Unless you’ve been hiding from the internet, you’re probably pretty well acquainted with the standard Media Outrage Cycle: outrageous thing happens, people get mad, thinkpieces get written, backlash starts, more thinkpieces get written, then occasionally there’s backlash to the backlash before another outrageous thing distracts us, rinse, repeat. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the cascading series of revelations of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse by men in positions of power, many women and their allies have been bracing for the backlash. Well we can officially stop bracing because the backlash is here!
After the Aziz Ansari scandal erupted, those who thought the #MeToo movement had gone too far, like Ashleigh Banfield, saw their opening to push back
— HLN (@HLNTV) January 16, 2018
Banfield ripped the author of the story for failing to corroborate details and damaging the #MeToo movement in the process, and while she may be the face of the backlash, she’s not the only one getting in on the action. Actors like Catherine Deneuve and Liam Neeson have joined right wing cable news hosts like Tucker Carlson in a rousing chorus of “WHEN WILL IT STOP?”
But Samantha Bee isn’t hearing that shit and she’s got an expletive-fueled rant to explain why
If you think we should listen to and believe women then we have to, you know, let them speak. That means letting them say things even and ESPECIALLY when those things make you uncomfortable. The moral of the Aziz Ansari story isn’t that he’s a bad guy, it’s that he’s a relatively normal guy and that’s the problem. “Normal” sexual encounters come with a whole host of unspoken expectations and unequal power dynamics that benefit men and their sexual desires at the expense of women and their sexual desires. Banfield and the Backlashers (great band name) are trying to make sure everyone knows that the Ansari incident is “normal.” Samantha Bee is here to remind us that that’s true and that’s the problem.
Bee directed the most important part of her rant towards the ones responsible: men.
“If you say you’re a feminist then fuck like a feminist and if you don’t wanna do that then take off your [Time’s Up] pin because we are not your fucking accessories,” she mic-dropped.
Get on board, stand aside, or lay down on the tracks because Sam Bee’s driving the backlash-to-the-backlash train and it’s full steam ahead.