The #MeToo movement has raised awareness about the prevalance of sexual misconduct, but there are some who feel the debate surrounding the movement lacks nuance. Actors Liam Neeson and Catherine Deneuve’s comparison of #MeToo to a “witch hunt” prompted severe backlash, and the internet collectively told Matt Damon to have several seats after his December comments about the matter. Friday night, Bill Maher and New York Times Opinion staff editor Bari Weiss explained the rift on his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher.
“First of all, address the interesting part of it, which is that the fight is really between factions of women,” Maher said. “It’s not between men and women arguing.”
Weiss agreed, and noted that she thought the split was between the “hard left” and liberals.
“The hard left is basically saying it’s okay if a few innocent men go down with the ship if that’s what it takes to bring down the patriarchy,” Weiss added. “They hate zero tolerance on the right when it comes to drug policy but they love zero tolerance when it comes to sexual misconduct.”
You can view Weiss’ remarks at the 1:09 mark in the video above.
Damon’s aforementioned comments and the sexual assault allegations against Aziz Ansari were brought up before Maher addressed a loud minority of Millennials.
“This is what I always try to keep in mind when I’m feuding with the Millennials—I don’t think it’s the majority of them,” Maher said. “I think it’s the upper-middle class who grew up screaming at their parents and that was okay. And they are just so fucking fragile! I think of them as emotional hemophiliacs, and the rest of us have to be so careful around them.”
As a 2012 New York magazine profile noted, Maher’s reputation with such matters makes him a curious choice to speak on women's issues.
“Maher has never quite shaken the reputation he’s a misogynist,” the profile noted. “Even right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, a friend, told him on his show that the proof was in ‘every single thing you say about women.’”