Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Blurring The Line Between Sexual Banter and Misconduct


What we are seeing almost every day now, the regular accusations of sexual misconduct on the part of individual famous men, done frequently behind a shield of privacy while targeting individuals for ruin, is anything but a movement for social change as many are quick to tell us.

Targeting individuals for ruin is not the same as targeting issues or institutions and their practices, nor does it offer solutions to problems. It only serves to divide people, in this case the sexes, even more and threatens a backlash to a Puritanical sexuality in our culture. Incidents, not always even patterns, that allegedly occurred sometimes up to one-quarter century ago, are now being used not to change a culture, but to exact a revenge on individual men ostensibly behaving badly.  Progressive movements traditionally target social issues and institutions for change, not people for professional assassination. If change is the goal, the accusations need to be dealt with either in the institution in which it occurred, or in a court of law, not just in the court of public opinion alone. If individuals are named publicly, it should be part of a charge brought against them, not just an unsupported accusation splashed across the media

Yet, how many of those who have privately accused public figures of harassment have filed institutional and/or legal complaints or even come out in the open? When accusers stand behind the wall of privacy and/or are not required even by the media or society at large to present support for their public charges, it is easy to pick out targets for public assault. There are moral as well as legal lines between a personal offense, sexual misconduct within or outside of a professional setting, and verbal or physical abuse. Yet all sexual issues involved these days are being blurred into one giant non-judicial charge, with the intended punishment a public humiliation.  

And despite what feminist and some usually sensible women are putting forth, unwelcomed sexual advances and sexual banter are not on the same moral or legal level as unwelcomed physical touching or physical exposure. 

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