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

Cor Luctis

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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.
It's not so much that their contributions are unique or irreplaceable, more that they can in fact contribute. If an apple has a bad spot, we can easily throw away the whole thing and take another, but some people consider that wasteful, preferring to cut out the bad spot and salvage the rest. Is there anything salvageable about people who really are guilty of sexual harassment?

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.
The highlighted most directly answers my question. I understand it to mean that you consider people who truly are guilty of sexual harassment, to include demanding sexual favors as a condition for hiring, retention, or promotion, to be irredemable. Are they capable of making any positive contribution to society after dismissal from the environment in which they imposed themselves?

As for the rest of your comments, ideally the women faced with such a choice should say no and move on to greener (fairer) pastures. In practice, especially among the ordinary workforce rather than the wealthy and famous, many cannot afford to because they need the job. Even in the higher profile situations, proving that a manager or supervisor made career progress conditional on sex can be near impossible to do. The manager can usually readily find other factors to justify a decision not in the woman's favor. Especially for junior positions sought by young people starting out, a woman who refuses "to play ball" can easily be replaced by one who will, or by a man. Some women have the fortitude to keep trying, and keep turning down these kinds of arrangements, the kind of fortitude not generally required of (at least straight, white, Christian) men. Many don't, and both they and their potential employers lose out as a result.

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.
My question does touch on the broader issue of rehabilitation, in this case whether someone guilty of sexual harassment or coercion, whether convicted in court or not, can be rehabilitated in such a way that they can continue or resume contributing to society, either in their original position or some other that takes advantage of their skills and experience.

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.
I was thinking less of "cancelling" past contributions that are now part of the historical record, or the "literature" in a given field, and more of the possible future contributions of current perpetrators. Also, what do you think of sexual imposition that falls short of breaking the law? How great an impact on the perpetrator's career should that have, assuming it can be proven, especially if they refuse to curb the behavior when confronted about it?

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.
I agree. So many of the high profile cases that have come out (e.g. FOX news, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby) were like cans of worms that stayed tightly sealed until one or two courageous women put their careers on the line to speak out. Do you agree with [MENTION=34448]Sacrophagus[/MENTION] that these women were complicit in the situations?

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.
Didn't your Mother ever tell you: bad behavior on someone else's part doesn't excuse bad behavior of your own.

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
Wow. As a manager I would refuse to hire a man who insisted on such protocols. It is unworkable always to have to bring along a buddy for a simple business meeting. Throughout my career I have routinely had lunch or dinner meetings alone with a male colleague, plus meetings at work sites separate from meals. I have never had any problem, nor have they. Bringing along a third wheel would in many cases have been impossible, preventing a very necessary and productive meeting from taking place. Anyone who cannot act professionally with the opposite/other sex has no business working outside the home.

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.
I agree with this. Many of these accusations involve behavior that, while not very professional and occasionally even juvenile, does not rise to the level of true harassment. It should be handled like any other annoying workplace behavior, by politely expressing concern and asking for it to stop.

Just to help calibrate the notion of sexual harassment, I will relate an anecdote shared at my workplace, as part of sexual harassment sensitivity training. This happened to the instructor earlier in her career.

 

Siúil a Rúin

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My question does touch on the broader issue of rehabilitation, in this case whether someone guilty of sexual harassment or coercion, whether convicted in court or not, can be rehabilitated in such a way that they can continue or resume contributing to society, either in their original position or some other that takes advantage of their skills and experience.
This is a good question that should be continually examined in the field of behavioral health. Signing contracts agreeing to defined behaviors in employment situations could be further developed. These already exist in all the social service fields. There are well defined codes of ethics that are reasonable and practical, and so perhaps business needs to adopt these as well. I don't know if people would change motivations or inclinations, but ultimately in work environments it is about behavior which is easier to manage.

I was thinking less of "cancelling" past contributions that are now part of the historical record, or the "literature" in a given field, and more of the possible future contributions of current perpetrators. Also, what do you think of sexual imposition that falls short of breaking the law? How great an impact on the perpetrator's career should that have, assuming it can be proven, especially if they refuse to curb the behavior when confronted about it?
Another good question. The behavior that plays at the boundary without crossing the defined line is an issue that happens. Different work environments need different standards for the behaviors. People working with dementia patients should not ever have a history of sexual violation, theft, battery, etc. because their clients are vulnerable to the point of not being able to report it. Same is true of young children. Standards need to be strict and even suspicion of wrong-doing is more reasonably applied with consequence in such environments. I don't think someone should work with individuals incapable of consent if they are going through a court trial or the subject of accusations. I'm sure there is grey area that could be disputed, but in principle I understand applying the more cautious standards.

In environments where you have all consenting, mentally and emotionally functioning adults, the burden of proof of violating behavior needs to be much higher. If there is a work environment where an employer is staring at every woman's chest, yes that could be creepy, and I would either avoid them and wear heavy tops or quit the job, but there needs to be more than accusations. Definable proof is important because it's not clear what's going on. I once dated a very nice, very innocent guy who accidentally stared at chests sometimes when talking. He wasn't sexually fixated, actually had low testosterone when medically tested, was a little shy to make eye contact, but I noticed he did that. He stared at wallpaper too and was spacey lost in thought person. What if five women started accusing him of ogling them? That would have been worse for him.

I do think there needs to be a standard of burden of proof and some issues that are a little problematic will not be clear enough to meet that standard, but everything can't be exactly perfect in human interactions. I'll continue with the ogling example because it is a apt one. It could be a bit creepy and it could be innocent. I suspect that the person who is doing it in a sexually intrusive manner will not stop there. If the person has a need to violate, there will be other kinds of evidence that is more definitive. If there is absolutely no other definitive evidence, then maybe the motivation isn't violating. Maybe there can be another expiation.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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This interview is very enlightening regarding the Harvey Weinstein case. His behavior spanned the entire range of women pursuing him aggressively for career advantages to this clearly defined attempted rape of the assistant's friend.

There isn't one definition of what happened with him, so each woman's case is different. Sexual coercion is a more accurate term for consenting to an unwanted sexual encounter for career gain. If the woman accepts the payment for the sexual act, it can still be a violation, but needs a different terminology from the sorts of rape that are 100% against consent. To accept payment for the experience of being raped entirely against one's will is not something I can get my head around. Accepting payment for any action implies some level of consent, however compromised or mixed the nature of that consent. Edit: It is possible and happens often that people accept payment for being violated. Sexual coercion is violation, but still a different form of it from 100% non consensual rape. Also, I don't mean payment in court damages, but payment in career advancement.


This woman is an impressive human being.
 

Kephalos

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[MENTION=9811]Coriolis[/MENTION]: I would just say that if it were up to me, I would eliminate any consideration or defense that resembled contributory or comparative fault in cases of sexual harassment or assault.
 

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Coriolis said:
Anyone who cannot act professionally with the opposite/other sex has no business working outside the home.

Unfortunately, there are women who make false accusations and in a "he-said/she-said" situation, the man usually loses. Take a look at the Johnny Depp situation; his career was ruined by false accusations.
 

Cor Luctis

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Unfortunately, there are women who make false accusations and in a "he-said/she-said" situation, the man usually loses. Take a look at the Johnny Depp situation; his career was ruined by false accusations.
For many generations - centuries, perhaps - those "he-said/she-said" situations were always resolved in favor of the man. Women with legitimate accusations have finally been able to start making their cases stick in the absence of those video cameras or plethora of witnesses. The pendulum may be swinging too far in the other direction, and will be brought back in the same way.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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For many generations - centuries, perhaps - those "he-said/she-said" situations were always resolved in favor of the man. Women with legitimate accusations have finally been able to start making their cases stick in the absence of those video cameras or plethora of witnesses. The pendulum may be swinging too far in the other direction, and will be brought back in the same way.
Actually not in racist scenarios. In the United States there were lynchings motivated by false sexually harassing or rape accusations.
 

Cor Luctis

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Actually not in racist scenarios. In the United States there were lynchings motivated by false sexually harassing or rape accusations.
That is due to the intersectionality of race and gender biases. In the sorts of situations where the likes of Mike Pence and Billy Graham associate and that "don't be alone with a woman other than your wife" rule applies, men's word has prevailed until recently.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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That is due to the intersectionality of race and gender biases. In the sorts of situations where the likes of Mike Pence and Billy Graham associate and that "don't be alone with a woman other than your wife" rule applies, men's word has prevailed until recently.
Yes. The concern is that if it is demonstrated to happen in that context, it shows a need for definitive proof of guilt and that "he said, she said" is a problem favoring "she said".

I don't want to go into it too much, but my own life was so damaged by false rape accusations all the way back to the 1970's. The woman who presented these had a mental illness and was strongly supported by a prominent man, but the accused was innocent and his life and profession damaged. These were all white people and the accused man quite accomplished, but still damaged for life by the accusations. There has to be a standard of proof, and in cases where that is lacking, but there is still concern, there needs to be a plenty of psychological and community support for anyone claiming sexual assault. I do not believe in directly discrediting any claim. I believe in providing full psychological and emotional support in 100% of sexual assault claims, but legally, there has to be maintained a burden of proof that goes beyond the tears and word of one individual. The worst moral outcome is to convict an innocent person of a crime.
 

Cor Luctis

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Yes. The concern is that if it is demonstrated to happen in that context, it shows a need for definitive proof of guilt and that "he said, she said" is a problem favoring "she said".

I don't want to go into it too much, but my own life was so damaged by false rape accusations all the way back to the 1970's. The woman who presented these had a mental illness and was strongly supported by a prominent man, but the accused was innocent and his life and profession damaged. These were all white people and the accused man quite accomplished, but still damaged for life by the accusations. There has to be a standard of proof, and in cases where that is lacking, but there is still concern, there needs to be a plenty of psychological and community support for anyone claiming sexual assault. I do not believe in directly discrediting any claim. I believe in providing full psychological and emotional support in 100% of sexual assault claims, but legally, there has to be maintained a burden of proof that goes beyond the tears and word of one individual. The worst moral outcome is to convict an innocent person of a crime.
Is that worse than to let innocent people be victimized without holding the perpetrators accountable? Your situation was indeed tragic, but also atypical. The high profile women who managed to hold people like Weinstein accountable managed to support their cases with evidence, once people were willing actually to look at the evidence, We don't need cowardly and unprofessional practices like the Pence/Graham rule, which treats every woman as a potential false accuser, and makes business interactions more like elementary school.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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Is that worse than to let innocent people be victimized without holding the perpetrators accountable? Your situation was indeed tragic, but also atypical. The high profile women who managed to hold people like Weinstein accountable managed to support their cases with evidence, once people were willing actually to look at the evidence, We don't need cowardly and unprofessional practices like the Pence/Graham rule, which treats every woman as a potential false accuser, and makes business interactions more like elementary school.
Evidence is important and why the Weinstein case can function as a model for ethically approaching this difficult topic.

I do hold the moral ideal that it is worse to condemn an innocent person than to allow a guilty one to be free. Yes, it is my position that any accused individual needs to be innocent until proven guilty, and that proof has to go beyond a verbal statement, regardless of how emphatically shared. Physical evidence is necessary for the process to be ethical.

This is why I emphasize psychological support. Any time an individual claims victimization, it is reasonable to see something is wrong. It could be that the person was assaulted. It could be they have a mental illness. They could have been traumatized in childhood and reframe new experiences through a distorted, trauma lens. They could be lying for some type of gain. Something is wrong that need to be explored through professional psychological counseling. They need healing, love, and support. That doesn't change the moral imperative to stick with innocent until proven guilty for the accused.

Imagine if tears and words alone can convict. In the end, it could be me or you convicted by someone's tears. Anyone is at risk. That is not a world I want to live in.
 

Cor Luctis

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Evidence is important and why the Weinstein case can function as a model for ethically approaching this difficult topic.

I do hold the moral ideal that it is worse to condemn an innocent person than to allow a guilty one to be free. Yes, it is my position that any accused individual needs to be innocent until proven guilty, and that proof has to go beyond a verbal statement, regardless of how emphatically shared. Physical evidence is necessary for the process to be ethical.

This is why I emphasize psychological support. Any time an individual claims victimization, it is reasonable to see something is wrong. It could be that the person was assaulted. It could be they have a mental illness. They could have been traumatized in childhood and reframe new experiences through a distorted, trauma lens. They could be lying for some type of gain. Something is wrong that need to be explored through professional psychological counseling. They need healing, love, and support. That doesn't change the moral imperative to stick with innocent until proven guilty for the accused.

Imagine if tears and words alone can convict. In the end, it could be me or you convicted by someone's tears. Anyone is at risk. That is not a world I want to live in.
I am not disagreeing with the need for evidence beyond a victim's word. My original point was, and is, that refusal on the part of men to be alone with women in professional settings is not the answer, and causes as many problems as it is supposed to solve. We should be encouraging and demanding responsible professional behavior from people, not treating everyone like children who must have teacher present at all times.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I am not disagreeing with the need for evidence beyond a victim's word. My original point was, and is, that refusal on the part of men to be alone with women in professional settings is not the answer, and causes as many problems as it is supposed to solve. We should be encouraging and demanding responsible professional behavior from people, not treating everyone like children who must have teacher present at all times.
Oh, sorry I missed that point. I hope this process settles into a world that has clearer boundaries and more settled social expectations.
 

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Coriolis said:
We don't need cowardly and unprofessional practices like the Pence/Graham rule, which treats every woman as a potential false accuser, and makes business interactions more like elementary school.

It's not cowardly unless there are protections in place against false accusations, such as a lie detector test for both parties involved. I know these tests are not perfect, but they will act as a deterrence against false accusations. Until we have droids like R2D2 to record everything that's going on, it's just smart to adopt the Pence Rule given the trigger happy cancel culture we're in.
 

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The narcissistic personality is common, characterised by pathological lying, control then abuse, gaslighting, with a troop of dancing monkeys to attack their victims, all beautifully disguised under a conventional false self.

The narcissistic personality is predatory, and looks for the vulnerabilities in others, in order to control, exploit, and abuse them.

So emotional self defence is necessary.
 

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I just saw a Swedish documentary that touched on this very issue; obviously the protagonist had highly technical skills to offer but he still felt pressured to leave due to repeated and consistent allegations of misconduct that he himself did not directly dispute. I think as far as brands are concerned it can be difficult to both condemn certain behavior while simultaneously keeping alleged perpetrators employed.

 

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I would hope that treating women decently always being the norm would be next.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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The media based cancel culture is the primary issue because I *think* the legal system does require evidence. I would recommend that businesses be required to follow the same rules for cancel culture as for non-prejudicial hiring practices. If they aren't allowed to discriminate, then they shouldn't be able o fire someone for a media accusation. Social service jobs with vulnerable populations can have a higher bar because young children, cognitively impaired individuals, and dementia in the elderly prohibits individuals from even reporting violations done towards them. I could agree to not being allowed to work in those environments when under suspicion and would comply myself. In regular business, I think they should not be able to fire based on gossip, even if done at the national media level. I think that could help stabilize the negative spiral of hyper-gossip and media distortion that is happening.
 

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The media based cancel culture is the primary issue because I *think* the legal system does require evidence. I would recommend that businesses be required to follow the same rules for cancel culture as for non-prejudicial hiring practices. If they aren't allowed to discriminate, then they shouldn't be able o fire someone for a media accusation. Social service jobs with vulnerable populations can have a higher bar because young children, cognitively impaired individuals, and dementia in the elderly prohibits individuals from even reporting violations done towards them. I could agree to not being allowed to work in those environments when under suspicion and would comply myself. In regular business, I think they should not be able to fire based on gossip, even if done at the national media level. I think that could help stabilize the negative spiral of hyper-gossip and media distortion that is happening.

I like this solution. I think it'd help a great deal.
 
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