Asia Argento, victim blaming, and #metoo

The plot thickens with the Asia Argento situation. As I mentioned in my last post, former child actor James Bennett accused Argento of raping him just two months after he turned 17. Argento and Bennett now 22, settled out of court. The settlement occurred while Argento made news when she accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.

Argento initially denied the allegations against her. However, within a few hours the media reported that Argento claimed her late husband Anthony Bourdain pushed her to settle the case with the alleged victim.

How unfortunate that Baourdain is no longer here to respond to such a claim. Granted, it is possible that he made such a suggestion and it is common for celebrities to pay out settlements rather than risk unwanted criminal cases and negative press. It does seem unlikely, however, that Bourdain would make such a suggestion if Argento could prove she did nothing wrong.

If it only ended there, Argento would merely look scuzzy for tarnishing the reputation of her late husband. TMZ, however, published texts allegedly from Argento about the incident. According to the texts, Argento is the victim:

Argento says Bennett wrote this note (above) on Ritz-Carlton stationary — the hotel where they hooked up — and said, “Asia, I love you with all my heart. So glad we met again and I’m so glad your in my life. Jimmy.” She texts her friend the note, saying, “He wrote me this afterwards and kept sending me unsolicited nudes all these years up until 2 weeks before the attorneys letter.

She goes on to say … “it wasn’t raped (sic) but I was frozen. He was on top of me. After, he told me I had been his sexual fantasy since was 12.”

This is a classic move by female offenders. They blame the victim, exploiting society’s expectations that all boys want sex with hot women to excuse their behavior. What makes the above texts particularly unbelievable is that Bennett and Argento constantly referred to each other as mother and son for years. It seems improbable that this would suddenly change for one day, as later texts and comments from Bennett continue with the mother/son tone.

Yet who is surprised that Argento, like many women who prey on boys, would present herself as the victim? Where are the #metoo activists who will rail against this ridiculous claim?

Well. there is Rose McGowan, who previously demanded no quarter for anyone accused of sexual violence in Hollywood. Her response to the accusations against Argento?

In the early morning, after the Times report about Argento was published, McGowan tweeted that her “heart is broken,” but hesitated to jump to any conclusions.

“None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed,” she wrote. “Be gentle.”

So much for listen and believe.

Several other activists within the #metoo movement gave middling responses, ranging from Tarana Burke’s “power and privilege and such” to Rosanna Arquette playing the “victims sometimes become abusers” card. More time, however, was spent defending the #metoo movement, with Alyssa Milano stating:

[…] that movements like #MeToo can often be “confusing” and “messy.” However, she added that she believes there are “many people” who are both a victim and a predator.

“Psychologically, these issues tend to be cyclical,” she said. “You can be both things, and that’s where some of the confusion can lie for people.”

Bennett released a statement explaining why he didn’t come forward. He should not need to do that. It should be enough, as so many of the #metoo activists say, that he made the accusation. Let the authorities investigate, and if there is anything that should result in charges, let the district attorney’s office move forward.

It is interesting, however, how so many of the people supporting the #metoo movement are willing to give the benefit of doubt to women accused of sexual violence. It is almost as if there is a double standard at play wherein women get a pass.

5 thoughts on “Asia Argento, victim blaming, and #metoo

  1. I hope this is the watershed moment where feminists run out of excuses. However, they see #metoo as a source of power that they will not give up. They will continue to double down.

  2. I tend to believe male victims more. females have just been caught lying too often.

  3. Disgraceful and an embarrassing. However, might be a sign of hope for us male survivors of female abusers. Even mainstream newspapers have been urging #metoo to acknowledge #mentoo when previously that had been vigorously opposed by voices that seem to be strangely quiet all of a sudden! I only hope that more female abusers get outed, might be a best chance of ending the anti-male feminist rhetorical nonsense and not shunting male survivors into the dark anymore. Given time, hopefully that could happen.

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