Brow Beat

#BeeToo: Samantha Bee Lashes Back at the #MeToo Backlash

In recent weeks, the #MeToo backlash has reared its ugly, apologist, “What about the men?” head, but fortunately, Samantha Bee is here to shut it down with a dose of razor-sharp feminist wit. Bee went all in on the #MeToo critics on this week’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee—or as she calls them, the #YouTooLoud movement.

With concerned critics suggesting more and more fervently that things have gone too far in the wake of the Ansari allegations, it appears the window for women to speak out against sexual assault and misconduct was just that: A window, lasting from October until now. “Now that we’re finally listening to women, some people are asking an important question: Should we stop listening to women?” said Bee.

Like many of us, she’s tired of claims that this is a “witch-hunt,” with denouncements from figures ranging from Tucker Carlson to Catherine Deneuve to Liam Neeson (whose characters somehow always believe the victimized women in his action movies). So she decided to debunk the concerns surrounding two of the most contentious items in the #MeToo conversation: The Shitty Media Men list and the Aziz Ansari allegations.

Bee first addressed the former, a short-lived, crowd-sourced, much maligned spreadsheet listing male journalists who have allegedly been “hostile, gropey, grabby, pinchy, pervy, plagiarazey, and rapey (aka the Weinstein version of The Seven Dwarves)” and overall shitty to women. That’s shitty, not assaulty, for all those claiming it conflated a wide range of actions with rape. “Literally nobody is saying they’re the same,” said Bee. “The list wasn’t called ‘Rapists and Other People Whose 100% Verified Crimes I Consider to Be Equal to Rape’.” Indeed, the one thing thread connecting these alleged acts together is that they are all things that women shouldn’t have to put up with. “It doesn’t have to ruin your life to be worth speaking out about,” Bee continued. “Any kind of sexual harassment or coercion is unacceptable.”

Speaking of, Bee then addressed the Aziz Ansari story, which has also attracted cries of “Me too too far.” Many people are expressing concern for Ansari’s career after he was accused of gross and pushy sexual behavior, but most of the people calling for his career to end live only in the #MeToo critics’ heads. As Slate’s Osita Nwanevu pointed out earlier this week, women understand degrees of scale. “We know the difference between a rapist, a workplace harasser, and an Aziz Ansari,” said Bee. “That doesn’t mean we should be happy about any of them.”

Ansari is far from a Weinstein, but his behavior is still worthy of discussion, especially because—as Bee notes—he has profited off of presenting a hypocritical feminist face to the world. We are allowed to have a higher standard for sex than “not rape,” said Bee. “And women get to talk about it when men don’t live up to those standards, especially if that man wrote a book about how to sex good.”

Bee concluded her fiery monologue by pointing out just how very #sorrynotsorry she is to the #MeToo detractors:

I’m sorry that anyone ever thought the contents of that list or any of the other ways we protect ourselves from men were your goddamn business. I’m sorry you thought you got to choose what experiences we can share or how we react to the shitty ways we’ve been treated. And to men specifically: I’m sorry that our request to be respected makes office culture a little less fun and flirty. And I’m sorry we tattled about that stuff you did on us, even when it was totally not rape. But listen. If you don’t want to tune into your partner’s feelings throughout sex, maybe you shouldn’t be fucking a person at all. May I suggest a coin purse or a Ziploc bag full of grape jelly?

Men, if you say you’re a feminist, then fuck like a feminist. And if you don’t want to do that, take off your fucking pin because we are not your accessories.