The #MeToo Movement is Tone Deaf

Demanding ban of Christmas classic is a disturbing display of censorship

Musings from the Curmudgeon-in-Chief
MeToo mihai-surdu-415698-unsplash

LENOIR, N.C. – It was inevitable I suppose. While I generally support the #MeToo movement, I knew it was only a matter of time before the intolerant extremists that are part of it would turn the movement into thought police.

They have. They have proven to be tone deaf in demanding that radio stations ban the Christmas classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” as reported by NPR. The demand is based on the belief that the song encourages date rape. You can listen to a cover of it by James Taylor and Natalie Cole.

I guess you hear what you want to hear.

The censorship must stop here. Before long, classical poems such as Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” (written in 1681) will be banned. Read it. You’ll find it incredibly offensive if this song bugs you.

So, I’ve got to oppose the #MeToo movement on this. Censorship seems totally inconsistent with the movement’s values. Perhaps not, but I am an ally because it is consistent with my values. Decades before the #MeToo movement was born – before most of those involved in it were born! – I was working hard in North Carolina in the second half of the 1970s to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. If the #MeToo movement cares about keeping its allies, it needs to avoid ridiculous debates such as this.

Courting METoo

Finally, I wish to remind the #MeToo movement that there are sometimes attractions between members of the opposite sex and persistence doesn’t always lead to rape; sometimes it leads to a lifetime of commitment and maybe even a family. It’s called courting and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

I wouldn’t today. I’d just be a committed bachelor. There was once excitement and joy in courting. If the #MeToo movement has its way, you’ll have to read about it in the history books. Or, you could read Marvell’s poem above. But prepare to be scandalized. It seems that for centuries, this desire has always existed. There is nothing desirable about being metaphorically stiff-armed before you get a chance to say, “Nice to meet you.”

Yes, courting is a delicate dance. But it is a dance. Sometimes, when you dance, you get too close. Other times, you get pulled closer. What do you do then? Keep dancing and take your chances.

Such is the life of a curmudgeon.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2018. Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

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2 responses

  1. As a feminist, I agree with your comments on a song I’ve always thought was sung with a wink and tongue-in-cheek. I hope I’m right in predicting the protest of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” will be short lived. I think it’s parallel to some of the rewriting of phrases that to PETA violate animal life.

  2. My though is: why is this happening at this time in history? Why not previously, and why the momentum? Our grand parents seem to have produced large families, although in my youth families oldest daughters often remained unmarried to take care of their parents. Men often worked in locations where there were no women available for romance.

    Reading anthropology, the authors convey a sense of a variety of relations between men and women in different eras. In this age where sex doesn’t have to lead to children and the value of women as companions, providing a different point of view, having complimentary skills is widely recognized, what’s the real motivation?

    Is it the prevalence of hierarchy, where everybody must have a boss? Is it confusion about sexual preference? Does it represent what most women feel, or is it the result of a driven minority? I am an old man theorizing, not a young man out there experiencing the change. Does it have to do with the fact today’s women are the children and grandchildren of the first generation of women who feel they not only have to take care of the babies and keep house, but also become wage earners?

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