Did the #MeToo Movement Prove to be Kryptonite for Superman?

Actor Henry Cavill poses for photographers at a photo call to promote the film 'Justice League', in London, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

 

Actor Henry Cavill acts civilly and feminists cannot even, so they attack him.

It has been speculated by many that at some point the anti-sexual harassment movement #MeToo was going to lead to a pendulum swing and begin to be less a solution to an issue and possibly become a tool of aggression. We see now that we may on the verge of that negative upswing.

Following Harvey Weinstein’s career defenestration a number of other luminous characters were felled by sex scandals. These men were uniformly those facing multiple accusers, detailing numerous acts of aggression, over a prolonged timetable. Lately we have seen cases of those men bearing punishment over lone accusations.

Now things have gotten more intolerant. Actor Henry Cavill has come under fire from #MeToo supporters over NOT assaulting anyone. There may be no better illustration on modern sexual trip wires when a man decides to completely avoid the minefield and he still has things blow up in his face. We have reached a point where a man acting properly is made to bow to the outrage mob.

At issue is an interview Cavill gave to GQ Australia where he was detailing the foibles he faces as a single man in today’s hyper-charged climate. He expressed how he has pulled back from the dating scene due to the accusatory nature of things, and his traditional position of pursuing a woman he deems worthy is affected by the new rules in the social marketplace.

There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that. It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place.”

 

Caveman behavior, to be sure, according to modern feminists. But then the actor went further, and select members of the outrage set went on the offensive.

I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something. So you’re like, ‘Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship, which never really worked. But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?”

This has set off many women in the movement, reacting as if Cavill has committed some serious social infraction. Donna Dickens, from The Nerdist and MAD Magazine, said “Henry Cavill SHOULDN’T date until he figures out how to do it without “accidentally” raping someone.” And in a well-recycled tweet Helen Price stated: “If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is… not rape anyone.”

What these experts in the cause seem oblivious to is that men have been accused of assault for far less aggressive acts than physical contact. Wolf whistles, and flirting, have been deemed sexual harassment. Some feminist outlets have gone so far to forward the concept of “stare rape”. If merely glancing at a woman can be declared a violent assault then Henry Cavill’s words are rather wise.

The lashing out by women to his comments tends to underscore how correct he was in his caution. Still, Cavill felt the need to come forward with an apology. His words were actually wise in attempting to set the record straight.

Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention. In light of this I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest of regard, no matter the type of relationship whether it be friendship, professional, or a significant other. Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties.”

As a celebrity his actions are under an intense microscope, and therefore can be wildly interpreted through that funhouse mirror. In an era when there is the increased focus on any perceived social slight there is more than reasonable cause for Cavill to bring trepidation to the interactions between genders. And this is where those critical of him on the matter were severely overreacting.

Ask, what has been the driving force behind the #MeToo movement? To heighten the cases of assault and bring about an end to the mistreatment of women. So when a man is coming forward to say he is abdicating from the process — effectively removing himself from the arena — he is ensuring that he will not be preying on women unnecessarily.

Considering that brings about the stated goal of the cause this should be considered good news. That many women were actually upset with this announcement illustrates how there are growing issues within the movement.