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Candace Owens's Twitter bio reads "Communications Director for @TPUSA. Victor mentality."


It's an obvious stab at what she and other cultural conspiracy theorists refer to as the Left's "victim culture" and "victim mentality" -- that people are attempting to nefariously steal empathy and unearned power from others by casting themselves as "victims."

Earlier this week, Kanye West's favorite thinker decided to take her "victor mentality" to the #MeToo movement.


There aren't a lot of lines one can cross with the Right when it comes to punching down. In fact, there are barely any. But after Candace tweeted this, it wasn't the Left that came down on her.

It was NRAtv fave Kimberly Corban.


And it was the Daily Caller's Amber Athey...


And it was even alt-right darling Cassandra Fairbanks.


And perhaps most bizarrely of all... Joe Walsh. And not the one from The Eagles.


And the American Conservative Coalition pulled out of TPUSA's "Young Women's Leadership Summit," where Owens had planned to expound on her theories.


As strange as this all seems, I think perhaps it's because for all its feminist underpinnings, #MeToo is not an inherently political movement -- it can't be. Because, quite frankly, it's not just liberals who experience sexual assault and harassment. Predators are not going, "Oh? You voted Republican in the last election? Nevermind! You're good!" Many of those coming forward, like Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, have in fact been conservatives. You never know what someone else has been through when it comes to this shit. Even with the #MeToo movement, there is a lot people don't talk about. Often because people like Candace Owens consider them weak or stupid for doing so.

Since then, a whole pile of drama has piled up over on the Right, with Owens's Turning Point USA comrade Charlie Kirk internally begging people to not go after "allies" like Owens publicly.

Owens herself then posted a video explaining her reasoning for the tweet. It was also very, very bad.


In the video, Owens explains that it's fine for rape survivors to come forward, but that the movement itself was "sowing division" between women and men. Which is odd, given the fact that many men have come forward as well. She claims this is because she's talked to a lot of CEOs who say they wouldn't hire a young woman because of the movement.

I go and I meet with a lot of CEOs and I see men a lot just in the business of politics say that they wouldn't even hire a woman, that if they had a choice between hiring a young woman and a young man, they say they would hire a young man just so they don't have to worry about anything. That's not good. That means the end-goal of the #MeToo movement is not good, that if you think that the message is that women shouldn't be raped, that's not the way it's being translated out in the real world. You can see culturally it's already starting to be discussed colloquially -- Kanye's recent song when he says, "Imagine if I got #MeToo'ed." He's not saying, "Oh imagine if I raped a girl," he would never rape a girl. The #MeToo movement is about men that have correspondences with girls that could come out later and potentially ruin their entire careers. And this is what is felt. This is what men feel.

Now, does Candace really think that these CEOs were entirely oblivious to the problem of sexual harassment before #MeToo? Or were they just confident that women would keep quiet about it? Is this really the kind of secret women should keep, so as not to make CEOs fret? Or should they maybe work on making sure no one gets sexually harassed at their businesses?

She then somehow got on a tangent about how #MeToo activists were saying that middle school boys slapping girls on the ass and mooning them, along with girls kicking boys in the crotch in elementary school, was all the same thing as rape now.

I think it is terrifying, terrifying to think that we're creating a world that young men can't thrive in and learn and mistakes. You know, when I was growing up, the first time that I got my -- guys used to slap girls' asses in middle school. That was like the thing. Girls used to kick guys in the crotch in elementary school. That was a thing. Guys used to pull down their pants and moon on the bus, they would moon ongoing cars. All of that is under the umbrella of #MeToo today. All of it. There's no distinguishing between real rape victims, women that are uncomfortable on dates, men that are giving off-compliments -- off-handed compliments, and that's the problem. It's too convoluted.

I mean... I don't think I would say it was the same thing as "rape." But it's not too awesome either! Mooning is one thing, I suppose, but I think it is fair to say that no one should kick anyone in the crotch or slap them on the ass. But apparently this is a thing we are now ruining young boys' lives over forever.

It suggests that we can't handle ourselves in any scenario, like you know, when those guys slapped my ass in middle school I turned around and said "don't slap my ass," right? Now, a #MeToo movement activist might say, "They never should've slapped your ass." OK, that's one way of looking at it, or a lot of these corresponds that happen are these guys and girls growing up, girls kicking guys in the crotch. OK, maybe the girls shouldn't have done that when I was in elementary school but they did it and I don't think that these people should be branded and have their lives ruined when they're 10 and 13 years old because somebody has now decided that these things shouldn't be happening. I disagree with it. I genuinely disagree with it.

Curiously enough, the first time Owens herself ever made the news it was over a bullying and harassment issue at her high school -- when she was the recipient of a series of racist, threatening voicemails from a number of boys at her school, including the mayor's son. The harassment was so bad that she took six weeks off of school because seeing her tormentors was too traumatizing, and when she did attend, she was escorted by someone from the NAACP. The school ended up settling with her family for $37,500. So no, when she was in a position of being harassed, she did not just say, "Hey, stop that," and it was over.

Candace Owens is a person who desperately wants and needs a lot of attention and outside validation. This may seem like a strained interpretation when one considers the fact that the majority of her positions are oppositional in nature and the fact that she routinely says a lot of things that piss people off -- but by being a black person who denies the existence of racism and a woman who denies the existence of sexism, she puts herself in a position where she is made to feel extremely special. The "haters" then, make her feel more special. It's like an extreme, political version of "cool girl" syndrome.

Add in to this her habit of taking a small amount of information and running with it, without understanding the whole picture, and you have a Plato's cave of stupid.

This has largely been her MO since her first attempts at public figure-dom. Several years ago, during Gamergate, Owens attempted to create a website called Social Autopsy -- meant to decrease cyberbullying by de-anonymizing "internet trolls," which would have set up pages where people could essentially dox anyone online, providing information about who they were, where they lived and who their employers were. It was one of the few things that people on both sides of that issue collectively agreed was an extremely terrible idea. Owens started the project with very little understanding of Gamergate and online harassment, and when people like Zoë Quinn and Randi Lee Harper tried to explain to her that something like this would actually exacerbate online harassment, she lashed out and accused them of "bullying" her. When other people -- those on the pro-Gamergate side of things -- ended up sending her threatening and racist emails, she insisted that they had been dispatched by Quinn and Harper. The whole thing was, to put it lightly, extremely bizarre. It also could have been avoided by her knowing literally anything about Gamergate and online harassment.

Owens imagined that Social Autopsy would lead to her being hailed as a crusader for victims of online bullying, and when people pointed out the flaws in her plan, rather than saying, "Oh, shit -- I honestly hadn't thought about that, you're right, this is a bad idea," she doubled down and decided it must be everyone else who was wrong.

And it looks like she hasn't learned too many lessons since then.

[Media Matters]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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