In yesterday’s post I addressed the issue of violence and my suspicion that encouraging everyone to feel special is fueling it by convincing some people to feel entitled to the attention (often sexual attention) of others.
This is the other side of it, and why I called the editorial #MeToo-ish.
The response to this violence has, overwhelmingly, broken in two ways by the entertainment activist community. It has either fueled anti-gun rhetoric, such as the events covered by the Hollywood Reporter:
The No Rifle Association initiative (#NoRA) announced its formation and goals in a letter to NRA executive vp Wayne LaPierre on Friday. It was signed by over 130 celebrities and activists including Parkland shooting survivors David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Ashley Judd, W. Kamau Bell, Don Cheadle, Minnie Driver, Jon Favreau, Nathan Fillion, Jordan Horowitz, Jimmy Kimmel, Julianne Moore, Michael Moore, Patton Oswalt, Annabella Sciorra, Jill Soloway, Amber Tamblyn and Constance Wu.
Now, taking aside the fact that I actually enjoy the work of a couple of those people (not Captain Mal from Firefly, the guy who loves to photobomb and talk to average people at conventions, awww….) the important thing to note is how many of them are major players in #MeToo. Amber Tamblyn, for example, was joyous about Cosby (covered by Tiff):
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) April 26, 2018
Wow, that’s GREAT! Except… she was, just a few weeks ago, blaming the NRA for the Parkland shooting. As were many other key members of the #MeToo movement like Alyssa Milano, Ashley Judd and Tarana Burke.
Did I mention the other way the response to the violence has broken? It’s the good-hearted “Walk Up, Not Out” movement that encourages kids to be inclusive. From the IndyStar:
- Walk up to a kid who is sitting alone at lunch and invite him or her to join you.
- Walk up to someone who seems lonely, say hello and strike up a conversation.
- Walk up to a student who disrupts class and ask them how they are doing.
- Walk up to someone who has different views than you and share opinions.
- Walk up to a classmate, make eye contact and really listen to them.
- Walk up to someone who never seems to smile and tell a joke to make them happy.
- Walk up to someone you don’t know very well and talk to them.
- Walk up to a teacher or staff member and thank them for what they do.
This one was originally pushed by conservatives who were seeking an alternate solution to the gun control promoted by the left. I watched on Facebook as various authors and other entertainers took up the argument, only to drop it after it became known as an alternative to the gun control narrative. Suddenly, instead of being inclusive, it was being attacked as racist and sexist, because it came up in response to a white shooter (as in this piece from Alternet.)
Now, I do think being nice to people is a good thing, and could diminish bullying. But to think it could have affected this shooter is wrong, at least according to someone who knew him:
From the Isabelle Robinson op-ed in the New York Times:
My first interaction with Nikolas Cruz happened when I was in seventh grade. I was eating lunch with my friends, most likely discussing One Direction or Ed Sheeran, when I felt a sudden pain in my lower back. The force of the blow knocked the wind out of my 90-pound body; tears stung my eyes. I turned around and saw him, smirking. I had never seen this boy before, but I would never forget his face. His eyes were lit up with a sick, twisted joy as he watched me cry.
It is not the obligation of children to befriend classmates who have demonstrated aggressive, unpredictable or violent tendencies. It is the responsibility of the school administration and guidance department to seek out those students and get them the help that they need, even if it is extremely specialized attention that cannot be provided at the same institution.
No amount of kindness or compassion alone would have changed the person that Nikolas Cruz is and was, or the horrendous actions he perpetrated. That is a weak excuse for the failures of our school system, our government and our gun laws.
Note, she gets it wrong about the gun laws; Cruz had already demonstrated a willingness to break the law when he decided to shoot people dead. But she is correct in assigning failure to the government (specifically, although she likely meant a different branch of the governmental tree, the local police who failed to intervene during any one of the many times their intervention was requested) and especially in the obligation of other children to somehow fix a sociopath.
Or the obligation of women to fix their sociopathic attackers.
That’s the key point here, the one that the “leadership” of the #MeToo movement is missing. They go straight to the guns, because that is the political agenda that holds precedence. Supporting women as being equal by the so-called leaders, the ones who should be the hardliners on this? Well, maybe. After all, “No More Abuse!”
…unless it comes from Islamists who have maneuvered their way into a refugee camp of peaceful muslims or formed a cell within a British suburb from which to enact regular assaults of neighborhood women; then the abuse can be ignored in favor of a more important political cause.
… unless it would undermine an anti-gun effort, at which point the abuse will be ignored for fear it removes attention from the more important political cause.
… unless it’s by a politician with the correct letter by his name, such as Al Franken; in that case, the question will be why the victim isn’t letting herself be used, or if she’s telling the truth at all (even with pictures and multiple accusers.) (Daily News)
For too many of these activists, treating women as equals is not something they care about, it’s something they can use to empower themselves, something to be brought up when useful for attention (such as the guilty verdicts of Cosby). It’s not #MeToo, because that would require something akin to principle.