A little flirt here, a little flirt there plus a couple of decades equals sexual battery. At least this is what the recent rash of “Me Too” moments from back in the day seem to add up to for those who dare to brave the backlash and do the arithmetic.
Actress Angela Lansbury at 92 years of age said as much in a radio interview which was broadcasted in November. According to USA Today, Lansbury addressing the “Me Too” movement opined: “There is two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.”
Unfortunately for Lansbury, the social climate does not want to view the other side of this coin. To do so would blunt the thrust of women who are claiming their space in the 21st century. A flirt here and a flirt there may have provided women a safe space in previous times, but not now. Women no longer want to put up with currying favor from men in order to make it in the workplace. Nor should they.
Lansbury drew sharp criticism from the twitter universe for her balanced approached to the age old drama between men and women.
Her critics pointed to the most egregious examples of rape to slap back at Lansbury and anyone else bold enough to get in the way of the “Me Too” avalanche as it gain momentum by the second.
Obviously, a feminist of Lansbury’s legacy, would never condone raping a three month old baby girl, but this is the narrative put forth by Patrica Arquette to shun Lansbury and to ostracize her point of view.
Thus far this movement has mostly claimed liberal entertainers and politicians. Men, who in their public lives have at least promoted the goals of equality for all.
While conservative men, like Donald Trump and Roy Moore, who champion the restriction of women’s rights in particular, seem to be getting a big time hall pass from the “Me Too” movement, largely because, the conservatives thus far implicated in sexual misconduct have flat out lied or called their accusers liars.
The vast majority of men do not prescribe to the Trump philosophy that women are waiting to be touched in their private area by men, or believe as Moore seemingly does, that cruising the mall for high school girls is the Divine Right of a God fearing Christian man.
Yet the universal male gender is placed under a “Me Too” microscope waiting to be judged by today’s changing mores for interpersonal relations that were not challenged years and in some cases decades ago when the alleged conduct occurred.
Notwithstanding the fact that the failure to report was due to fear of retribution or in some cases went unreported to curry favor of some sort at that time.
Which brings us back to the gist of Lansbury’s posit, a flirt here and a flirt there and the poor fellow thinks a particular behavior is okay.
If it was not, hopefully the man comported himself accordingly. If so, end of story. The incident should be left in the past. If on the other hand, something untoward occurred, that is a problem that must be dealt with whenever the victim summons the courage to come forth, no matter how long it takes them to summons that courage.
Leaders of “Me Too” have made their point, women are humans and are not to be objectified by the male species. This paradigm shift must of necessity be codified into the law of the land.
A passing caveat for men: A flirt does not mean she wants intimacy. If that is your goal, you’d best take matters into your own hands and not in the way that Roy and Donald have allegedly done in the past, if you know what I mean.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org