happen..

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