Critics worry that #MeToo will lump together inappropriate behavior and sexual assault. But women know how to make the distinction.
It’s been one of the most common criticisms of #MeToo: Women are lumping together crimes like sexual assault with smaller violations and misdeeds, like what a young woman says she experienced on a date with Aziz Ansari.
We heard it from Andrew Sullivan, who worried that “distinctions among many different types of offenses — from bad behavior at private parties to brutal assault and rape of employees and co-workers — were being instantly lost in the fervor.”
We heard it from 100 high-profile French women (including actress Catherine Deneuve, who has since apologized to survivors), who wrote, “Rape is a crime. But hitting on someone, even awkwardly, is not, and neither is gallantry a masculine aggression.”
“The #MeToo movement has righted a lot of wrongs, and it has made your career path much smoother,” Banfield said, addressing Grace directly. “Yet you looked that gift horse in the mouth and chiseled away at that powerful movement with your public accusation.”
It’s true that there’s a big difference between what Grace says happened between her and Ansari and what many people have reported about Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men: Grace and Ansari had no working relationship, and Grace is not alleging any kind of workplace harassment, which has been the core issue of #MeToo. But it’s eminently conceivable to discuss both harassment on the job and coercive behavior in private without getting the two mixed up.