Jacobin Calls Out SAG Over Harvey Weinstein, Keeps Silent on Jacobin Writer Sam Kriss
Like 99% of normals outside the lefty Twittersphere, I never heard of Sam Kriss until Labour MP Jess Philips called for him to be jailed over sexual assault allegations, allegations that Kriss tacitly confirmed in his twisted excuse for a mea culpa. He was outed by the #MeToo campaign that has swept social media amid the ongoing revelations that Hollywood megamogul Harvey Weinstein is a serial rapist. As the woman who outed Kriss wrote:
“I had hoped I would never have to write this account. But watching a man who repeatedly groped me, twisted my neck to forcibly kiss me, ignored any attempt I made to stop him, and refused to ‘let me’ drink non-alcohol, unashamedly attack feminists online, use misogynist language, singling out women for ridicule time and time again, means I’ve not really been able to forget. With the growing #metoo hashtag there is a context of growing urgency for ‘calling out’ men who sexually harass women. Men who see nothing wrong in sexual aggression, nothing wrong in breaking women’s boundaries, for who the pursuit of sexual contact is undertaken as some sort of mission to make a woman submit to them. This kind of confident, unbridled sexual aggression, founded on an absolute sexism and misogyny, is particularly dangerous. I can no longer bear watching this man behave with total impunity and I feel it’s a duty to warn women about him.”
Kriss’ response statement made what he did sound like a big misunderstanding that could happen to almost any reasonable person and not clear-cut egregious sexual assault by someone who could very well be a sociopath:
“I’d like for a moment to add some [sic] conext to the events described, which I hope will make them more explicable if not more excusable. By the time of the night described in the accusation, she and I had, as she mentions, previously met twice and we had an existing sexual relationship. The behaviour she describes was informed by that fact. I wasn’t fully aware of how unwelcome my advances were at that point: we had been messaging intimately and frequently up until then, and I went into the evening thinking it would be a continuation of the relationship we had already established. Had I known the extent to which I was making her uncomfortable at this point I would not have pursued it further. Again, this is entirely my fault, for not being properly attentive and not picking up on her signals. I crossed a line from persistence to aggression; I’m fully responsible, and I’m sorry.”
Kriss is just one of a slew of Trumpian Alt-Left parasites that emerged on social media platforms to cultivate and profit off of the nastier fringes of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign in the U.S. and the 2015 Jeremy Corbyn leadership contest in the U.K. Like their Alt-Right brethren, the so-called ‘Dirtbag Left’ traffics in misogyny under the guise of being ‘edgy’ or ‘ironic’ and relies heavily on “alternate facts.”
Yet instead of combating this regressive trend, democratic socialist publications like Jacobin have given them a platform and political legitimacy. Kriss’ status as a ‘left celeb’ influenced his victim’s fear-driven calculations about how to not enrage him further while defending herself from harm:
“At this point I was planning my escape. How can I get away without pissing him off? Sam and I know lots of mutual people, we both exist on the Marxist far-Left. He’s a writer for Vice, the Guardian, various other outlets, he circulates around Momentum, and I didn’t want ‘any trouble’ then or later. Sam is, by his own words, from an incredibly wealthy, well-connected background, and therefore compared to me, very powerful.”
While VICE will no longer pay Sam Kriss for articles, his five (hopefully unpaid) pieces at Jacobin are still up without even a note from the editors condemning his egregious conduct. Meanwhile Jacobin has published an attack condemning the Screen Actors Guild for failing the victims of Harvey Weinstein that closes with the words, “when powerful men like Harvey Weinstein or Donald Trump use their positions to abuse others, solidarity is the only solution.”
Where is Jacobin’s solidarity with Kriss’ victim? What makes her undeserving?
Furthermore, it is no coincidence that the Los Angeles branch of Democratic Socialists of America both has a sexual harassment problem and that one of the branch’s leaders, Josh Androsky, resigned to undergo — in true liberal fashion — ‘sensitivity training’ after blowback from his Twitter antics with Chapo Trap House:
It is impossible for progressives to confront sexism and misogyny generally while tolerating or quietly condoning both in any form within our ranks. A good first step in resolving that contradiction would be consigning the ‘Dirtbag Left’ to where it belongs —in the dirtbag of history.