Late-night comedian Bill Maher criticized aspects of the #MeToo movement for going too far to demonize men, arguing that it’s creating a “police state” for sex and dating.
On HBO’s “Real Time” Friday night, Mr. Maher invited New York Times staff editor and columnist Bari Weiss, a female critic of the #MeToo movement, to discuss the pitfalls of the zero-tolerance climate regarding sexual misconduct.
“The hard left is basically saying it’s OK if a few innocent men go down with the ship if that’s what it takes to bring down the patriarchy,” Ms. Weiss said. “They hate zero tolerance on the right when it comes to drug policy, but they love zero tolerance when it comes to sexual misconduct. That’s a problem, because what it does is collapse all the categories. It means that Aziz Ansari is on a list next to Harvey Weinstein, and I don’t think anyone with common sense thinks that that’s reasonable.”
Mr. Maher said the movement is teaching men to “just shut up,” because they get attacked for commenting on inappropriate behavior even when what they’re saying is valid. He cited actor Matt Damon as an example of someone who “did not say the wrong thing” but was attacked anyway after he argued that “there’s a difference” between “patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation.”
“When you’re wrong even when you say the right thing, then I feel like a husband,” Mr. Maher quipped.
The liberal host went on to place a portion of the blame on emotionally fragile millennials.
“I don’t think it’s the majority of [millennials],” Mr. Maher said. “I think it’s the upper-middle-class kids who grew up screaming at their parents and that was OK. And they are just so f–ing fragile. I think of them as emotional hemophiliacs and the rest of us have to be so careful around them.
“They are losing their minds and they’re going to bleed what is so great out of life” he said. “This is the first #MeToo Valentine’s Day coming up. Who knows what to write in the card? You can’t make anything 100 percent safe. A police state, they always say, is the safest place to live. But you’re in a police state. We don’t want to do that with love. We’ve spent our whole history as humans saying it’s magical, it’s serendipity, a lot of it happens subconsciously … you can’t legislate all of this or rule it out of existence.”
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