What It’s Like To Live In A World Run By The #MeToo Hysterics…

…a few weeks ago something odd happened. I had to interview a man at his home in the middle of the woods in upstate New York. No photographer would be present, and after a quick glance online I couldn’t find evidence of a wife. His profile, moreover, indicated he was 6ft 7in. And for the first time in my working life, I wondered.

Wondered if he’d make a pass? Wondered if he was a serial killer?

Reader, the answer is ‘All of the above’.

In this context it also made little sense: the man I was meeting was neutralised by a degree of celebrity. As a friend said, “George Clooney is not going to kill you.”

Merely one thing on the long list of things George Clooney won’t do to her, I syuuspect….

But these are strange times. Like every female reporter I know, I have been thinking a lot about Kim Wall, the Swedish journalist allegedly murdered by a man she went to interview on board his submarine in Denmark – a job no woman I know would have turned down, at least not on the grounds of personal safety. A few years ago it would have been easy to dismiss this story as a horrifying but freakish event. That is not how it reads to me now.

And yet neither does it seem sensible to entirely alter how I navigate the world. “You have to call him and ask him to meet you at a cafe,” said a friend, when I mentioned my unease on the morning of the interview.

“I don’t think I can,” I said.

“Why not?”

“It’s a bit … rude.”

“That’s ridiculous. Where’s the wife?”

“I don’t know if there is a wife. But he’s nearly 80.”

That doesn’t mean anything.

Of course not! All men are monsters, remember? Even when too incapacitated by age to wolf-whistle.

Another friend insisted that statistically I was more likely to be killed by a falling air-conditioner unit on the way to the interview, but this didn’t fix things either.

Well, they do say you can’t fix stupid. I guess you can’t fix hysteria either.

Before I left for the train, my children’s babysitter dug in her bag and handed me her Mace, which I felt compelled to accept with the words: “Oh my God, that’s hilarious.” Soberly, she replied: “People are terrible.” In fact, he wasn’t. He was very nice. But considering the alternative didn’t feel like a piece of self-victimisation. It felt like a necessary and overdue widening of the lens.

Well, of course it did. It’s not you, it’s everyone else. Stands to reason!

Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

Yes, we pretty much guessed this.

14 comments for “What It’s Like To Live In A World Run By The #MeToo Hysterics…

  1. Ed P
    February 12, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Mace vs. NUTmeg?

    Those crazy Grauniad columnists are the spice of life

    • February 18, 2018 at 7:39 am

      What would we bloggers do without them…? 😉

  2. Hereward Unbowed.
    February 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

    ‘mace’ eau de feminazi toilets.

  3. February 12, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    If she felt that paranoid about an eighty year old man then why did she arrange the interview at all?

    • February 18, 2018 at 7:39 am

      She’s gotta eat!

  4. February 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Women today are so vulnerable. There are menz everywhere just waiting to leer down their cleavage. Its eye-rape, I tell you. No woman is safe. Not even the butt-ugly ones.

  5. February 13, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Not sure I’d call myself a monster. Maybe a beast.

  6. rapscallion
    February 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Frankly I’m past caring vis-a-vis women like this. Can you imagine the sh1t storm if a male journalist said all women “are mad bitches” in a national “newspaper”? and I use that word advisedly

  7. Stonyground
    February 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Why didn’t she take along a female body guard? I used to practice karate and knew plenty of women who were black belts. There were several gay men who were black belts too and some who were national champions so they might have been able to help.

    • February 18, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Pretty sure they’d be able to take an 81 year old!

  8. Lord T
    February 14, 2018 at 11:42 am

    She must be due an award for bravery. Just like those other female journalists that go to war zones and interview killers and despots in their shithole countries armed with a tape recorder and pen.

    Bravery needs to be recognised.

  9. Stonyground
    February 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I read somewhere that a woman had been asked out on a date and had said no, not because she wasn’t interested but because she didn’t want to make it too easy. She was then disappointed when the guy didn’t ask her again. It had to be pointed out to her that, after asking once and being turned down, asking a second time could nowadays be seen as harassment. Not sure if it is actually true or just a story that illustrates modern life but I thought it was interesting anyway.

    • February 16, 2018 at 1:56 am

      A Cupid arrow in the foot.

      • February 18, 2018 at 7:41 am


Comments are closed.