Matt Damon shared horribly misguided thoughts about sexual harassment, and the internet clapped back
The last several months have seen countless women — and men — come forward with stories of sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of powerful men, and it finally feels as though sexual predators are being held accountable for their actions. But not everyone is here for the progress.
In fact, Matt Damon shared some questionable opinions about sexual harassment and abuse, proving that there are still many people who have yet to grasp the importance of this critical cultural moment.
In an interview with ABC News, Damon said,
"I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior. And we’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?
Let’s get one thing clear: No one is saying that the punishment should exceed the crime in cases of sexual harassment and abuse — or in any matters of criminal justice. That is not what victims are fighting for, nor is it even the issue at hand. The issue is that women have been subjected to daily humiliation, marginalization, degradation, and yes — outright abuse — for generations, and there is finally — finally! — some recognition of this reality. Furthermore, sorry Matt, but no degree of harassment should ever be tolerated. Period. “It’s not as bad as rape” does not cut it as a cogent, or even humane, argument.
Damon also then went on to make several problematic remarks about how it’s important to “hear both sides” when it comes to accusations of sexual misconduct (even though statistics tell us that the percentage of false rape claims are infamously low), as well as again saying that if “anyone knew” what Harvey Weinstein had done, they would have stopped it (despite a bevy of evidence that many people did know, and nobody stopped it).
And of course, Twitter had thoughts.
Comments like Damon’s remind us that there is still much work to be done when it comes to eradicating sexual harassment and abuse, and also reminds us why it’s critical that we keep this conversation alive. To all the women and men who have come forward with their stories, we thank you, and we promise to stand with you until change is made.