Bill Maher is back for another season. Friday night he parted with the video seen above. I agree with him. The #MeToo movement is off the mark–not in intent but because it fails to recognize degrees of inappropriateness.
Bill Maher returned tonight with a new season of Real Time on HBO and delivered his closing monologue on the “#MeToo movement” and how it may be going too far. He said ‘The Nothing Is Funny People’ is trying to take over the world and we can’t let them.
Maher started off by talking about the controversial image showing him mirroring the infamous photo of Al Franken grabbing a sleeping Leeann Tweeden’s breasts. He called it a “joke about a joke.” He said if something like that is too rough for you, don’t watch.
Maher ripped Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York for turning #MeToo into ‘#MeCarthyism’ for refusing to differentiate sexual harassment and sexual assault while declaring a line needs to be drawn that “none of it is okay.” He complained that she is going “unchallenged” while laying out how there are different degrees of sexual misconduct, likening it to different degrees of a burn.
“Something is way off when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand can go unchallenged,” he began.
Maher was responding to the following quote from the Senator: “When we start having to talk about the differences between sexual harassment and sexual assault and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation.”
“I’m down with #MeToo, I’m not down with #MeCarthyism,” Maher began. “Something is way off when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand can go unchallenged.”
“Can’t we just be having an additional conversation?” Maher said to applause. “Can we only have one thought now?”
“I get Al Franken had to become roadkill on the ‘Zero Tolerance Highway’ — a highway it seems that only Democrats have to drive on,” he observed.
“But do liberals really want to be the ‘distinction deniers?'” Maher asked. “The people who can’t tell or don’t want to see the difference between assault in a van and a backrub at the water cooler? Masturbation is normal and healthy, but not in the park.”
Maher also responded to actress Mini Driver likening seeing a penis to rape.
“This is madness,” Maher said. “No one in the world would choose rape over seeing a penis.”
“We are losing the thread of thinking,” he said.
“The Declaration of Independence begins with ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident.’ Self-evident,” Maher lectured.
Maher said this type of thinking is like comparing Mike Pence to Muslims throwing gays off the roofs of buildings.
“Giving up the idea that even bad things have degrees. That is as dumb as embracing the idea of alternative facts,” he said to applause. “I get it when Trump’s side doesn’t want to talk, he only knows 88 words. But we are supposed to be the conversation people — justice require’s weighing things. That’s why Lady Justice is holding a scale and not a sawed-off shotgun.”
“Senator Gillibrand went on to say, ‘You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is okay.’ Yes. Agreed. But we can’t walk and chew gum anymore? We can’t agree that groping and rape are both unacceptable and one is worse?” he said, again to applause.
“Apparently not, because when Matt Damon said, ‘There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?’ liberal Twitter responded, ‘No there isn’t, Jason Bourne-yesterday.'”
#MeToo is a terrific movement that has redefined terms of engagement between the sexes, at least in modern America. This is basically a good thing. However, in order to jump on this bandwagon, people must accept that all offense is not equal.
When I was a cute young thing at age 21, Colonel Sanders tapped me on the butt with his then famous cane and then patted me and said “nice ass.” Was that sexist and inappropriate, you better believe it was. So was the tittering of all the old goats sitting around with him. Perhaps the setting should have been included to make this story more believable. I was with my boyfriend whose father owned a KFC store in a rural town in Virginia. The town was having a 250th celebration and several famous people attended. Getting The Colonel to attend was a big deal. (Chesty Puller was also in attendance also. He lived in Saluda)
What did I do? I laughed. Colonel Sanders was an old man and he was a guest. I was 21. I shrugged it off and filed it away in my mind. Folks, being tapped on the butt is a whole lot better than what had happened to me before at the drive-in with a marine who was way overly aggressive. I had to fight like hell to get out of that one and there simply is not comparison.
I thought about putting my #MeToo and my Colonel Sanders story on my Facebook page. Then I figured my friends would laugh at me. I certainly have had some far more serious breaches of conduct happen to me in my life than some old man getting a little frisky. I think we can all gain a lot more footage in defining what is acceptable and what is not if we include degrees of offensiveness and perhaps even illegality in our building blocks on thought.
We absolutely cannot equate Al Franken to Roy Moore’s conduct. Not even close. Bill Maher is right.