Has the #MeToo movement started to go off the rails, failing to distinguish awkward or even caddish behavior from the kind of violent sexual assault as was allegedly perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein and others over decades? Has anyone who advocates a little moderation when dealing with male-female relations become beyond the pale? A couple of stories that have percolated in the media would suggest that this is so.

The mother of all bad dates

Hot Air recounts a story of a woman who went on a date with an actor and comedian named Aziz Ansari and found herself in his apartment, naked with him, but apparently uncomfortable with what was happening.

However, instead of immediately saying no thanks and calling for an Uber, the woman in question gave out “verbal and nonverbal cues” that Ansari, who was trying to have sex, needed to pick up on. Since he is not a telepath, he did not. The woman now says she is devastated and hurt while Ansari is confused and apologetic. The encounter was unfortunate, but one that no doubt has taken place since the dawn of humanity. However, since no violence or coercion was involved, one wonders what the point of airing the grievance was.

What happened to Margaret Atwood

Everyone who is familiar with the intersection between popular culture and politics knows who Margaret Atwood is. Atwood is a Canadian author who penned “The Handmaid’s Tale” back in the 1980s, a dystopian novel about a future America that has fallen under the control of religious fanatics who have subjugated women and have imposed strict controls over when and how people have sex.

The scenario is an absurd one, but that fact did not stop the book from becoming a best seller, with a film version in the 1990s and a hit TV show on Hulu.

In any case, Atwood dipped her toe into the campus rape controversy, suggesting in an open letter that a professor at a Canadian university who has been accused of sexual misconduct be afforded due process.

Her surprisingly sensible suggestion has sparked a social media firestorm in which “bad feminist” has become the least pungent insult that has been hurdled her way. Atwood has responded in an op-ed by wondering if the normal process of the law is to be dispensed with, what replaces it? (The answer, of course, is a lynch mob and a kangaroo court, as has all too often been the case.)

What happens next?

A number of things can happen next.

While rape and sexual assault are never acceptable and people who perpetrate the same, especially people in power such as Harvey Weinstein or Bill Clinton, they need to be slapped down to the fullest extent of the law. However, the way to fend off an unwanted seduction is to say no immediately and then leave.

Some social conservatives have pounced on this situation and have suggested that society needs to return to a culture when people did not have sex outside of marriage as if that was ever the case. The best case scenario is that the #MeToo hysteria burns itself out, like the child molestation hysteria of the 1980s, and people will start to get a grip. The worst case scenario will be that regular male-female relations will become a thing of the past and everyone will resort to sex robots, which will be programmed to always give consent. That development will be a prescription for the end of civilization.