Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: The #MeToo Accusations; a Positive or Negative Development?
Don Surber: In the 1980s, there were a rash of stories, and a witch hunt over child molestation at day care centers. The McMartin family was absolutely innocent, and absolutely ruined by Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner.
But there also was the Tailhook Association’s convention in Las Vegas in 1991. It was a gathering of Navy pilots past and present, as tailhook refers to the device that grabs the wire on an aircraft carrier. About 1,500 attended — and they drank and chased women. In the end, 83 women and 7 men were sexually assaulted. 300 men ruined their careers (including admirals) by acting like animals.
About that time, Clarence Thomas stood accused of putting a pubic hair on a can of Coca Cola — and others strange things — by Anita Hill. Her false charges of sexual harassment almost cost him a seat on the Supreme Court.
False stories of gang rape surface from time to time: Tawana Brawley, the Duke lacrosse team, and that frat at the University of Virginia.
The latter triggered a witch hunt over campus rape, pushed by Obama.
Now we are in a witch hunt over sexual abuse by men in power. What should guide us is past experience. 1. Hear the women out (Tailhook). 2. Hear the men out (Duke lacrosse). 3, Assume nothing. Allegations and accusations are gossip, not facts.
We do know that Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Al Franken abused people sexually. They admitted it.
George Takei and Roy Moore vehemently deny such allegations. I give them the benefit of the doubt.
Those who advise Alabamans to not vote for Moore are opportunists. If he’s guilty, he can be removed from office. But if he is innocent and his opponent wins, guess what? His opponent cannot be removed from office.
Many conservatives made a big deal about Bob Menendez who is on trial for bribery. I did not. Federal prosecutors are ruthless. Look how they railroaded Ted Stevens and withheld exculpatory evidence to convict him — a conviction overturned because of their behavior. It was too late. Stevens had lost that election.
What can we as conservatives do? Adhere to principles. Paramount is the presumption of innocence.
Rob Miller : Ah,yes, the #Me Too accusations. Definitely a two-edged sword that cuts both ways.
Let’s examine the positive and negative aspects.
It’s notable that the accusations are almost entirely coming from two areas, show biz and politics.
The so-called casting couch has been an entertainment business reality almost since the industry got started. The idea was always very simple…a man or a woman seeking to advance their career would be told to submit to the sexual desires of someone in power in the industry in exchange for a contract, a part, or other help in their career. Some refused. Others succumbed. Many times they got what they were seeking, other times they were simply cynically used, discarded and nothing came of it.
It was hardly a secret that this was going on. No one seeking a career in ‘the Business’ could hardly claim to be unaware that they might be approached that way.
The problem with the latest flood of accusations is that in most cases, they occurred a long time ago and the women (and men) involved made a choice to keep their mouths shut, whether they gave in to the sexual demands or not. One of the things that struck me about the Cosby case is how many of the women who were drugged and raped realized what had happened, yet they came back to Bill Cosby and let it happen again, because they wanted to take advantage of his promise of help with their careers.
The problem here is twofold. First, by keeping their mouths shut the women enabled a sexual predator, often because they felt it would help their careers. And second, by keeping silent, they allowed other women to be victimized. There’s no doubt many women would have been spared a degrading and harmful experience if many of these women had not decided to stay quiet, to go along to get along. And it’s not just the women. I have no doubt that a lot of male associates of the Harvey Weinsteins and Kevin Spaceys in Hollywood also knew what was going on, and also kept silent.
Another problem with the Hollywood accusations is that far too many people outside the business have a pretty good idea of what was going on in Hollywood even if they didn’t know the details. These are, after all, the same folks who covered up for perverts like child rapist Roman Polanski. So just like the the recent virtue signaling in the outing of Bill Clinton as a sexual predator years after it would matter, the element of outrage and surprise is missing and comes across as somewhat phony to many people. It simply doesn’t matter as much anymore after all these years.
The political angle is slightly different. Washington DC has aptly been called Hollywood for ugly people. There’s also no doubt that a lot of young interns, congressional assistants, secretaries and pages are preyed on in the same manner as actors and actresses in the ‘other Hollywood.’ Some of the perps have been busted and disgraced, others have not, depending on how indiscreet or how influential they were. What’s new is its use as a political weapon, a selective political weapon used by the Democrat Party against Republicans, and designed to promote fundraising and gin up turnout from women of a certain ideology.
The real author and enabler of this was former President Barack Hussein Obama.
The Obama White House and Department of Education pressured colleges to change the burden of proof standard that they used in disciplinary proceedings over sexual harassment and sexual assault in 2011 or lose federal funds. And unfortunately, given the politics, many colleges didn’t have to be pressured at all.
They routinely restricted a male student’s right to due process by using ‘preponderance of the evidence’ as the new, lower standard of proof instead of the higher ‘clear and convincing’ standard.According to the Obama administration’s Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), “Preponderance of the evidence” meant that if the University inquisition thought there was as little as a 51 per chance that the accused is guilty, (or the girl involved was decent actress) the accused could be disciplined and expelled.
These are the same people who claim to want to ‘protect women’ on campus by refusing to allow them to carry arms…with predictable results.
Among other things, the new guidelines demanded that students “not be allowed to personally cross-examine each other.” Court rulings like Donohue v. Baker (1997), concluded that cross-examination must be allowed in campus disciplinary hearings, but Obama made sure that wasn’t being taken into consideration anymore. Frequently, male students weren’t t even allowed an attorney in these college inquisitions.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss has made heroic efforts to correct this, but many universities still operate this way. If you think I’m exaggerating? Here are just a a few examples that ought to change your mind.
Third stream feminism has been largely responsible for the hookup culture, the sexualizing of women’s view of themselves and the devaluing of the ideas of traditional marriage, courtship and family life.* The response of many men was simply to enjoy the relaxed morality this brought about and utilize it for their own pleasure, to objectify women, and to treat them with less respect than women formerly enjoyed. It is possible that this is a new trend of women insisting on the old style standards of respect may mark the beginning of a backlash to third stream feminism and its extremism. It’s too early to tell at this point.
Unfortunately,at this point any positive aspect is offset because the current rash of accusations largely has a hollow ring to them for the reasons I mentioned, which negates their effect
*It should be noted that the attitudes created by third stream feminism did not make much headway in Americans who were part of religious communities and certain immigrant groups and their traditions. Orthodox Jews, religious Catholics, Evangelicals, Many East, Southeast and South Asians, Mormons and other religious and some ethnic communities resisted these attitudes and still remain largely practitioners of traditional courtship, family life and marriages. They also tend to have more children and fewer divorces. Selah.
Puma By Design: The people who are buying into this “Me too” propaganda are the same individuals who last winter donned “pink p***y hats,” and took part in the not all “Women’s March” the day after President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated.
The question, of course is: The #MeToo Accusations; a Positive or Negative Development?
I dare to say that considering the spin comes from the left, “negative” but not for the reasons that some would think.
The “#MeToo” meme/accusations are a propaganda tool/stunt to bring about the desired means to an end favorable to the Progressive agenda.
#Me Too, Another Sandra Fluke Moment.
The #Me Too” meme is meant to be another Sandra Fluke moment.
In 2012, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Georgetown activist/Progressive, Sandra Fluke, called for free contraceptives because she did not believe that college students or women having sex should have to foot the bill for their choices, i.e., sexual activity.
Rush Limbaugh had his say, advertisers hit back at Rush and then Gloria Allred (what else is new) got involved. Eventually, the insanity backfired on the White House because of the habit by Progressives to spike the football ten times too many after Fluke became the Progressive darling, at least until she failed to garner enough support from Progressive Californians in 2014 to run for the Senate.
Fluke may have put the nail in her campaign when in 2014 right after the 200 Chibok girls were kidnapped and enslaved by Boko Haram, Miss Looney Tunes said during a radio interview with KCRW host Madeleine Brand stated that:
“I must say that as dire and barbaric as these Boko militants in Nigeria seem, we have to remember that if these girls are released and come to America as political refugees, they could end up working for Republican lawmakers here in California or in Washington, or end up living in a Red state in the South, which would no doubt make them wish they were still in the clutches of militant al-Qaeda-linked rapist terrorists…”
END OF SIDEBAR
What’s my point? The #Me Too” meme is 2017’s Sandra Fluke moment.
Fluke whose primary talking points were sexual reproductive rights for women and human trafficking did not cut the mustard and neither does the “Me Too” meme.
#Me Too is hypocritical, selective and a weapon.
Let’s be real, it was a little more than 12 months ago that Progressives were ruthlessly attacking Bill Clinton’s victims while placing both Bill and Hillary on a pedestal.
It was less than ten months ago, correction a six months ago month week (never mind) that Progressive pro-abortion women blocked pro-life women from marching with them.
Several weeks ago, Michelle Obama insulted women who did not vote for Hillary Clinton and just recently, a propagandist at the L. A. Times fat-shamed, Sandra Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary.
Of course, there is Hillary Clinton who used sexism and the war on women as a platform when she ran in 2016 despite having for decades took advantage of her power, position and access to the bully pulpit, to silence, strike fear into, denigrate and destroy Bill Clinton’s victims for three plus decades.
Feminists who continued their undying support Bill Clinton were no better and didn’t think twice to follow Hillary’s lead.
Through their demands for free birth control and reproductive healthcare, Progressives have no regard for the sanctity of life, support the murder of the unborn, recently born, ignore pedophilia and child rape.
Thus, the #Me Too hashtag is nothing more than a fluke (no pun intended…oh, who cares) in that it is selective and hypocritical. (Yeah, I really thought this through.)
Progressives now on a witch hunt have weaponized the allegation of rape and sexual misconduct. Due process means nothing.
Innocent until proven guilty does not play a role in their agenda.
Can it be because as we have over the past eight years that in the shootings in which a Black man died in the hands of law enforcement, prosecutors knowingly overreached in their quest to Obama’s bidding and to inflame the masses.
Such pursuits, for eight years, was in full force under Barack Obama’s Department of Justice with prosecuting attorneys across the country appearing to willfully incite people into the streets to riot.
Of course, if Progressives via the women’s movement could drive people into the streets because a woman levies charges or sexual assault or misconduct against someone, they would gladly do it but again, it’s not about justice.
This is about power, control, elections and has nothing to do with justice for the victim. We’ve seen this dance before. Progressives should stop weaponizing their so-called causes.
Dave Schuler: Both. I think there’s a genuine problem with sexual abuse and harassment and there’s so much silence surrounding it we don’t actually have a good handle on its scope. Given that understanding shedding more light on the issue is good.
On the other hand destroying lives and/’or careers on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations is obviously problematic. When even Maureen Dowd is pointing out the political motivations of some of these allegations it isn’t too much of a stretch to think there’s something to the idea.
I honestly don’t know how to strike the right balance.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : We have to consider the current accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault by looking back over the changes that have occurred in American culture over the past half century or so, especially since some of the accusations go almost that far back. Back in the 1960s and 1970s (some of us remember it well) the sexual revolution was upon us. Women’s liberation proponents convinced young women we were victims of a patriarchal society and we demanded equal rights. We burned our bras to show we were no longer bound by worn out social dictates. Up until that time women who chose to enter a profession generally became teachers or nurses. These were socially respectable professions and could be managed while raising a family. With this new awakening we believed we should be able to go to college and work in the same jobs as men if we so chose and make the same amount of money. Unlimited opportunities opened up for women. This was the positive side of the women’s movement as millions of women joined the workforce in many different professions.
Along with their new careers young women were exposed to more encounters with men in the workplace. At this same time the left, with assistance from Ivy League professors and scientific experts, convinced us women were no different than men when it came to our sexuality. We should not be ashamed of our sexual desires as society now “permitted” us to act upon them. We were encouraged to have sex without the need for emotional attachment. Thus began the sexual revolution which truly was a war on women. In addition during this time the invention of birth control pills eliminated worries of unwanted pregnancies, and once Roe v Wade became the law of the land in 1973 if we did become pregnant we could legally “take care of it.” Men no longer had to worry about taking responsibility or doing the right thing if a sexual partner became pregnant. Pregnancy became her responsibility alone. Abortion became a right and today many liberal women vote solely on this single issue – the preservation of their right to kill their unborn child. This single decision has harmed our society and our culture more than anything else in the last century.
Relationships between men and women have suffered with all this newfound sexual freedom. Men were led to believe women wanted sex even if they protested they did not. If women’s urges were the same as theirs what else could they believe? Does no mean no or does no mean yes… or maybe? Are women just playing hard to get? Where should one draw the line? How far can one go before they stop? Remember the old first base, second base references? Is there a point of no return? Women engaged in casual sex with multiple partners not realizing the emotional toll it would take on their psyche. How many of these current accusations were misinterpreted flirtations that went too far? And who is guilty in such situations? It may sound unforgiving to some, but men can be victims as well as women in some of these cases because of the beliefs of the time, short of molestation, rape or pedophilia. And the fact that these women are speaking out now after decades does not help their case. If they truly were molested or assaulted they should have reported it to the police then, not years later when the accused is running for political office.
In addition, much of the moral decline within our society falls directly on Bill Clinton and his dark history of sexual harassment and sexual assault throughout his time as governor of Arkansas through his two terms as president of the United States. During his first run for president his victims spoke out about his sexual assaults. They were ridiculed and called liars while those in the media covered for him. Hillary Clinton was complicit in these crimes as she threatened and intimidated his victims. It is surprising to see the 180 degree turn in the minds of some on the left who covered up for Clinton during the 1980s and 1990s who are now saying he should have resigned as president for his very public adulterous affair with Monica Lewinsky. They are a little late in acknowledging his crimes and are now saying these women who make accusations today should be believed. One has to wonder if their newfound beliefs are solely motivated by politics as the social and political winds have shifted. Sadly, an entire generation of young children grew up believing oral sex was not sex thanks to President Clinton. Many men have taken advantage of the sexual revolution to intimidate and coerce their victims as we have seen in the unfolding Hollywood scandals. Many people knew and said nothing.
This sexual uncertainty and confusion is a direct result of communist propaganda and indoctrination demoralizing our culture and society. The women’s movement led to the sexual revolution which led to the breakup of the family unit. Today we have staggeringly high percentages of children being born to single mothers with no help from the father, while government encourages dependence on it to meet their every need.
Hopefully the pendulum will swing back, but not all the way back. It is good that women do not have to suffer shame or public ridicule for their sexual behavior. Many of us remember the girls in school who were easy and called horrible names. But we must recognize there is a difference between the sexes. This will never change. We should instill pride and self respect in children of both sexes and help them to understand the personal and emotional ramifications of being sexually promiscuous. Sex should not be taken lightly nor be used for coercion or advancement. When a woman, or a man for that matter, has been sexually molested or assaulted they should report it to the police immediately. Perhaps all of this will lead to timely reporting of such incidents, which might save future victims from being assaulted or molested.
Perhaps this will be a positive shift in our society as we move towards a more moral center.
Well, there it is!
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