The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Sex Panic and Its Consequences

Posted on | November 28, 2017 | 1 Comment

The downfall of Harvey Weinstein was fun, and it’s amusing to watch Democrats like John Conyers and Al Franken twisting in the wind. However, the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse looks uncomfortably familiar to those of us old enough to remember the McMartin Preschool story. Christina Hoff Sommers sounds the warning:

In the 1980s, a panic over Satanic abuse in day care centers put many innocent people in prison.
Soon after the Weinstein scandal broke, an anonymously sourced “S—y Media Men” list began circulating on social media. The blacklist accuses more than 70 male journalists of sexual harassment.
But the charges range from “weird lunches” to rape. The informants collapse important distinctions between criminal predation and unwelcome flirtation. The men couldn’t defend themselves — and anyone who tries can be accused of not believing victims, even anonymous ones.
Fortunately, the blacklist received criticism — especially from leftists who pointed out that these tactics can destroy innocent lives. But prominent feminist Jill Filipovic dismissed the scrutiny as “backlash.” Writer Roxane Gay disparaged “all the hand-wringing about …the ethics of anonymous disclosure.” As she explained in the New York Times, American women live in a state of siege. She suggested all men confess to “how they have hurt women in ways great and small.”

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Feminists hate all men, and want to use these specific revelations of wrongdoing as a general indictment of men as a class, in order to banish males from position of power — in academia, in media, in government, in business. Roxane Gay’s demand for a mass confession of how men “have hurt women in ways great and small” resembles nothing so much as the Moscow Show Trials of the 1930s, or China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

Feminism Is a Totalitarian Movement to Destroy Civilization as We Know It, and feminists will not be satisfied until they control all positions of authority everywhere in society. In order to advance their agenda, feminists are deliberately exaggerating the prevalence of workplace harassment, to make it seem ubiquitous. They are conflating minor annoyances — the vaguely “creepy” guy’s awkward flirtation — with such grievous wrongs as those committed by Weinstein and Louis C.K.

Let us not deny that a witch hunt can have beneficial consequences. The period of so-called “McCarthyism” in the early 1950s did result in a heightened public awareness of the (very real) efforts by Communists to subvert our government. Likewise, the Satanic child-abuse panic of the 1980s caused parents to become more vigilant about possibly abusive conditions in day-care centers. However, there is a difference between reasonable caution — a wariness of genuine danger — and paranoia.

Furthermore, we ought to notice how many of the men now accused of harassment and even sexual assault are “progressives,” including liberal journalists and Democrat politicians previously considered allies of the feminist movement. Genderqueer feminist Laurie Penny says she has been flooded with inquiries from her left-wing male associates, worried if their own past transgressions might be exposed, and also wondering how — or even if — they will ever get laid again in the future.

Good. We should be glad that these guys are worried. Many decades of reckless promiscuity, going back at least as far as the late 1960s, have lowered our society’s moral standards. (Obligatory reminder that I was a Democrat in my youth.) As bad as a witch-hunt sex panic may be, we seem to require an occasional fit of hysteria, just to remind everybody of what happens when we descend into hedonistic anarchy.



 

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