On Wednesday, Samantha Bee unleashed a hilarious and poignant bit of full-frontal-feminist standup on her show, saying, “so now that we’re finally listening to women, some people are asking an important question: should we stop listening to women?” Her question references the backlash the #MeToo movement is receiving in response to the Shitty Media Men List and the accusation against Aziz Ansari.
A little context: In October, a woman, who has since revealed herself to be Moira Donegan, anonymously compiled a crowd-sourced list of men working in media who have assaulted, harassed, or raped women, or plagiarized their work. It was taken down just 12 hours after it began, but it gained widespread attention and was often treated it as if it was a hit list. Then, last week, an article was pubilshed on Babe.net accusing Aziz Ansari of sexual coercion. The media exploded, claiming that Ansari’s career shouldn't suffer just because Ansari and the woman had “bad sex.”
Now, actors, politicians, writers, and media personalities have declared that women are overreacting to innocent situations, voicing concern that the #MeToo movement is becoming a witch hunt, wherein a man can’t even speak to a woman for fear of having his life and career ruined.
In the video, Bee reassures these men that they will not have their heads impaled on the spiked-gates surrounding the castle of misandry, pointing out that “what many fail to understand is that it doesn’t have to be rape to ruin your life, and it doesn’t have to ruin your life to be worth speaking out about. Any type of sexual harassment or coercion is unacceptable.” She then asks if women can’t collectively strategize about the ways that they are forced, on a daily basis, in almost all workplaces, and on the majority of dates, to endure men’s subtle and unsubtle aggression, “What the fuck are women supposed to do to protect ourselves?”
Part of changing the higher standards around sex also means teaching men how to respect women, and to become better allies: “People like me had to wade through a sea of prehensile dicks to build the world we now enjoy, and part of enjoying that world is setting a higher standard for sex than just ‘not rape,’ and women get to talk about it if men don’t live up to those standards, especially if a man wrote a book about how to sex good.”
In a final direct jab at Ansari, who, in an ironic display of fake allyship wore a #TIME’SUP pin to the Golden Globes, Bee says, “men, if you say you’re a feminist, then fuck like a feminist. If you don’t want to do that, take off your fucking pin because we are not your accessories.”
top photo: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
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Sarah C. Epstein is a writer and creator living in NYC. In her free time she enjoys eating berries, reflecting on her dreams, and hanging out with her pet snake, Sydney. Find her online at cricketepstein.com.