Samantha Bee Fires Back at #MeToo Critics, Addresses Aziz Ansari Accusations
"We know the difference between a rapist, a workplace harasser and an Aziz Ansari. That doesn't mean we have to be happy about any of them," Bee argued during her Wednesday show.
Criticize the #MeToo movement and Samantha Bee will come after you.
In a fiery takedown of naysayers criticizing the #MeToo movement, the Full Frontal host took a moment during her Wednesday night show to fire back at the backlash the movement has received, explaining that rather than being empowering, it has transitioned into a "#YouTooLoud" condemnation.
After numerous women have come forward with their own stories of sexual harassment and assault, Bee argued that their speaking out is misconstrued to being centered around men, rather than the women themselves.
"Any kind of sexual harassment or coercion is unacceptable, so what the fuck are women supposed to do to protect ourselves? If we go public with a story, we're petty crybabies hell-bent on destroying men's careers. If we write a secret list to protect each other, we're gossipy shrews telling lies in the shadows. What men literally cannot understand is, this isn't about them."
Bee then referred to the "Shitty Media Men" list, a spreadsheet created to red-flag users with names of men accused of sexually inappropriate behavior. Bee explained that while the list was "never intended for public consumption," it was immediately criticized and taken down.
Bee also mentioned that while the majority of critics have been men, women have also joined the backlash of the movement, in particular HLN's Ashleigh Banfield defending Aziz Ansari.
After an anonymous woman revealed that she felt pressured to engage in unwanted sexual acts and fend off advances from the Master of None star and creator during a date, Ansari responded to the story, explaining that he "took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said." Banfield slammed Ansari's accuser, saying, "You had an unpleasant date. And you did not leave. That is on you."
"It's harder than you think to leave when you're uncomfortable or scared. For example, you're scaring the shit out of me right now, Ashley Banfield, and I can't leave," Bee said of the anchor's criticism. "And it's not just Ashley. A lot of people are worried about Aziz Ansari's career, which no one is trying to end because, again, we know the difference between a rapist, a workplace harasser and an Aziz Ansari. That doesn't mean we have to be happy about any of them.”
The late-night host further argued: "People like me had to wade through a sea of prehensile dicks to build the world we now enjoy, and part of enjoying that world is setting a higher standard for sex than just not rape. And women get to talk about it if men don't live up to those standards, especially if that man wrote a book about how to sex good," making a reference to Ansari’s book, Modern Romance.
Bee praised Azari's accuser for speaking out, arguing that women have the right to tell their stories, regardless of opinions. "What many fail to understand is that it doesn't have to be rape to ruin your life, and it doesn't have to ruin your life to be worth speaking out about," Bee argued.
She later added: "I'm sorry that anyone ever thought the contents of that list or any of the other ways we protect ourselves from men were your goddamn business. I'm sorry you thought you got to choose what experiences we can share or how we react to the shitty ways we've been treated. And to men, specifically, I'm sorry our request to be respected makes office culture a little less fun and flirty. And I'm sorry that we tattled on that stuff you did on us even when it was totally not rape."
Bee then shared one final message to men who vow to support the #MeToo movement. "Men, if you say you're a feminist, then fuck like a feminist. And if you don't wanna do that, take off your fuckin' pin, because we are not your accessories."