Tag: Sexual Assault

A solution to sexual assault

The epidemic* of men being fired for sexual harassment and assault has laid bare the scale of men abusing their power at the highest levels—and the depths to which their depravity extends.

Pundits, journalists, reformers and the public are talking about what can be done to solve the problem. For some men, solving the problem doesn’t so much mean decreasing the incidence of sexual assault as it does protecting themselves from getting fired for allegedly committing sexual assault.

Proposals have included refusing private meetings with women (i.e. students, coworkers, and partners in deals) and invoking US Vice President Mike Pence’s personal policy. If I don’t meet with women, I will never be accused of assault!, the thinking goes.

One obvious problem at the start is that men often have to meet with women to correct papers or discuss topics relating to their work. Shutting women out could deny women opportunities—simply because of improprieties committed by other men.

I would propose what might be a better idea: not sexually assaulting women. Reading the cases from Harvey Weinstein, Louie CK, and Matt Lauer to Roy Moore, Al Franken, and Donald Trump, it’s amazing how many of these controversies could have been avoided if only they didn’t sexually assault people in the first place.

Louie masturbated in front of women in his office. Lauer locked women in his office and attempted to seduce and/or coerce them. Weinstein allegedly raped a dozen women.

The Washington Times paraphrases Jay Richards of the Catholic University of America:

The entry of women into the workforce since World War II, followed by the sexual revolution and the erasure of well-established sexual mores, has left men and women with little guidance as to how to interact in the workplace, Mr. Richards said.

Don’t give women sex toys, like Lauer did, for starters. Don’t make passes at every woman in the office, particularly employees in low-level jobs, and use appurtances of power to pressure them. Don’t meet your subordinates in a hotel room, as Weinstein and Trump made a practice of doing.

Basically, not doing things against someone’s will is a pretty easy and universal rule.

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Me Too? No thanks.

Logging onto any social media site lately has been emetic for any woman, with the unfortunate overdose of #MeToo on our news feed. Sexuality is supposed to be private, and if it is selfish to say, so be it, your trauma is private as well. As a self made woman, who has never felt the need to cry about being sexually assaulted or even experienced any actual assault from the men in my life, it is encouraging watching people that I know, mustering the courage of sharing their trauma, although the cynic might question how many of these incidents are actually true. Women, just like men, lie, a lot, and sometimes the easiest way to score up in a victimhood Olympics, is to claim to be a victim.

 

Don’t believe me? Here. And here. And here. And here. And bloody HERE.

 

But the question that bothered me was something different. As I dug deeper into some of these stories (and I would like to emphasise the word ‘some’) I felt a little uncomfortable with the scenarios and experiences these women were calling “assault”. Take the Sam Kriss story, the left-wing journalist and male feminist, who was accused by a fellow journalist he was dating of sexual assault and instantly his career was over. It is a special time for right wingers. Harvey Weinstein was a Hillary Clinton guy and major donor to the Democrats. In UK, Clive Lewis, Labour MP mockingly called a man a bitch, or as some transgender activists would say, a dog born with female sexual organs. Lately, another Labour MP, Jared O’Mara was done with, for some idiotic forum comments from a decade back.

It’s understandable why people get more angry at others, who claim sainthood and then fail to live through those ideals. Proud sinners, are well, proud sinners. But these careerist lads, of course grovelingly apologised, and were instantly hanged, drawn and quartered by a online lynch mob.

 

But then I read the details of the Sam Kriss story, in Cathy Young’s article. So, kissing on the way to a bus, after a night of binge drinking, is sexual assault? Who knew!

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Weinstein, Trump, and the crisis of confidence in rule of law

Donald Trump’s politicization of the Justice Department hurts faith in rule of law when it is sorely needed. Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been investigated before for sexual abuse, and now, with many more allegations coming out publicly, it is likely that he might have faced serious investigations under any administration.

Yet the appearance of conflict-of-interest and the demonstrated intent of applying law politically casts an inescapable lack of confidence under anything the Justice Department does now. The admissions by Trump that he made explicit political calculations when staffing the Department of Justice and pressured the DOJ to investigate his enemies (Trump says he wouldn’t have picked Sessions if he knew he’d recuse himself, After attacking AG Jeff Sessions for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton, Trump won’t say if he will fire him, Comey documented Trump request to drop Flynn investigation in memo) imply that he would use, or try to use, his power to attack any political enemy he can.

Now it is reported in the Daily Mail that the FBI is opening up an investigation into Weinstein at the behest of the DOJ (although “it is unknown whether the DOJ order came directly from Sessions”). There’s a 90 percent chance that this is justified entirely on the facts of the case. In almost any other administration, there would be closer to 99 percent confidence.

We know how Trump responds to crimes committed by his political allies: he pardons them.

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On evaluating claims of sexual assault against presidential candidates

A pornstar who claims that Donald Trump has offered to pay her $10,000 to go to return to his hotel room is just the latest of nearly a dozen women who have come forward this month accusing Trump of sexual improprieties.

Trump, naturally, denies all charges. At the same time, Trump has been hyping the affairs and allegations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. This week a former Arkansas reporter came forward to allege the former president sexually assaulted her three times while he was governor of Arkansas in 1980. In a climate where stories of sexual assault or rape are fiercely scrutinized, how is one to evaluate the veracity of these claims?

The standards for evaluating claims of crimes having been committed are, of course, different inside and outside a courtroom. No one is asking the voters to throw Donald Trump in prison for sexual assault—or for violating sanctions on Cuba, or for self-dealing with his foundation, or for defrauding investors and consumers. If he is guilty of any of those crimes, it is up to investigators and prosecutors to pursue and for the accused to be able to defend themselves in court. What the voters are tasked with, however, is to decide whom they think is most qualified to be the next president of the United States of America. For that, there is no requirement of proving someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is a choice each voter can make on their own.

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Was Brock Turner a victim?

Ever since Brock Turner, a then-swimmer at Stanford University, was accused and convicted of the sexual assault and attempted rape of a woman at a Stanford University party and sentenced to six months in prison, the case has been one of the most discussed sexual assault cases in the U.S., inciting debates about rape, feminism, class privilege, and mandatory minimum sentences.

Now that Turner has been released from jail on September 2, after three months, these questions are being debated again. Feminists and black liberal activists think his sentence was too short because of bias in favor of his gender and race. Anti-feminists and MRAs think his sentence was too long. Some even think he was unjustly railroaded. Was Brock Turner a victim of a campus rape hysteria wherein he was accused of rape after having consensual sex?

The argument hinges of Turner’s version of events

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