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Make it stop: California Democrat who is vocal #MeToo activist accused of grabbing some dude's, er, yeah . . .
We might as well just have everyone accuse everyone else, and be done with it.
The reason this bothers me is not "hypocrisy," since I've always believed that's a silly thing to be bothered by. Everyone who's ever advocated virtue was a hypocrite at some point, and I'd rather have that than someone who both practices and celebrates depravity.
If that's the combination you want, that's why we have the Clintons.
What bothers me about this is that the #MeToo movement was actually a worthy effort. Women who get treated as sexual objects by men who have no business doing so have a real and serious complaint, and we should take it seriously societally and culturally. I'm glad Harvey Weinstein's accusers came forward. And Mark Halperin's. And Charlie Rose's. And Matt Lauer's. And Bill O'Reilly's. And all the others. They shouldn't have had to deal with it, and where it's still happening, it needs to be stopped.
But you had to know when the momentum got rolling that it would devolve into this, and here we are. We run out of Weinstein-level monsters and now everyone who ever got grabbed, groped or crudely propositioned at a moment in time has to have their moment in the sun as well. I'm not saying it's OK to do these things. It's not. I'm saying it's probably not necessary for the entire nation to hear about every single instance of it.
I have known plenty of people who made awkward advances toward a member of the opposite sex and later realized they had acted like total jerks. They may have been drunk - and no, that's not an excuse because no one made them drink - but regardless of what led to it, it was quickly entered into the "moments I'm not proud of" file, and hopefully in most cases they learned their lesson.
And before you ask, yes, if someone did something like that to my wife or neice (it's probably good that I don't have a daugher), you bet, I would clean the guy's clock. What I wouldn't do is run to the national news media and expect an airing for my story. If every egregious incident of male piggitude was given that much play, we'd have time to talk about nothing else - and it seemed like for a few weeks there, we did talk about nothing else.
And it was also inevitable that at least one of the women most vocal about #MeToo would end up having something in her history. Sorry, Cristina Garcia, but you're up:
A California Democrat who was featured in Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue for her role in the anti-sexual harassment “#MeToo” movement has been accused of drunkenly groping a male legislative staffer at a softball game in 2014.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia allegedly stroked the then-25-year-old staffer’s back, tried to squeeze his buttocks and attempted to grab his crotch as he walked away from her.
The staffer, Daniel Fierro, worked for Assemblyman Ian Calderon at the time. He did not immediately report the incident but in January told Calderon, also a Democrat, who reported it to Assembly leaders.
Garcia was “clearly inebriated” during the 30- to 35-second episode, Fierro said.
“Her hand was there and it slipped down to my butt and she tried to squeeze," Fierro added.
The Assembly is now investigating Garcia. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat, said in a statement he is directing human resources to reach out to Garcia's staff to make sure they feel safe.
Separately, Politico reported that a lobbyist who declined to be named claimed Garcia made crude sexual comments and tried to grab his crotch at a 2017 fundraiser.
Now, at the risk of being accused of perpetuating a double standard, I have to point out a few things here:
No, if she did this (and for the record she denies it), it's not appropriate - but women doing it to men is not the same as men doing it to women. Men are bigger and stronger than women and can intimidate them physically. They can also make them feel like sexual favors are a way forward in their career, and as such the refusal to grant sexual favors could represent a career impediment.
I'm not saying this never happens the other way around, but let's be honest, it almost never happens the other way around. That's because, for the most part, a woman who wants to have sex can pretty much get it. I don't care what you say, there's a dude she knows who will agree to "help out" if she wants it badly enough.
Trying to turn this on a woman and claiming it's the same thing in reverse is simply absurd. It's also not a worthy effort, because the original #MeToo - exposing powerful men who were exploiting their positions to sexually intimidate and abuse women - was a very good and important movement, and I for one would like to see it maintain its momentum.
But that's not going to happen if everyone who got drunk at a softball game and grabbed someone's butt gets stuck in the same category as Harvey Weinstein. And it's really not going to happen if we try to pretend it's the dynamic is exactly the same regardless of whether the perp was a man or a woman.
From what I've been able to find about Cristina Garcia, I'd have no use for her whatsoever politically. But I don't want to see her advocacy of #MeToo discredited because of something like this.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!