The New Rise of Habeus Dickus

« January 2018 »

Memo to Pat Meehan, Garrison Keillor, and Bill Maher: YOU ARE DUMB.

A few months into the MeToo/ Time’s Up movement, and suddenly, a whole bunch of men are VERY interested in equality, fairness, and the relative temporal relationship between “innocent” and “proven guilty”. The cries of “habeas dickus” are coming loud and clear from all the middle-aged-plus white dudes who’ve clearly been grabbing ass without consequence for four decades and are now suddenly VERY FUCKING NERVOUS. But first, let’s demonstrate why it’s hella early for a backlash as IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

“But we were soul mates. I think that the idea of soul mate is that sort of person that you go through remarkable experiences together.” - Pennsylvania Republican Pat Meehan, about a young aide who he paid a hefty settlement for sexual harassment.

Oh, the excuses that came from Meehan’s mouth after it was revealed that one of the Republicans leading the charge against Congressional sexual harassment was a big fucking hypocrite! For the record, he claims that he thought they were soul mates, that he only acted like a complete dick to her after he learned she had a boyfriend because he was “stressed” about Obamacare reveal, that she invited communication with him, and that he told her he didn’t want to bone her. All of this is of course perfectly believable and not creepy at all. To him. Which is the problem.

Yesterday, Meehan announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election, because apparently his plan to portray the accuser he paid off as the temptress from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” was less viable, politically, than he thought it would be. And yes, I mean the ‘86 remake, because like Meehan, it was tacky and unnecessary and we’re better off without it.

”The allegations are untrue…whatever flirtation occurred between the complainant and me was mutual, believe me... she enjoyed flirtation, as many people do." - Garrison Keillor, A Pervy Unwanted Companion.

This is gross on the face of it, but let’s remember that a few months ago, he said this whole thing was about him accidentally putting his hand on a woman’s back, and now it was flirting that was totally mutual and the woman totally enjoyed. Because I think if there’s one thing men have shown over their centuries of dominance over society and culture, it’s that their ability to accurately perceive what women are enjoying is UNCANNY.

Keillor also released a statement saying that “I'm an honest fiction writer and I will tell this story in a novel.” Which is probably a bad idea, because he doesn’t have a job anymore. So how is he gonna pay his lawyers when Michael Crichton sues him for ripping off “Disclosure”? If Keillor thinks people will want to read a folksy, Midwestern take on OJ’s “If I Did It”, I don’t think we can trust anything he says about what many people enjoy.

”Do liberals want to become the distinction deniers, the people who can’t tell or don’t want to see a difference between assault in a van and a backrub by the water cooler? … Giving up on the idea that even bad things have degrees – that is as dumb as embracing alternative facts.” - Bill Maher, who has definitely given at least three unwanted back rubs by water coolers.

Samantha Bee covered the fact that nobody’s actually doing what Maher’s claiming way better than I ever could on Full Frontal, so go watch that if you haven’t seen it. I’ll take on the core of Maher’s argument, the latest in his series of “Come On, I Really Like My Privilege Why You Gotta Take It From Me” rants. If there’s one thing the two above examples show beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s that men don’t get to mansplain how bad these things are to women, which of course means mansplaining how not bad these things really are if you just had a man’s sense of perspective, honey.

You don’t fucking know how bad it was. You think they’re your soulmates and you think they enjoy flirting with you and you think giving them a back rub by the water cooler is no big deal. You don’t fucking know how bad it is because willfully ignoring how bad it was has somehow been a successful male breeding strategy for pretty much all of society. The fear you’re feeling right now could be educational, if you listened to it, instead of frantically invoking Joe McCarthy to insulate yourself from it.