Feminists have made a dangerous compromise on male victims.

In the wake of Depp’s victory in court, there’s one take I’ve seen repeatedly that bothers me and I can’t seem to get feminists to see that their faith in MeToo as a non-gendered movement is grossly misplaced, much like it is in the feminist movement. It is the claim that MeToo actually does support male victims, which I’d like to debunk because it is not true and one based on a very dangerous compromise.

Their claim that MeToo isn’t gendered and therefore does support male victims is utterly bogus. It is bogus not just because of MeToo’s treatment of Johnny Depp, but because of the examples of male victims they use. They primarily look at actors such as Brendan Fraser and Anthony Rapp, who were undoubtedly abused and I am by no means trying to minimize their experiences or trauma. However, this does not mean we shouldn’t acknowledge the big elephant in the room that their abusers were both male. That matters because of how it influences the feminist narrative about sexual violence and sexual exploitation and in the case of Depp-Heard, intimate partner violence.

What I mean by this is that feminists have made a narrative calculus of sorts to bring this up more because they’re actually well aware that they have a deficit when it comes to the men’s department. They know that despite claiming to want equality for all genders and making egalitarian platitudes, they aren’t doing enough. They know they aren’t acknowledging the socioeconomic and political disparities men face or having conversations about them that then will lead to passionate men’s rights advocacy. They also possibly know that if they tried and followed the Pizzey model, it would divide the movement and reveal that there is a much larger contingent of extremists among the feminist movement. This is something they don’t want the average person, be that man, woman or non-binary to see because it would be damaging. It will make the grift harder to support and allow the true gender equality movement to take over. That is why the most strategic narrative approach they could take and have taken now is to no longer ignore male victims, but to acknowledge them with exploitative strings attached. These strings being that male victims exist, but only if the one who abuses them is a male.

In other words, they’re making a very cynical and inhumane compromise to preserve the long held, gendered and incorrect narrative regarding complex human issues with little to no damage inflicted to anyone now except a select few male victims who fit the specific criteria that feminists have created through this compromise. It is a compromise that will make male victims less likely to come forward if they don’t fit the criteria. This is something we need to be mindful of since this compromise will become harder to shatter over time if it just sits unchallenged within the courts and the court of public opinion.

Feminists have made a dangerous compromise on male victims.