Editorial: Cynical's Stormy Romance With #MeToo

Movement's Focus on Celebrity Victims Comes at the Expense of Everyone Else


The recent addition of political groupie Monica Lewinsky to MeToo's victim roster is a perfect illustration of the kind of country club nonsense which gives The Cynical Times misgivings about the movement.

While we applaud The MeToo Movement for holding America's toxic elites publicly accountable for their predatory garbage, we continue to worry that it focuses on celebrity victims at the expense of the rest of us.

MeToo's aim has never been more faulty than with Lewinsky, who sought out the advantages of a sexual liaison with a powerful, famous, married man and is now trying to rebrand herself as some kind of victim. As if the opportunistic 22-year-old woman didn't know there was a little media attention around then President Bill Clinton when she threw herself at him in 1995.

After decades of insisting she and Clinton were engaged in a consentual relationship she initiated, Lewinsky is now jumping aboard the MeToo victim wagon with the zeal of a porn star turned born-again Christian. She's suggesting her younger self was incapable of consenting to sex with a man more than twice her age.

Lewinsky - now 44 - falls well short of the feminist ideal. She makes a compelling argument for treating wealthy, young women as legal minors and resurrecting the discredited medical condition of female hysteria.

She also illustrates the central painful truth which continues to elude MeToo, which is that socialites and actresses are not the only victims of the Predatory 1 Percent. Working class men and women are habitually exploited by them as well, albeit in much greater numbers and with far more lasting damage.

The Cynical Times fears MeToo may never get around to the rest of us now. The Movement may have mortally wounded itself by sharing its shrinking credibility with Lewinsky, a rich weakling whose only qualifications are privileged birth and the infamy of her own poor judgment.

MeToo seems to celebrate an America where only the suffering of rich and attractive women matter and rest of us are invisible. These superior life forms are free to take the benefits of equality while eluding the burdens borne by we mere mortals.

This supremacist approach to feminism and equality is a real problem for Cynical, as a Progressive website devoted to the poor and faltering middle class.

It also may be part of the reason columnist Cathy Young of The New York Daily News describes MeToo as "Sexual McCarthyism." We don't share her Libertarian philosophy, but Young makes a valid point when she worries that the Movement's failure to vet the claims of its alleged victims creates a kind of "victimhood-based tribalism for women." One which is a standing "invitation to reframe regretted sexual experiences as coercive."

The MeToo Movement has a lamentable obsession with fame, which echoes the idiotic exploitation of naked models by PETA and Femen.

The Cynical Times is a bit of a liberal outlier in the sense that we have no problem speaking out about MeToo's shortcomings, while lauding its overall direction. We think constructive criticism can make this laudable movement better, by pressuring it to deal with its shortcomings.

If MeToo wasn't hitting the Frat Boys hard we wouldn't bother. So thank you for your service ladies. Now, how about getting your rich heads out of your rich asses?

Pretty please.

There's decent working people in this country who could use your help. We do your cooking and cleaning, build your mansions, teach your kids, and pave the streets beneath your Mercedes. Your husbands and boyfriends tend to treat us like garbage, and you do too sometimes, but we still think our suffering matters every bit as much as your suffering.

We like to think about it when we're towing your car out of a ditch, snaking sewer pipes clogged with your premium poop and high-end tampons, plowing the snow from your long private driveways, and treating your kids in the local hospital emergency room. Remember us?

The Cynical Times hopes MeToo will eventually abandon its new status as the rich, female equivalent of the "He Man Women Haters Club" of Little Rascals fame. We fret about the Movement's embrace of a zero tolerance approach to rape culture, which conveniently levels those who "play the game" with those who refuse to be reduced to the status of fawning lackeys.

Zero tolerance is problematic for Cynical because it makes it easy for fake victims to pose as real victims. Especially at a time when the movement's criteria for victim status seems to be degenerating into familial wealth, credit scores, and name recognition.

Feminism as a whole has a laudable compassion for victims of abuse, but doesn't do nearly enough to police the posers who attempt to hijack that status for personal gain. This accountability shortfall encourages opportunists like actress Alyssa Milano, who allegedly played the Hollywood casting couch game, to equate themselves with real victims like actress Rosie McGowan, who did not.

We prefer our victims like McGowan, who made principled stands that hurt her career and advanced the greater good.

Enabling the victimization of others by "playing the game" is garbage and Cynical is not going to celebrate these victims of convenience. Ever. 

Same goes for allowing gold diggers who strike out to rebrand themselves as some kind of victim. Like say the late Anna Nicole Smith, who tried and failed to steal the fortune of a senile 89-year-old oil baron from his rightful heirs.

Militant feminists can call us all the names they like. It's not going to change a thing.

Just know that we already have a Chanel Diamond Forever Bag chock full of "snowflakes," "mansplaining," "libtards," "patriarchy," "Yankee Jew Bastards" and assorted other group-based slurs which have already been sent our way by the Country Club crowd. We can always make room for additional attempts at verbal intimidation.

Rich people terrify us that much. 

(blank stare)

Seriously, we're all about principled stands and those who make them at Cynical. We believe the Rosie McGowans of the world prevent people like Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly from victimizing other Americans.

To the extent that modern feminism is still about gender equality, we're on board. To the extent that it embraces the primitive group supremacy of identity politics or the country club nonsense of wealthy entitlement, we're not.

We're spitting the bit at playing the game. Just like Rosie.

So do your worst.

Bottom line, Lewinsky is neither a credit to her gender nor her country. Instead, she's every bit as big a disgrace as the president she helped impeach and the rich man-child who is about to be kicked out of the White House on his country club culo.

Lewinsky is a spoiled little rich girl who earned a White House internship behind her wealthy daddy's political donations. She didn't earn it on merit. Her position came at the expense of more qualified applicants who were not the beneficiaries of fortunate birth. 

There's no shortage of power groupies in Washington, D.C., who try men on like fashion accessories and view their vaginas as magical perfumed chalices. This one pursued a consensual sexual relationship with a married man twice her age with zero impulse control. He also happened to be the leader of the free world. That doesn't make her a victim. It makes her a sex trader.

Holding Lewinsky equally accountable for her actions and decisions is pure feminism. It's not something else.

It's not like Lewinsky had to choose between working for a grabby douche and being out on the street with her kids, or having sex with the last man on Planet Earth and leading a celibate life.

She had lots of options. She chose to try and steal someone else's husband because she was selfish and egotistical.

Those distinctions matter.

After Lewinsky's affair with Clinton ended, she secured a fashion career for herself courtesy of presidential adviser Vernon Jordan. Once again, if you think she earned it on merit your opinion of women is considerably lower than ours.

Is Clinton free of blame?

Hell no, he's an arrogant, rich a-hole. But you know what?

So is Lewinsky. How else could she possibly think she can rewrite history by using MeToo to rebrand herself as a victim?

Eff that garbage. MeToo is way too important to be used for personal gain. Or was...

Cynical fervently believes the Monica Lewsinkys, Renee Zellweggers, Melania Trumps and KellyAnne Conways of the world are not victims of anything but their own blind ambition. Their privileges come at the expense of the rest of us and fems should not conflate them with real victims like McGowan and Anita Hill.

There are elements of class warfare, group supremacy, sexism and appropriation in Me Too which are inconsistent with the principled liberalism of The Cynical Times and the longtime feminist goal of achieving equality. As opposed to swapping out the tyranny of rich men for rich women.
That said, no movement is perfect and #MeToo has done more than any other group to halt the boorish behavior of a Country Club Set which has long taken misguided pride in the idea that the normal rules of civil society do not apply to them. It's done far more good than bad.
What's next?

Hopefully, no more Lewinskys. Pretty please.

And no more porn stars turned born again Christans, no more disgraced politicians turned pastors, Reality TV Stars turned Nazi spokesmodels, Reality TV stars turned politicians, Reality TV Stars turned anything ...


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