Jenny McCarthy, Justin Bieber and Discrimination

What would happen if a 40-year-old man — on live TV — grabbed an 18-year-old’s girls neck, kissed her forcefully on it and her face, and then grabbed her ass?

Massive media attention, conniptions, and protests.

But when the reverse happens, and it’s a woman doing it to a young man, no one seems to care.

Should there be a double standard here? Because one certainly exists.

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  • deviladv

    Absolutely not, there should be no public outcry here. There is no double standard, because context within our society means a whole hell of a lot.

    Men have for millenia committed violent sexual acts upon women. Only in the last century or so have women been given the power to chose their own destiny rather than to be treated like sex objects. Obviously, every act has to be evaluated on an individual basis, but on a societal basis, women do not want to be subjected to feeling like a sex object, where men generally do to some extent. The difference mostly comes down to who controls the sexual power, and that’s generally on the male side. Men want women throwing themselves at them. Men secretly say “good job!” to the boy when a female teacher has relations with a male student. In those situations, men still feel they have some level of power because in our society they do and therefore aren’t perceived to have been “taken advantage of.”

    Most men would get groped unexpectedly and feel “hey she thinks I’m hot” where most women would think “OMG perv he wants to attack me and maybe rape me.” But if done right, like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake did at the MTV awards a while back, it’s funny, because you know she’s working with someone she knows and respects. Yeah see if it’s funny if some weirdo she doesn’t know comes from behind the curtain and tries the same joke. Now it’s a creeper committing assault because it’s unwanted.

    Each situation must be evaluated differently to be 100% fair, but on a wide societal basis, it’s not a scandal if a boy or man gets groped unexpectedly on stage, because society recognizes that guys are not usually going to get upset about it, where women do because it’s perceived as a violent act. So there is no double standard and those that feel that way have to get over that.

    • Custador

      Bullshit. If a woman I do not know and do not want does that to me, I have been sexually assaulted. It’s an unwanted invasion of my intimate space, and somebody has taken pleasure from MY body without MY permission. Would you be making such an obtuse argument if the celeb that grabbed has backside and forcefully tried to snog him had been George Michael instead of Jenny McCarthy? I doubt it. I’m no Belieber, but look at his body language and listen to the tone and intonation in his voice. Everything about him is screaming that he DID NOT WANT that contact from Jenny McCarthy – And yet you’re arguing that, because he’s a man, he should be pleased when that happens to him? Absolute, complete, unmitigated bullshit. What she did that was a total violation, and what’s worse is, her motivation was painfully transparent: Get a snog off Bieber on stage, get on the front pages of some celebrity tat magazines, get off the Z List. In other words, she tried to take advantage of his body for her own gain and/or pleasure, without his consent.

      Sorry, but there’s no way in hell you’re going to argue that’s not a massive double-standard.

      On a separate note: What the hell is he wearing? He looks like a caricature of how his stylist thinks a young black man from the inner city should dress :-/

      • Russ Painter

        I agree with you, there’s clearly a double standard, and it’s not right.
        In my opinion, the only way to get past sexsim and racism is to universally reject it. Equally.

        • Charlotte

          I agree. The double standard is that society as a whole does not think women are capable of assault, and that all men like being sexually assaulted because hey, men always want sex right?

      • Helen

        I disagree that people would necessarily have been up in arms.

        If she was a very young, pure, virginal girl who dressed like a Mormon and wore a ‘purity ring’, maybe. But if she was wearing a sexy costume? Sang songs about sex? Had been linked with the varying media definition of too many men (or god forbid, a woman)?

        Well she was asking for it, wasn’t she.

        Don’t get me wrong; this was sexual assault and it was wrong.

        I just don’t think it’s accurate or helpful to claim that women somehow have it easier.

        I think it’s pretty similar actually; a subset of proto-rapists think that both men and women enjoy sex at all times, and therefore should be sexually available at all times.

        However, the power differential cannot be ignored, and as much as I hate it, men do still enjoy more power than women – economically, politically, physically and socially. This does make sexual assault a different experience for each gender.

        • Custador

          I in no way think that women have it easier, but I do not accept that a man twice the age of a tweeny starlet could have sexually assaulted her in this way in public, on stage, and gotten the free pass for it that Jenny McCarthy has gotten,

          • Helen

            Like when A$AP Rocky grabbed Rihanna’s bum at the VMAs, and the papers described it as an ‘intimate moment’, despite the fact that the pictures show she’s clearly trying to push him away?

            Liz Kershaw was openly groped while presenting a Radio 1 Live show in the 80s.

            Savile routinely groped young girls on stage as recently as the 2000s, and it was regarded as funny, harmless fun.

            The difference is that young females are regarded as ‘fair game’, especially if they dare to be in any way sexual, and are told that being groped / intimidated is ‘par for the course’.

            For example, the picture of Rihanna being groped – the first comment underneath said, “Well according to Chris Brown, she’s slept with everyone anyway.” It got a load of ‘likes’, plus a person who took the time to comment and agree with the poster.

            As though her sexual history means it’s okay to sexually assault her, and as though the word of a guy who used to beat her to a pulp means anything.

            It’s awful when it happens to anyone, but it is far more systemic and frequent against females, and it usually doesn’t stop at a kiss, either.

            • Custador

              You backed up that point well. Conceded.

        • BC

          > “However, the power differential cannot be ignored, and as much as I hate it, men do still enjoy more power than women – economically, politically, physically and socially. This does make sexual assault a different experience for each gender.”

          I don’t see how having more economic power means anything. Politically, I suppose there are more men in positions of power and the conservatives don’t favor “female” issues, although every female has as much voting power as every male. I doubt that males have more social power than females. I would say that females have more sexual power than males – they chose whether or not to have sex and males are at their mercy. Women largely control the relationships. Did you know that over 70% of divorces in the US are initiated by women? Women largely control whether or not to end relationships. So, women aren’t as universally weak as you’d like to claim.

          • Helen

            ” I would say that females have more sexual power than males – they chose whether or not to have sex and males are at their mercy. ”

            Are you being serious? Have you read the rape statistics out there? Are you aware of the fact that 83% of female rape victims are raped by a man who is known to them? That 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime? 40% of female murder victims are murdered by a partner / former partner. 80% of women will face sexual street harassment at some point in their lives.

            Women getting to say no and initiate divorce proceedings is not the same as having ‘sexual power’.

            Economic power is important if you think about it for five whole seconds. If you control money, jobs and benefits, then you control people, because people need money to eat and people need to eat. If your choice, for example, is enduring being raped, but keeping your job, or losing your job, home and not being able to feed your children, what would you do? If you are financially dependent on someone, whether a boss or partner, they are in a position of power which puts you at a massive disadvantage.

          • Kodie

            That’s hilarious. A woman can decide not to have sex with a man so that gives her more power than a man? Holy shit, that’s like a super-power! 70% of divorces are initiated by women? I wonder why they’re overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their mates compared to men.

            So anyway not getting raped is a power women have over men, right, you say, and not being forced to stay in a marriage is a power women have over men, mm-hmm. So by measuring a woman’s power in context to how it affects a man means she has more power than men because they’re not allowed to rape her (we’ll ignore rape statistics like you do; I think Helen covered it) or laws that consider a married woman something other than property you own for life, where is all the power women have again? Only over a man? Just one man? That’s a kind of shitty power. I mean it’s mighty nice of you to acknowledge that women own their own bodies and lives, but you call that “more power than men”???????????????????????????? Not as universally weak because you cannot (ought not) rape them at will?


      • deviladv

        The question is not whether YOU feel someone groping you is a sexual assault or not. The question is whether there should be a public outcry. I agree if you feel it’s assault on your person, it’s assault on your person. I myself, and Justin Bieber, feel differently. You are projecting your personal feelings onto other people. There is not a public outcry because most men feel that a groping is not a violation of personal space. I did not say all men.

        Men commit violence against women daily and use their position in society to their advantage constantly. There are plenty of individual exceptions to that, because it’s not everyone, but the question is why is there no outcry? Because society recognizes that it’s far more prevalent that men commit assault against women, and that women often have fewer options than men when such a crime is committed. Calling it a double standard is when individuals are projecting their personal emotional reactions on the larger populace who have decidedly different reactions. Again it’s not a question of “does Justin Bieber really feel violated?” or “should there be a law against this?” or “should an individual’s personal space be violated?” it’s a question of “why is there no public outcry over an older woman groping a younger man in public?” Because society as a whole does not see that Justin is being violated and as a whole they are probably guessing right and as a whole groping a man vs groping a woman sends two different messages that are weighted differently by the genders as a whole.

        • Custador

          “The question is whether there should be a public outcry.”

          And the answer is: Yes, there should. This was a high-profile, PUBLIC sexual assault. Accepting it just legitimises other women sexually assaulting men. You think it doesn’t happen? You’re wrong. I’ve been groped by drunk women on nights out many times, and it is not cool. I wonder why you’re so adamant that it is?

          “Men commit violence against women daily and use their position in society to their advantage constantly.”

          Nobody is disputing that. Most of us are well aware of male privilege.

          “…the question is why is there no outcry?”

          In the circles I travel in, there is. It’s a subject that gets discussed a lot. Which isn’t to say that it’s not a subject that shouldn’t be discussed more; almost every modern culture I’m aware of is a rape culture.

          “I myself, and Justin Bieber, feel differently.”

          You’re projecting your response onto him. Once again, look at his body language. Read his non-verbal cues. Bieber was NOT cool with it.

          Your every word screams “DOUBLE STANDARD!”, you’re describing a double-standard, you yourself openly hold men and women to different standards, and yet you’re arguing that there’s no double standard. I mean for goodness sake!

          • Helen

            “I’ve been groped by drunk women on nights out many times, and it is not cool.”
            Yeah, my partner’s experienced this. He’s been groped by guys and girls on nights out. That said, he’s been groped by more guys, and ALL my female friends have been groped on various nights out, usually by much older men.

            • Helen

              Sorry, I was kinda thinking aloud here. What I mean is that both genders experience this on a routine basis – why do older people (regardless of gender) seem to think they should have / are entitled to young people’s bodies?

        • Kodie

          The question is whether there should be a public outcry. I agree if you feel it’s assault on your person, it’s assault on your person. I myself, and Justin Bieber, feel differently. You are projecting your personal feelings onto other people. There is not a public outcry because most men feel that a groping is not a violation of personal space.

          You are projecting your feelings onto other people. The fact that most people might think there was nothing wrong with, and even adorable with, this situation doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a conversation about it. If it’s ok for Jenny McCarthy to do this, why is it not ok for a man to do it? Another “double standard” would be, why can men have lots of sex with strangers and get called a stud, while a woman who does that is called a slut? You don’t seem to understand, and even went so far as to contradict yourself, when you said if Jenny McCarthy tried to grab you like that, you would mind, because you don’t like a particular person? How is a particular person supposed to know ahead of time whether or not the target of his or her groping would be offended? I don’t know HOW! Play the odds? Most people think it’s fine so that makes it fine? Most men think unwanted sexual attention from any woman is great, so women should feel free to grope anyone that looks like meat to them, and that’s what the man wanted? Maybe he wouldn’t mind, but it’s a distinct lack of perspective or empathy on the woman’s part, and society tends to look the other way. What is this “context” you keep talking about? The context is the double standard. Men don’t tend to make a huge deal about it because it’s possible they are culturally trained to respond that way, just like they’re taught not to cry or show emotions (weak emotions; strong emotions like anger are “manly” for them). He’s not trained to think of himself as a victim of a lowly weak woman, he politely gets out of the situation if necessary in a way that women don’t necessarily have the luxury of doing. A creeper man advancing on a woman like such would turn congeniality into instant awkwardness. I’ve been on the receiving end of such awkwardness, so have a lot of women. You would think given that context, women would have those same standards toward men and not presume her advances are welcome. But we’re culturally trained also – hitting men is “ok” because men don’t cry or feel pain, etc., we’re “only a girl” so even though there is anger or violent intentions, it couldn’t possibly hurt enough to call the cops or take a trip to the emergency room. Laugh at the “wussy” man who can’t take a gentle beating or forceful, if brief, grope without calling the authorities!

          Just because it’s not serious enough to press charges, or ban Jenny McCarthy from whatever lame public job she has now over the controversy doesn’t mean she should or we all should learn from this situation that makes it “OK”. Bieber probably doesn’t need a restraining order or anything, he’ll be fine, and anyone who thinks we’re making too big a deal about such a small incident would really change their tune if a 40-year-old man groped an 18-year-old woman just like that – physical restraint and assault, which he reacted negatively. He made a face of agony, are you saying that’s “mock” agony because he’s a man? He struggled free and shivered in utter revulsion, are you saying that’s “mock” utter revulsion because he’s a man?

          The “double standard” is the context where we think it’s silly and harmless for a woman to behave the same way we would possibly arrest a man and label him a pervert. You are judging this situation by whether Justin Bieber minded, and even if he took it like a “good sport,” and even if he didn’t express bodily that he did mind, the burden is on the assaulter to restrain herself the way we would expect a man to, and a society not to tolerate it by speaking up about it.

          • Helen

            “The “double standard” is the context where we think it’s silly and harmless for a woman to behave the same way we would possibly arrest a man and label him a pervert.”

            You guys keep saying things like this. If this is the case, why is the ‘casting couch’ still an issue? Why have generations of women in the music industry reported sexual assault, so called ‘date rape’ and harassment on a ridiculous scale?

            I agree that both males and females that act this way should be punished; I just think you are wrong in thinking that males are currently punished.

            Take the Jimmy Savile scandal in the UK; it isn’t just what he did, it’s the fact that his behaviour was regarded as *normal*; and several women in the music industry have said that that hasn’t changed.

            • BC

              > Take the Jimmy Savile scandal in the UK; it isn’t just what he did, it’s the fact that his behaviour was regarded as *normal*

              To be fair, studies of rapists have shown that rapists generally believe that ‘everybody’s doing it, but the other guys aren’t getting caught’. This isn’t a reflection of what’s true in society. It just points to the messed-up perceptions they have about society. I think it’s just a psychological way for rapists to not feel bad for raping – it gives them an excuse to rape and not feel bad about it. If that’s the case, then their perception of “rape is normal” says nothing about society as a whole.

            • Kodie

              I don’t think we’re forgetting that. Sexual harassment or rape is also a part of our culture that people do like to ignore or rationalize or pass blame. People do like to rate a rape victim on various terms of things like lying or asking for it or having a sexual history with the perpetrator. If people are in a certain industry, like music, if they are famous, we say there are things that naturally go along with that – how people treat you and how you dress and your public persona as if that’s really who you are and removes your consent to be left alone and entitled to have personal preferences over who can touch you.

              I still think as a society, we’re more likely to brush private business under the rug, but things happen out in the open, and that causes a scandal. Behind closed doors, we don’t “know” who is telling the truth. Out in the open, if, say, one of Justin Bieber’s contemporaries assaulted him, we might be more forgiving because they are both young, and it’s cute. But his fans are obviously frenzied young women – he makes his money from their adoration of him and relies on generating that reaction, but that doesn’t mean that his guards let them rush and mob him and tear him apart. Who is exploiting whom?

              In this case, I had wondered about this point I’d been circling – is it because she’s much older? It was like she wanted to inhale his essence to increase her powers. Given a choice of women who all want to throw themselves at Justin Bieber, none of them should, but I also guess we’d have a different reaction if it was someone else. A lot of jokes are made on tv of situations just like this where the woman advancing on a man has some characteristic flaw – it’s not that he doesn’t enjoy it (we’re led to believe), it’s because she’s in the category of not-women – not attractive enough to count – older, overweight, comically unattractive – and the recipient is made uncomfortable in the interaction only because she’s not the kind of woman he’d welcome a similar advance. I think the same is portrayed of women being hit on by men. Being hit on by a loser is a bummer, and especially if he’s a persistent yet harmless loser, there’s no need to get a restraining order since he’s never expected to go too far. Yucky guys aren’t allowed to aim too high, but they do it anyway and only sometimes portrayed to also pose a physical threat. Get a good-looking rapist, a pathologically charming guy, and you want to rationalize that if he wanted that woman and got that woman, your own grandmother would gladly trade places with the victim.

              The thing that I’ve noticed mostly is how we don’t like to talk about it, or how a lot of people just make up their minds to assess the situation from their own perspective rather than anyone else’s. In cases of rape or harassment, there’s a level we’re supposed to handle or expect, just like any conflict between two people – tattling is always a last resort and people tend to err on the side of not tattling; people are told to take responsibility for their actions when they aren’t given choices so they eat the blame. Part of me even thinks this is something of a witch hunt – the part that makes me curious whether it’s a huge deal mostly because the villainously ignorant anti-vaxing past-prime-no-longer-relevant-and-therefore-disgusting Jenny McCarthy did it rather than someone we all “like”.

      • Jay

        Devilady is an obvious sexist (in otherwords a feminist)

        • dmantis

          Those two things are mutually exclusive. In fact, polar opposites.

    • Michael

      This is ridiculous.

      For one thing, it generalizes all people by their gender, which is the crux of essentialism. I can see no real difference between this idea and the (fictional) notion that Western countries can justifiably be invaded a little, because historically they’ve done most of the invading. Or that black people can’t be upset if they get robbed.

      For another thing, it blames billions of people–to the extent of punishing and judging them differently for the same acts–for the acts of other people, or at least for problems they neither caused nor committed. And the question isn’t even whether they have or not; alleged former crimes are no justification for allowing violence.

      Personally, I think both sides of this double standard need to come toward the middle. This sort of thing shouldn’t be so socially accepted, but at the same time it’s clearly not a big enough deal to deserve legal action (while in the status quo, a similar assault on a woman may in some cases prompt just that). The media needs to work on fixing the presentation of male nudity as gross and funny and female nudity as sexy and taboo, but at the same time no single instance of either is problematic (only the trend is). And so on.

    • J-Rex

      Woww…just wow.
      For a second, I thought you had a point. The power dynamics affect how we see it. A man groping a young woman likely has more power over her than a woman groping a young man, in terms of physical strength and status. Still, that’s just in terms of how we react to these things. It says nothing about how the individual feels about it and it does not make one more okay than the other.
      But seriously, a guy being groped totally likes it because…you know…sex!…??? That is incredibly insulting to both genders. Guys like sex so much they don’t care where it comes from. Girls would probably like being groped more if they just liked sex more. That’s totally accurate.
      You actually made the point unintentionally. It’s a complete double standard. Groping someone of either gender like that is terrible, but at least a girl could react in a more defensive or creeped out way and people would sympathize with her. But Bieber can only awkwardly say, “…wow…I feel violated,” and try to act like he’s totally okay with the “joke” because, you know…Sex! Attention! Every guy loves that.
      I checked out the “About” section on your blog. Playing the devil’s advocate is only something to be proud of if you’re doing it to make people think in different ways and gain new perspective. Relying on old fashioned gender stereotypes (that everyone already knows about) to argue that men can’t experience unwanted sexual touch because all sexual touch is wanted is much more trollish and offensive than it is intellectual or devil’s advocate.

    • Jer

      You try to ague that it isn’t a double standard. But everything in your comments is about how they the situations are treated differently and so it IS a double standard.

    • Yoav

      You miss the point, it’s all about consent. No one, male or female should be groped by anyone, male or female, unless they agreed to be groped which is a significant difference between a planed act which both parties have agreed to, like your Timbarlake Kunis example, and McCarthy just grabbing Bieber out of the blue.

    • afterall

      So basically your arguments are:
      - all men are ho’s
      - yeah, he *said* ‘no’, but he *meant* ‘yes’

    • Kevin

      Nope. An assault is an assault. He obviously did not welcome it and if the exact same situation had played out with the genders reversed there would be a national fucking outcry by feminists about “rape culture”

      Just shut the fuck up. It’s a double standard whether you think or not

  • Bill

    Yes there’s a double standard, but somehow I think “The Beebs” will be just fine.

  • NoYourGod

    I hope he had his shots…

    • Elemenope

      LOL, vaccination humor.

      • Noelle

        You just don’t see a lot of immunization humor these days.

        • UrsaMinor

          That’s because so many people have rejected the technology.

          • Len

            Perhaps they’re just immune to it.

  • Noelle

    I don’t want Jenny McCarthy groping me either.

    Of course there should be no double standard. Everyone should keep their hands to themselves at all times.

    • David

      Well, I’d say that everyone should keep their hand to themselves — unless they have permission to act otherwise.

      • Noelle

        Right. Your hands should stay there, unless you have permission to put them elsewhere.

      • FO

        I think the point is whether there was permission or not, and how do you establish that.

        If I go on a date with a girl, and the date goes well, I am expected (at least, that’s my experience) to try and kiss her.
        She may reject me or she may accept me initially and the decide that it was a bad idea.
        Thing is, you don’t establish this explicitly, the line is widely blurred.

        • Sunny Day

          I’m all for spontaneity but I don’t think what happened here has any reasonable similarity to, “I’m on a date; I wonder how she/he feels about me; maybe I should try kissing her”

        • Kodie

          Guys aren’t supposed to try to kiss anyone without the go-ahead. It’s a body language thing, it’s not just go for it and hope you’re right.

          Here’s an example: I used to be on a forum a long time ago and one of the cool people was this guy, and since his family lived near where I was, we thought we knew each other well enough to hang out when he came to town to visit his parents. So I went to meet him at a bar halfway between, and that wasn’t terrible for a few hours, so I wished him a Happy Holidays and went home. Basically just two people having a meet-up, not a date or a hook-up or anything like that. Sometime again the next summer, he was coming around so we arranged to hang out again. We talked about a lot of stuff and other people from the forum and what was cool music, I think we were in a park this time. Then it was time for him to get going, so I said bye and maybe went in for a platonic friendly hug. I felt platonic and friendly toward him and it was fun to hang out, so I was also relaxed and happy. Getting this so far? He tried to kiss me on the mouth instead. Not just tried, he made contact before I could stop him.

          That was awkward and I kind of got mad at him. I’m like sorry, no, I hope you didn’t have the wrong idea. Social anxiety and not knowing how to react to this, I planted some extra personal distance between us, didn’t try to run away, stiffened up completely, and then we talked some more so we wouldn’t leave on a totally shitty note after such a nice day. It’s like, totally my fault for sending the wrong signals because a girl can smile and laugh at a guy’s jokes and not be flirting or interested in pursuing anything other than a friendship. Is this something guys don’t know? I blamed myself, see, for him having a different idea. I opened myself up, I saw him, I had a fun time with him – not a date as far as I knew; did he think we were on a date? Did agreeing to see him mean I had consented to a date? I pretty much didn’t think of him as a rapey guy, and we were out in public in daytime, it was just one of those misunderstandings where a guy makes a false move, right?

          Then he tried to kiss me on the mouth again without warning, and after I shouted “HEY WHAT THE FUCK MAN”, his justification for it is he thought I really wanted him to and was just pretending to be upset 5 minutes earlier so he wouldn’t think I was easy or I would have left immediately after the first try. I might have took a swing at him that time. In any case, it was the end of a brief affair I didn’t know I was having.

          Social cues, motherfucker: do you read them?

          If you’re on a date and the girl expects to be kissed by you for the first time, it’s not just inside her mind for you to read, it’s a mutual “hey I think we’re getting ready to kiss now” and don’t just dive in and plant one like a crazy guy. That’s been my experience.

      • deviladv

        And there’s the rub. Did Justin give permission? Men have looser standards than women do regarding personal touching as a whole, and those standards are looser still in the entertainment industry. Many men have a level of “implied permissions” in Western Society. They aren’t going to think twice if a woman gives them a grope on the street. The message that sends to most men is a positive one. Okay that’s not true of everyone. but you can’t be so absolutist about it when it comes to answering the question “why is there no public outcry?” If you want to write a blog post about why it’s wrong to “touch someone in an unwanted manner” then all these arguments belong there and are completely appropriate. What no one has proven here beyond a reasonable doubt is that the Beeb truly and honestly thought the touches were an assault on his body. It is for this reason there should be no public outcry until Justin decides to file criminal charges or make a stink on a celebrity blog or something, which I seriously feel he isn’t going to do.

        But if anyone as a scientist finds it wrong that the obnoxious Jenny McCarthy is groping people, I personally agree with you in that I find her level of disrespect for vaccines wrong to the extent that I would not want her to touch me out of principle of association with her, not because I found it to be an assault.

        • Kodie

          Your argument rings of “blame the victim” – or in Justin Bieber’s case, put the burden on him to pre-allow or “ask for” physical sexual attention, generalize that he’s a man so he would mind less than a woman would – but even you have standards. It’s not “OK” for Jenny McCarthy to touch you because she’s Jenny McCarthy, not because she’s some random woman. Put the responsibility where it belongs. Women shouldn’t assume it’s ok to grab and grope people because men “generally” don’t mind being grabbed or groped without being asked first. In the video, it looks like he minded, but is that the point? It’s more a point to put the responsibility on people who presume to grab or grope people, what looks like a spontaneous urge upon her to inflict upon him physical sexual attention which he had not been given the option to permit.

          The reason behind your thinking about this the backwards way is because this is how it plays out in front of you. Justin Bieber played it off “cute” in this instance, the way men usually do; probably won’t press assault charges. It’s inappropriate behavior on her part to presume what he would or wouldn’t mind, and it’s inappropriate logic on your part to presume what he would or wouldn’t mind – specifically accounted by your noting that, given the situation, you would have minded her specific attention like that.

          “Oh, it’s just a girl” it’s not like she would force him down and do him right on stage! “Boys will be boys” or “girls will be girls” thinking, well it wasn’t that bad, it was over in a few seconds and he lived. When you’re famous and you have to deal with all the “sex idol” business, and people thinking of you as an object and not a person…. what she did is her fault and the fact that you think it’s upon him, because he’s a guy, to “not mind” advances like such, even in fun and not serious, is because these are the examples we’re given and how women can think they’re not held to the same standards as a man, Jon Bon Jovi for example, would be to restrain himself from grabbing, say, Katy Perry spontaneously and planting his face in her neck while she struggled to understand what was happening for a few seconds because she may be used to being treated like an object in certain contexts, it doesn’t mean she would think it’s ok.

          Why is it ok for a woman to treat a man like this? Why is it adorable of both of them? Why is it “whatever he likes”? You still seem to think it’s ok for someone like me to grab young guys and do my sexy cougar stuff on them and that’s socially acceptable because “guys generally don’t care who touches them as long as they know they’re sexy”. They would mind because they don’t know me and maybe I don’t smell as good as I think I do, or look as young and healthy as I thought I once did. I’m just doing my animal impressions and assume that’s adorable, but it’s gross. Straight guys don’t like similar attention from a man; and it would be gross and pervy for a man to presume to grab or grope anyone without having some rapport about it. We don’t talk about this and from not talking about it, guys like you make generalizations and assumptions, and pretend to be wise or something on the subject. Yeah, what guys are sensitive about is complaining about things they consider rude behavior by women, or perhaps that the thinking here is that women are powerless so there’s little to complain about because they don’t feel in danger, or terribly awkward after.

          But that doesn’t make the woman correct to do it. That’s the point you’re ignoring.

          • Jabster

            Can’t have put it better myself Kodie …

        • The Other Weirdo

          Wait! Are you suggesting that it’s not a problem for socieity to worry about until a victim files a complaint?

        • Helen

          A certain class of man thinks everyone welcomes a quick grope. They are wrong.

  • trucreep


  • FO

    No double standard.
    It wasn’t a total stranger.
    If a random female stranger did this to me, I would be angry.
    If a female friend did it to me in a charged social context, I would laugh and tease her.

    And yes, if the context was right I would do that to a female friend that I know well enough.
    Further, this was just for the show.
    Context matters, and this case is much closer to the latter.

    Last, a man has no significant risk of a woman forcing herself on him, so while there is invasion of a person’s body, it is not indicative of a possible threat, and therefore elicits no social reaction.

    • Michael

      Of course women can force themselves on men. It’s much harder for women to literally rape men, but there are degrees of assault.

      Yeah Bieber probably knew her and didn’t care, but the point of the discussion of the double standard was that this would still not be seen as acceptable with the genders reversed by the vast majority of people.

      • FO

        In our society AND due to naturally smaller build, Women are in a weaker and more vulnerable position than men.

        It is MUCH harder for a man to feel physically threatened by a woman.

        • Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

          And when men DO feel physically threatened by a woman, they are met with responses like yours just now.

          Men get raped by women a lot more than society would have us know, but it’s either dismissed because “dude you got laid” or because there’s no way anyone would believe that a man got raped by a woman. Whether or not Justin Bieber was feeling threatened at the time doesn’t matter. There is a double standard when it comes to assault from women towards men.

          • Custador

            This. I will also add that woman-on-woman rape is also more common that people think. Gender is no exclusion to being a sexual predator.

            • FO

              To me, this is comparing female circumcision with male circumcision.
              Yes, they are both wrong.
              No, there is a magnitude of difference.

            • Michael

              Circumcision and FGM are different because they are removing completely different organs. There is absolutely no comparison here.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Not every man is built like a battletank, and not every woman is a wilting violet. Besides, you are wrong that men face no significant threat. The man may have a heart condition. She may have STDs, which these days is a pretty good possibility. He may even have STDs. Hell, if she does it right, she can even get preggers.

      Besides, what does any of that matter? Rules must apply equally to all, or they are not rules.

    • afterall

      “No double standard.
      It wasn’t a total stranger.”

      You do know that most victims of rape and sexual assault are attacked by somebody they know?

  • The Vicar

    Meh. Justin Bieber is paid more than enough by the media complex to endure a little mauling at the hands of Jenny McCarthy, who is at least reasonably clean. Part of the price of Bieber’s tremendous overcompensation is having to put up with obnoxious interactions by other overcompensated celebrities-for-no-good-reason. When it comes to media figures, you’re in the “we’ve already established you’re a prostitute, now we’re just arguing price” realm.

    • Yoav

      1. While choosing to go into a public field entail some level of giving away your privacy just because he’s famous doesn’t mean Justin Bieber lose his right to determine who does and doesn’t get to grope him.

      we’ve already established you’re a prostitute, now we’re just arguing price

      First there is nothing wrong with being a prostitute and second, prostitutes also deserve the right to choose whether to engage with a client or not, just because someone is a prostitute doesn’t mean they can be groped without their explicit consent.

      • FO

        Well, if you choose to be part of a circus, you go along with the circus…

      • The Vicar

        That’s kind of the point. What’s wrong is when a prostitute freely — even eagerly — agrees to the conditions and people butt in to claim that the prostitute shouldn’t have to be degraded.

        Bieber certainly didn’t get his position in the media for musical talent; he got it for being a sexually nonthreatening photogenic template for bland, corporate-style pop music — a sort of human advertising billboard. He has already been paid; he’s set for life (unless he does something stupid like investing it all with a successor of Madoff). Complaining that he now has to put up with some (very mild) public embarrassment in exchange is kind of stupid; prostitutes who fit the more conventional mold of their profession have to put up with far worse and for much less reward.

        • Mahousniper

          As someone planning to become a public figure, I find this attitude disgusting. I’m sorry, because people know my name that means I’ve forfeited my human rights? Because someone’s successful and rich, they deserve to just get molested by creepy old women?

          Let’s say the stars align and I actually become a super-celebrity sex symbol with millions to throw around. I still would not be fucking okay with this. Would I do anything? No. Would I brush it off as silly fun? Of course. Would it be okay then? ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY NOT. I would ignore it because society would look down on me and judge me for not just accepting it. As a public figure, I would be harassed for being so uptight about a girl. Men would hate me because since I didn’t like being kissed by a girl, clearly I’m some kind of pussy. Women would hate me because… well, I think the above conversation does a pretty good job of illustrating that.

          So my only choice would be to blow it off. To pretend I don’t care in order to avoid a media shitstorm. And that is absolutely not okay.

        • Kodie

          prostitutes who fit the more conventional mold of their profession have to put up with far worse and for much less reward.

          So basically you’re saying it shouldn’t bother anyone because he’s paid well to be molested?

          Famous people are still people as far as I can tell. One of the problems of fame is how to put up boundaries. You’re basically saying he’s bought and paid for, and you don’t respect his artistry, so you conclude that he has signed over the rights to his humanity. That’s pretty harsh, man, you’re giving your permission to violate a human being because you made up crazy rules when it’s ok to do. Who the fuck are you?

    • The Other Weirdo

      Does that apply equally to female media personalities, many of whom are paid tremendous sums of money for nothing more than being famous for being famous?

      • The Vicar

        A few of them, and to a certain degree, probably yes, although I can’t think of any specific names offhand. Exact analogues of Justin Bieber, male or female, aren’t incredibly common. (Bieber, don’t forget, got a massive reward in advance, and — so far as we know, at least — hasn’t had to do anything which would actually shock his fans. I am totally okay with him having to put up with a lot more than just this.)

  • WA

    What’s a Bieber? ~Ozzy

    • Paul

      A small virtually furless little rodent.

  • Paul

    I have two points. First, it reminds me of the young women playing opposite Dean Martin in the Matt Helm films, though they were giving consent by accepting the roles though you could also argue that young actresses in the early 60′s were sexually exploited.

    Second, as a well rounded older man frequently mistaken for Santa Claus, Jenny can molest me anytime she wants. Just call ahead so I can take my Cialis.

  • UrsaMinor

    There is a double standard, and there really shouldn’t be. Unwanted body contact is unwanted body contact. I’ve been subjected to unwanted pawings by both men and women. They are equally unwelcome. And trust me, I’m not at all body-shy. My friends of both genders have a great deal of latitude to touch me or kiss me socially.

    It’s all about permission.

  • Kodie

    It’s weird because even though Justin Bieber is over 18 now, I thought the move was infantilizing him. A woman his age (and fame status) is by far looking more mature; he’s not pulling of “I’m a MAN now”. McCarthy grabbed him like an aunt who can’t believe how much you’ve grown since she last saw you but OH how big you’ve gotten, you’ll always be the boy whose diapers I changed a blink of an eye ago. She didn’t so much look like she was molesting him because he’s a sexy guy the same way a man her age might go after a young woman. A man might treat a young woman (or any woman) like a child even though she may have looked like a grown woman since the age of 14 or 15, but not the same way. It’s still disrespectful to treat someone like your plaything, but the powerless child who is too cute you want to eat them up, semi-sexually, is another thing to consider about why she didn’t think it was inappropriate.

    As far as double standards go, he looked like he minded. Even if Jenny McCarthy is considerably attractive, men who say that men like to be groped probably wouldn’t like to be groped by a homely woman, or by a man if they are not gay. Being noticed for being sexy and being physically handled are two different things, and sometimes the double standard is who it is that’s groping you – whether someone thinks you’re sexy may be flattering if they’re attractive, but gross if they’re not. In this case, it’s supposed to be (for the observer) a win for Justin Bieber, for anyone who might wish they were sexy enough to be handled by an attractive woman, and because she’s attractive, her intentions seem “sexy” but I thought she handled him not like she wanted to have sex with him but more like an older female relative on the inappropriate side of the line toward sexual. Maybe that’s me projecting my ideas here since he still seems like a little boy, which just makes it gross. She wasn’t pouncing on an equal; even though he won some big award, she took privilege of her proximity to him at that moment to “congratulate” him and do things all his fans wished they could do. He was walking away and she physically detained him, grabbed him by the arm, so she could smash her face into her neck (kind of like how my grandma used to grab my face, blow farts on my cheek and leave a lipstick print); then he made a face of pain, then he slid away, looked back and shook it off. Do people think that’s funny because he’s so young and adorable? Or male? You definitely would not do that to a woman and have it be “cute”. Was his reaction honest shock? She took permission to do it, and it’s not whether he liked it or should like it that’s the issue.

    • Bix

      I can’t get over the fact that she wrapped both her hands around his neck, from behind. If someone did that to me, my body would assume I was being strangled, and that person would get an automatic sharp elbow in the gut, awards show or no. And yeah, he looked really shocked.

  • Jay

    I dont hate Jenny. I think the real problem is the double standard in the media (rooted in feminism).
    The media is constantly promoting cougar garbage. They had many stories (maybe last year) about 40 year old women waiting outside like groupies for teenage male stars. And these boys were under 18 years old. (I think the show was Twilight but I could be wrong).
    If you reverse the genders the media presents it as stalking and harassment.
    What needs to happen is that the media needs to get rid of the feminist so they can use a consistent standard.

    • Kodie

      I don’t think you understand what feminism is.

    • dmantis

      What you argued is not feminism. This word does not mean what you think it means.

      The word you are looking for is “sexism”.

    • Custador

      I could use many words to describe Western media outlets, but “feminist” would not be amongst them.

  • Kodie

    I was sitting here remembering the “incident” over a decade ago when Diana Ross bounced Lil Kim’s breast on the MTV awards, and I found something interesting:

    MTV has played the clip of Ross fondling Kim’s boob probably a billion times in the decade since, but Horovitz’s speech has pretty much been wiped from the channel’s memory. In her blog post, Hanna wrote that the band left “5 minutes after this because it was so far beyond the ‘who farted?’ feeling, it felt like people were gonna kill us.”

    Here is the video clip that’s missing from the article:

    I remembered the one thing but only because I didn’t watch the awards shows; I only remember it because it made waves over my TV in the days afterward and even though in the clip it doesn’t seem to horrify Lil Kim to be handled in such a manner, it was treated like a scandal at the time, completely out of line for even the living legend Diana Ross to touch someone’s boob, How Dare She! Other reports consist of wtf was Lil Kim wearing her breast out like that/most revolting sexually provocative outfit ever/asking for it to happen; lucky it was Ross who did dare. It’s always fun when something happens, otherwise these things are dull and there’s nothing to report and nothing important to get rabidly opinionated about. Reportedly, Ross defends herself being “motherly” toward the younger Kim, and later talked to her privately and encouraged her to cover up a bit.

    The Hip-Hop Artist award announced by Mary J. Blige, Diana Ross, and Lil Kim, given to the Beastie Boys – Adam (Ad-Rock) Horovitz used his opportunity at the mic instead of the usual list of thanks, to call attention to the rapes and assaults that had occurred at Woodstock ’99 earlier that year, register disappointment and anger, and make a call for greater safety. Never heard about this one time. Priorities, you know what I mean? Apparently a poorly received truly awkward moment for the audience, so the Beastie Boys were done and left.

  • John

    Just imagine if Chevy Chase was presenting the award to an 18 year old Selena Gomez, and he grabs her neck, kisses her, bites her and then gropes her ass as she squirms away in obvious discomfort….there would be CRIMINAL charges without a question!!!

    I love Jenny, and a big fan—however she was 100% wrong (and even admits she “cougar-raped” him—not something she should be joking about…I almost hope Bieber presses criminal charges to prove a point that it’s not ok for ANYONE, (male or female) to touch you and sexually assault you without permission. I wonder what his mother Patty thought, as she went through a myriad of sexual assaults herself…

  • Helen

    Kodie & BC, I can’t seem to reply to you, but thanks and I agree.

    • Helen

      To clarify, i’m not agreeing with the nonsense that women have all the sexual power and men are their slaves.

  • rs475

    Oh yes, but remember females are oppressed; with the glass ceiling and Monica Lewinski(and all that other victim crap)

  • john thames

    It’s a little bit like the military, isn’t it? Women can (supposedly) defend their country against mass raping enemy soldiers but they can’t defend their tits and ass from their own troops. Women can grope and get away with it because men like having their goodies groped whereas women who get groped have a nervous break down and reach for their smelling salts.

    Ass logic is everywhere.

    • Custador

      Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: A prime example of male privileged rape culture. And he doesn’t even know it. “Getting groped” – Otherwise known as SEXUAL ASSAULT is a massive invasion of privacy and a violation of a person’s dignity. I, a man, do NOT like gtting my goodies groped. And if you tried it on my wife, she’s less likely to reach for smelling salts than she is to break your arm.