What is the real fallout from explosion of sexual harassment charges?
Sociopolitical eruption started when the political pressure to prevent victims from coming forward was removed.
Earlier this week, I reviewed that cases of California politicians who were charged with sexual harassment by numerous women who work with the state Assembly and Senate in Sacramento.
I must admit, I was a little surprised that some comments seemed to indicate we were facing a new millennium version of the Salem Witch Trials. Therefore, I would like to offer another analogy.
Looking at the spate of news, including the the recent firings of of Matt Lauer and Garrison Keilor can be likened to a sociopolitical stratovolcanic explosion (e.g., Mt. Agung in Bali).
First, there is the climactic eruption build-up. This occurred in the wake of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, when the press and politicians essentially gave him a pass on his predatory behavior. As the Clinton’s remained in power, women in politics and media clearly got the message that they would be re-victimized if they tried to fight the new behavioral norms.
Then, there are smaller, pressure-release eruptions. The first of those was President Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton and his willingness to fight both the media and the traditional political structure. This meant the Clintons no longer had the cachet or power they once possessed, and respect for the press was substantially diminished.
Next, Trump’s fighting attitude carried over to the Alabama senate race, when Judge Roy Moore decided to battle the allegations against him. However, as the allegations were described in the media, there was now a contingent of women (many of them who are progressive and desiring of the “victim” status), who wanted their “voices” to be heard.
The second pressure-release eruption occurred when the media and the Democratic leadership decided they did not want Hillary Clinton to run again, the were happy to publicize the gross behavior of her media connection and money-Harvey Weinstein (who is now facing charges of sex trafficking).
In a volcanic eruption, once the containing pressure is removed, the next phase is the climactic eruption. This is when the magma chamber empties, with the materials being blasted into the sky. The ash, pumice, and hot gas-infused materials rain down on earth and the magma chamber collapses.
This is the phase that we are in now. The past month, we have seen the firings of Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush, Mark Halperin,and Kevin Spacey, and Amazon Studios head Roy Price. Other men who have faced harassment charges include Ben Affleck, Hollywood director James Toback, former President George H. W. Bush, Nickelodeon animation creator Chris Sevino, he dreadful Senator Al Franken, and the odious Congressman John Conyers.
As the dust settles, what will the new landscape be?
Because the eruption extended across the country, it hit Democrat Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra and state Senator Tony Mendoza directly. My California compatriot, Katy Grimes, went to a special hearing to review the cases. Her assessment of the real consequences to these men is grim:
Raul Bocanegra will not suffer. He will not be jobless and on unemployment. He will not have to reinvent himself. He will not take a blue collar job. What will the Quid Pro Quo be? He has already been promised a soft landing, in a safe six-figure labor union job, or on one of California’s worthless commissions. Sen. Tony Mendoza will also not suffer any real fate. Democrats will circle the wagons, protect their elected members in exchange for future favors, and guarantee soft landings.
Yes, it does appear that the politicians are not experiencing the same level of justice for their behavior than those in entertainment and journalism.
In her must-read piece (in which she details her own challenges while working in Sacramento), Katy goes on to note how the politicians have created special rules, commissions, and “ethics investigations” to avoid experiencing the same consequences as everyone else in the country.
If this political eruption is to have true value, then our elected representatives have to be compelled by their voters to live under the same set of rules. Those politicians who refuse to leave and escape punishment beyond losing committee assignments need to be booted by their respective parties at the next election cycle, if not sooner. Otherwise, primary and general election challengers to these ethically challenged incumbents need to highlight who the real culprits in the #WarOnWomen.
Then, Americans everywhere need to demand transparency as to who is responsible for the accusations that led to payouts from the congressional “Sex Scandal Slush Fund”. So far, Congress has paid out more than $17.2 million over the last 20 years to cover 268 settlements on Capitol Hill.
Once this particular phase of the news-eruption-cycle is over, I do not believe that there will be a continuing rain of false allegations against men, à la the Salem Witch Trails. There will always be such incidents, but I do not think hordes of innocent men are going to be burnt at the political stake.
A review of the information and reports on everyone listed above prove that in all likelihood, the victims of the accused were too afraid to bring charges, until the political pressure to prevent them was removed.
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I don’t believe there was any such pressure, social or political. Making women shut up is like herding fish. They’ll shut up if they want to shut up … cf. the ones who like Franken’s “policies” so don’t immediately slap him in the face when he’s all over them like a cheap suit.
As the Clinton’s remained in power, women in politics and media clearly got the message that they would be re-victimized if they tried to fight the new behavioral norms.
The inhibition here was not any sort of “norm”, it was justified fear of what the Clintons would do to them. Fortunately, the Clintons didn’t manage to establish any “norms” more extensive than their own immediate orbits.
Hence the phrase: “new behavior norms”…with the fear of the Clintons being the initiating factor for the change. 😉
Re “fear of the klintons…”
While still a sociopathic criminal, hillary klinton has proven herself She is a single-woman ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight. The ONLY thing she had going for her was bill’s remarkable political talent and the inertia of his being a former president – and, of course, the fallacy that she could ever win a national election.
klinton has proven herself to be an incompetent boob.
The only thing anyone had to fear, was fear itself.
It’s nice to see her get the come-uppance she so far has.
Not it’s time to indict her while she still crawls the earth. If Swamp Sessions doesn’t, both klinton and Sessions will be remembered for a time when there was a two-tier justice system in the United States.
What a fantastic post, Leslie! Love love love it. 🙂
I confess that I am a bit worried about the Salem witch trials thing taking hold, but as you note, when numerous women who don’t even know each other share horror stories of rape, being “treated” to naked (often showering, how weird is that?) perverts, and horrifying instances of groping and threats, it’s hard to ignore them.
I just want to say that the progressive left is vicious and without morals or honor. They will stop at nothing to gain power. These are people who “SWAT” innocent people, fake hate crimes, and threaten everything from rape to actual murder against conservatives, especially conservative women.
We might be enjoying a slew of vainglorious leftist pervs being purged from the entertainment, news, and (eventually) the political spheres, but it’s not going to end here. If the GOP could or would make hay of this, it would be one thing. The mask of the misogynist Democrat party has been violently removed. Everyone can see that they are hypocrites, but with the media still in the Democrats’ pocket, the GOP needs to work to get that message out. They are not doing that.
The GOP does nothing to use this as an example of how Republicans have always unseated and alienated anyone with even the vaguest ties to sexual misconduct (being held, Alinsky-style, to our own standards for decades can actually pay off). Why not use this to show that Republicans are the ones who protect women? But no, the Stupid Party just sits around griping about how much they hate President Trump.
Thanks Fuzzy: This is why I say the volcano analogy is better. These cases were being contained by enormous social, professional and political pressure. They should have been heard, and the perpetrators punished long ago. Once this spate of cleansing is done, the current set of ogres will be gone. I think it stops there. We are seeing long overdue justice!
But I don’t think innocent men will be targets…as there seems to be quite a bit of evidence to support the claims now being made. However, I am thinking Vice President Pence should be running the Congressional Sex Harassment Prevention Clinic.
It’s amazing to remember how much scorn was poured on Mike Pence when he detailed the rules he followed to guarantee that there was not a hint of sexual impropriety around him.
A lot of it poured out by the very same newsmen who are going down hard today! Justice, what a sweet sweet thing.
The ‘stupid party’ is not stupid: it is corrupt.
To call them otherwise, is akin to calling al franken ‘stupid,’ instead of perverted.
I don’t know, Leslie. Already it’s hard to tell which men have been guilty of minor offenses and which have committed serious harassment, indecent exposure, or assault or rape. I hope we won’t descend to the level of the hysteria over the alleged sex abuse in daycare facilities which ruined some innocent lives. Keeping in mind what’s been going on at colleges and universities, with false accusations and men being expelled without due process, I’m not sure it won’t get worse.
The best outcome would be that men in positions of power in Congress and the movie/TV world will become aware that they might not be able to get away with this garbage without consequences any more.
I think it’s hilarious that the “Rape Culture” that Feminists were always talking about was live and well, living in the heart of the Progressive Left.
I suspect that since this is the only kind of men most feminist leftists know, they think it quite logical to think ALL men are this way. They would think “well these guys are our friends, how much more awful can our enemies be?”
Flaw in your thinking, ladies – you got real poor judgment when it comes to choosing your friends.
“I think it’s hilarious that the “Rape Culture” that Feminists were always talking about was live and well, living in the heart of the Progressive Left….”
This is a cardinal rule: anything the left accuses anyone else of is something the left is guilty of. If nothing else, their projection is pathetically transparent to anyone of average intelligence. Even obama could pick up on it, if he was on the other side.
The problem I see is that the feminists will use these examples as justification of their “rape culture” claims and use that to institute more draconian measures whether legal, ethical or otherwise.
So while it might be fun to watch the fire burn on the other side, soon it will be spreading everywhere.
This is my sense, too, Kate. Dropping trou and brutally raping someone is not the same thing as the “reach around” breast grab or expressing interest in younger women without ever pushing oneself on or attempting (much succeeding at) rape. No woman likes the reach around boob grab, but there are few of us who haven’t experienced it or something similar (a butt cupped by some loser’s meathook).
We need some kind of scale for this, I think, before the simple act of flirting becomes a sexual harassment claim. We’re getting a bit close to “how about we have dinner Saturday night” being equated with some rich and powerful man whipping out his tiny pal and demanding sexual favors.
What is happening now is important because men need to understand that we don’t exist solely for their sexual pleasure; this is a culture shift worth supporting for those of us on the right. What we cannot do, however, is imagine that the left sees this as we do.
For the left, this is not a dawning morality; instead, it’s a political problem. They’ve been caught out lying to women about how valuable they are to Democrats. They are not experiencing a moral or spiritual awakening; this, to the left, is not about women or protecting women for the past four decades of Conyers’ behavior and the use of taxpayer money to make his problems go away. Pelosi knew what he was when she was hailing him as a hero and “icon” and “protector of women.” We should never let Democrat voters forget that.
Amen on rape versus a ‘reach around.’
Rape was once a capital crime. (Hilarious, but it was democrats who changed rape to a lesser offense!)
A ‘reach around’ is felony or misdemeanor. But both are criminal.
A conviction for either will get the offender marked for death in prison. (Whose populations, for the most part, are obama t-shirt wearers.)
-the democrats reduced rape to a lesser offense;
-but inmates of prisons mark rapists for death; and
-inmates of prisons would likely identify as democrats.
No one should ever forget these gems:
Part of the problem is that there are no absolute demarcation lines regarding behaviour. Often we are told that an ‘unwanted sexual advance’ should be a crime, but how is a man supposed to differentiate between an ‘unwanted sexual advance’ and a ‘wanted sexual advance’ unless he can see into the mind of a woman (or targeted man). In different times or settings this ‘wanted’ might change to ‘unwanted’, or the ‘unwanted’ might change to ‘wanted’. Is a once-only proposition of a subordinate punishable – it certainly doesn’t seem ethical, but should it be punished? Does it require an unequal power relationship to be punishable, or multiple rejected attempts? Is a proposal of sexual favours in return for career advancement illegal if made by one party but legal by the other? I don’t know the answers to the above questions, but am interested in other’s views.
” Is a proposal of sexual favours in return for career advancement illegal if made by one party but legal by the other?…”
“Harassment can take the form of slurs, graffiti, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment (including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature) is also unlawful. Although the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal if it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or if it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).”
Just one question here ladies. What are the rules? We can all readily accept that forcible, non-consensual contact is not allowable. Though if you watch romantic movies or read romantic novels, aimed at women, most all of them seem to find the untelegraphed kiss to be perfectly acceptable without any prior demonstrable consent from the person being kissed, as long as the person approves after the fact. But, then it gets murky. Men are pretty simple. We go through life confused by the thought processes of women. So, we need to know the rules.
Now, we thought that we knew the rules, as outlined in case after case of work place harassment. The attention had to be unwanted. It had to be repetitive. And it had to either be coercive or happen after a clear message, that the attention was unwanted, was delivered. This means that asking a coworker out for a drink or dinner, after work, would not be a violation of the rules. Neither would notes of endearment. Until such time as it was made known that the person receiving these attentions did not desire them. See, this was totally in keeping with the feminist playbook. Where women are empowered to stand up for themselves and men are required to honor that. In fact, we passed all kinds of laws to enforce that philosophy. And, everything was supposed to be going swimmingly. Now, we find out that, apparently, women, even with the support of men and the law, are incapable of standing up for themselves. A woman who reports repeated harassment or even forcible physical contact, including rape, is now hailed as a hero? Wouldn’t they simply be women “roaring” with the righteous strength of 30 years of feminism coursing through their veins? When did the rules change?
Then we have the absurd notion that a woman should be automatically believed, in these matters, simply because she is a woman. As though women never lie. As though no woman is ever delusional. And as though no woman ever misinterprets things. Apparently, due process no longer applies in complaints of sexual harassment made against a man by a woman. When did the rules change?
The most glaring example of how the rules change, unexpectedly, is Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Since the beginning of the theater, actors have been sleeping their way into roles. And, it has not changed. Casting couch scandals crop up, from time to time, but the industry and its subculture quashes them quickly. The reason for that is simple. Without a resume to showcase your talents, you have no way to gain a role through ability. So, for actors, it is usually physical appearance [Lana Turner was reportedly “discovered” in a drug store sipping a beverage, not doing a reading of Shakespeare]. So, the casting couch was an accepted route, within the industry, to an acting career. And, this was largely accepted in Hollywood, by both men and women. It was abused in cases where the contact was not consensual or the person was under the legal age of consent [I hear we actually have laws against that], but in most cases it was accepted as part of the quid pro quo of an entertainment career. Until now. When did the rules change?
That is the problem with the current #MeToo movement. The accepted rules have somehow changed. However, no one seems to know what the new rules are. And, apparently, the new rules are retroactively applied to the dawn of time. Light petting in the back seat of daddy’s car while in high school in 1971 is now criminal assault or battery [whether or not either party complained about it at the time]. Sending an employee a note saying that you find them attractive is now stalking. Taking an attractive coworker of the opposite sex to dinner is criminal seduction, not courtship. And, mutually agreed physical contact becomes forceful sexual harassment, days, weeks, years or even decades later. Confused? Well the men in this world are. It seems that we need to have an iron-clad co0ntract signed, before witnesses, which specifically outlines what is and is not acceptable before we can have any social contact with another person at all. Otherwise we may find ourselves being accused of some form of sexual harassment.
As I said, we can all understand how forcible physical contact, against some type of resistance including a verbal command to stop, is a violation of the basic rules of conduct. We can all see how repeated cases of physical contact to recognized erogenous zones would be a violation of the rules. And, we can understand how a superior using their position to pressure a subordinate into acquiescing to a relationship or contact is a violation of the rules. What we have trouble understanding is when traditional methods of courtship become violations of the rules. Not being telepathic, most men have no idea when such overtures are unwanted unless the woman tells us. Just look at the court cases where a woman sued because she was uncomfortable that some other woman in the office was having attention paid to her but was not herself uncomfortable about it at all. What the heck is THAT all about? I know that this may be unPC and may even sound chauvinistic. But, give us a break. Can we all play by the same rules?
So, ladies, decide what the rules are going to be and publish them so we mere males can understand them.
The ‘rules’ will become self-evident.
Look, women want to find love as much as guys do. They just don’t want to be harassed. Any guy with half a brain can figure out the difference. Even one of the obamas, if they had a job.
Workplace training will solve the problem. But love will prevail. Consent is the thing. Like pornography, you know it when you see it.
We’ve had workplace training for 30 YEARS. But, the rules suddenly changed in the last few months, with regard to workplace harassment. That is the problem. What has been permissible for years is now, suddenly, SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Just look at Hollywood. Established actresses, who have benefited from the casting couch and supported such people as Harvey Weinstein, suddenly feel the need to claim victim-hood and to denounce the man that they publicly idolized and who made them a success. There is a name for women who trade sexual favors for money and goods.
But the old saying, “I’ll know it when I see it”, is probably the stupidest saying ever uttered. History has proven that people very often do NOT know it when they see it. If they did, we would not have the staggering level of divorce that we have. So, do everyone a favor. Establish clear rules for human relationships, especially between the genders and let’s all adhere to them. This changing the rules to benefit one gender over another, unilaterally, is not good idea.
I am not of the opinion that a woman should be automatically believed. I believe in due process for everyone.
But, the behaviors for the above-name men were documented and there was plenty of evidence (e.g., Matt Lauer’s box of sex toys, the Franken photo). Furthermore, married representatives should consider taking the Mike Pence approach to meetings.
What I really want to see is the end to the Sex Scandal Slush Fund and no longer allowing Congress to rely on its “Ethics Committee” to white-wash the behavior of its members.
Weinstein, Franken and o0thers behavior HAS been well documented. However others, such as Moore, Mendoza and Conyers have not. Moore’s accusers are having significant credibility problems. Mendoza sounds more like a clueless fool who when spoken to stopped his behavior. That he was married is more of a matter between he and his wife than it is a legal one. Conyers is a strange case in that his biggest sin seems to be the use of taxpayer dollars to take care of his romantic trysts.
As for the Sex Scandal slush fund, I agree entirely. people should not be able to settle any of these type of complaints out-of-court. This only encourages blackmail. Making all of the complaints public, with stiff penalties for false complaints will reduce the number of transgressions as well as the number of opportunistic “settlements”.
However, it still does not address the problem of the sudden changing of the rules governing relationships, especially between genders or the application of the “new” rules retroactively.
That was excellent! I’d say that the creation of confusion regarding “the rules” is the actual intent here. Those “rules” are part of the American culture and we all know that the left wants to destroy that culture in any way they can. This is just yet another way. It’s not an accident that, with very few exceptions, the details of what all these “sexual abusers” have supposedly done is never mentioned. That’s not just sloppy reporting, that’s intentional. They WANT men to be confused.
Oh look! Here’s a scholarly article discussing the very subject you brought up: The Purge of the Deviants May Go Too Far
As far as I know there are some existing laws concering rape, assault and various other “sexual” crimes. If someone has a case then make it. Bring it to court and prove it. Prove that person is guilty, but recognize please that before that the person is found guilty the person is innocent. And if you somehow imagine that your memory or horror of thirty years ago is going to survive a basic cross-examination then you might just get smacked by reality. If you want recourse for today’s offence do something today. And if you think the laws are not appropriate, well that’s politics.
I don’t want to hear anything out of any lefty/progressive about the GOP war on women ever again.
Excellent article, thank you.
But I think it was CS Lewis you said something how Virginity is lost more to peer pressure than to lust. I’ll wager many of these entertainment executives are scratching their heads thinking they had an implicit understanding much like the “3rd date” rule I encountered in high school and college – women were expected to put out, if they didn’t something was wrong with them, and the other WOMEN played a part in enforcing this peer pressure.
Not that I support it but I think the entertainment industry had developed similar social contracts, despicable yes, but subordinate women were expected to trade their bodies to male superiors to get ahead in the business. I think many women in the industry accepted this, and so the sudden reversal has left the males confused.
Let me be clear, if a meteor struck the whole gaggle I would consider it a blessed event. I’m just trying to explain it from the male point of view – this is all very “unfair”.
Speaking of “unfair”, God was really unfair to us older men. In our minds we still think we’re young studs. We still enjoy flirting with women but, like a dog chasing a car, we have no idea what we would do if we ever caught one.
If the professionals in the media, Hollywood and Washington DC have so much trouble with this, imagine how this is going to work out with the 18 to 22 year old privates, corporals and sergeants living under great duress half way around the world. In my day, I thought learning how to maintain the Ma Deuce was tough.
“women just don’t want to be harassed. Any guy with half a brain can figure out – ”
Sorry, that’s simply not true.
I grew up listening to women explain what they want and modelled my behavior accordingly – treating them with courtesy and respect.
Which cast me in the role of “Uncle”, listening to all their problems and helping them work through bad relationships.
My reward for taking women seriously was to watch time again as they hopped in bed with the first bad boy who slapped them on the ass.
I agree that women shouldn’t be sexually harassed but let’s not pretend that what women say they want and what they actually want are the same thing. Most aggressive males, the “players”, have already figured this out.
And I think female critics have a blind spot because males are responsible for initiating courtship rituals. So women don’t appreciate what a fine line men have to walk.
Woman: “I want to be swept off my feet. Overwhelmed with passion. Take me… but if your game is awkward or you fumble your moves, I’m charging you with sexual harassment”