Anthony Lister and the #MeToo Movement
#MeToo Movement’s has the capacity to vindicate women’s rights or destroy its own credibility and set back the cause of women – a cause which should be adopted by us all.
In the late 40’s and 50’s, it was easy to accuse and black- ban so-called “Communists” and “Fellow Travellers”. There were “Reds under the bed.” For hundreds of years, Lesbians and assertive women in Europe and America were denounced as witches, tortured and even burned alive. Gay people and their sexual practices were criminalised until the early to mid-eighties in Australia.
Now it is unsafe and a huge reputational risk to defend what may be unsubstantiated and under-investigated charges against a leading Australian artist, Anthony Lister or against other men, who are similarly accused, of taking sexual advantage of women.
The #MeToo movement puts itself at risk, when it rushes to judgement and invites others to do so, too. The reputations of great talents may be indelibly sullied by rookie cops who lap up the prospect of putting someone famous on trial, even when the evidence may be thin at best.
It is very easy to make claims about what went on behind closed doors and such claims are more often made against the rich or famous – sometimes because they have something that their accusers want; mostly because such celebrities are capable of buying sexual favours and also , of exploiting their power to demand them.
It is not so easy to prove, for a variety of reasons, often including because the allegations may not be true. #MeToo can be both about giving other women the courage to come forward or dishonest and avaricious opportunists the chance to jump on a bandwagon.
If #MeToo empowers victims it is good. If it is taken over by liars or hijacked by neurotic misandrists, it will be discredited like McCarthyism and do the Women’s Movement a great disservice, taking a few male scalps along the way – of both the innocent and the guilty – because to date the movement has shown neither temperance nor discernment.
Stop victimising men without proof and end ill-informed boycotts and knee-jerk vilification.