The Other McCain

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

The Sexual Harassment Apocalypse

Posted on | December 15, 2017 | 2 Comments


Remember “Mattress Girl”? In 2014, Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz became a feminist heroine for her performance-art project dramatizing what she claimed was rape, but what her ex-boyfriend Paul Nungesser said was a consensual hook-up. Neither the police nor university officials believed there was a case against Nungesser, but feminists insisted that anyone who doubted Sulkowicz’s claim was a “rape apologist.” At the time, the media applauded Sulkowicz and amplified the feminist chorus proclaiming their belief that “women never lie about rape,” so that the rights of due-process for male students could be disregarded as a matter of policy implemented by the Obama administration pursuant to the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

Those of us who were skeptics in 2014 saw the danger of abandoning constitutional standards and centuries of Anglo-American common law in the name of “social justice.” What was obvious — to me, at least — was that the media publicity about an alleged “epidemic” of campus rape was part of a cynical propaganda operation to energize feminists in the lead-up to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.


Like having Beyoncé appear at the VMAs in front of a giant lighted “FEMINIST” sign, and creating a United Nations feminist platform for Harry Potter star Emma Watson, the campus rape “epidemic” hysteria of 2014 was about advancing a partisan political agenda. This quickly led to a debacle, when Rolling Stone‘s lurid article about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity was exposed as a hoax. Too many conservatives reacted to that episode with a collective shrugging of shoulders: “Oh, well. That story’s over. Let’s move on to talking about Benghazi and e-mail servers and other serious news.”

Unfortunately, a society can’t just “move on” when every major media organization in the country has joined a shrewd propaganda campaign calculated to inspire anti-male prejudice among women by convincing them that they are, collectively, victims of “male privilege.”


The mobs of student feminists we saw on so many university campuses in 2014 did not materialize spontaneously. An organized national effort was clearly involved, and the Obama administration was part of that organizing effort, as were Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. What was obvious to me was that the feminist rage generated by that effort could not be limited to college campus, nor would it end after the 2016 election. Once the Democrat Party had committed itself to exploiting the “gender gap” in politics, Pandora’s Box was opened, unleashing a spirit of vengeance that would have damaging consequences to our culture.

That spirit of vengeance has now overtaken PBS host Tavis Smiley:

Has the rush to “believe the women” created a witch hunt atmosphere that creates injustice on its own? Tavis Smiley, who just got fired from PBS over what he calls a “consensual relationship with a colleague years ago,” adamantly insists it has. In a Facebook post and video, the ousted talk-show host accuses PBS of leaking the allegation before ever addressing it with him, and of having made their minds up without hearing his side of the story.

This witch-hunt has “gone too far,” according to the noted liberal commentator, once his own career and reputation have been wrecked. But where was Tavis Smiley’s concern when the targets of feminist vengeance were college boys — many of them mere teenagers — who claimed they were falsely accused and railroaded in campus disciplinary hearings? At a conference in North Carolina last year, I had the opportunity to talk to the mother of a college boy who was expelled after his ex-girlfriend accused him of rape, and it was tragic tale to hear. The bitterness in her voice as she spoke of the ex-girlfriend as “that lying bitch” shocked me, even as I couldn’t resist my own doubts. After all, how could I know the accusation was false? We naturally presume that the smoke of such an accusation must indicate a fire of wrongdoing, and even if we are willing to interpret this kind of “he-said, she-said” incident as a misunderstanding, there is a permanent shadow of suspicion left hanging over any man accused of sexual misconduct.

A climate of paranoia has taken hold, and every man with a modicum of common sense now perceives danger in any interaction with a woman. Only the most foolish college boy would dare flirt with a girl on campus, and no intelligent man would risk a career-destroying scandal by saying anything to a female co-worker that might be taken the wrong way.

We are living through a götterdämmerung, the shattering conclusion of a historic epoch that symbolically began with the “Summer of Love” in 1967, and which has inevitably brought us to this Winter of Hate.

It is easy to laugh at the ironic fate of eminent liberals like Tavis Smiley who have been immolated in this feminist bonfire. Harvey Weinstein, John Conyers, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer — the list goes on and on and on. We can laugh, for example, at the paranoia that inspired documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to out himself as a sexual predator:

As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder “who will be next?” I wonder, “when will they come for me?”
You see, I’ve come to understand after months of these revelations, that I am not some innocent bystander, I am also a part of the problem.

My cynical hunch is that Spurlock caught wind of journalists asking questions and decided to try to get ahead of the story — a carefully-worded partial confession, with vague allusions to some embarrassing incidents, pre-emptively explaining others as misunderstandings of consensual sex and setting up a sympathetic defense:

What caused me to act this way? Is it all ego? Or was it the sexual abuse I suffered as a boy and as a young man in my teens? Abuse that I only ever told to my first wife, for fear of being seen as weak or less than a man?
Is it because my father left my mother when I was child? Or that she believed he never respected her, so that disrespect carried over into their son?
Or is it because I’ve consistently been drinking since the age of 13? I haven’t been sober for more than a week in 30 years, something our society doesn’t shun or condemn but which only served to fill the emotional hole inside me and the daily depression I coped with. Depression we can’t talk about, because its wrong and makes you less of a person.

What a total punk move to blame your rotten childhood and then talk about your alcoholism and depression: “Hey, I’m the real victim here.”

There will be no second chances for Spurlock or any other man in this unforgiving climate of feminist rage. Every man accused will be permanently ruined, the same way all those college boys were ruined during the campus rape “epidemic” hysteria, and there is no way to avert the damage. Confess and beg for mercy? Fool! Better to invoke the Miranda warning“You have the right to remain silent” — than to say anything at all. Stoic silence won’t save your career, but at least you might preserve some sense of dignity amid your disgrace. Meanwhile . . .


Prosecutors in Chicago say DNA evidence links cab driver Gabriel Dathey, 34, to four sexual assaults over a span of 15 years. Dathey’s first victim, according to prosecutors, was a drunk 18-year-old freshman girl at Loyola University who was returning to her dormitory after a night of drinking at a bar in September 2002. Dathey is being held without bail, and feminists have paid no attention to this story, because a Chicago cab driver doesn’t fit the profile of the “privileged” men that feminists mean to implicate with their rhetoric about “rape culture.” Calling attention to ordinary crimes committed by ordinary criminals does nothing to advance the feminist agenda — i.e., destroying successful men for the sake of “equality” — and so the rapist linked by DNA evidence to four felonies will go unnoticed. If the Loyola University freshman had been assaulted by one of her fellow students, the news of her attacker’s apprehension might have made national headlines, but getting raped by a Chicago cab driver? That’s strictly local news.

Readers may draw their own conclusions about the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse, in terms of what larger purpose is served by the #MeToo revelations against such men as Dustin Hoffman. Was it really necessary to destroy the reputation of this 80-year-old actor, and if so, why? How many more celebrities and politicians will have their Wikipedia entries updated with “accused of harassment” before the flames of this feminist bonfire have burned down to smoldering embers?

This fire is a long way from burning out, and it may take many years before the long-term ramifications become fully evident. Selah.