Is “Me too” overdone? Men are bad women are good.

Almost There

The battle between the sexes has never been more at the front news than lately. Of course, the inclusion now of all the different sexes and orientations makes for even greater complexities. As if our cocooning inside Facebook and Snapchat hasn’t been enough to isolate us. Mind you, one can get even more assaulted within those media than in face to face realities. Words can be stronger than actions. Wasn’t there an ‘Anti Bully’ day not long ago? It seems almost all days are now taken by feel good and pro-active attention seeking slogans. We had a day for Breast cancer with soon after a day dedicated to those born a Woman, a Heart Disease day. We had a Same Sex Day. We have Earth-hour soon. Easter day is also looming. Did I hear a Haemorrhoids day being planned in May?

However, this morning my attention was caught by an article in the Guardian where an actor refreshingly confessed that she was grabbed, rubbed, groped and even farted upon without any regrets or life-long lasting devastations. Apparently the late Robin Williams had a penchant for those outrageous actions.  She claims to have enjoyed working with Robin Williams and never felt annoyed by him. ‘That’s just how he was,’ she stated.

What is behind all those legal actions now taken against the world of famous but shadowy men, going around touching knees, breasts or worse, as was the case with women being assaulted by Mr. Weinstein? Many women have joined the action and are now lining up as a group known as ‘Me Too’ to seek redress perpetrated upon them by rapacious men. What went so badly wrong? In the case of Mr Weinstein, we now know that outrageous things have happened. But, why? If the assaults were so devastating, why did it happen and seemingly allowed by the women?  And why did Weinstein feel he could get away with it? Did the women accept the behaviour for fear of missing out on a career in the entertainment industry? Some felt there was no option but to go along by it.  Were they unable to run away or tell him to F…* off, kick him in the crutch, report him? What made for all this powerless non action. And why, after many years, now the tears?

I can’t imagine the average Italian, or Dutch, Scandinavian or French woman to accept behaviour they don’t want. Why is this mainly a problem in the Anglo world? Women are being paid less, have less opportunities, are not equally represented in Governments and more unequal than in many other parts of the world. Look at the action of the Palestinian  teenage girl slapping Israeli soldiers in their occupied territory of Palestine.

Compare that with the sobbing tales of having endured unwanted actions of having been pushed or brushed  against by a bad man years ago.

Perhaps there are other reasons why so many ended being molested or groped. One reason that could lead us to find an answer is that in the English speaking world, very often girls and boys are brought up almost as if a different species instead of just children. The world of Barbie dolls clearly separated from the little brawny Football player. Sex segregated schools even at primary school level are not unusual in the Anglo world. Mummy does cooking with little Anny, but daddy goes fishing  or shooting with big boy Jagger. From birth, girls are often guided into the giggly feminine and boys into the harsher masculine roles. The betwixt and in between are not allowed to flourish, let alone encouraged.

Why is that so? Am I wrong?

What do you think?

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24 Responses to “Is “Me too” overdone? Men are bad women are good.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    Gerard, you are asking some interesting and pertinent questions here. When we arrived here in Australia I noticed straight away the social divide between men and women. At house parties, the men were congregating in the in one corner of the backyard with their beer bottles in their hands and the women were all in the kitchen talking only among themselves.

    You remember when women were not allowed into the public bars? Women were sitting in the cars outside the pubs or went into the Lady Lounges.

    The massive swearing of the men was something I had not encountered in Germany. Here they were using words the women were not supposed to hear. Now, this has changed and women can swear as much as men.

    Men had never learnt to have social contact with the female of the species. Then, during the sixties, we migrants thought such behaviour was due to the convict times when not many women were around.

    Due to my work, I came into contact with many Australian women and they were astounded that European men were actually able to make conversation with them.

    So, coming in close contact with women Anglo-Saxon men must lose all self-control, manners and respect for the other half of humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Berlioz. Thank you for your well thought out reply.
      I was fortunate enough to enjoy the most formative years in Holland. The experiences after landing in Australia were very similar. There existed strong separation between the sexes. The naming of public toilets were ridiculous as if women did not really were given to ablutions. They were called ‘rest-rooms’, ‘powder rooms’, and one toilet I vividly remembered was indicated by ‘Ladies Reserve’. as if women were an exotic grazing animal.
      Things have improved and only last week, I noticed at my bowling club a man sitting down with a female bowler cosily chatting away. Even so, while we maintain an education system based on separating the sexes, it will linger.
      Just have a look at the latest controversy at an exclusive and very expensive sex separated school, ‘Trinity’ in Melbourne. A schoolboy’s hair wasn’t conforming to the right length so his hair was cut by the teacher in full view of other students. It proves the point that I am trying to make in this article.

      Notice the Jane Austen’s quote on the truck. Here in Bowral where we live is an exclusive girls school where the students are dressed in very long tweed skirts. The very fashion as worn during Jane Austen’s days. I like Jane Austen and her books but why imitate something that is from the past in school uniforms? What is the importance of dressing up in such a way to prevent running or climbing trees, or are ‘real’ girls not supposed to do that?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Apollonia Says:

    Happy to live in Holland and not in Australia mr. Berlioz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, indeed. Apollonia.

      Things are never perfect but lately there has been so much publicity about men misbehaving and female victims crying foul about the abuse perpetrated on them, that I wondered if this was culturally specific to the English speaking world with this tradition of bringing girls up different to boys.
      I had both boy and girl friends before coming to Australia. It was normal!


  3. elisabethm Says:

    I absolutely agreed with you that we should raise little boys and girls the same! Boys should be perfectly able to play with dolls and wear nail polish and girls should be able to be tomboys! I hate to see that pink versus blue separation so much! I was a tomboy, and lucky to grow up in the seventies in Amsterdam, where boys had long hair too and wore more or less the same clothes as girls, that is we all wore those seventies colours 😄
    If you want equal opportunities and equal respect you’ll have to install those values from the start.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Australia from those early days of colonisation was destined to be different. It was from the very first day male dominated. Survival was only for the fittest. Emotions and feelings were not suited for a male and could easily cause ones downfall. They were to be suppressed al all costs.

      The enormous distances and dusty brown earth where mustering sheep over thousands of allotted acres was harsh and unrelentingly savage on the survival spirit of those early settlers. The wives bending over hot wooden stoves under the baking corrugated heated iron roofs, caring for the farm and children, while husband would tend the miles of fencing, battling droughts, dingoes and starving stock.

      It wasn’t easy and when money was coming in during rain periods the wives would move to small towns where the children could find a school and get an education. The boys were brought up to strict male role models as set-up by the tough and hardened fathers and girls likewise by the softer but equally toughened mothers.

      The equilibrium between the sexes in Australia wasn’t given a fair go and it is no wonder there are still battles to be fought. Equal pay for equal work is one of those fights. Most telling was how Australia lagged behind as one of the last countries to approve Same Sex Marriage. It was fought against by many politicians, including a former Prime Minister.
      But, it is a wonderful country!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Robert Parker Says:

    Well, you ask “What made for all this powerless non action” and I guess, you’ve answered yourself, to some degree. In school, we were taught Lord Acton’s Axiom “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” — Ok, probably true, but in many ways, it’s powerlessness that corrupts. We talk about kicking someone in the crotch, but maybe not if it’s a cop wanting his palm greased, who can toss you in the clink if you say no, or a creep with the power to hire you or not, when you’re desperate for a job. Yes, I react the same way as you, and wonder why more people, in the past and now, don’t tell the creeps to f*** off, and tell all their friends, avoid this jerk like the plague, rather than prostitute themselves for a job, but then, I’m not desperate for a job right now, or wondering where my next meal will come from. If some Australian immigration officer years ago, had suggested that a contribution to the Border Protection Benevolent Society might expedite entry, or maybe you’d rather be shipped back to Holland, maybe not everyone would feel brave at that moment? There’s a lot of forms of extortion and pressure, and for example, we’ve got a parcel of politicians right now, mostly guys, who don’t have the guts or backbone to face the NRA and put in gun control, not a terribly “masculine” bunch I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Robert for your perspective and insight on the male versus female conundrum.
      Another difference we have today is the smallness of families. I grew up with four brothers and one sister. Helvi had five brothers and three sisters. This meant that from birth onwards children grew up in significant numbers within the family which might well have avoided skewed ideas or differences between the sexes. One grew up with siblings which is a nice word for children I think.
      In Australia we have schools that are called ‘Ladies’ colleges’ and in exclusive Boy boarding schools, ex students in their walking stick eighties are called ‘old boys’ who sometimes still wield the stick around. And then there are young students who are ‘captains’ or even ‘vice-captains’ of the school. What’s all that about?
      Perhaps it is a case of more tolerance and think of ‘vive la difference’.


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Life becomes stranger and stranger. Today is National Puppy Day. Tomorrow may be National Lingerie Day. Whatever intrigues people. It is a mystery why so many women wait to get on board and recall that someone once raped them. At least Mindy thought Mork was funny while going about his harassment. I long for the bygone days when things of national interest didn’t have to be identified with a series of letters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I can’t wait for National Puppy day, Kayti. I hope the day will never arrive for ‘Politicians’ Day.
      Obama is in Australia and he held a talk in NSW Art Gallery. Ticket were not available and invitees only. We did not get one. Even so, refreshing to see a politician man in an Art Gallery. Most of our politicians get to be seen amongst tractors, cases of tomatoes, or wearing surgical masks inspecting high tech robotic things.


  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Um, Gerard, this is not an Anglo-Saxon problem. If you are genuinely interested in understanding read Half the Sky by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. What has astonished me since the MeToo campaign started is the apparent innocence of so many men. I mean innocence that the the problem existed, that nearly every woman has, at some stage in her life, been unpleasantly handled (at its mildest) by a man from whom it was difficult to defend herself, and most of us many times over. I guess I was lucky to reach the age of 14, before I was first nastily groped – in a crowd in Florence cathedral. Your experience of bullying will give you some idea of the power ratio between the bully and the bullied. That is the problem. Two consenting adults with equal power can enjoy all sorts of things that are an endurance test, at best, in other circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Well Hilary, I did ask; ‘am I wrong?’ I am glad you came with an opposing view and am sorry for your nasty experience in Italy. I did not read the book you mentioned. What prompted me to ask is why sexual harassment is so much at the forefront of the news in the English speaking world?

      I tried to seek answers. I don’t get nearly the same level of uproar elsewhere or from other non-speaking News. Are men that bad and are women so good, was my reaction?

      My view on how the sexes mixed with each other after arrival in Australia do still linger today, and I wondered if that had a bearing on the sexual furore between the sexes that seems to be ongoing.

      I still sometimes get offered a beer meeting with other men, yet Helvi is at times ignored. Men will shake hands with me, but (rarely now) at times not with Helvi. At my bowling club meetings the women and men still mainly sit separately.

      Perhaps this throws some light on it by. P. Wilkinson.

      “I do not hold this door open for you because you are a female and I am sexist. I do so because you are a fellow human being. Should you offer me the same courtesy, I shall not take offence at your display of civility.”

      Boys and girls, men and women, are human beings foremost.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hilarycustancegreen Says:

        Gerard, you are right, it is absurd to say that men are bad and women good (though the prison gender ratio suggests some imbalance). The problem, as Curt points out, is the imbalance of power. Boys, almost the world over (and I do think The Netherlands is better than most) are brought up to believe that they are smarter, more important than, and have an inherited (or divine) right to dominate, women. They spend their childhood learning to be tough. Women are brought up to care for, submit to, look up to men. They spend their childhood being taught to be unchallenging, look pretty, rely on male strength. These are obviously generalisations and each family varies. In the UK 2 women are killed by men they know every week. It is much worse elsewhere in the world and in war zones women are pawns. Even in the office, fighting back is tricky – a pat on the knee from your boss, may be entirely innocent, but it may be his first move in what to him is a game and to you is trouble in your precious career. Would you pat a male colleague on the knee?

        Believe me, French women, Indian women, Nigerian women, Brazilian women etc (you get the picture, and not excluding Dutch women), would like to go to work and be treated as colleagues and walk the world day or night without fearing unwanted attention, or worse, from men.

        Do read that book. It will help to make sense of it all and it is very readable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Hilary. The impression might have been given in the article that only the English speaking world owns violence against women. Of course not. It is world pandemic.

        Some perspective was given from own personal experience, having lived in both Australia and Holland which pointed out a significant difference in the bringing up and educating of children.

        In Holland the differences between the sexes of children is much less defined. Our children went to schools in both countries.The enforcement of an education excluding combining both sexes of children in many schools, especially the exclusive private schools can’t help for better engagement with each other later on.

        This is what I tried to link with violence and sexual assaults against women later on in life. Are our experiences, that the sexes in Australia behave more awkward and clumsily with each other than we experienced living in Finland and Holland so out of kilter?

        By the way; The very expensive Trinity Grammar school in Melbourne is now close to collapsing. The cutting of a schoolboy’s hair in public by the deputy Principal because it did not conform to a certain length. Bizarre.

        Interesting article.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I think partially, Gerard, it isn’t about the natural play between men and women, which as far as I can tell has always gone both directions and may or may not lead to seduction. I think the issue is when one person has power over another and uses that power force sex. The abuse of young gymnasts in America is an example of the worst type of exploitation. There is no excuse. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    You nailed it there, Curt. There are some who claim that the Me too’ movement is too much playing the victim and not encouraging or helpful to both sexes seeking equality.
    The case of the young gymnasts is terrible and it lasted over so many years too.
    Are there many female film directors in the US?


  9. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Important and timely post, Gerard.
    And you got some good discussion going and good comments made.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Caroline, The prevention of world-wide violence between the sexes can be improved if children grow up into caring compassionate adults.
      But, look at the role models! Trump in the US and in Australia the latest cheating scandal in Cricket.
      Hugs to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Christine Says:

    Many of us weren’t told how to rebuff unwanted advances by men; young as we were, we just knew how to.
    It’s highly likely that these Hollywood women (now displaying their black dress solidarity) went along – for the prize of roles in films.
    I think it’s a bit late to be voicing their objections.

    I must be fortunate; apart from a few undesirables in the workplace, men in my life have been good ones.

    Are cricketers worse types now than in earlier years? I don’t know.
    But standards have dropped, in general.

    Thanks for the interesting columns, Gerard

    Liked by 1 person

    • hilarycustancegreen Says:

      This take-no-nonsense approach is something I have always admired in Australian women. I do think, though, that the time has come for the nonsense to stop. This means changing the behaviour of the bullies and molesters and not blaming the victims. Most of the MeToo complainers are not Hollywood stars. Many of them are people like night cleaners and similar, whose only income is entirely dependent on their abusive supervisors.

      Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      In Australia on any given day the police have to respond to about 350 cases of domestic violence. At least one woman gets killed a week by a partner or person known to them. Of course men do get killed too but rarely by a female partner.

      I am reading a book by Jill Ker Conway, ‘The Road From Coorain.’
      She grew up on an isolated farm out west in NSW amongst the rough and tumble world of the shearing -shed. She spent years mustering sheep and cattle. Her world was populated by mainly men, including two aboriginal stockmen.

      Her book, apart from being a masterpiece of writing gives a very detailed and intimate view of her life which culminated in her departure to America and eventually the Presidency of Smith College. At no stage in this auto-biography does she write about any unwelcome treatment from men. She does end up saying that eventually, and after her marriage to an American, she would never live in Australia again. She overcame the despair of a constrained female destiny.

      I still feel that the separation at schools of the sexes and the division between private and public education is not helpful. It fosters an awkwardness between female and male and the ‘them and us’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Christine,

      I think that knowing how to handle unwelcome attention is a skill that ought to be installed when growing up. It does ask the question; why do some, mainly men, feel the need to give unwanted attention in the first place? Is it nature or nurture?

      I still feel that the nurture is the main determinant to that, and that in some cultures the balance between people and their differences is more harmonious than others.

      Liked by 1 person

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