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Me, too. Time's up. What's next?

Cor Luctis

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The recent accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are just the latest contribution to the "Me, too" movement, exposing sexual harassment by the rich and powerful, and others, and finally demanding justice and accountability. But what becomes of the guilty? Where laws were broken, they should be prosecuted, of course. In many cases that perhaps don't meet the standards for prosecution, the guilty party still resigned, either voluntarily or under pressure. Many of these people are politicians, performers, CEOs and others who have also made significant contributions to their fields and to the community. None of this excuses their sexual impositions, but by kicking them out of their fields altogether, are throwing out the baby with the bath water? Is there a way to salvage their skills and professional expertise while also holding them accountable and obtaining justice for their victims? Even those given criminal convictions will eventually be released. What next?
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I've watched some commentary on the Me Too movement and it's focus on these accusations. It is interesting that in many cases, the women do not describe themselves as telling the person 'no' directly. The is a way these victimizations are presented as though the women were completely helpless to take control of the situation.

Some have referred to this as an example of infantilizing women in this new feminism that is so victim focused. Now to be clear I care a great deal about victims and their need to be heard. What I see in these media scenarios involves something that is coming across as much more questionable. This canceling of the person's entire life and career based on accusations and without due process crosses a line morally.

The question of victim and perpetrator is made much more complex when there is fame and money to be gained from accusing someone in a position of power. It is also made more complex when a single accusation can result in a complete loss of power of the supposed perpetrator. When there is something to be gained, and in many cases there are inconsistencies, I think that it needs due legal process and people should not act on accusations until they are proven in a court of law.

What we are presented with in the accusation process is an individual (or multiple people) claim to have been violated by a person in a position of power. They describe being vulnerable and in some way helpless to this person as they violated them. The stories are almost always presented with emotion and drama. Then the power dynamic switches roles in an instant. The accused then immediately loses everything and the accuser is highlighted in the media and likely presenting lawsuits where they ask for damages, etc. Some are promoting their interviews on their Instagrams and Twitter like they would a new single or TV role.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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To be clear I do think there are people who have been violated by people in a position of power, but especially after understanding the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard dynamic, it is deeply concerning that a process is in place that destroys lives and doesn't have a way to reign it in right now. People can and will take advantage of this.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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Colonel Kurtz hits the nail on the head with this issue.

 

Cor Luctis

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I've watched some commentary on the Me Too movement and it's focus on these accusations. It is interesting that in many cases, the women do not describe themselves as telling the person 'no' directly. The is a way these victimizations are presented as though the women were completely helpless to take control of the situation.
In many cases, I think the woman could have taken control of the situation by saying "no", preventing the assault but in the process losing a promotion or a job, and sabotaging her career. There should be some consequence to those in power who required sexual favors of ambitious women if they wanted to get ahead, while advancing men on their merits.
 

Kephalos

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Change begins with accountability. You can't say that sexual harassment is wrong and that rules against it are going to be enforced, and when push comes to shove not make the perpetrators pay because they are powerful or "important" or "have made contributions" (read: are profitable to somebody). This way the rules are useless as they don't deter anyone and the rot remains.
 

Cor Luctis

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Change begins with accountability. You can't say that sexual harassment is wrong and that rules against it are going to be enforced, and when push comes to shove not make the perpetrators pay because they are powerful or "important" or "have made contributions" (read: are profitable to somebody). This way the rules are useless as they don't deter anyone and the rot remains.
Well, yes, but my question is whether there is a way to make them pay without sacrificing their contributions, or if we must forgo them in order to have justice.
 

Kephalos

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Well, yes, but my question is whether there is a way to make them pay without sacrificing their contributions, or if we must forgo them in order to have justice.

I don't know. I think you would have to be more specific: I can't conceive that offending "performers, politicians and CEOs" have talents that are so unique that someone else that cannot do what they do or do it better. Performers especially seem to me to be perfectly interchangeable; politicians' policies or causes are usuallty bigger than a single person; and CEOs are, in my opinion, quite overrated with regard to the performance of their companies and overpaid anyway.
 

Sacrophagus

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The recent accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are just the latest contribution to the "Me, too" movement, exposing sexual harassment by the rich and powerful, and others, and finally demanding justice and accountability. But what becomes of the guilty? Where laws were broken, they should be prosecuted, of course. In many cases that perhaps don't meet the standards for prosecution, the guilty party still resigned, either voluntarily or under pressure. Many of these people are politicians, performers, CEOs and others who have also made significant contributions to their fields and to the community. None of this excuses their sexual impositions, but by kicking them out of their fields altogether, are throwing out the baby with the bath water? Is there a way to salvage their skills and professional expertise while also holding them accountable and obtaining justice for their victims? Even those given criminal convictions will eventually be released. What next?


I was thinking about the same question.

Some even take advantage of sexual behaviors outside of work in order to dismantle someone's life and harass them, either directly or indirectly. Many people in power don't want to have their sexual life exposed because they're afraid of scandal and the probability of their power and position lost. Why would I care what someone does in their personal life? I find that highly absurd. I care about their competence. Their work is a matter, while their sex life is another matter and none of my damn business.

Concerning those who took advantage of their position in order to exploit women's weakness and demand sexual favors before giving them a promotion or other benefits, the guilt and responsibility is divided between them both. The man for abusing his position and using it for frivolous ends, and the woman for going with it as if she didn't have any other choice.

There should be a committee that takes care of these cases. If the woman said "No" and had proof that she was harassed, she'd have the upper hand. In this case she can either:

-Forgive him and let him know that she would file for harassment if he repeats the behavior again. Chances are, he might repeat this behavior with another woman. Mercy is nice but some people do not appreciate it. This one is completely up to her.

-Or, file for harassment with proof and give him a warning for abusing power without revoking his privileges. Should this behavior happen again he will be digging his own grave and he should either resign by himself or have his position automatically taken away. His professional credibility will be at stake since he's now labeled a sexual perpetrator and people will assume that he's likely to repeat that behavior in a different environment.


The question is, how can you utilize the latent abilities of a highly competent individual in the workplace knowing that they have the potential to harm your work environment?

They will be offered the benefit of the doubt and should get some professional help. Since raw discipline is not meant for everyone, adequate and honest professionals should take care of such cases in order to vouch for the patient's psychological sanity after a rehab program.

Whom it may concern can now hire the individual, a hopefully functional one. If his case seems helpless, he is to be discharged immediately.

If they're going to compromise the sane atmosphere of the work environment, their competence matters not.

If the woman said yes and went on with it expecting something to gain, she will be punished as severely as the man for contributing in scandalous acts, bringing drama, and wasting our time. Say "No" next time.

If these women knew they had nothing to gain, they wouldn't have attempted these dramatic stunts. If they knew that they would be blamed and had to take responsibility for saying yes, they wouldn't have mentioned it.
 

Lark

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To be honest I think that the issue is one of offender management, whatever action is taken it should be calculated to stop reoffending.

Most of those responsible arent going to accept in anything other than a superficial way that there's been a victim or misconduct, why would they? If they did they would not have acted in the despicable and unacceptable manner in the first place. Most of the time these individuals are living in fantasy rather than reality. A myriad of factors encourages this and makes it easy for them.

So you have a situation in which some sort of intervention/management is required as anything which is too moderate will only make them more bold in their offending and most of this kind of offending can have an escalating character from bad to worse.

In the UK they are looking currently at the actions of a police officer who abducted and killed a woman who was walking home by herself, in the days before this offence this police officer publically exposed himself and the response to it may not have been adequate. The response definitely did not save one womans life and it did not stop the offenders behaviour escalating.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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Well, yes, but my question is whether there is a way to make them pay without sacrificing their contributions, or if we must forgo them in order to have justice.
I know this was directed elsewhere, but I see the issue is the role of the public and social media on 'justice'. If all of these accusations were being submitted to the justice system and those found credible enough by experts in law can be taken to court. If the person is found guilty and placed in prison, then their career is over or hugely interrupted, but it is the result of due process.

The problem with the media hype is that we are seeing that *anything* can be said with the word twisting and non-verbal cues and it sounds scandalous. If you watch the video she goes through a lot of the actual accusations. One woman accuses this politician of hiring her because he found her attractive, but she does not report that he actually communicated that in any words. Another thought she was hired because she was "cute", but again the politician is not quoted as having actually said it. Women accuse him of touching their back at cocktail parties, posing in a dance move with them, and one even accused him because she offered him her private number. (yes, you read it right - he didn't offer her)

These accusations would mostly not be in any headlines whatsoever if submitted to due process. They would never even make it into court.

In cases where sexual harassment and assault are actually happening, then yes, I think it's reasonable for the media to announce that a public figure is on trial. If they are convicted, report it. What is happening now is people are chiming in with anecdotes that are supposed to prove scandal, but are often not even against the law. Then a person's career is ruined and they might have not done anything illegal at all.

As far as cancelling, I am very resistant to that idea. Even studying music history there are several who contributed to the evolution of musical style who did commit murder. The Renaissance composer Carlos Gesualdo murdered his wife and her lover. Studying his scores helps to understand the range of thinking and expression going on at that point in history. Contributors help us understand the bigger picture of a culture and people. If you remove some contributors because of their crimes, then an understanding of the culture is limited.

Canceling is certainly a right on a personal level, so an individual can choose to vote for someone else, but this large scale destroying of careers over accusations is wrong.
 

Kephalos

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What happened and what can be legally proven to have happened are not always the same -- especially in cases like these where there are active efforts to cover up what happened or victims are intimidated into silence, and can only safely make an accusation when the powerful perpetrator is weakened for some reason (often, other accusations). I wouldn't go so far as to say that we should lower the standard of proof for rape and sexual assault cases -- in contexts that can result in prison time, at least -- but there has to be SOMETHING to hold perpetrators accountable, and social sanctions, public shaming, ostracism is the best we have right now.
 

Mole

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Yes, the law should be changed to to bring sexual assault to justice, and in the meantime we protest.

At the same time we have the untrammelled right to wear what we like, to get as drunk as we like, and to be as sexy as we like. And always remembering to be sexy but not sexual.

Being sexy but not sexual can be confusing to another drunk, so we should have a campaign to assert our right to be sexy but not sexual.

Indeed, we should amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include the Right to be Sexy but not Sexual.
 

Tellenbach

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I like the Pence rule. Men shouldn't put themselves in a position where they have to be alone with a woman unless there is a video camera. That should be standard operating procedure in all work environments - problem solved.

The problem with people like Cuomo is a broken moral compass; in general, I oppose draconian efforts to address the moral failings of a few but this appears to be systemic problem. I think the entire nation is due for some serious soul searching on what it means to be a citizen in a modern world in the 21st century. My solution would be moral education in public schools where we teach kids not to be spoiled, entitled brats. In most of the public cases of harassment, we're dealing with highly privileged (spoiled and entitled) people. Preventing the creation of criminals and scumbags is preferable to dealing with the aftermath of their deeds.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I have zero investment politically in Mr. Cuomo and have avoided even knowing which is his political party. I have to say the MeToo accusations against him are really absurd. This is in the New York Times briefing...

Okay here are some associated with sexual innuendo.
NYTimes said:
He called her and her co-worker “mingle mamas.” He inquired about her lack of a wedding ring, she said, and the status of her divorce. She recalled him telling her she was beautiful — in Italian — and, as she sat alone with him in his office awaiting dictation, he gazed down her shirt and commented on a necklace hanging there.

In the latest allegation against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Alyssa McGrath, an employee of the governor’s office, described a series of unsettling interactions with the governor, telling The New York Times that Mr. Cuomo would ogle her body, remark on her looks, and make suggestive comments to her and another executive aide.
Complimenting a necklace is not the same as looking down someone's shirt. Ogling is an indistinct term. I've accidentally looked at people's body parts when thinking or analyzing something. I don't know the context for "mingle mama", but it might be a way of saying they like to socialize. He might have commented on the lack of wedding ring because it was something that changed - she stopped wearing it. That does NOT translate into "I want to have sex with you and will fire you if you don't".

There is nothing here that sounds like rape or an overt pressure to have sex or lose their job. These sound like relatively normal social interactions and I'm really uptight and distant about flirtations. I think this is MeToo out of control.

NYTimes said:
“He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend,” Ms. McGrath said. “But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.’”

Mr. Cuomo has denied the allegations.
:rotfl:

I admit I am angry about what is happening with MeToo because this makes accusations seem frivolous and absurd. There are people (not just women) who are being violated sexually and not heard. Right now the microphone is held up to women who are assuming that men hire them for being beautiful and secretly want to fuck them. Everyone is heralding the cries of women who think they are too sexy for anyone to handle. These arrogant brats need to shut the fuck up and let people who face actual rape and sexual violation to be heard.
 

Red Memories

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I have zero investment politically in Mr. Cuomo and have avoided even knowing which is his political party. I have to say the MeToo accusations against him are really absurd. This is in the New York Times briefing...

Okay here are some associated with sexual innuendo.

Complimenting a necklace is not the same as looking down someone's shirt. Ogling is an indistinct term. I've accidentally looked at people's body parts when thinking or analyzing something. I don't know the context for "mingle mama", but it might be a way of saying they like to socialize. He might have commented on the lack of wedding ring because it was something that changed - she stopped wearing it. That does NOT translate into "I want to have sex with you and will fire you if you don't".

There is nothing here that sounds like rape or an overt pressure to have sex or lose their job. These sound like relatively normal social interactions and I'm really uptight and distant about flirtations. I think this is MeToo out of control.

:rotfl:

I admit I am angry about what is happening with MeToo because this makes accusations seem frivolous and absurd. There are people (not just women) who are being violated sexually and not heard. Right now the microphone is held up to women who are assuming that men hire them for being beautiful and secretly want to fuck them. Everyone is heralding the cries of women who think they are too sexy for anyone to handle. These arrogant brats need to shut the fuck up and let people who face actual rape and sexual violation to be heard.

As someone who was groomed by an actual predator, I find some of the things they call sexual assault to be downright demeaning to what really happens to other people. It is awful to use it as a weapon and invalidates people who really have suffered at the hands of someone. Then we get someone like Amber Heard who was so obviously lying now and people still want her to be some ambassador. Metoo is a prop for vengeful exes to fuck over someone for looking at them wrong. It disgusts me what it became.

I might be a little mad too.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I like the Pence rule. Men shouldn't put themselves in a position where they have to be alone with a woman unless there is a video camera. That should be standard operating procedure in all work environments - problem solved.

The problem with people like Cuomo is a broken moral compass; in general, I oppose draconian efforts to address the moral failings of a few but this appears to be systemic problem. I think the entire nation is due for some serious soul searching on what it means to be a citizen in a modern world in the 21st century. My solution would be moral education in public schools where we teach kids not to be spoiled, entitled brats. In most of the public cases of harassment, we're dealing with highly privileged (spoiled and entitled) people. Preventing the creation of criminals and scumbags is preferable to dealing with the aftermath of their deeds.

Unfortunately I have to agree that the Pence/Billy Graham rule is not a bad idea for some men to follow. I’ve adhered to it myself, refusing to go out to eat alone with female clients for business lunches, or alone with female coworkers for after work drinks. It’s not that I think men and women cannot be alone together in professional settings, it’s just a matter of self preservation
 

ceecee

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Unfortunately I have to agree that the Pence/Billy Graham rule is not a bad idea for some men to follow. I’ve adhered to it myself, refusing to go out to eat alone with female clients for business lunches, or alone with female coworkers for after work drinks. It’s not that I think men and women cannot be alone together in professional settings, it’s just a matter of self preservation

Obviously the no contact without my wife present (Pence rule) - is a bit insane sounding. Pence was never ever alone with a woman in a professional capacity either but I think the bolded is a good policy. I apply the exact same to myself and men that are coworkers or colleagues.
 
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