Free speech means you can share your opinion, but it also means that people can totally own you with their responses
In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court despite multiple accusations of sexual assault, the country has felt more divided than ever between those who believed the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and those who think she was a pawn of the democrats, lying for attention and political gain (even though science has found only a tiny percentage of reported rapes are false accusations).
While supporters of the #MeToo movement are sharing their stories of sexual assault, supporting women, and decrying toxic masculinity, supporters of the #HimToo backlash are claiming that now men should be scared for their lives and livelihoods, since any man can be taken down by a woman’s false rape accusation (even though, let’s remind ourselves, Brett Kavanaugh’s career path was only slightly delayed by Dr. Ford’s very credible testimony).
Conservative journalist Laura Loomer was among the later group, when she dramatically tweeted, “If you have a son, make sure you buy him a note pad, a body camera, & a recording device. Get him a battery pack too so he can always protect himself with video evidence of every single encounter he has with a woman. Men aren’t safe in America anymore. There is a war on men.”
Sure, that sounds totally right, Laura! Okay, so yes, at least one out of six women in America have been sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and men almost never suffer any consequences at all for those actions. And also thousands of women are murdered by men each year (usually by their partners). But, maybe men are the ones who should be constantly scared and worried and afraid to go outside at night… right, Laura?
No, we’re not having any of that. And neither was the internet. Within hours of her tweet, the responses were coming in hot and fast in support of sexual assault victims and against the idea that men are the ones with the big problems these days.
One response started out with some great advice: try teaching your sons ethical behavior! Yes, it may sound really extreme, or maybe it’s like actually a pretty easy thing to do as a parent? Like, this woman has two sons and not a single false rape accusation among them? What are the chances.
Here’s a woman with even more sons. We love her measuring stick for consent: a “hell yeah!” and a high-five. We’re going to steal that to teach to our kids (sons and daughters and non-binary alike).
And a totally simple reminder that all you really have to know is “no means no.”
Then Laura was owned by Shaun Chavis with the 100 percent valid point that the people who need body cameras are black men, for their encounters with law enforcement.
And another important point: could Laura and her sons be part of the problem instead of part of the solution?
Here’s a super-important comparison: even if men are in a (tiny, tiny) bit of danger of falsely being accused of rape, it doesn’t even tilt the scale when it comes to the dangers that young women face out in the world today.
Someone aptly named “Sick of the Stupidity” also chimed in with a reminder of teaching the golden rule.
And someone else pointed out the real wars of the day: against sexism, sexual abusers, and rapists.
Check out this simple five-step plan for anyone who fears for the wellbeing of their sons during the #MeToo movement.
And, finally, this person might have just won the whole conversation.
This is your daily reminder that you’re completely free to share you thoughts on the internet, just be prepared to hear the thoughts of others in response if you say total dumb nonsense.