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Time for #MenToo

 The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the United Kingdom (UK) has recently criminalized “love-bombing”: overzealous flirting in the first phase of a relationship. 

There is no debate that rape and other forms of sexual assault should be punished severely. But we are criminalizing and stigmatizing sex itself as well as most forms of flirting and courting. 

Large swathes of romance and inter-dyadic dynamics are now promulgated as delinquent as is the majority of inter-gender interactions. We have sterilized lovemaking and rendered it transactional with the novel requirement for “enthusiastic consent”. 

The law in many countries is heavily biased in favor of women: shockingly, rape is defined in the UK as the misuse of a penis only! 

The justice system and “rape shield laws” have all but eradicated due process and the ability to defend oneself – if one is a man that is. Nine out of ten conceivable and indispensable defense strategies are inadmissible and impermissible in cases involving intimate relationships. This is unprecedented and has no equivalent in any other type of criminal offense.

The laudable idea is to accord women some protection from public shaming and re-traumatization. But victims of all crimes feel humiliated and traumatized. There is no reason whatsoever to single out rape, let alone sexual assault. 

Literally every sex act is now construed as sexual assault. Half of all men and women report being wary of each other in the workplace (Pew Center). Memory is highly unreliable: it degrades and is reframed with time (E. Loftus). Therefore, sexual offenses should be time debarred (there should be a statute of limitations) akin to other forms of bodily harm and assault. 

Yet, in some countries in the West, rape is equated with murder: a complaint can be filed – and often is – decades after the alleged events have taken place. The cyclical argument is: only 2-6% of sex crimes allegations are false. The proof? The conviction rate. Yet, the true number is probably ten times that, according to multiple studies. 

Women are weaponizing these newfound juridical powers and are colluding in groups to ruin men’s lives. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, celebrities have become the preferred targets – and lucrative settlements are all the rage among their victims, real and alleged.

Lying is much more common among certain psychopathological profiles, such as personality disorders. As the incidence and prevalence of Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, Paranoid, and Histrionic personality disorders increase among women, the likelihood of mendacity among complainants is skyrocketing.

Liars should be punished as harshly as the penalties are for the offenses that they allege. Yet, very few of them are even prosecuted for fear of exerting a chilling effect on real victims.

Enthusiastic consent is an impractical, stultifying constraint: no two individuals maintain the same level of passion for any specific sex act. Good sex involves compromise and the wish to please one another – not selfish gratification. We are reducing sex to mutual masturbation.

The entire debate feeds off toxic versions of both feminism and masculinity. Misandrist sentiments equate the unraveling of the patriarchy with retribution for millennia of subjugation. The woke, politically correct ideal is to eliminate gender (uni gender and the stalled revolution).

The pendulum has swung too far against men: young men are terrified to approach young women; every signaling behavior, however innocuous, amounts to sexual harassment; flirting and courting in the real world (IRL) are widely considered creepy and are even criminalized

Women are dissonant. They are caught between the still dominant sexual double standard (hypervigilant virtue) and invulnerability signaling: “I am the helpless victim, but I am also empowered, agentic, unaffected, and untouchable.”

Throughout post-modern societies, entitled grandiose victimhood has replaced dignity and reputational social control.  Current laws and their interpretation by the courts incentivize hyperbole or counterfactual reframing in a spiral of ever more fantastic accusations and allegations.

The aforementioned rise of narcissism, borderline (which is now being reconceived as a form of secondary psychopathy), and primary psychopathy among women leads to extreme fantasies, emotional dysregulation, acting out, psychotic micro episodes, dissociation, infantilism, and alloplastic defenses (blaming others for the predictable consequences and outcomes of your own regretted choices and decisions, never taking responsibility, never apologizing, never feeling guilty or blameworthy).

We must transition from the nebulous construct of enthusiastic consent towards behavioral or transactional consent. Behaviors before and after the fact provide an indispensable and often indisputable context. Post-facto remorse should not transform the acts performed into unwitting crimes.

Transactional sex should never be criminalized, regardless of the identities of the willing participants: power asymmetries are inherent in every give and take, sexual or not. Moreover: women have always been the sexual gatekeepers and have been trading sex for favors since the dawn of Mankind.   

Additionally, we should define far more narrowly and rigorously criminal offenses such as coercive control. Finally: the playing field should be leveled. Many women are primary breadwinners, more educated than men, and have been known to be abusive, too – yet there are almost no persecutions of women for such offenses despite these clear power asymmetries. 

For example:

Marital rape is criminalized as it should be. But the withholding of sex, affection, and intimacy should also be criminalized: it amounts to mental cruelty and is a manipulative control technique (a form of Machiavellianism). 

Women should be prosecuted for harassment (including of the sexual sort), stalking, defamation, coercion, rape, and a host of other offenses currently enforced exclusively against men.

Equal power confers equal responsibility and equal liabilities. Women are having it both ways nowadays. It is time to end this malpractice. The alternative is a reactionary male backlash against the hard-earned rights of women. We are witnessing the harbingers of this disturbing trend all over the globe, from rescinded abortion rights in the USA to Russia and Afghanistan where domestic violence has been decriminalized and access to the public sphere is being denied.

Dear reader,

Opinions expressed in the op-ed section are solely those of the individual author and do not represent the official stance of our newspaper. We believe in providing a platform for a wide range of voices and perspectives, even those that may challenge or differ from our ownAs always, we remain committed to providing our readers with high-quality, fair, and balanced journalism. Thank you for your continued support.Sincerely, The Brussels Morning Team

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