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'If you're blaming the #MeToo Movement for no longer being able to flirt, then the problem was with you in the first place'

Henry Cavill said he’s afraid to flirt with women anymore in case he’s labelled ‘a rapist’.

Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

GIVEN THE CURRENT political climate that we’re in, if you’re interviewing a big celebrity and you’re not asking them about the #MeToo Movement, you’re probably not doing your job correctly.

And so it came to pass that Superman actor Henry Cavill was asked his opinion about it in a recent interview with GQ Australia and on first glance he seemed to do ok.

I know there have been situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps overfamiliar with some of the actresses. But, I’ve always walked up to them and said, ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy’.”

But as he continued to answer, it became evident there were some problematic things that Henry said particularly with regard to flirting that need to be addressed.

There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that.”
It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like: ‘Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something’.”

Source: GIPHY

If you think #MeToo is preventing anyone from flirting then you’ve missed the point of the entire movement. People are not stupid and can tell the difference between flirting and unwanted advances.

Believe me, there is a difference.

The difference is chatting and having fun on Tinder instead of sending a dick pic straight from the get-go. The difference is approaching someone in the pub or nightclub and striking up a conversation with them rather than grabbing their ass or their crotch. The difference is not making someone uncomfortable with your romantic advances and knowing when you have so you stop.

Henry wasn’t done though, he decided to keep on digging the fine hole he’d made for himself.

I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen? Now? Now you really can’t pursue someone further than, ‘No’. It’s like, ‘OK, cool’. But then there’s the, ‘Oh why’d you give up?’ And it’s like, ‘Well, because I didn’t want to go to jail?’

If you’re blaming the #MeToo Movement for no longer being able to flirt, then the problem was with you in the first place. If you’d rather blame a movement that wants to stop women being sexually assaulted and harassed at work for you not being able to flirt then you probably need to a have a long, hard look at how you view women.

When confronted with something like #MeToo it’s important to reflect on your own behaviour rather than dismissing it. It’s easy to say ‘Oh I’m not like that’ and put your head in the sand. It’s much harder to acknowledge that you may have acted inappropriately or made someone feel uncomfortable.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Ask your friends or anyone you’ve gone out with if your behaviour ever made them uncomfortable. Learn from your mistakes and grow from them. That’s healthy analysis and something that should be actively encouraged rather than tearing a whole movement down.

#MeToo isn’t trying to label all men as sexual predators or rapists. It’s trying to expose the inappropriate behaviour that mainly women have had to put up with for far too long. It’s allowing us to define what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour anymore and giving voices to those who previously couldn’t speak out for fear of what it would do to their careers.

Surely that’s a good thing?

 

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About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

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