The sex harassment deluge

Matt Lauer NBC Today Show host pictured in 2012

Matt Lauer NBC Today Show host pictured in 2012

WOW! All these revelations about sexual harassment. My take on this is first we shouldn't be so surprised. Sex is a powerful drive. Second, when the parties involved are adults and are about equal in status and power the women can usually take care of the situation themselves.They know how to handle that. They have had a lot of practice. But when the woman is very much younger and vulnerable or very much in the less powerful position like when the man can have much influence over her career or current job status or the next promotion or the man is such a star in a profession that engenders almost hero worship, that is a totally different story and an offense that deserves outing and retribution of some sort. This is especially true when the sex is not consensual, but even consensual sex between a man and a woman can be socially and morally wrong when the power and age difference between the parties are large. Of course, when the woman is a minor and the man is an adult, that is most reprehensible of all and is and should be a crime.

We almost never publicly hear of the situations when the man and the woman are coequal adults, and we don't need to, and we shouldn't. That is private business between the sexes. But the situations where the man is in a superior position, that is what we need to hear about to bring it into the open so as the culprit can be held accountable and to make this behavior socially unacceptable. Of course, it may be possible that the culprit could be a woman of power, hitting and preying on a man of less power. But while this is possible and it may have happened, it is far less likely for various reasons, not the least being that women have not yet risen to power positions over men in any large number of cases. And more likely than women sexually harassing men is men of power sexually harassing other men of less power for same sex sex. Men on men sexual harassment has actually happened, and I wouldn't doubt that women on women sexual harassment has happened as well.

We must also always be on the alert for cases where allegations of sexual harassment are not well corroborated and may be false. This is not to say that evidence of sexual harassment need be strong enough to stand up in a court of law, but the allegations must have credible corroboration, most likely in the form of multiple women unknown to each other making similar allegations and where the women shared their experiences with friends or relatives very close to the time that the offenses happened. And the strongest of these allegations will be in cases where the women were reluctant to share their stories and only did so after being sought out by respectable journalists who were following up on leads and rumored suspicions.

Here is a brief list of recent high profile cases of men on women sexual harassment cases that fit most of the above criteria of believability They are not in any particular order of consequence or seriousness, and with no details of the allegations. You can do a web search and find many of the details, but please use reputable news web sites that adhere to high journalistic standards that are taught in reputable schools with reputable journalism curriculum.

Bill Cosby (This case went to a criminal case trial and ended in a hung jury, doesn't mean that he is innocent, just that he wasn't found guilty)

Louis C.K., fabulously successful comic, and powerful in the world of comedy as a result of his success. And he was very funny.

Roy Moore, current Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alabama.

Harvey Weinstein, immensely successful and powerful Hollywood producer which gave him make or break power over aspiring actresses' careers.

Al Franken, former comedian and now United States Senator from Minnesota. Franken has admitted his inappropriate behavior and apologized.

Charlie Rose, PBS talk show star and co-host of CBS This Morning

John Conyers, Michigan Democratic representative, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives.

Matt Lauer, NBC Today show host. His support could make or break a young woman's career aspirations.

Garrison Keillor, folksy PBS star and creator of A Prairie Home Companion.

And of course, Donald Trump, President of the United States who before he became president and before he was a candidate was caught on tape bragging about his own unwanted sexual touching and kissing of women and who has been accused of such behavior before he was president or a presidential candidate.

And to be nonpartisan, the famous case of then President Bill Clinton having an intern perform oral sex on him in the White House. That affair, while morally not defensible given the age and power difference between the president and the intern, was consensual.

For more on recent sexual harassment allegations:

145 views0 comments