What Is #MeToo Good For?

What is #MeToo good for?  It is good for some women and bad for most men – and devastating for social civility.  It has yielded a bonanza of public sympathy, legitimized anti-male aggression, and created an atmosphere of profitable grievance-mongering for the distaff wing of the gender divide while it has shamed and traumatized the wilting spear side.  Men are tout court guilty of "toxic masculinity," women are innocent victims without agency or choice, and there's an end of it.

Many years ago, I lost a much-needed job opportunity because I rejected the advances of the woman responsible for academic hiring.  One is free in many such compromising situations simply to walk away.  You don't get the job, which is unfortunate, but, unless one's very life is at stake, the moral option takes precedence over the pragmatic decision.  True, there are some offers you can't refuse, as Mario Puzo put it, but in the vast majority of cases, you can refuse most offers that come your way if you are willing to pay the price.

Equally to the point, I did not indulge in recrimination, feel sorry for myself, rail against an unfair world, or meditate launching a MeToo movement.  That's just how the real world operates, and, as they say, you suck it up and proceed to the next challenge.  This is why I never jumped on the anti-Harvey Weinstein bandwagon or sympathized with those poor actresses who felt compelled to visit his room in order to further their careers.  Walk away, take your chances, rely on your talent, and hope for a better opportunity in the future.  

Yet the allegations continue to pour in.  Patrick Brown, erstwhile leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, was recently accused of sexual misconduct by two women riding the MeToo wave.  They went not to the police, which would have been the proper course of action, but to the media.  Their stories, largely unverified, were aired by the CTV News network, which provoked Brown's near immediate resignation.

I was never fond of Brown, whose platform seemed a little to the left of current premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal agenda or, at any rate, pretty much identical, advocating a carbon tax and anti-Islamophobia legislation.  He struck me – and many others – as a Liberal wolf in Conservative clothing, and I am relieved he is no longer party leader.  Nevertheless, he was the victim of a MeToo campaign that pretty clearly had no basis in reality and has cost him dearly.  It also plunged the party, which was leading in the polls, into political disarray just months before the provincial election.  This is merely another instance of the damage the movement can cause.

Brown at least has the option, of which he has availed himself, of suing Bell Media and its CTV satellite for engaging in "false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory" reporting.  He will probably win.  His public profile and media savvy have given him a distinct advantage.  But a private citizen will have little or no such recourse available to clear his name – apart from the fact that the taint, however unfounded, always remains.

Consider the case of an Ottawa doctor, Vincent Nadon, recently charged with voyeurism and sexual assault.  His name is out there in local and national news and is now a topic of conversation.  According to the police report, a young woman claimed she had "reason to believe" that she was being secretly filmed during a medical consultation.  Dr. Nadon was initially jailed, subsequently placed under house arrest, and later won bail under some bizarre conditions, including being prevented from using recording devices, accessing the internet, or communicating with his patients.  Ten more female patients dating back to 1995 have since the first report come forward with similar allegations.  As of this writing, the allegations have not been tested in court.  It is too soon to pronounce one way or another.  Yet several disquieting issues remain unaddressed.

  • The complainant claims, according to news reports, that she was secretly videoed.  If the occurrence took place secretly, how then could she have known?
  • Where is the videotape, assuming it exists?  A presumably intelligent professional would not have been so negligent as to store the incriminating evidence on his office computer.
  • Moreover, if a video does exist, may it not have been made in self-defense?  I understand that this and other protective maneuvers are becoming common practice among professionals, academics, and business men who find themselves alone in a room with a woman.
  • In some accounts, the women are described as "victims," yet nothing has been proven.  The term is obviously used in anticipation of a guilty verdict in conformity with the so-called "social justice" agenda, for which due process is obsolete.
  • Is not the sudden emergence of a posse of claimants not in itself suspicious, especially as none of the plaintiffs saw fit to come forward in the previous months and years?  Collusion or contagion in such instances is not unheard of, as the infamous Ghomeshi trial clearly revealed.
  • A patient lodges her grievance a full 23 years after the event allegedly took place.  This does not compute.
  • Patients claim they were sexually touched.  Some have said they were touched "inappropriately."  What exactly does this mean?  The accused happens to be a doctor.  Physicians have the freedom of examining your body if they are to perform their duties.  If a woman were offended, she could have gotten up and left or demanded a female doctor.  She could have signaled her distress, which would have been immediately heard in the busy medical clinic and crowded halls.

After diligent searching and to the best of my knowledge, I find that no evidence to substantiate the allegations has surfaced, yet Dr. Nadon has effectively been convicted and punished before standing trial.  Although it is too late to do anything about this now, the doctor's name and photo should not have been circulated publicly until the case had actually gone to court.  A strict publication ban should have been in place.  Pro forma, the accusers' names and photos were not made public, as they rarely are in assault cases.  Even if the allegations are false or without substance, the plaintiffs will likely not be charged with willful mischief or obstruction of justice, but the doctor's reputation is ruined, and his ability to earn his livelihood has been stolen from him.

As it happens, my wife was a patient of Dr. Nadon for over ten years.  Her only complaint was that the large volume of his patients tended to reduce consultation time, but she found his conduct always discreet and professional.  A great number of his patients feel exactly the same way and have rated his abilities at the top of the chart.  They are grateful to have been treated by him.  This does not mean he is innocent of the charges against him, but it does suggest that the rush to judgment is both premature and injudicious.

The damage is already done.  This is a textbook example of the perverted form of justice – Queen of Hearts-style – practiced by social justice advocates and feminist activists: sentence before verdict when it comes to men.  Dr. Nadon's case is an illustration in little of how jurisprudence now tends to work.

The principle of burden of proof is slowly but inexorably going out the window.  It is being replaced by what is called "preponderance of evidence," which means simply what the judge or adjudicator feels is the more credible story.  And the more credible story always seems to be the woman's, no matter how often such narratives are inherently absurd or contradictory and are later shown to be flimsy and unreliable, and in some cases even retracted.

No matter.  In the current climate of toxic feminism and social justice tribunals, the bedrock principle of impartial judgment based on concrete evidence no longer applies.  What we are now witnessing in our ostensibly free country is the advent of show trials in everything but name.  In a real sense, the Soviet Union never collapsed.  It is here among us in democratic guise.

What is #MeToo good for?  It is good for some women and bad for most men – and devastating for social civility.  It has yielded a bonanza of public sympathy, legitimized anti-male aggression, and created an atmosphere of profitable grievance-mongering for the distaff wing of the gender divide while it has shamed and traumatized the wilting spear side.  Men are tout court guilty of "toxic masculinity," women are innocent victims without agency or choice, and there's an end of it.

Many years ago, I lost a much-needed job opportunity because I rejected the advances of the woman responsible for academic hiring.  One is free in many such compromising situations simply to walk away.  You don't get the job, which is unfortunate, but, unless one's very life is at stake, the moral option takes precedence over the pragmatic decision.  True, there are some offers you can't refuse, as Mario Puzo put it, but in the vast majority of cases, you can refuse most offers that come your way if you are willing to pay the price.

Equally to the point, I did not indulge in recrimination, feel sorry for myself, rail against an unfair world, or meditate launching a MeToo movement.  That's just how the real world operates, and, as they say, you suck it up and proceed to the next challenge.  This is why I never jumped on the anti-Harvey Weinstein bandwagon or sympathized with those poor actresses who felt compelled to visit his room in order to further their careers.  Walk away, take your chances, rely on your talent, and hope for a better opportunity in the future.  

Yet the allegations continue to pour in.  Patrick Brown, erstwhile leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, was recently accused of sexual misconduct by two women riding the MeToo wave.  They went not to the police, which would have been the proper course of action, but to the media.  Their stories, largely unverified, were aired by the CTV News network, which provoked Brown's near immediate resignation.

I was never fond of Brown, whose platform seemed a little to the left of current premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal agenda or, at any rate, pretty much identical, advocating a carbon tax and anti-Islamophobia legislation.  He struck me – and many others – as a Liberal wolf in Conservative clothing, and I am relieved he is no longer party leader.  Nevertheless, he was the victim of a MeToo campaign that pretty clearly had no basis in reality and has cost him dearly.  It also plunged the party, which was leading in the polls, into political disarray just months before the provincial election.  This is merely another instance of the damage the movement can cause.

Brown at least has the option, of which he has availed himself, of suing Bell Media and its CTV satellite for engaging in "false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory" reporting.  He will probably win.  His public profile and media savvy have given him a distinct advantage.  But a private citizen will have little or no such recourse available to clear his name – apart from the fact that the taint, however unfounded, always remains.

Consider the case of an Ottawa doctor, Vincent Nadon, recently charged with voyeurism and sexual assault.  His name is out there in local and national news and is now a topic of conversation.  According to the police report, a young woman claimed she had "reason to believe" that she was being secretly filmed during a medical consultation.  Dr. Nadon was initially jailed, subsequently placed under house arrest, and later won bail under some bizarre conditions, including being prevented from using recording devices, accessing the internet, or communicating with his patients.  Ten more female patients dating back to 1995 have since the first report come forward with similar allegations.  As of this writing, the allegations have not been tested in court.  It is too soon to pronounce one way or another.  Yet several disquieting issues remain unaddressed.

  • The complainant claims, according to news reports, that she was secretly videoed.  If the occurrence took place secretly, how then could she have known?
  • Where is the videotape, assuming it exists?  A presumably intelligent professional would not have been so negligent as to store the incriminating evidence on his office computer.
  • Moreover, if a video does exist, may it not have been made in self-defense?  I understand that this and other protective maneuvers are becoming common practice among professionals, academics, and business men who find themselves alone in a room with a woman.
  • In some accounts, the women are described as "victims," yet nothing has been proven.  The term is obviously used in anticipation of a guilty verdict in conformity with the so-called "social justice" agenda, for which due process is obsolete.
  • Is not the sudden emergence of a posse of claimants not in itself suspicious, especially as none of the plaintiffs saw fit to come forward in the previous months and years?  Collusion or contagion in such instances is not unheard of, as the infamous Ghomeshi trial clearly revealed.
  • A patient lodges her grievance a full 23 years after the event allegedly took place.  This does not compute.
  • Patients claim they were sexually touched.  Some have said they were touched "inappropriately."  What exactly does this mean?  The accused happens to be a doctor.  Physicians have the freedom of examining your body if they are to perform their duties.  If a woman were offended, she could have gotten up and left or demanded a female doctor.  She could have signaled her distress, which would have been immediately heard in the busy medical clinic and crowded halls.

After diligent searching and to the best of my knowledge, I find that no evidence to substantiate the allegations has surfaced, yet Dr. Nadon has effectively been convicted and punished before standing trial.  Although it is too late to do anything about this now, the doctor's name and photo should not have been circulated publicly until the case had actually gone to court.  A strict publication ban should have been in place.  Pro forma, the accusers' names and photos were not made public, as they rarely are in assault cases.  Even if the allegations are false or without substance, the plaintiffs will likely not be charged with willful mischief or obstruction of justice, but the doctor's reputation is ruined, and his ability to earn his livelihood has been stolen from him.

As it happens, my wife was a patient of Dr. Nadon for over ten years.  Her only complaint was that the large volume of his patients tended to reduce consultation time, but she found his conduct always discreet and professional.  A great number of his patients feel exactly the same way and have rated his abilities at the top of the chart.  They are grateful to have been treated by him.  This does not mean he is innocent of the charges against him, but it does suggest that the rush to judgment is both premature and injudicious.

The damage is already done.  This is a textbook example of the perverted form of justice – Queen of Hearts-style – practiced by social justice advocates and feminist activists: sentence before verdict when it comes to men.  Dr. Nadon's case is an illustration in little of how jurisprudence now tends to work.

The principle of burden of proof is slowly but inexorably going out the window.  It is being replaced by what is called "preponderance of evidence," which means simply what the judge or adjudicator feels is the more credible story.  And the more credible story always seems to be the woman's, no matter how often such narratives are inherently absurd or contradictory and are later shown to be flimsy and unreliable, and in some cases even retracted.

No matter.  In the current climate of toxic feminism and social justice tribunals, the bedrock principle of impartial judgment based on concrete evidence no longer applies.  What we are now witnessing in our ostensibly free country is the advent of show trials in everything but name.  In a real sense, the Soviet Union never collapsed.  It is here among us in democratic guise.