For the most part, I really like George Takei a lot. He was always great as Sulu on Star Trek, and I actually own his autobiography. For the past several years, what's he's been known most for, obviously, is his presence on social media. The majority of his posts are innocent and amusing, good for a mid-day chuckle or two. But he also often throws political posts into the mix, as well. And even with those, many are simple and positive messages of equality and progressivism (I'm assuming anyone reading this already knows that Takei is gay).
The catch is that many other political posts of his are heavily bent in the "SJW" direction – criticizing men and masculinity, painting women as either helpless victims of patriarchy or mighty and brilliant warriors of righteousness, and urging his followers to 'check their privilege'. As his frequency of those types of posts increased over the years, and as my patience for puritanical, identity-politics demagoguery from the SJW left has diminished, I eventually had to unfollow his posts.
(I am very quick on the unfollow button these days. It helps mitigate the mental health catastrophe that Facebook has become.)
Fast-forward to 2017: every other day brings a new complaint lodged against men in entertainment, business, or public service. The chorus of feminist voices telling men that we all need to blame and hate ourselves for the actions of the accused has grown from an irritating background hum to an incessant ear-splitting screech. Takei, being a boilerplate liberal SJW (albeit a well-intentioned one), has been more than happy to hum right along with them this entire time. Any time that any man is accused of any misdeed, he is tried, convicted, and sentenced in The Court of Internet Opinion in mere microseconds. It's practically one of the commandments in the SJW Religion of Intersectionality:
Thou Shalt Not Grant Men The Presumption Of Innocence.
Enter Scott Brunton:
Published by The Hollywood Reporter, Brunton’s account states that he originally met Takei at a bar, with the two exchanging phone numbers. He and Takei eventually went out to dinner, where Takei lent him a consoling ear about a recent break-up. Then they went back to the actor’s condo for a drink:Takei responded to the allegation on Twitter and Facebook:
We have the drink and he asks if I would like another. And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had the giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out.
The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear. I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ‘If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ‘I don’t care I want to go.’ So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.
As Takei himself is one of the standard-bearers for the SJW left, this accusation presents a problem: Do they adhere to the Commandments of Intersectionality and throw good ol' Uncle Georgie under the bus? Or do they circle the wagons to defend him against his accuser, and risk becoming the oppressive victim-blamers they have always railed against? ("Surely this is a lie! Uncle George would never do such a thing!!")
Takei's appearances on the Howard Stern show have not exactly helped his case:
Would Takei's fans on the left be so quick to defend him if the accusations were made by a woman, rather than a man?On Saturday, an audio clip surfaced from Takei's appearance last month on Howard Stern's radio show. The interview was recorded less than two weeks after sexual assault accusations against fallen film mogul Harvey Weinstein were made public. Stern and Takei were discussing the "irony" of the Weinstein case and the audiotape of President Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women's genitals years ago when Stern asked Takei whether he had ever grabbed a man's genitals against his will.
Takei, a staunch opponent of the Republican president, initially was silent, then said "uh oh" and laughed. Stern asked again and Takei said, "Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you're trying to persuade."
And thus we find the 80-year-old actor hoisted by his own petard. I can only react to this in the same way I reacted to the infamous "A Rape On Campus" article in Rolling Stone: a millisecond's worth of schadenfreude, immediately drowned out by overwhelming despair at how little effect any of this has on the underlying and UNQUESTIONABLY REAL problems of sexual assault and liberal myopia on gender issues.
My take on Takei's offence against Brunton is that romantic and sexual encounters are rarely as black and white as the feminist left insists. Many of these situations fall into a gray area, because THAT'S HOW HUMAN NATURE WORKS. We are imperfect and messy and flawed and horny as fuck. These are qualities that are woven into our biology, and if you're demanding that people act absolutely perfectly every single time they're inebriated on arousal (let alone adding alcohol into the mix), you may as well be demanding that they change their eye color.
Should the incident count as a great big tally mark in Takei's "fuckup" column? Maybe so. But does it make him a monstrous sexual predator for life? Is his entire standing as a decent human being forfeit because of the accusation? Many members of the SJW left are debating these questions now – but if it weren't Uncle Georgie, one of their own, their answer would unequivocally be yes. And I disagree.
I am not trying to make excuses for all of George Takei's behavior that night, and god knows if it were my name in the headlines instead of his, and SJWs and feminists were calling for my blood, he'd be standing right beside them, nodding in agreement. I am trying to point out that there is a human element in all of this that most of my fellow liberals in 2017 are exceedingly quick to overlook, which is doubly true whenever the person being accused is male.
For what it's worth, I had an experience similar to Brunton's story when I was in my early 20's at OSU. I went to a bar with my roommate, his ex, and one of her female friends. After several rounds, my roommate went back to our house and I stuck around for a while. My the ex's friend wanted to have sex with me, which I was not even remotely interested in. Several shots later, when I was too drunk to understand or care what was happening, we had sex anyway.
By modern feminist/SJW definitions, what happened to me counts as sexual assault (or even rape, depending on who you ask). I have never once seen it that way. The only way I've always seen it is "Welp, I guess I should have stopped drinking a lot earlier, huh?"
But in this particular case, all I can hope is that George Takei uses this whole experience to better understand that issues related to gender and sex are rarely as ironclad black-and-white men-are-guilty as his fellow SJWs would have us believe. Surely there's some place we can arrive at where we acknowledge that people – all of us, both men and women – are flawed and will make occasional lapses in judgment, especially when we're horny – while also reckoning with the truly sick bastards out there like Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore (personally I'd prefer a baseball bat upside their skulls, but maybe that's my "toxic masculinity" talking).