A top lawyer resigned from his job at the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday just hours after posting a Federalist article criticizing aspects of the #MeToo movement. In a since-deleted Facebook post, on Wednesday Associate Deputy Attorney General Andrew D. Leonie shared an article authored by Federalist Senior Contributor D.C. McAllister.
“Aren’t you also tired of all the pathetic ‘me too’ victim claims?” Leonie’s wrote, according to The Dallas Morning News. “If every woman is a ‘victim’, so is every man. If everyone is a victim, no one is. Victim means nothing anymore.”
The next morning, Dallas Morning News published an article about the attorney’s post. Several hours later, Leonie resigned.
“The views he expressed on social media do not reflect our values,” Paxton’s Director of Communications Marc Rylander wrote in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “The OAG is committed to promoting and maintaining a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.”
Leonie’s Facebook post linked to an article entitled “Can We Be Honest About Women?” authored by McAllister, who is a survivor of sexual assault.
“Here’s a little secret we have to say out loud: Women love the sexual interplay they experience with men, and they relish men desiring their beauty,” McAllister writes. “Why? Because it is part of their nature.”
“As a society, we need to encourage both sexes to become comfortable with who they are naturally and all the messy, uncomfortable, stumbling, tantalizing, and glorious twists and turns that come with it,” she continues. “Men and women need to show each other grace and respect as they engage as sexual beings in whatever sphere they interact.”
The article explicitly condemns sexual assault, but argues that what some call sexual assault doesn’t deserve that label and expanding its definition into innocent behavior hurts both men and women. In the past, McAllister has written about how our society has emboldened men in positions of power to think they can get away with sexually harassing or assaulting women.
In a post entitled “It’s Not Up To Women To End Sexual Harassment,” she explains why men need to step up their efforts to protect women from such evils. She has also criticized aspects of the #MeToo movement, writing recently that it is destroying trust between men and women because the social media movement denies human nature.
The sexual tension between men and women will always exist, and if women assume a man’s sexuality is a threat instead of a powerful complement to their own sexuality, they will always be on guard. In this environment of suspicion, there can be no privacy between a man and a woman. If there is any kind of interaction or discourse, even if it’s not sexual, the man can’t trust that the woman won’t use it against him—so communication is silenced. Fear is generated on both sides, and fear is the death of trust. It is also the death of love.
Throughout McAllister’s critiques of the #MeToo movement and discussions of sexual topics, she has repeatedly stated that women ought to be respected and that sexual assault and sexual harassment are wrong — a fact left out of the numerous media accounts of Leonie’s resignation and her article.
In the Dallas Morning News writeup, the author suggests that Leonie’s post mocked victims of sexual assault rather than targeting people who are applying the horror of sexual assault to everything they don’t like about men. The headline reads: “Top aide to Texas AG Ken Paxton resigns after calling women of #MeToo movement ‘pathetic.'”
When coupled with McAllister’s article, Leonie’s harsh critique of the #MeToo movement is a legitimate concern — that the social media campaign which has amplified loutish behavior may drown out the voices of sexual assault victims.
You can read McAllister’s article that Leonie linked to in full here.