Opinion: The Index-Finger Philosophy – Part 2 By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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The writer, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

The Asia Argento Story is rather fascinating, if only because it sharply reveals the abject hypocrisy of the protagonist which was suavely and wickedly camouflaged and papered over because the #MeToo Movement is also about the War of the Genders, whereby Femininity becomes synonymous with cultural innocence and passivity, whilst Masculinity, predictably, comes to be demonized and regarded as a symbol of wanton exploitation and human depravity. This pretty much explains precisely why Ms. Argento would smugly jump amidst the vanguard ranks of the “Crucify Harvey Weinstein” #MeToo Train, only about six months after settling a threatened or intended lawsuit accusing her of having raped Mr. James Bennett, then 17 years old, in the quite decent sum of $ 380,000 (USD). Ms. Argento would self-righteously jump to the forefront of the “Crucify Harvey Weinstein” #MeToo Movement Campaign Train, claiming to have been raped by Mr. Weinstein during the 1997 Cannes Film Festival when she was just 21 years old and the indicted Hollywood movie director was 45 years old.

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Ms. Argento, who claims to have struck up a relationship with Mr. Weinstein for quite a considerable while, also claims that she continued to have sexual relations with her alleged rapist because she was afraid of “angering” him. Now, this is rather strange because in 1997, when she claims to have been sexually violated by Harvey Weinstein, Ms. Argento was well above California’s age-of-consent. Besides, her own father, Dario Argento, is well known to have established a formidable presence in the filmic sub-genre of Modern Horror, whatever the latter label means. What I am implying here is that Ms. Argento does not seem to have come from a deprived and impoverished familial background. Anyway, in California, the age of consent for sexual relations is 18 years old. This pretty much explains why as of this writing, it had been reported that the California police was investigating the question of whether Ms. Argento who, by the way, has been romantically linked with the recently deceased CNN-Television Gustatory Specialist, Mr. Anthony Bourdain, among a couple of others, could be charged with statutory rape. I can almost hear Ms. Argento whisper, or rather huff, under her breath: “If only I had waited for just one year more.”

It is also interesting to note that there is a 21-year difference between the ages of Mr. Weinstein and that of Ms. Argento; and another 20 years between the latter and Mr. Bennett, the young man whom Ms. Argento stands accused of statutory rape and over whose threat of a lawsuit she allegedly settled for $ 380,000. It is not clear how complicated Mr. Bennett’s case could become, once the California police decide to bring up criminal charges against Ms. Argento. This discovery could very well set some well-heeled targets among the leadership of the #MeToo Movement up in the crosshairs of police investigators. I personally lost whatever modicum of sympathy I might have initially had for Mr. Weinstein, when he came out to vehemently deny and repulsively protest that he had at anytime sexually harassed the Oscar-winning Mexican-born Kenyan-parented actor, Ms. Lupita Onyango, by haughtily insisting that he could never be sexually attracted to a Black or an African-American woman well enough to want to sexually ravish or exploit her. The record of both America’s racial history and established mainstream Hollywood culture do not support Mr. Weinstein’s assertion.

Even so, I still got interested in this subject of sexual harassment and the wanton exploitation of women by their more powerful men here in the United States, especially as the punitive effect of the #MeToo Movement quickly spilled over from Hollywood or the mainstream American Movie Industry into the political arena and led to the resignation of a remarkable number of Congressional Representatives and Senators. But I must confess that I began to feel quite a balanced sense of justice, once the media spotlight on sexual harassment in Hollywood refreshingly shifted from traditional stereotypical scapegoats like Bill Cosby to traditionally well-protected sexual predators like Mr. Weinstein. And, oh, I also lost whatever sympathy that I might have had initially for Mr. Weinstein, when it came to light that he had established a formidable network of Mafia-type big-time or heavy-lifting attorneys and pimps who had so hermetically fortified his apparently bestial behavior that our protagonist had even come to envisage the same as his inalienable human right or entitlement.

Interestingly, in the sort of modest-income profession in which I find myself, however, charges of sexual harassment run riotous and rampant. And the obvious and perennial targets of such charges often have absolutely no viable or very effective means of fighting back, except to hope and pray on a virtually daily basis that Divine Providence would staunchly protect us and studiously help us not to fall into temptation. Indeed, not very long ago, when a defamatory accusation of sexism and sexual harassment was brought against me by a Pakistani-born female student quickly crumbled and I asked my Teachers’ Union Boss whether I could sue my accuser for defamation in court, his rather terse and wistful response, which he knowingly delivered in a chuckle, was simply as follows: “Unfortunately, the system is rigged up in such a way that we are not favored. We cannot sue our students; we can only fight off any wrongful accusations or charges that any of them bring against us.”

So much for double standards. That was the response of my 12-year-old, 8-grader son, when I brought up the Asia Argento case for a discussion the other day. Yes, Sonny, so much for double standards.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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