Top Stories

‘Grope-gate’ and #MeToo’s Crisis of Legitimacy

In both Canada and the United States, groping scandals have opened a window into the hypocrisies that infect national politics. American Christian voters may claim to support politicians who embody family values. But in 2016, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women “like an octopus,” and who was caught on tape bragging about doing so. In Canada, on the other hand, the more-feminist-than-thou prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has spent the first days of summer issuing contradictory explanations of a recently publicized encounter he had with a female journalist at an August 2000 music festival in British Columbia.

The journalist called what happened “groping.” Though no one has any idea what body part was touched, or in what way, Trudeau reportedly felt the need to apologize to the woman at the time. But in recent days, the Prime Minister has changed his story. He now claims either not to remember the details of the encounter, or to suggest that the truth of the matter is unknowable because, as in a scene from Rashomon, “the same interactions can be experienced very differently from one person to the next.”

The story has been front-page news in Canada for the last week—though seemingly not because anyone particularly cares about the R-rated details. As Robyn Urback of the CBC writes:

This is about hypocrisy—not about what did or did not happen at a music festival 18 years ago. It is about ‘believing women,’ until it happens to you; about taking all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously, except if they happen to pass some arbitrary expiration date. It is about employing an unwavering zero-tolerance policy, which, in practice, ends up showing some tolerance for the man at the top.

In some ways, Grope-gate (as some of Trudeau’s critics are calling it) has parallels with the scandal that brought down U.S. Senator Al Franken—who, like Trudeau, presented himself as a strong feminist. But the sheer fervency of Trudeau’s outwardly expressed commitment to the feminist cause is unique among world leaders. Since taking power in late 2015, Trudeau and his close advisors have consistently blurred the line between mainstream politics and outright activism. Which explains why Trudeau’s sudden retreat into lawyerly he-said/she-said relativism in regard to his own case strikes observers as cynical.

Some of Trudeau’s first moves as Liberal party leader, and then Prime Minister, were to purge his caucus of pro-life sentiment, and commit himself to full gender parity in cabinet. In 2014, Trudeau chose to summarily disgrace his own MP, Massimo Pacetti, after he had a one-night stand with a female MP from another party. Trudeau also has infused fiscal policy with feminist themes: His latest budget contains no fewer than 358 instances of the word “gender.” The Trudeau government is demanding that conservative religious groups benefiting from summer-employment subsidies formally attest to their support for abortion rights. And under new legislation tabled earlier this year, environmental impact assessments in Canada will require that proponents consider “the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors.”

Of course, boilerplate about “the intersection of sex and gender” is now part of the linguistic ether inhaled daily by modern scholars and activists. But Justin Trudeau isn’t a scholar or activist. He’s the prime minister of a G7 country. And it has been strange to see him govern Canada as if he were the chair of a gender studies department. The sight of him now suddenly backing off from MeToo puritanism just in time to defend his own reputation serves to indict not so much Trudeau’s behaviour way back in 2000 (which, for all we know, was perfectly blameless), but rather the unsustainably doctrinaire nature of the larger ideological movement.

*     *     *

Let us give Trudeau his due. Unlike Donald Trump, Canada’s prime minister gives every appearance of being a dedicated family man. During my editorial collaboration with Trudeau on his published memoirs, I visited his home and observed what seemed to be a genuinely dedicated father and husband with his own sincerely held progressive values. Trudeau and I both attended McGill University in Montreal in the early 1990s, and I can attest that he was an active and enthusiastic participant in the then-nascent effort to reduce sexual violence on campus. It is also important to note that even the woman who claimed she was groped by Trudeau in 2000 (long before he was engaged to his wife Sophie Grégoire) does not classify the event as “assault,” and has asked everyone to move on—which, in ordinary times, I think we’d all be inclined to do.

But these aren’t ordinary times: Grope-gate has emerged at a time when the #MeToo movement is suffering a crisis of moral legitimacy in Canada. While no reasonable person disputes the idea that the fight against sexual violence and harassment is a real and urgent project, a spate of high-profile accusations against apparently innocent men show that a policy of believing all victims—which Trudeau himself once embraced—is a recipe for witch hunts.

As Quillette writer Brad Cran described last month, Steven Galloway, one of Canada’s finest novelists, was fired in disgrace from his job at the University of British Columbia amid allegations of rape that were later shown to be unsubstantiated. The episode cries out for a thorough investigation of the university and its bungled, star-chamber treatment of Galloway. Yet neither Trudeau nor anyone in his party have called for this. In Toronto, a man named Mustafa Ururyar was exonerated after being dragged through hell by false accusations launched by Mandi Gray, one of Canada’s foremost anti-sexual-assault activists. Yet Marvin Zuker, the trial-court judge whose bizarre judgment against Ururyar was scathingly rebuked on appeal, continues to sit on the public payroll as an educator at a public university. And Gray herself continues to be treated as an expert on sexual abuse. Steve Paikin, perhaps Canada’s single most respected public broadcaster, also was cast into reputational purdah when he was accused by an eccentric Toronto figure of demanding sex for airwaves access. He, too, was cleared—but the months-long formal investigation left him under a cloud, despite the plainly implausible nature of the accusations.

Throughout all this, it’s been hard to find a single influential Canadian public figure willing to loudly and consistently stand up for due process. Just the opposite: Politicians are leading the inquisition, and not just Liberals. Earlier this year, the opposition NDP party expelled a socially awkward MP named Erin Weir because—I am not making this up—“Mr. Weir failed to read non-verbal cues in social settings.” The accusations against Weir originated with a fellow NDP MP named Christine Moore, the same woman whose complaint to Trudeau about her above-mentioned one-night stand ended her sex partner’s career. In a stunning epilogue, Moore herself was suspended from the NDP caucus in May after allegations emerged that she had sexually harassed a military veteran who’d appeared before her Parliamentary committee.

Even the media, with few exceptions, has been pressured to adopt a MeToo approach to unproven allegations. In June, the Globe & Mail, traditionally described as Canada’s newspaper of record, published an article entitled “After Galloway: We must value a woman’s pain above a man’s reputation,” effectively arguing the now-fashionable idea that due process itself is a sort of outmoded vestige of patriarchal thinking. Meanwhile, Canada’s best-known self-styled “media critic” has made it his personal mission to discredit coverage of the internal university investigation that cleared Galloway of rape. The nation’s columnists have also cheered on the circulation of an anonymous media blacklist of men who have supposedly been accused of sexual misdemeanors. In the case of at least one target, poet and editor Jeramy Dodds, this has led to a Kafkaesque ordeal that continues to this day.

Trudeau is perfectly entitled to defend himself vigorously against claims that he groped a woman 18 years ago. But as our prime minister, he should also be supporting the right to due process, and the presumption of innocence, for all Canadians—not just himself. Pacetti, Paikin, Dodds, Weir, Galloway, and Ururyar might fairly ask: Where was their prime minister’s voice—including his mantras about life imitating the art of Akira Kurosawa—when they were twisting in the wind?

Activists are within their rights to say that we must always “believe the victim.” This is the activist’s traditional role—to state a maximalist position on behalf of a cause. But political leaders, judges, and legislators have a different role: to create order and fairness out of such competing (and, at the margins, unreconcilable) activist demands, especially when those demands impinge on hallowed rights and civil liberties.

This balancing project becomes utterly impossible when a prime minister comes out of the starting gate declaring himself the country’s MeToo activist-in-chief. That’s not a role any national leader should play. Nor, as Grope-gate shows, is it a role that Trudeau himself should want to play—since few among us are perfectly pure, and so it is only a matter of time until a puritan is unmasked as a hypocrite.

If Trudeau would only acknowledge this reality, instead of tying himself up in rhetorical knots, he’d do his country, and his reputation, a great service. It would also allow him to begin leading us in an honest conversation about the proper way to reconcile MeToo with the need to ensure due process—including for all those accused men who don’t happen to be the Canadian prime minister.

 

Jonathan Kay is the Canadian Editor of Quillette. You can follow him on Twitter @jonkay

If you liked this article please consider becoming a patron of Quillette

65 Comments

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how Trudeau’s situation plays out. He appears to be aiming for the Canadian equivalent of a Clinton pass, where behaviour that doesn’t pass the smell test is overlooked because the man himself is considered a valuable liberal asset.

    The storm clouds continue to circle. Anne Kingston’s July 5th article for Maclean’s, ’12 questions for Justin Trudeau about the Kokanee ‘Incident’’ is a clarion call. Here’s Kingston from an earlier article dated June 27th: ‘The prime minister’s woefully inadequate response ‘detonates his credibility as an authority on sexual assault’’. Strong words indeed.

    • ga gamba says

      To be fair to Trudeau, what Clinton did was over the top and included blatantly lying to nation.

      If I understand the events correctly, Trudeau’s accuser actually came forward in 2000 and the accusation was published in a local newspaper’s editorial. How this evaded attention by the nation’s press, especially during the federal election campaign, seems quite odd. Was he given a light touch on deep scrutiny because the progressive press wanted Harper out as well as being from one of Canada’s most prominent families?

      • Rob says

        Canada has around a thousand weekly newspapers. At the time of alleged incident, few were available digitally. So unless they happened to be readers of this weekly paper in Creston in 1998, and remember an editorial from 20 years previously, how would you expect the nation’s press to know about it?

        • Dennis says

          I think ga gamba is closer to the truth on this one…..the original editorial was recently brought up in Frank Magazine, then picked up by right wing US publications, then international publications, finally the Canadian legacy press took notice. Similarly, when Trudeau locked himself in a meeting room to avoid voting on the TPP in Vietnam, international press expressed outrage. The Canadian legacy press had been fawning in their description of Trudeau’s international exploits, first ignored international press then reluctantly reported that some nations may be upset that Trudeau was the only holdout. This has been the pattern vis a vis Trudeau and the press in Canada since before the 2015 election

        • Wilson Hill says

          Well that’s truly an enviable degree of ignorance for every American politician, I’m sure, and possibly most people in general anymore, myself included. The dirt we manage to dig up down here rivals the most sensitive forensic bloodhounds. It simply being IN PRINT would seem unavoidably destined for exposure, and in fairly short order.

      • TarsTarkas says

        My concern about his attitude about the incident was the statement reported in the Creston Valley Advance: “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national newspaper, I would never have been so forward.” The implication that if she had been a reporter from a podunk weekly newspaper she should have accepted his advances without complaint. WTF does it matter who you are or who you work for? That’s the same attitude that has allowed many VIP serial offenders to get away with their foul deeds.

      • @ ga gamba
        The strong reaction to Trudeau’s ‘kokanee grope’ does seem to be more comment on his rush to capitalize on #metoo politically, than judgement on the conduct itself. Still, he’s in a tight spot, ensnared by his own virtue. What delicate maneuver can restore his heroic reputation, short of discovering a golden Clinton pass in a Wonka bar?

        Here’s more Robyn Urback, writing for the venerable CBC: ‘Trudeau has essentially boxed himself in with his own zero-tolerance policy. He has made clear, over and over again, that there is no time limit on defending women’s rights or for standing up for what is right. This is the climate that Trudeau helped create. He can’t forget that now.’

      • X. Citoyen says

        @ ga gamba

        The CBC (the public broadcaster; probably farther left than the BBC) story on this admits to speaking to the woman involved “earlier this year.” Obviously, they decided to sit on the story until other media outlets made it necessary to write something. Naturally, the CBC played the whole thing down. Nothing to see here, really, just an “18-year-old allegation.” .

        • ga gamba says

          @ Rob,

          Yet others were able to find what the major media outlets couldn’t. How do you explain that?

          Clearly there’s a need for even more taxpayer money to be given to the CBC and now also the major dailies so they can keep up with the investigative capabilities of Breitbart. 😛

          @ Dennis and X. Citoyen,

          Thanks for adding to my understand of the events and how they unfolded.

          @ WG,

          I think you’re spot on there. I’m reminded of the Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker scandals of long ago. No one likes a sex pest, but when one’s a hypocrite about it then what befalls one is richly deserved. Trudeau has left himself no wiggle room at all. I think the two things that save him is the allegation is gropey and not rapey and whether Liberal Party women stick by him. If a few see an opportunity for themselves and defect from the cabal of solidarity he’s in real trouble. Female Conservative MPs could have a field day with this every time he enters Parliament by claiming: “I don’t feel safe.” The Liberals would have no way way to rebut it without undermining their own listen-and-believe zero-tolerance principle. Trudeau is very fortunate it’s summer recess. He needs this trade war with Trump now more than ever.

      • Kehra says

        Would you like to amend your rant, with a more factual foundation?

        You should know that the East Kootenays [the geographic origin of this story] are one of the most rabidly right wing constituencies in Canada, a hot-bed of Social Creditism, Reform and the fraudulently named provincial BC Liberal Party that is aligned with the hard right federal Conservative Party of Canada … accurately abbreviated as the Cons.

        (The Cons came into being as a hard-left party after nefariously destroying the Canadian-traditional centre-right Progressive Conservative party to gain only two minority governments and a single slim plurality-but-not-majority government before the advice and strategies of Australia’s Lynton Crosby destroyed the Cons’ re-election chances for generations)

        Black Press is the publisher of the East Kootenays community “newspaper” that was the source of this alleged and 18-year old story. Black Press is extremely far right. Consult your search engine for details as I don’t care to nauseate myself by regurgitating them. TIP: look up Tom Fletcher. I think you would enjoy his vile rants.

        But mainly, you should know that the Canadian press constructively vanished decades ago. There is no progressive press or any press in Canada. Constructively, there is no fourth estate in Canada at all.

        A publisher named PostMedia publishes all the major Western Canadian dailies and the national National Post … and is owned by a rabidly right-wing American hedge fund.

        The bilge they publish is straight harsh-right and trollish propaganda. It is unreadable. (Quillette does far better than PostMedia by maintaining a merely disagreeable level of bias, rather than PostMedia’s blatantly, often fraudulant, extremist right outrage and muck-raking).

        PostMedia has decreased circulation figures to abysmal levels, still diminishing. When I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, Canadians were ranked as one of the most devoted and avid readers of newspapers. PostMedia has single-handedly destroyed the Canadian newspaper market, yet defiantly maintains its extreme bias. Very apparently, publishing a newspaper that suits the market is not PostMedia’s mandate.

        (the one other national daily, not owned by PostMeida, is the Globe & Mail which is the traditional Toronto/corporately biased national paper)

        Similarly for Maclean’s magazine, which no one has been reading since Roger Communications bought Macleans’ in 1994 (or since Alan Fotheringham left the back page) and imposed a rightward bias instead of the many points of view that Maclean’s used to publish.

        To sum, this 18-year old story was always too thin andnot credible for any of the obvious-to-extreme right-ward biased contemporary Canadian “press” to publish years ago. A lot of embarassment and destruction of credibility would have been prevented by doing the journalistic minimum of fact-checking and second-sourcing.

        By insistently on taking a turn at flogging an extremely dead horse and constructing ridiculous rationales to vindicate the effort, John Mackay/Quillette do not elevate themselves.

        • Peter says

          Now that you have sustained your own “hard left” credentials, it might be good to strike a more balanced tone. Saying “There’s no there, there” won’t do.

        • Kim Kim Kim says

          You say the East Kootenays are rabidly right wing. The current MLA for Creston, where the paper is written, is Michelle Mungall, she is NDP. The current MP for Creston is Wayne Stetski. He is also NDP.

          • Kim Kim Kim says

            Kehra – And before Michelle Mungall, the area also had an NDP MLA, Corky Evans. The constituency has been NDP for over ten years, with incumbents winning up to 55 per cent of the vote.

        • ga gamba says

          Similarly for Maclean’s magazine, which no one has been reading since Roger Communications bought Macleans’ in 1994 (or since Alan Fotheringham left the back page)…

          Fascinating! How does it stay in business? Is it a barter-based publication?

          I love to check things out because I’m not a blind believer. Maclean’s paid circulation is about 225,000 and it’s listed amongst the top 10 magazines with the largest circulations in Canada. Appears Maclean’s may be the only news and current affairs publication in that group, unless Reader’s Digest Canada, Eh? counts.

          Perhaps your “no one” is actually “none of my comrades”?

          I appreciate the rest of your comment because it’s a fine example of cynically attacking the messenger with the intent to deflect attention off of Prime Minister Gropey McGropehands.

        • Marc Legare says

          I heard from Warren Kinsella, you really are a fool. The CBC sat on this for months. Are they controlled by the left?

      • Nick Ender says

        A question that answers itself. Good point.

    • Brian F. Will says

      This issue is pure feminist manipulation. They know he can’ t say that the allegation ‘is a total lie’, because he already said ‘believe all women’.

      Following the modern fixation on deposing white males and statues, he was ripe to fall.

      I almost feel bad for him, because I don’t believe he groped or did anything of the sort.

      • Dennis says

        I think it’s pretty clear he did grope…..he hasn’t denied it and the women in question confirmed it was a grope…..
        I feel sorry for him as well, because he’s so clearly out his depth

  2. “… a spate of high-profile accusations against apparently innocent men show that a policy of believing all victims—which Trudeau himself once embraced—is a recipe for witch hunts.”

    Shouldn’t that say a “policy of believing all *accusers*”? The very phrase “believe all victims” is tendentious activist-speak.

  3. Male feminists are creeps who try the route of deception to get to women. Why’s it a surprise that Trudeau is a sexual assaulter? Al Franken, Harvey Weinstien, Louis CK, George Takei, Jamie Kilstein, the list goes on.

    Here’s a good bit from the Joe Rogan show about it: Telling the Truth and Sneaky Male Feminists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBK8QktuViw

    • Stuart Chambers says

      Trudeau and Weinstein cannot possibly be put on the same list.

    • Paul Ellis says

      “Male feminists are creeps who try the route of deception to get to women.”

      It’s certainly an attractive and oft-used stratagem for beta (or lower) males who fancy alpha (or, indeed, any) females. I’m not sure it’s always a deception; probably most ‘new men’ believe they have expunged all traces of sexism from their being. As a mating stratagem it appears to be less than successful: the alpha (and lower) heterosexual females go on fancying the alpha males anyway.

      Let’s not forget that ‘alpha’ can take many forms, not all associated with being a ‘jock’, although being a bonny lad from a top family certainly helps. Beta males can unexpectedly find themselves in situations that confer alpha status upon them, and be amazed at how their lives transform.

      • ADM64 says

        It’s also a strategy for dominating other men via virtue-signaling.

      • Mark says

        He’s gay, too, which lowers the likelihood a lot.

        • That’s what he wants you to think. And then BLAMO… suddenly you’re having sex. Watch out for gay men. All the really want from women is sex. All they really want from men is to redocorate their apartment

    • Sorry, there are so many male feminist sexual assaulters that I can’t keep straight which ones’ victims are men. My apologies.

  4. C Young says

    Its that old and familiar story – radicals persuade liberals that their shared vision for a new Day Zero can only be delivered if law and due process are set aside. They server to buttress the status quo. They are anyway just the products of the old power relations they want to sweep away.

    No omelettes were ever made by legalist-formalists.

    Due process is abolished. The omelettes fail to appear. Now the radicals need a new way to explain the persistence of the status quo. Now they come for the liberals.

    In the 40s and 50s people like Trudeau were known as ‘useful idiots’.

    • Rob says

      Yep. And moderate liberals go along with the program because they’re trapped in Manichean thinking and believe it’s their side or my side so I’ll go along with the radicals on my side. Or they just want to be regarded as nice and agreeable. So they assist in the tearing down of liberal values and the rule of law. Just ask the Girondists how that turns out.

  5. Keir says

    Is Margaret Atwood not an influential Canadian public figure?

    • The problem there is the Handmaid adaptation is much closer to the regressive left than Atwood has ever been. One of the most stirring things about her writing is that she is unerringly humanitarianism. Her main route to equality is justice.

      In the Penelopiad, she explicitly comes out against mob rule. Odysseus is put on trial for mysogeny, and the judge is like—give him a break. Values change, and there are other circumstances observers aren’t privy to. (The Odyssey was likely a wrapper intended to preserve an ancient female ritual, the actions of which modern readers interpret as sexist rather than profoundly feminist. See comment above about men hiding behind a mask of feminism. LOL.)

      • Rob says

        I think the point is that Atwood came out publicly against the witch hunt in the Steven Gallloway case, and in support of due process. Of course, that got her tarred as a traitor to the cause by younger, third-wave feminists. But she did stand up for liberal values.

        • It was disheartening watching young women and woman-like-creatures tear up her carcus on twitter, as if she wasn’t a wise, experienced, humanist and feminist. As if you couldn’t, in any one of her books, find the heart and soul of #metoo and also the heart and soul of it’s opposition, and so many things in between

  6. Harrison Bergeron says

    Please write about the career assassination of Chris Hardwick based on no evidence. Life ruined, fired from everything. AMC, Comic Con, everyone. Silence from his famous “friends.” Why? Ex-girlfriend wrote a blog post about how we was a controlling boyfriend. Literally, that’s it. She used the term “sexual assault” but what she described was nothing that could be categorized as anywhere near assault. Hardwick is so vanilla he makes Aziz Ansari look like Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Please write about this madness.

  7. It wasn’t hypocritical at all for Evangelical Christians to vote for Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. You might want to bone up on the lesser of two evils argument. There is plenty of hypocrisy however with this man child Trudeau. The emptiest of empty suits. The me too movement itself is worthless and causes more harm then good. The problems it seeks to solve are as old as mankind itself. Most of these problems would be solved if women would go to the authorities immediately upon being sexually harassed or abused in any way shape or form but unfortunately in most cases they do not report these incidents. It stinks that the onus is squarely on the women but men know sexually harassing/assaulting women is wrong yet the worst among of us will continue to do it. The way to decrease the behavior is to not let so many men get away with it any more and that requires uncomfortable things like going to the police or your boss at work or there boss if the boss doesn’t care. Its not from a lack of knowledge on men’s part or any of the idiotic things me too pushes like teaching men not to rape or making men more “feminine”. Depriving people of due process of course is never the answer to anything.

    • TarsTarkas says

      Why was it hypocritical for evangelists to vote for a serial womanizer and adulterer but not hypocritical for feminists to vote for a rape and assault enabler? Answer: ‘Cause she’s on our side. Power politics, pure and simple.

    • Caligula says

      “in 2016, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women “like an octopus,” and who was caught on tape bragging about doing so.”

      One does not vote for a politician as one would select a personal friend; rather, one weighs the probable consequence.

      The feminist defense of former Pres. Clinton seems to have been based on a policy of “abortion uber alles.” That is, Pres. Clinton was a reliable defender of abortion rights, and his replacement might not be.

      And so, too, regarding evangelicals and Pres. Trump. As the values of evangelicals move ever further from the mainstream, it’s hardly surprising if many look toward constitutional protections that protect individuals against a tyranny by the majority. And thus, it’s hardly surprising to see evangelicals vote for Trump, if for no other reason than the potential effects of the Supreme Court on religious liberties.

      I interpreted the author’s apparently gratuitious swipe as a sort of “See, I’m truly centrist!” attempt. And perhaps the author is centrist (whatever that actually means), but, the examples offered could/should have been better?

  8. Tony says

    Truth and consequences, Quillette style. Thanks for this JK.

  9. Patrick Bark says

    I’m not sure what Trudeau is accused of, as I’m not sure what it means to grope a woman.
    But I do agree that due process should be granted when questions of criminality or employment are involved. Not sure how you apply due process when the offense is just boorish behavior.
    But surely 20 year old minor breaches of sexual manners should be summarily dismissed as having little to do with the offending behavior and more to do with other agendas.
    An awful lot of these me too complaints go a long in confirming the worst stereotypes of women, such as hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and they certainly don’t portray women as strong ,independent, and courageous adults. Instead they portray a herd mentality most unbecoming.
    It leads one to conclude that even for the most apparently liberated young women the sexual revolution has left a lot to be desired, such as good enjoyable sex.
    It’s a real puzzleler.

  10. donald j. tingle says

    To be all cliche about it, for libs and the establishment, the hypocrisy is a feature, not a bug, which I am sure this writer knows all too well and indeed exemplifies, by minimizing the very real and important question of whether that particular man did indeed grope that particular woman.

  11. DBruce says

    “more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women “like an octopus,” and who was caught on tape bragging about doing so.”

    What a dumb statement.

  12. Hamr says

    A spot on analysis of this whole situation, by JK.

    The vast majority of Canadians are reasonable and rational people, and have been watching in horror over the past decade as such fundamental rights as due process and presumption of innocence are being systematically and intentionally eroded and removed from various (and ever shifting) segments of it’s citizenry. This erosion of fairness within the rule of law is wholly due to activists (of various ideologies) gaining a degree of influence and power such that they are able to bypass traditional checks and balances, and mandate/enact their own ideological agenda driven policies from within.

    I have zero sympathy for Trudeau. He was a willing participant in creating the situation that he finds himself in now.

  13. Devon Ironside says

    I’ve long suspected that #MeToo and its associated conviction-before-investigation witch hunts would continue gathering momentum until enough high-profile male progressives ended up getting blindsided by historic (and trifling) accusations, at which point “moderates” would feel emboldened to call for a more balanced approach (as some did regarding the Al Franken case).

    As Rex Murphy put it (when discussing the Christine Moore affair), “the #MeToo hurricane is indiscriminate in its landings.” Only when the radicals and virtue-signalers start getting burned by the very zero-tolerance policies they themselves clamored for will they realize how perilous the mantra of “believe all accusers” can be.

  14. Jonathan, In your last paragraph you write “It would also allow him to begin leading us in an honest conversation about the proper way to reconcile MeToo with the need to ensure due process”. Seriously? I can’t imagine a scenario in which Trudeau would end up with the credibility to lead any kind of moral discussion?

  15. Peter from Oz says

    ”While no reasonable person disputes the idea that the fight against sexual violence and harassment is a real and urgent project,”
    I must be unreasonable then, because I know that the whole metoo thing is a lot of rubbish.

    • Mark says

      Sexual violence and harassment of women is real, but it’s not as common as the fembots make out. There’s a lot more general violence, a significant percentage of which is suffered by men. Yet we never hear about the vast majority of [male] victims.

      Where is that feminine caring nature? Apparently it doesn’t apply to men.

  16. Hamr says

    Canada has a parallel psuedo- judiciary system.
    The Canadian Human Rights Commission.
    A good idea, in principal, but it has become a classic’star chamber’ .
    No accountability.
    No recourse.

  17. markbul says

    Regarding the trope that American conservatives are hypocrites for their support of Trump: First, the term ‘family values’ is a generation old, and its use here suggests a lack of seriousness by the author. And the author certainly understands that American conservatives are as capable of anyone of prioritizing their political concerns when they vote. This sort of petty – and disingenuous – demand for consistency for people one disagrees with reveals the point-scoring mindset, and it does not flatter the writer. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that if you sincerely believe that the abortion of a fetus is the murder of a child, surely it can’t be unreasonable to set that concern above the vulgar boasts of a political candidate.

    A fine article otherwise, so why spoil it?

  18. D.B. Cooper says

    Gentlemen, I know this is going to come across as pedantic – because it is – and I normally wouldn’t traffic in trivial contrivances, but I feel it’s necessary in this particular instance given that the author, Mr. Kay, has more or less (but really more than less) just molested journalistic integrity in a drive by raping of the American Christian conscious. Again, I’m well aware that what I’m about to critique has almost nothing to do with the author’s principle argument, but honestly that’s what comment sections were made for: drivel. Consider the following two sentences from the opening paragraph:

    American Christian voters may claim to support politicians who embody family values. But in 2016, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women “like an octopus,” and who was caught on tape bragging about doing so.

    Please note the subtle shift from “American Christian voters” in the first sentence to “white evangelicals voted” in the second. And by subtle, I mean abrasively, if not opportunistically, creating synonyms where none exist, but doing so very subtle like. It’s worth asking, are these the same voters, and is Kay tacitly suggesting as much? In the interest of time, let me answer those for you. No, they’re not the same and, yes, he is.

    Left confused, not four sentences in, I began to consider that I might be guilty of over-reading the paragraph and, therefore, Kay’s fragile logic could be little more than a colloquial slip. But then I stopped being an idiot and realized that no one mentions an entire voting bloc’s race unintentionally and, furthermore, one can be damn sure no journalist would do so. They make their bones on the race hustle. Race is to journalism what Debbie was to Dallas. The two can almost become indistinguishable. Now, granted, these race hustlers journalists are simply reacting to the incentive structure we, the reading public (yes, there’s a difference between the “public” and the “reading public”), create for them. But that fact, alone, does not completely relieve the prose stylist of his culpability in propagating racial tensions across society.

    Let’s be blunt, here. Perverse incentive structures, notwithstanding, Kay clearly wanted his readers to know that white evangelicals are running a surplus on hypocrites just south of the border. Four-fifths of them qualify, he informs us.

    But, why does he?

    Surely, Kay doesn’t believe this subset (whites) of a subset (Evangelicals) of American Christians actually represents an example of the hypocrisies that infect national politics? Yes, I know he said as much – I read it. But I would like to think better of him. I would like to think the author didn’t consciously decide not to leave his charges of hypocrisy at the doorstep of ALL American Christians, b/c to do so may come dangerously close to suggesting that other groups (besides whites) are morally flawed.

    Instead, I would like to think maybe Kay just briefly suffered something on the order of a Tourette’s induced histrionic outburst just as he was slipping into the opening paragraph. That would suffice for me. But, then again, that would be unwarrantedly generous; since, sadly, I’m convinced he indeed believes what he says. A novel idea for anyone in 2018, I know.

    Unfortunately, for Kay his sincere beliefs in the hypocrisy of white evangelicals (WEs) no more qualifies what is true than does my deeply held belief in unicorns. To be honest, I like my chances compared to his.

    But Kay’s tenuous grip on reality is not what concerns me, here. Well, it’s not the only thing that concerns me. What concerns me – and there are so many – is Kay’s tragic and, I think purposeful, mischaracterization of American Christians, I’m sorry, mischaracterization of white evangelicals (WEs).

    Consider the following two points:

    (1)
    Would it be too much to expect a man of Kay’s intellectual depth, to at least consider the possibility that 80% of WEs in 2016 weren’t supporting Trump so much as they were fighting Hillary?

    Put yourself in the place of a WE. You’re standing in a booth, staring down at a screen and at the top of ticket you see two names. One belongs to a man who grabs the pussy, and the other belongs to a woman who fully supports killing babies. Now, place those two on your scale of moral justice and tell me how they weigh out.

    A pussy groping recidivist vs. an avowed baby killer.

    Now, it’s your scale, and you can choose whomever you like, but whoever it is, we can be fairly sure you did so under the lesser of two evils principle.

    (2)
    For arguments sake, let’s concede that WEs who support a man that grabs the pussy is reflective of the type of hypocrisies that infect national politics. If true, what does it suggests of non-white evangelicals who supported a man that was not only pro late-stage abortions, but who argued and voted against protecting babies who lived through “failed” abortion procedures. You may have heard of this practice, in some circles it’s called infanticide.

    I wonder what it suggests about Christians who supports a candidate like this. I wonder if Kay thinks these Christians are reflective of the type of hypocrisies that infect national politics. If so, he’s probably gonna need to push that 2016 date back a touch.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=YUkbuhXzbvI

    • Tom More says

      That was beautiful. This liberal will continue to read his Aristotelian metaphysics and foundational principles derived from monk scholars and the folks who find the notion that consciousness is a not even accidental (accidents… an aristotelian term of note implies an overarching end or purpose.. teleology) simply stupid. This pussyfooting and frankly cowardly article was as you said.. more of making bones .. begging for membership.. than insight. He should investigate some ballsy theism.. a little blood of the martyrs perhaps. Cheap drivel. Loved your wonderful response. Shades of philosopher Ed Feser.

  19. Peter says

    Wow. I think I just heard, for the first time, the sound of a body part puckering. We tend to see this level of performance continuously at the National Post when JK writes.

  20. Steve says

    “American Christian voters may claim to support politicians who embody family values. But in 2016, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women”

    American Christians didn’t vote for Trump *because* he’s a sexist boor, but rather *in spite of* this.

    I mean, d’uh.

    The sad part is that so many people in America are forced into such a “lesser of two evils” conundrum in the first place (and Hillary Clinton absolutely was the greater evil in this case).

    • Tom says

      You are so right about the Clinton monster. The most sexist and deceptive candidate. Trump’s buffoonery and frat airhead act is more comedic. Trudeau gives this liberal the creeps. His smoked out brain dead ’60’s neoMarxist feminist crap is however the modern degeneracy. He’s a Weinstein liberal, that big Clinton backer.

  21. V 2.0 says

    Oh sweet karma…

    As for #MeToo, this overreaction to someone awkwardly flirting or, worst case scenario, being a jerk has got to stop or we will be back to the days of chaperones and bonnets (or head scarves) for fear of being assaulted by some man’s wandering eye. Honestly, unless someone literally lost a limb I really don’t care any more. Get some therapy or something and move on. When I was going to school in Germany in the late 80s you couldn’t set foot in a public place without some guest worker from Turkey putting his arm around you and trying to get a quick grope (because a woman by herself wearing shorts equals prostitute, I guess). I remember being more annoyed than traumatized. But then I grew up in a time when equality meant being able to handle yourself in a world full of dangers, just like a man.

  22. Vince says

    “In both Canada and the United States, groping scandals have opened a window into the hypocrisies that infect national politics. American Christian voters may claim to support politicians who embody family values. But in 2016, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for a man who stood accused of groping women “like an octopus,” and who was caught on tape bragging about doing so. ”

    Bzzt. You lose all credibility after this. While claiming to be above the fray, you’re not above using the dirty tricks of the journalistic trade to slander a group you’d like to slander. The first hypocrite you need to be concerned about is the one who looks at you in the mirror.

  23. Tom More says

    Pro life sentiment? Is there some other time when human life begins? And this is not “feminism” .. its the killing of a generation of men and women, boys and girls. And also laughable to this liberal that under the putative heading ‘sexism of political leaders’ you do not mention the most sexist political campaign in North American history.. Clinton’s. I’m sorry but your article is so very mincing and tame. Real liberals will have to stand up.

  24. Alan Fournier says

    I never cease to be amazed at the unbelievable similarities between feminism and McCarthyism.

    #MeToo is but one aspect of this orwellian nightmare. I have probably had more female sexual partners in my life than most heterosexual men. I’m not bragging. I’m simply telling the truth. I don’t see intimacy with anybody as a conquest or a badge of my sexual prowess. But what I can say is that I rarely if ever initiated sexual activity with women. I happen to be gay.

    As a young man I was something of a bad boy. I was reckless and partied hard. I wasn’t bad looking and had a decent body. Almost all my sexual activities with women were initiated by women. My participation was largely in response to my upbringing. I never kissed and told. I was raised to defer to women and accommodate them where I could. Although no longer sexual, I still respect women. But there were occasions where, had the genders been reversed I would have been guilty of sexual assault. Not once, but a number of times.

    I admit that I am an outspoken critic of feminism and feminists. I reject the hysteria and religious fervour that society now condones and promotes for this insanity.

    I lived in a large old mansion in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill for decades. Tenants were mostly graduate students and/or various and assorted interns in media and affairs of government. Many have gone on to quite successful careers.

    A few years ago i listened to one of those former tenants commenting on a national network of the travails of being a woman in the media in suffering harassment and sexually inappropriate behaviour of men. I found it extraordinarily rich. Over twenty-five that same woman did to me what was nothing less than sexual assault. Had I done it I could be serving time in prison.

    This is not an indictment of women. But it is time that we recognized the women are every bit as capable as men of violating sexual boundaries. The fact that we have hypocrites like Justin Trudeau ingratiating feminists, with his cowardly chivalry, at the expense of other men, is disgusting. It’s a form of cowardice I despise.

Comments are closed.