This Isn’t Partisan

Sexual harassment is not partisan.
Sexual assault is not partisan.
Rape is not partisan.
 
We will find men who have been horrible to women (and others) — criminally horrible — in every aspect of society. We will find them on either side of any political aisle. The “test” of how society reacts to somebody like Harvey Weinstein is significant, but he wasn’t widely liked. The real test is when we discover such things about somebody who is more widely popular, because that will happen. It already has.
 
We have to account for this whenever it comes up. Doesn’t matter if it’s somebody we like or not. Doesn’t matter if it’s “only this one accuser” (and yes, some of the accusers will be men).
 
We don’t need to “not all men” this issue. Everybody knows it’s not literally all men, or we’d be having a different discussion. If it was literally all men, then no men would care. Equivocating that some men are decent undermines the importance of all this. It’s *enough* men that *all* women have to deal with this on some level. It’s enough men that pull this shit, and more than enough men to turn a blind eye or excuse it.
 
And yes, ALL MEN are given garbage influence, all our lives, because we live in a society that has ignored and even approved of bad behavior toward women. Whether we consciously push out the worst of it or not, all of us are affected. It’s in our media, it’s in our stories, it’s deep within our very language.
 
There flatly is no witch hunt here. Of course these cases are cropping up everywhere. We all know damn well we live in a society where sexism and bad behavior are widespread. These stories aren’t coming up in so many places because of a bandwagon effect. They’re coming up everywhere because this shit is SOCIETAL.
 
There are further intersections of this in race, in orientation, in the non-binary nature of gender, in religion. That list goes on. I don’t want to ignore those other intersections by focusing on this. That stuff is all real, and it matters.
 
At some point — hopefully now, because years ago would have been better — at some point, we men need to accept that a lot of what we were taught is garbage. We need to sort through that. If we really care about our fellow human beings, if we really want to be good people, we’re going to have to reckon with that.
We can either make the effort to be decent people, or we can blow it off because it’s too hard or because we don’t like what that effort says about ourselves and where we came from. I would rather deal with this garbage than wallow in it, because the stench has been awful for far too long.

6 thoughts on “This Isn’t Partisan

  1. Mark

    What’s the old saying? For evil to exist all it takes is for good people to do nothing? Well, I think society has finally had enough of this behavior and the victims are finally getting support. Much of the upheaval we see today is society struggling to grow up. Changing social norms is painful but necessary, and in this case long overdue. Well said…

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  2. Paul Carroll

    It doesn’t take much thought really. While Marko’s point about changing what is acceptable behavior is good, in the long run this is not complicated. The Golden Rule pretty much covers things.

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  3. Robert Rehcra

    And Waffles means Waffles! ..pss.. F^¢%ing pancakes.

    Also Dannan Tavona, did you mean Latin phrase Semper paratus, or Latin Semper followed by the french word Paradis? or am I missing something here? Either way, I find my confusion after what you said… sadly, Hilarious!

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  4. Daniel Turissini

    This latest crusade is concerning to me for a number of reasons, and not because I don’t think bad behavior should be punished or that sexual harassers should be let off the hook; I think one would be hard-pressed to find people of any ideology who think sexual harassment is OK. There’s a severe power imbalance here. The prevailing thought is that women are helpless waifs, constantly discriminated against, and utterly powerless. This is the exact opposite of reality. At this point, all a woman has to do is make an accusation, and a man’s career is destroyed. I’ve seen this happen twice, and almost a third time. In the last instance, my coworker was accused of rape, and CID investigated (we’re in the military). After conducting numerous interviews, it was found that not only did he not do it, but that her version of events was impossible. Nevertheless, by the time the dust settled, his security clearance had been suspended, he was kicked out of a school that he needed for his career to progress, and he was also removed from the promotion list from E-7 to E-8, which effectively put a cap on his career.

    Did anything happen to her? No, because they didn’t want to discourage other women from ‘coming forward’. I’ve spoken to MPs on the subject, and they see this crap all the time. I can only assume it’s the same in the civilian sector. There are women that use this shit as a weapon, and innocent men have to be protected.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also seen cases of legitimate sexual harassment, and those guys absolutely deserve what they ended up getting.

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  5. Jeff D Doty

    Again, evil actions deserve to be brought into the light, and justice needs to be served. Our justice system is founded on the principle of innocent until proven guilty. I am seeing that principle trampled on. NPR severed all ties with Garrison Keilor because of an accusation, not because of a conviction. They didn’t suspend their relationship pending an investigation, as would be the appropriate response. NPR severed all ties, renamed the show which had provided so much funding for them, and acted as if Keilor were guilty with only an accusation.

    If Keilor is guilty, then all of this is well deserved. If.

    With so many women coming forward, there is plenty of evidence against the likes of Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, and others. Justice is being worked upon them.

    What I am afraid of is that we are forgetting that in order for justice to be just, it must be based in truth. Just read through some of the articles published by any of the law professors who work with the Innocence Project and you will see that blind acceptance of an accusation makes it almost impossible for an innocent man or woman to be deemed not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence such as DNA. The rush to convict in the court of public opinion is a danger.

    Yes, every point Elliott made is correct. Yes, we have to end sexual harassment, whether male or female individuals are the targets. I just want you to consider this the next time you hear of an accusation: what if the finger were pointed at you?

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