Get your MeToo hands off Keanu!

When a popular social media user tweeted, “Name a more beloved celebrity than Keanu Reeves”, few bothered to take up the challenge. Reeves has set an enviable standard for at once keeping his private life and personal political opinions exactly that, while anecdotes of his kindness and decency are legion. A candidly-shot video of him giving up his seat on a crowded subway encapsulates his persona perfectly. If he is a monster who kicks puppies when he thinks no one’s looking, he’s done an exemplary job of hiding it.

So it’s a sad sign of just how low the vengeful puritanism and paranoia of the MeToo movement has sunk society that even Gentleman Keanu has to watch his every move around female fans.

Social media users have noted that Keanu Reeves is careful not to touch female fans when posing for photos with them.

Ladies want to document their encounters with Reeves, and a number of the resulting photos have been posted online over the past week. In some cases, editors have taken the time to point out Reeves’ “hover hand,” a version of which he appears to deploy even when posing with female costars.

Vice-president Mike Pence was derided for his rule of never being alone with a woman who is not his wife. Left-wing outlets like Vox sneered that it created a subtext that “upstanding, honorable men avoid creating situations that might be misinterpreted by supposedly hysterical, unstable women, or else contorted by someone looking for a quick payout”. Because, of course, Pence is a Christian conservative.

Yet even Keanu Reeves has apparently been forced to adopt similarly protective strategies.

Many commenters saw Reeves as simply trying to protect himself at a time when the #MeToo movement has made many men fearful of sexual misconduct allegations. In a viral tweet, Kemoy Lindsay said: “Lol Keanu ain’t taking no chances.”

However, others insisted that Reeves was simply being respectful of women. One woman praised him as a “respectful king” before professing her love for him.

Whatever the reasons for Reeves’ hand placement choices, he has thus far managed to avoid the vicissitudes of the #MeToo movement.

Giving up your seat for a lady is respectful. Photo by Rex Features (1518260m)
This is just weird and faintly terrifying.

Not only is it strange to characterise being forced to avoid simple human interactions as “respectful”, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that feminist neo-puritanism is detrimental to both men and women.

According to a survey released last month by feminist group LeanIn.org, many other men are being extra careful at work. Fully 60 percent of male managers were found to be hesitant to mentor or socialize with junior-level women – a one-third increase from last year. Managers reported being 12 times less comfortable holding one-on-one meetings with junior-level women than with junior-level men.

The upshot, it would seem, is that women are getting less career support and opportunity. The photographic evidence suggests they’re also missing out on the sweet touch of Reeves.

pluralist


Such is the world feminism has created for women.

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