In an interview with CNN, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that while she supported women coming out to share their stories of sexual assault in the workplace, there were potential downsides to the #MeToo movement that should not be overlooked. She said it was incumbent upon people to be a “little bit careful” when participating or commenting on the movement, because there exists the risk that women will be treated like fragile creatures incapable of handling themselves in the tough world of business and politics.
Rice said that she supported any movement that empowered women to find their own voice, particularly as it pertained to sexual assault, but that the #MeToo movement could easily turn the other way – weakening a woman’s agency while giving men the wrong idea about a solution.
“Let’s not turn women into snowflakes,” she said. “Let’s not infantilize women. We don’t want to get to a place that men start to think, ‘Well, maybe it’s just better not to have women around.’ I’ve heard a little bit of that. And it worries me.”
At the same time, Rice insisted that she would always stand in full support of women who needed to tell their stories. “I’ve certainly had people suggest that maybe we should just go out and — you know — situations in which it was somebody more senior than I,” Rice said. “I’ve never had anyone do anything that I would consider assault. But I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst.”
Rice is already taking considerable criticism from the left for daring to speak out – even lightly – against the liberal mantra of “believe all women,” but we need more voices like hers in the mix. Sexual assault should not be allowed to become a “left vs. right” issue. It should not be an issue that the Democrats can just fold up into their typical “war on women” political nonsense. This is something that affects all women, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, and we’ve seen that over the past six months. Republicans, Democrats, leftists, conservatives; people of all political stripes have accused and have been accused. Their stories should be taken seriously…but they should not be taken as fact or fiction simply based on where their political ideologies lie.
More to the point, we need to get clearer on what qualifies as “sexual assault/harassment.” Flirting isn’t it. Sexual aggressiveness on a date, in the absence of any verbal or physical pushback on the part of the female – also not it. You can’t just go along every step of the way, smiling and saying nothing, and then ten years later claim you were raped. It’s preposterous. And you can’t simply say, hey, men are no longer allowed to hit on women; the human race will cease to exist.
This movement can mean something for women, but only if we prevent the crazy feminists from making it their own.