X Close

MeToo lost me the love of my life A short story for the movement's fifth anniversary

What would Weinstein do? Credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

What would Weinstein do? Credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images


October 3, 2022   6 mins

Dear Taylor,

Please, please don’t shove this in recycling and do hear me out. I apologise for disguising this letter in a NatWest envelope to make it look like one of your bank statements. I realise that appears duplicitous. But Seth (you remember, my tech guru) has confirmed that you haven’t loaded a single one of my emails since we split. So I worried you might not open a physical letter, either. Honestly, I don’t blame you for being angry with me, because I’m angry with myself. Even if we still never see each other again, I’d feel so much better if I’ve successfully proffered my contrition. I’m not a monster, though I sometimes feel like one.

Of course, this is no excuse, but it helps explain my behaviour — erratic, harsh, volatile, yes, everything you said — that it was a really crazy time. In the news, on Twitter, everywhere, every day another terrible story of men abusing their positions of power and treating women abominably. No, no, no, no, don’t stop reading, I promise I won’t natter on about that stuff again; I know you got an earful at the time. And I thought for a long while you were remarkably patient and sympathetic. We both agreed those first few revelations were totally terrible and the we’re-not-going-to-take-it-anymore posture of the whistle-blowers made women seem strong and fierce. But I can see now how after a while the nonstop whingeing and indignation might have started to wear on you, and how some of the later “scandals” might have seemed dodgy or small beer. I’m only reminding both of us that we fell out in a larger context, one in which maybe I got too wrapped up. But I didn’t concoct that context all by myself.

While I didn’t have my own big story of outright abuse to share on Facebook, all the little slights — the hands on my bum on the tube, the rude remarks on the street, the pressure I’d often felt to go ahead and shag men I didn’t especially like because it was easier to say yes and get it over with than to hold my ground (an abdication I now attribute not just to male brutishness but to my own timidity and even a funny kind of laziness) — well, they all seemed to bundle into a story of a sort. That said, I wonder if, had I never been pestered, catcalled, or pursued by any men trying to get a leg over, I’d be bitter too, just in a different way.

And I guess I wanted to feel part of something. I liked the sensation of solidarity. Also, I’ve tried to be honest with myself during the unwanted solitude of the past few years: with all the social justice stuff swirling around, I was tired of being shunted onto the naughty step as “privileged”, when I was up to my eyeballs in credit-card debt and struggled with eating disorders — which you also had to put up with, since I ruined so many of the dinners you paid for by only eating the lettuce or something. So I think it was a relief to say, like, “Know what? I have problems, too. My life hasn’t been a picnic, either.”

Although I got something out of bearing a collective grudge, the problem with a grudge is it doesn’t work in the abstract. Inevitably, I bore it against the nearest palpable object I could get my hands on, and that object was you. I know I got too touchy. I suppose I was on the lookout. That time you asked me to pick up your dry cleaning because you were running late, and I exploded about how I “wasn’t your sherpa”? Maybe it was nothing to do with gender after all. Maybe you were just asking an ordinary favour. Yeah, I know: that’s what you said, back then. That it was a totally normal request of a girlfriend, or of anybody really. The dry cleaner was only five streets away.

Obviously, the sherpa thing wasn’t what did us in. I have a hard time thinking about that night, about which I was angry for a long time, as I’m sure you were. But the main reason I wanted to write this letter is that once the MeToo frenzy started to subside I sort of woke up, and calmed down, and thought differently about what happened. I’ve rerun the sequence of events, which got a bit jumbled during all that rehearsal, I’m afraid. But the bones of the story are pretty clear from a distance. You were really into it on the sofa, which maybe I should have taken as a compliment, and then tried to get into it, too.

The bottom line was I wasn’t in the mood. I should have just said so. Like, out loud. Instead, I got super bothered that you couldn’t tell I wasn’t in the mood. After two solid years (happy ones, or they were for me), why didn’t you know me better? I thought, maybe you didn’t even care if I was into it. You just wanted what you wanted and what I wanted didn’t seem to matter. So I guess I got weirdly resentful. Then this old habit kicked in where instead of saying, no, I’d really rather go back to watching The Night Manager, I went along with it, out of that laziness I mentioned, or cowardice, or maybe me thinking that what I wanted didn’t especially matter. And then I got the hump even more, because it had never been like that with you before, sort of lying back and thinking of England, and that made me feel hurt and disappointed and perversely left out. I’m not justifying my reaction, only explaining what went on in my mind.

Also, something about the whole sex thing had gone a bit funny by then. I’d been reading all this stuff, and texting with friends and following Rose McGowan on Twitter, and the entire protocol of sex had started to seem like an imposition, or an act of domination, or an invasion. Physically I guess invasion is the whole deal, and when it works it’s like you can’t tell where one person stops and the other begins; not having “boundaries” or “protecting your space” is the point. But that’s not where my head was. It was almost as if we’d all gone back to our great-grandmothers’ time, when sex was something you just put up with so your husband would pay the bills. And now we could pay our own bills, so why put up with it? Honestly, during that whole period I don’t remember a single female saying anything nice about sex at all.

Most of all, I wanted to apologise for using the R-word. I didn’t think about how a man must feel when a woman throws that accusation at him; it’s not just a charged word for women but for everybody. And it must be even more awful when it’s hurled by someone (if I may presume) you love. Still, the word was so much in the air then that it seemed to have lost some of its punch — you know, we supposedly had “rape culture” everywhere, which didn’t necessarily involve anyone doing anything materially horrid to anyone else. So it seemed like an ordinary thing to say. But it wasn’t ordinary. I don’t blame you for being shocked and even frightened. I may not have had a great time that night, but I was still out of order.

So I get it. After all, you were plenty clear at the time. If I was going to throw around that kind of language, you couldn’t afford, even legally afford, to be with me. And if going forward we had to conduct a contractual negotiation every time — setting our terms, deciding on a safe word, agreeing that every couple of minutes you would “check in” and make sure I wanted to carry on — you said you wouldn’t even be able to get it up. I’d made myself dangerous to you and made shagging too much trouble and too risky and no fun. In fact, maybe you’d sympathise with Aiden McMahon (you remember, the jobbing guitarist? Slight paunch?  Big hair?), who announced to me a few weeks after you left that he’d concluded most women were — let me see if I can get this right — “petty, vengeful, hysterical, self-pitying, thin-skinned, weak and mean at the same time, completely confused about what they want and impossible to please”. He was swearing them off altogether in favour of “taking himself in hand”. At least getting the business over solo was efficient, economical, and uncomplicated, he said, and so long as he never did it in a park in front of three-year-olds a good wank would never land him in jail.

If you haven’t said good riddance to the lot of us as well, I assume you’ve moved on, and you probably have a wonderful new girlfriend or even wife who eats all her dinner. But I wanted you to know that I haven’t found a wonderful new boyfriend. Working from home has been a disaster for me; I hardly leave the flat. I miss you. I know it’s been four years and I should have got over you ages ago, but I haven’t. I have all these pictures on my phone — of us celebrating your admission to med school at The Ivy, or making that tofu dish that turned into such a scrambled-eggs disaster — and I alternate between feasting on them and not being able to bear a glance. It’s almost impossible to meet anyone anymore, and I think you were my chance. I messed it up. I’d beg you for another go even at the sacrifice of my dignity, but when I remember the hardness in your face when you walked out of here with your shaving gear and tennis rackets, I have a sinking feeling that some damage can’t be undone and some words can’t be unsaid. We were a good fit at a bad time.

Yours — still yours,

Y.


Lionel Shriver is an author, journalist and columnist for The Spectator. Her new book, Mania, is published by the Borough Press.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

69 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

The story gets one thing right
 being accused of rape would end any relationship.
Any women who throws that word around, casually or even in conversation about others, would put herself totally off limits

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Aaron Argive
Aaron Argive
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Gentlemen, Heed this warning. If she uses the rape or abuse terms, throw her back into the world to grow up. You’re not the one for her to grow up with.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Agree. No matter how I felt about her I would walk away fast and never ever reach out to her again.
That the thought would even come into her head would frighten the crap out of me.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Lionel, thanks for that piece of writing. It probably took a lot more time and effort than most other articles here that tell me pretty much what I already know. Interesting, too, how a piece of fiction can contribute more than non-fiction. Thanks again.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

If it was fiction, as opposed to thinly-disguised biography/autobiography, as is quite common.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

Dear Y,
I used to think that MeToo was just another bandwagon for people to jump on. Based on some truth and enabling others to chime in.
I realised after our own break up that for some people MeToo was a cult. It has many of the markers of a cult. The special use of language, the comradeship, the careless distancing from family and loved ones, the immunity to alternative explanations for events. Thank goodness there wasn’t a messiah as well.
I am glad that you appear to have de-programmed yourself, but I do not wish to associate with someone who can get carried away so easily by fashionable rhetoric. Please do not try contacting me again.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Exactly! What kind of infant blames a social media hashtag for her bad behavior in a relationship?
I think #MeToo did a lot of good (and some harm) but it never changed my positive feelings for the men in my life – especially my husband, who is my hero & champion.
Any man who “loses” a woman because of a hashtag is well rid of her (or maybe there were a lot of truly creepy men who got dumped).
Y is not fit to be in any relationship.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

So far, no one has mentioned #MeToo in connection with its sudden undermining of the legal system, which had taken centuries to build. This is what happens in every moral panic. This one was hardly the first in recent times. (Remember the destruction that came in the wake of “Recovered Memory Syndrome”?) Victims of serious sexual harassment should seek redress, sure, but not as vigilantes. Their power is synonymous with bypassing the courts of law (which rely for legal and moral legitimacy on due process) and replacing them with the court of public opinion (which relies ultimately not on evidence but on ideological manipulation and emotional hysteria). Like every other institution, the court of law is imperfect, but I’m not convinced that vigilantism will ever, could ever, lead us to utopia.
If we “believe women” (or men or any other group) per se, before even examining the evidence, why have trials at all? Why not simply let howling mobs convince us that justice and revenge are synonymous? Trials, as defined in all Western societies (and many others) require the systematic and objective analysis of evidence, not beliefs–that is, quasi-theological doctrines Whatever #MeToo has done for women (a debatable point, as Shriver points out), the cost to society as a whole has been too high.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I wish I could give this one a dozen up-votes.

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago

I’m astounded that so many comments here seem oblivious about the delicious irony, the perspicacious insight, and the nudge-nudge nuance that Shriver brings to bear on almost anything she writes.

Rose Constantine
Rose Constantine
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian S

Absolutely – a brilliant and subtle piece of writing which most commentators strangely seem to take literally

Aaron Argive
Aaron Argive
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian S

It’s a beautifully written well crafted piece!

Dick Stroud
Dick Stroud
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian S

It takes an inventive mind to think of this approach and an excellent writer to turn it into words.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dick Stroud
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian S

Responding can be cathartic, I quite enjoyed the tale. I did try to place myself in the scene but couldn’t. I’m lucky to have aged out of the #MeToo situation. My youthful encounters are now pleasant memories along with suitable regrets.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian S

Absolutely. Love her writing for its subtlety.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

So glad I’m not young and dating. Online dating + hook-up culture + MeToo identity politics = disaster.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

I don’t know that anything has changed to be honest. Becomng an adult means learning boundaries, enforcing boundaries, learning how to have and grow healthy relationships with other adults, not focusing on the superficial. Some people in their 40s are no better at this than the typical 20 year old who at least has the excuse of having limited relationship experience. If you have never ended a relationship of any kind for instance… that should be a sign you are doing something wrong. Same is true if you’ve never developed any close long lasting relationships. Discernment and patience is key.

David Giles
David Giles
1 year ago

Thank you Lionel. Thank you for creating a character who generates no sympathy whatsoever.

N T
N T
1 year ago

Dear Y,
It’s not “me, too”
It’s 100% you, and the next dumb cause you embrace, that will drive the next one away, that drove this one away. There are ways to fix dumb, but sometimes dumb is a signal that it’s time to get out, run, and to never look back.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

I think you’re mistaken. Very few human interactions are 100% anything: if we carry the binary approach adopted by single-issue groups and encouraged by social media into the way we view and treat others, we lose two of humanity’s most valuable qualities: nuance and grace.

Nuance, because humans aren’t robots. We’re all a mass of contradictions. None of us are that distant tree, just a shape of a single colour. Get closer and everyone’s a variegated jumble of dark and light. We can’t even be honest with ourselves about what bits of our characters, both dark and light, combine to form even the simplest decisions we make. To view a person or an attitude or a political movement as wholly good or wholly bad is naive and destructive. That’s why single-issue causes are so pernicious.

And grace. Grace to see both good and bad in people and to forgive the bad for the sake of the good. All the simplistic, childish activism that plagues Western society lacks nuance and, because of that, it lacks grace. ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ is a catchy political slogan, but it’s a deadening way to live and utterly toxic when applied to individuals. That’s why Critical Race Theory, Intersectional Theory – indeed, all theories that cast one individual or way of looking at the world as uniquely good or uniquely bad – are so harmful to us humans.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

I agree with you about the toxic effects of academic theories: Intersectional, CRT, and especially Queer Theory. They are dehumanizing and they undermine all social relationships.

Patti Dunne
Patti Dunne
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

“dehumanizing and they undermine all social relationships”
Excellent point

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
1 year ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

Agreed but please say “us, people” not “us, humans” -)

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Never put your d*ck in crazy. – Socrates

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago

Can’t be said often enough. Dad’s don’t stress this enough to their teenage sons.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Hear, hear. Wish mine had.

Thomas Walling
Thomas Walling
1 year ago

There’s a lot to be said for crazy, when you’re young and learning. They’re great fun! Just don’t get deeply involved.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

“the pressure I’d often felt to go ahead and shag men I didn’t especially like because it was easier to say yes and get it over with than to hold my ground”
It would of course never occur that this cuts both ways

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

Oh come on, there’s a certain physiological response that’s necessary for the man in this scenario

.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

You have a lot to learn

0 0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Man, you have NO idea.
Thats like saying that a woman who gets wet while being raped actually wanted it.
You would be astounded how many older men look back and realize they slept with a woman only because they were either expected to want to or because they were never taught THEY can say no too.

Kayla Marx
Kayla Marx
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

I’m sure that’s true.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Imaging the reaction if the man said no

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

True, in the end we are only clever animals and a p***y is a p***y.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
9 days ago
Reply to  0 0

Weak

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
9 days ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Imagination?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

I don’t think women are actually aware of how fully they have internalized the endless feminist rhetoric that they are victims and most things are the fault of men. Upper middle class white women do seem to genuinely believe they are the world’s great victims. I have thought about the advice I will give to my daughters when they leave the nest. Some of it will be cautionary advice about dealing with men – who are indeed sometimes dangerous. However I will also let them know that if they lay on the feminist rhetoric too much they may lose a potential or existing husband. It is tiring to hear it in your own home and many men – I suspect – will choose not to partner with someone who plays the feminist card too often.

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

This is the real point: the very great reward lately given to claiming to being the victim. That benefit also comes at the very great cost of internalised denial of agency. This was also perfectly illustrated in this story by “lying back” instead of acting in self interest.

John Bonaccorsi
John Bonaccorsi
1 year ago

Walker Walker Walker & Walker
Dear Ms. Y:
We are a personal-injury law firm representing your acquaintance and former sexmate Taylor [_______]. With the present letter, we put you on notice that any further attempt by you or any person or entity acting on your behalf to contact him will be regarded by him as harassment. This applies to any in-person approach or to any written or other communication, whether by traditional, electronic, or other means. Note that under existing statutes in both your state of residence and his, subterfuge, such as the false return address you used in writing to him on October 3, constitutes an “outrageous” aggravation, which enables claims for punitive damages.
Sincerely,
T Walker, Name partner

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Would it be too cynical of me to even consider the possibility that this was written, and well-written at that, with a dual purpose? After all, literature is sometimes at its best with ambiguity lurking in the shadows.

For all those who see echoes of their own relationships (male or female), there will also be some who may have misgivings and regrets about a breakup but where actual abuse, or at least a lack of consideration due to a power imbalance might have occurred.

The use of “rape” – in the Andrea Dworkin sense – is indeed toxic, to us all. That we should even consider this a possibility when engaging in perfectly consensual relationships makes the prospect of life-affirming sex a minefield it should never be. But we all know there are “grey areas” and that rape can happen in a relationship.

So i think that’s the dual purpose. Not just to flag up female regret, but to flag up an entire aspect of a cultural shift that needs to be aired but remains inconclusive, as it must. I don’t consider it grounds for “I told you so.”

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good comment. But please know this: rape never just “happens” in a relationship. In fact, most rapes are committed in the context of some kind of relationship (friend, husband, coworker, sibling, father, etc). Rape is a crime that one person (statistically, almost always male) chooses to commit against another person. You could have written “Murder can happen in a relationship”, too (In the USA, three women are murdered by a current or former male romantic partner every single day). But murder doesn’t just “happen” any more than rape just “happens”. That is not a grey area.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Perhaps you’re missing some nuance here.

First, there are no ‘partial murders’. It’s one or the other. There is however a continuous spectrum of unwanted sexual activity that starts just beyond the ‘full and willing participation’ line and ends up with violent rape.

Second, lack of consent is intrinsic to murder. Nobody consents to being murdered, or partially murdered. It’s more complicated with sex.

One of the problems with #metoo was that it took the binary aspects of murder and applied them to sexual activity. That’s a poor fit. In doing so, it has caused an awful lot of collateral damage. Lionel Shriver’s letter illustrates this beautifully.

Kayla Marx
Kayla Marx
1 year ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

I agree. I think that, within a relationship, there can be situations that are ambiguous. I remember a time when I was completely physically unresponsive, and cranky, not wanting to be bothered, but I went along with sex. Later, I wondered why, and whether I should have said “Stop,” but I never would have called that rape.

woman female
woman female
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Thank you for saying this, well put. I could only make it a third way through this short story which is overly didactic with a axe to grind, denouncing metoo has long been a hobby horse of Lionel Shivers, I can listen to dissenting opinions but Shriver is always ironically without nuance in condemning metoo.

No one talks up metoo as a “movement with far reaching consequences” like its critics, in reality it was more like a moment, representively short in time like in the social media medium it lived in.

It was also greatly cathartic for many women & brought down some men who needed to have their reputations destroyed.

Last edited 1 year ago by woman female
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago

Seriously??? A grown ass woman blames a hashtag on her asinine behavior???
She doesn’t sound fit to be in ANY relationship.
I was also an enthusiastic supporter of #MeToo, but all it did was make me MORE appreciative my kind,loving, supportive husband.
If this were a true story, my hope would be that her boyfriend realized he dodged a bullet by seeing that nutjob’s true colors.
No adult has any business blaming a hashtag for their own infantile behavior.
#MeToo was never meant for people like that fool.

Aaron Argive
Aaron Argive
1 year ago

Lovely article Lionel. It’s critical that women’s perspectives on #MeToo are heard in the way you have shared.
Reminded me of that 3AM phone call from my ex-in-progress wife telling me how she had destroyed her life and so badly wanted to remain married. She too (maybe #SheToo ?) fell into the inky blackness of victimhood thinking so popular today. It cost her the best period of her life academically, career, and socially, as well as the strongest most loving partner she had ever known.
Meanwhile I tried to love, nurture, console, and empower her through her life changes while she continually amped up her claims of oppression and even abuse. She had started selecting older unmarried friends that encouraged her “feelings”, her devolving into complete emotional immaturity and self-centeredness. Essentially society and friends promoting borderline personality disorder behaviors so she could “be heard” and “be understood” all of which was clearly defects in my emotional well-being and major character flaws for “not getting”.
And the last time she called me she wanted to “come see me” to which I told her to never contact me again and that if she did I would call the police to have her charged with harassment.
So what about me now? First I spent a few years figuring out WTH happened, what my contribution was, and what I wanted in life.
Sadly, I came to the conclusion that I had a very low probability of finding a partner raised in a “progressive western culture” that could be a decent partner for my life..
So now, I’m happily married to a wonderful woman raised in an “old culture”. She’s gracious and charming inside, blisteringly intelligent, highly successful in her career, hardworking, beautiful and poised. She works to have me feel honored as a husband, man and partner. So not only do I “work for her”, she “works for me” as well. Novel thought that’s seemingly lost in western society today.
Good luck ladies and gentlemen!

Last edited 1 year ago by Aaron Argive
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Seriously sad article. No telling how many relationships ended similarly to this presumably fictitious one. We live in depressing times, when the forces that divide us are many and those that unite us are few, and it’s largely our own fault. I remember chuckling at old fogies who said that rejecting traditional religion and values in favor of ideals like “equality”, “justice”, and “progress” would undermine our civilization, even while being right of center politically. Nobody’s laughing now. True those traditions and values were not perfect. They were unfair to some (like women) and stifling to many, but they kept our civilization together. Will we be able to say the same for our bright new ideals? Early indicators are not positive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Jolly
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago

Bang on Lionel – you will have much material from all this foolishness – the trick will be (as you of course well know ) which angle will create the best wise shift for people navigating new realities. I read how many women are saying “actually I really dont like sex that much , and actually prefer the company of my girlfriends”. I encouraged my wife to ‘come clean’ about the sex thing – and now our relationship is actually much more relaxed. We still have encounters in the shower – but I have such a good imagination that she does not have to be there ! And it is nice not to have to spend time thinking about my naked mother in law to put off etc etc ( I like my mother in law but….). Blokes used to take a lot for granted – might be time to grow up a little… Incels blah blah. Gals actually like to be around blokes quite a bit but their standards have risen muchly and said blokes cant rely on cultural ‘norms’ anymore for their gigi gigi success. As a side note I remember a female friend confiding in me that she now thought the 60’s free sex thing was a complete con by the blokes and that many women feel rather badly about how they were ‘put upon’ during that era (maybe a book in that…). Many thanks for another of your ever -wise and thoughtful stories !

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Lie in the bed of your own making.

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
1 year ago

Ah, and now the “#MeToo” nameplate gets quickly replaced by “#Oh no, I was never one of those”… The #MeToo accountability creepshow is one of those many instances in which the most hideous offenders will have the nerve to “excuse themselves” and hide on the anonymity of the Internet, blame all the damage on “miscommunication”, etc. I am yet to read a woman admitting that perhaps it was not reasonable to propose what #MeToo proposed. Well, now this ship has sailed. No wonder the author had to rely on a fictitious story to portray a reckoning that we all know will not materialize. After all, “it was always someone else” that labeled all men as potential rapists, right? As posted above by another commenter, now lay on the bed that you’ve made.

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
1 year ago

You are a brave beautiful lady Ms. Lionel Shriver..! Honesty and positive regret are gifts we all need to embrace I wish you a happy meaningful life and I am sure you will be having one..!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

My criticism is that this chick wouldn’t have lasted two years before I gave her the bumsrush. I guess I’m wondering whether you over-egged this a bit. Intentionally perhaps?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

As suggested earlier, i think she’s trying to highlight the sense of confusion that some females may have felt, to create an ambivalence that exists somewhere in the gap between love and abuse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I apologise for appearing insenstive, but I wasn’t raised in a world in which self-absorbed, almost sef-pitying, responses to the vagaries of life had such traction. The women in my life have shown a tad more resilience. The ambivalence between love and abuse in relationships is commonplace and has always existed – We can easily resent our dependence on others. This was not discovered my MeTo. Just because Lionel Shriver is eloquent, doesn’t mean that I have to follow her everywhere she goes.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

If she can’t tell the difference between love and abuse she needs to avoid relationships with men until that difference is clear.
In the USA, three to four women are murdered by a current or former male romantic partner every single day.
It is potentially deadly for a woman not to know the difference between love and abuse. There is a HUGE gap between love and abuse, and men who don’t know that are potentially very dangerous.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

That would be 1400 to 1500 a year… in a country of 330,000,000. Women who dated men say.. 80,000,000? So 1450/80,000,000? I bet that number is even a bit inflated too. Most statistics like this are.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

I think you have hit the nail right on the head – though perhaps not intentionally. The woman in this story did exactly what you recommend. By getting wrapped up in the hysteria of our times (just as you throw out meaningless statistics meant to suggest that women are being slaughtered by their boyfriends around every street corner) she lost the love in her life. Better to live alone then take a one in a million risk? Better park the car too.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Just who do you think you’re preaching to? Nothing i’ve posted warrants anything you’ve written in reply, either in this comment or the one earlier. Please stop making assumptions about people, i’m fully aware of the extent of the issues you raise and i’d appreciate it if you took more care when responding.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

Dear Y

Thanks for your thoughtful note and please be assured that I don’t hold anything against you.

Like your guitar player and many other men, I Too, have come to appreciate the delicious and uncomplicated simplicity of a good w**k. No restaurant bill, no moods, no threats and no risk of rejection. So yes, Me Too. Thanks to you.

I will hold you in my thoughts always – except when I am holding someone else in them. There’s another bonus of masturbation you see – unfettered choice of partner.

All the very best…

T

Last edited 1 year ago by Albireo Double
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

Lionel seems to have a kind understanding and sympathy for men.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

Lionel seems to have a kind understanding and sympathy for men.

Jean Marrale
Jean Marrale
1 year ago

I am struggling with punctuation, and so I very much appreciate your “Semantic Drift” article.
Why isn’t there a comma after ‘recycling’ in the sentence “Please, don’t shove this in recycling and do hear me out.” ?
Thank you.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jean Marrale
Jean Marrale
Jean Marrale
1 year ago

I am struggling with punctuation, and so I very much appreciate your “Semantic Drift” article.
Why isn’t there a comma after ‘recycling’ in the sentence “Please, don’t shove this in recycling and do hear me out.” ?
Thank you.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jean Marrale
Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
1 year ago

Who said about erotic love that is “giving something you don’t have to someone who doesn’t need it”?

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
1 year ago

THE GENERALISED “SHE”
I suggest we men take this letter as coming from the generalised woman. There is a desperate need for contact between the two sexes. Thanks for making this initiative.
Should I, as a man, answer for men, I will suggest the following:
 
Dear Y,
Thanks for writing to me. I did read the whole thing. I did that because you chose a good spokeswoman.
I shall need time to relate fully to what you say. But I am sure you made a good move. I am sure we can do better than we do today.
Your letter is mostly about sex and trust – two important aspects of the particular relation we have as a man and a woman. However, I believe we shall have to address even more than that. Another important aspect would be your and my relation to a third party: to society or the state.
You have humiliated yourself, and I appreciate that. I do not want to exploit your regretful confession. But for several decades now, you have lent on the mentioned third party and exploited your relation to him – to my disfavour. Your Me-Too obsession is (only) one aspect of that. You must understand that you shall have to lean less on this third party before we can unite again.
But I am also willing to do something. In your letter, you do not ask much of me. Don’t be shy, I still love you.
At the same time, I fully understand that you cannot turn all your wishes into explicit “requests”. You write about my understanding when you are in the right mood. I suggest we agree on the following: I shall pay attention to your mood, but you being in the right mood does not always have to be a precondition. Also, the mood of one person can change the mood of the other. None of us should “emancipate” from this connection.
I believe that you still love me in a way. Let us try to find a new way together. I know you can love – like no other.
Best regards, X

Charles de Freitas
Charles de Freitas
1 year ago

Bravo Ms.Shriver!

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Brilliant. So this is the journal where genius is allowed to range free. And wow, look at the results. Very different than Lionel’s infinitely more constrained appearances in The Spectator. Just … wow. Really.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago

MeToo seems to have overlooked one small problem: Quran v4;34. ‘Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them, in beds apart and beat them. If they obey you, take no further action against them.’

Jane Stephen
Jane Stephen
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

So Gordon, your point is what exactly? If your woman doesn’t instantly obey you then just beat her up? That will, presumably, learn her? That your woman live behind an all embracing cover while you stride free? Of course if she is good and meek and compliant you won’t beat her. She will just live in fear in case one day you decide she isn’t quite good and meek and compliant enough, then you can smash her face in with God’s blessing. Just clarify that for me please.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Stephen

I think it’s more of a comment about the absurdity of a particular ancient Eastern religion, which thankfully, as been beaten back over millennia by the West.

Jane Stephen
Jane Stephen
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Hi Warren, thanks for replying. That’s not how the comment comes over, to me anyway. I feel it’s quoted here as a justification for the oppression of women. Keep them covered up, be nice to them if they comply with manmade rules and beat them up if they don’t. Just my interpretation of course, but I thank Heaven I have the right to put it across. Freedome of thought, dress and manner must be guarded and never taken for granted.