Can Women Be Awful, Too?

Meghan Daum is an author, a writing instructor, a former LA Times columnist and a Facebook friend, in that order. We haven’t met in real life. But I respect her work more than I can possibly say. Daum – like me – knows one mode: 100% honest.

I can cite a few of her recent posts on Medium that I loved but instead I want to focus on this piece from last fall, in which Daum makes the obvious (but wildly controversial!) assertion that even in this time of #MeToo and #BelieveWomen, women are also flawed human beings with the same ability to mistreat to a member of the opposite sex.

Daum knows that a sensitive reader will immediately engage in whataboutism – and simply revert back to what’s wrong with men…

“I’m cognizant of the fact that for every bad behavior I mentioned in my opening list of questions there is an equal, opposite, and potentially more physically threatening form of bad behavior that men can, and do, visit upon women with just as much frequency.

But that, right there, is precisely my point. In a free society, everyone, regardless of gender, or any other identification, is free to be a manipulative, narcissistic, emotionally destructive asshole. So I’m not sure why men have been getting all the credit lately.

The #BelieveWomen memes that have arisen in the wake of #MeToo in general, and the Brett Kavanaugh saga in particular, are coming from a place of empathy and good intentions. But they’re also stripping women of our complications and contradictions, and therefore our humanity.”

She continues:

Women are not simple, guileless creatures to whom only the most innocent motives should ever be ascribed. Both sexes contain multitudes.

#BelieveWomen, with its suggestion that women are some monolithic entity that is inherently more moral, innocent, or trustworthy than men, is not just reductive but insulting. Women are not simple, guileless creatures to whom only the most innocent motives should ever be ascribed. Both sexes contain multitudes. Or, as George Carlin put it, “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”…

Until it admits that women can be as manipulative and creepy and generally awful as men, the (#MeToo) movement will continue to send a message that we’re not really whole people. And why would anyone believe someone like that?

I’m a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women and I have advocate for my women clients around the world for over 15 years. I’ve also dated a lot of women who, by any objective measure, were not always kind, honest, ethical, or reasonable at seeing other points of view or resolving conflict.

We cannot live in a world where a man is presumed guilty because he’s a man and a woman can do no wrong because she’s a woman. It’s important that liberal pundits like Daum continue to preach a more neutral tone on gender relations and politics.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

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