The #MeToo movement, for all its controversies, has arguably accomplished more than most recent social justice movements. Simply put, it gets results. Over the past year, high profile celebrities, politicians, and members of the media ranging from Louis C.K. to Matt Lauer and Al Franken have been exposed as perpetrators of extensive sexual harassment and assault. Bill Cosby, once a pillar of American family life, now finds himself facing the full wrath of the American justice system, as does former Hollywood movie tycoon Harvey Weinstein. The way society views sexual assault and the men who commit these crimes has fundamentally changed.
The premise of the movement is one we can all get behind: rightfully punishing those who are guilty of assault and harassment while protecting helpless men and women is a noble cause. Being mindful of the different ways men and women act and feel in sexually charged situations is paramount to a functioning, civilized society. Where the #MeToo movement falls short is in demonstrating the same level of activism and outrage when the perpetrator leans to the left of the political spectrum.
Case in point, the complete and utter silence from the #MeToo movement regarding rumors of sexual impropriety swirling around Canadian Prime Minister— and darling of the American left— Justin Trudeau. Allegations arose earlier this year that, while attending a music festival in Creston, British Columbia, the then 28 year old Trudeau groped a reporter for the Creston Valley Advance newspaper. In a statement from the accuser, Rose Knight, she alleges that Trudeau inappropriately groped her, only to apologize the next day. According to an earlier editorial on the subject, Trudeau stated the day after, “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.” Not the sincerest apology in the world, obviously.
When questioned about the allegations at an impromptu press conference the Prime Minister stated that he didn’t recall, “any negative interactions that day at all,” and contradicted the claim that he apologized the following day after the incident occurred. A couple of days later, at yet another press conference, the Prime Minister changed his tune, suggesting instead that he was “sorry” that he had made the alleged victim uncomfortable.
One would think that a story as significant as this, involving the leader of a country, in the new #MeToo era would be blowing up the world press, taking over the front pages from Toronto to Tampa. You would be wrong.
Trudeau has, for the most part, avoided the ire of the #MeToo movement, and the story has almost completely avoided the headlines in the American or Canadian press. On the contrary, the alleged, consensual affair between US President Donald Trump and pornstar Stormy Daniels has continued to dominate the cable news cycle. Not to mention, alleged sexual assaults committed by President Trump were widely reported on during the 2016 election cycle. Publications such as Newsweek have gone as far as to say that the President’s election has given material support to predators such as Weinstein.
This isn’t the first time that the sexual follies of a card-carrying liberal have been ignored or excused. Last December, after a photo emerged depicting then Minnesota Senator Al Franken groping a reporter’s breasts as she was asleep and smiling for the camera, the leadership of the Democrats in the Senate was slow to condemn the allegations. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer refused to comment on the initial allegations, as well as additional allegations of sexual assault from Franken until the calls for his resignation from fellow Democrats were deafening.
It’s not that the #MeToo movement hasn’t made significant strides towards destigmatizing speaking out about assault and punishing the perpetrators. Instead, the problem with the #MeToo movement is that those within it seem more willing to forgive and forget the actions of those who align politically with the movement than those who do not. If one thing in our extremely polarized political climate should be a bipartisan issue, surely, it’s the sexual assault and harassment of men and women by figures in positions of power and authority.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.