after ’Essay on Criticism’ by Alexander Pope
I don’t know who has wronged my gender more:
feminists now, or patriarchs before;
but, mainly from feminists, I’ve learned
that when witches (or warlocks) are being burned,
the privileged class, with less to lose, should stand
up against the mob’s unjust demands—
& that privilege is mine now. #MeToo is a blind
& ugly witch hunt happening worldwide.
Watching all these accusations hurled
at people nowhere near a jury box,
I wonder when we’ll turn to throwing rocks.
However well intentioned it may seem,
here’s what the #MeToo movement really means:
#MeToo means every private conversation
carries the risk of unjust accusation.
When cocktails are involved, that threat is tripled,
since any BAC makes me a cripple,
disabled to consent, apparently.
Yet, there’s a real, sexist disparity—
a man, equally drunk, is found guilty.
#MeToo means getting treated differently:
male colleagues walk on eggshells around me
out of legitimate, well-founded fear
that my ‘discomfort’ will crush their career.
Worst of all, #MeToo increasingly implies
that a woman’s consent is worth no more than a child’s!
I could say yes, complying the whole time
with no gun to my head & a big smile,
then, 10 years later, suddenly change my mind
& demonize you like a pedophile.
How is it that we’ve come to be this way?
There’s only one thing left for me to say
to any woman out there who’s still sane:
Please take the lead! Take action! Take the reins!
Only you can, & so you must
win back what we’ve been robbed of—our men’s trust—
before our sisters cause them so much pain
that they give up & turn their backs on us.