Is #MeToo worsening the divide between men and women?

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robbie_dee
Is #MeToo worsening the divide between men and women?

I don’t entirely agree with this but it does raise some concerns I have and I am posting it on a separate thread to broaden the discussion from a couple of specific cases (Weir, Moore) to the more general.

Lisa Kimmel, “Is #MeToo worsening the divide between men and women?” Globe and Mail, May 27, 2018

Quote:

To be clear: I’m supportive of #MeToo so long as justice is pursued through due process; but as I’ve witnessed first-hand, that’s not always what’s happening. If we don’t correct the current course, I firmly believe the movement will ultimately hurt – not help – women in the long run.

Consider the following: The “Mike Pence rule” is alive and well. The Mike Pence rule refers to something the now-Vice-President of the United States said back in 2002. He reportedly does not eat alone with a woman or attend an event where alcohol is being served, unless his wife is present. I’ve heard anecdotally from many male executives that this rule is smart – even “brilliant” in some cases – because retreating from being alone with female co-workers reduces their risk profile to zero. This sentiment was also reflected in a LeanIn.org study that found that male managers are three times as likely to say they are uncomfortable mentoring women and twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman. The personal and professional implications of such a rule for women are many.

Without due process, everyone loses: There is a difference between the likely bad judgment of the Tom Brokaw, Ryan Lizza and Glen Thrushes of the world, and the likes of Harvey Weinstein, an alleged rapist and serial predator whose actions were an open secret in Hollywood. Yet in an era of trial by Twitter, the #MeToo movement immediately paints everyone with the same brush.

6079_Smith_W

And in case anyone hasn't read Moses Farrow's blog post it is an even starker example.

But I really think this is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees. It isn't a case of absolutely every accusation being true, and due process often has nothing to do with it. But the overriding trend is to not believe, undermine, and blame women who come forward. The point is that these accusations must be taken seriously, because this is something that has happened to virtually all women and most of it is never spoken about. It is about the systemic problem, and trying to find counter examples or framing it as causing friction and division is really just distracting from that truth.

Pondering

I have yet to see any man imprisoned without due process.

Private companies don't call the police to investigate misconduct because it isn't illegal. Pilfering is but they generally don't call police for that either. They just fire the individual.

Are men also afraid to be alone  with women they are dating? What if they get accused of rape? Surely men will be too frightened to have sex with women any day now. We'll have to return to the days of arranged marriages.

quizzical

if there's a worsening it's not the movement doing it. it is men doing it because actually being a respectful human believing in equality is unattainable for them.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Right on quiz! How true! How true!

and Pondering rightly mentioned arranged marriages.  I was listening to CBC radio at work one day last week and was shocked to hear about the Sudanese girl who is on death row for killing her husband who violently raped her. Article...

and if you think that Sudan is archaic and backward, I remember as a young teenager watching the news in horror. The NDP MP Margaret Mitchell introduced a private member's bill to make spousal rapue a criminal offence in Canada. And all the male MPs from the PC and Liberal parties broke out in laughter.

what too many men want is for women to shut up and allow men to do whatever they want with no accountability for their actions or the harm that they have caused.

Here is an article on spousal rape law in Canada. Article...

robbie_dee

I think there are a few different issues going on here, albeit intertwined ones.

The first is that for many years, many victims (predominantly women) were afraid to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by powerful perpetrators because the victims were afraid they would have to run a gauntlet of their own credibility and probably end up not being believed anyways and the perpetrators would just get away with their misconduct. In terms of designing a system that holds perpetrators accountable for their actual wrongdoing, I am going to call this a "false negative" problem - too many perpetrators don't get caught.

The flipside to the "false negative" problem is of course the "false positive" problem, i.e. sometimes someone will come forward to allege wrongdoing when no such wrongdoing has occurred. Maybe one could say it doesn't happen a lot, but it clearly does happen and it did even in the bad old days.

We're at an historical moment where we are trying to correct away from what we believe to be an inexcusable prevalence of false negatives. We're doing so through public education and, rhetorically at least, "believing survivors." This does, of course, raise the counter-risk that in trying to reduce the prevalence of false negatives we may also push up the occurance of false positives. When you say you just "believe survivors" presumptively, you're already making some big assumptions that might not be warranted on examination of the particular facts. Where someone may be inclined to make a false accusation, lowering the consequences of making that allegation generally will make that easier to do so and particularly if one of the lowered consequences is less scrutiny on the accuser's credibility.

A related issue is that we are also redefining the notion of what constitutes sexual misconduct in the first place. Obviously we don't want to go back to the bad old days where little short of violent sexual assault was considered an offense (and only if the victim didn't do anything to "provoke" it, for that matter). But on the other end of the spectrum there is a variety of conduct where a finding of culpability may depend on a highly subjective assessment of the respective states of mind of the alleged perpetrator and the purported victim, the existence of any power imbalance between them, the sort of communication that occurred (verbal and nonverbal) and of course what actually happened (sex, some other kind of physical contact, words). The difference between Harvey Weinstein and Aziz Ansari, in other words (or between Harvey Weinstein and Erin Weir, for that matter, but I'm really not trying to beat that particular drum here). In pushing the definition of misconduct into these more subjective (and shifting) areas, of course we are going to catch more bad actors but we are also going to have incidents where there is a lack of a social consensus as to what a "perpetrator" is, much less whether an individual falls within that definition. Hence a further potential false positive problem.

The third issue is how we punish perpetrators once we identify them. Obviously there are the conventional penalties of getting suspended or kicked out of school, suspended or fired from work, or - when the criminal justice system gets involved - prison. But there's also public shaming, which has always been around but is a uniquely powerful tool in the hands of a new social movement operating in a new social media age. And while proportionality has always been a difficult thing to get right even for conventional decision-makers, I find it can go out the window when a mob of people get involved. It is a lot easier to fire off a hot tweet calling for alleged perpetrator x to be fired than it is to recommend that x engage in conciliation with purported victim y or get some counselling to help fix his/her conduct. And employers (for example), particularly those that have a high public profile themselves, will respond to this kind of pressure to get rid of employees who they might otherwise have tried to rehabilitate. In the end it's not worth the hit to the employer's own reputation to do otherwise. And even people who don't get fired might still find their reputation and future professional or academic prospects to be quite tarnished. This is a further type of false positive problem, in degree if not in kind, when we start handing out capital punishment for offenses that really should have just merited a speeding ticket.

I don't think we should stop working on the false negative problem by any means. I just think we should be careful about overcorrecting without regard to the false positive problem. It is not acceptable to say, fine, we may hang a few  men now who don't really deserve it, but that makes up for the guilty ones who got away with it in the past. At a minimum that is setting the movement up for a backlash later. But at a deeper level I would suggest it undermines the movement's moral center.

MegB

The reality is that almost all women deal with unwanted sexual attention from men from an early age, attention that can escalate to harassment sexual assault and murder. The consequences of reporting range from not being believed to being blamed and re-traumatized, losing employment, being subjected to ridicule and having one's credibility irretrievably damaged. False reporting is rare for these reasons. Not reporting is common for the same reasons. Me Too is not worsening the divide between men and women. Men who objectify, harass, rape and murder women within a patriarchal system that encourages the sexual objectification of women and girls and rarely holds men to account for their various violations of women and girls are responsible for the divide - widening or otherwise.

 

 

 

robbie_dee

Quote:
Me Too is not worsening the divide between men and women. Men who objectify, harass, rape and murder women within a patriarchal system that encourages the sexual objectification of women and girls and rarely holds men to account for their various violations of women and girls are responsible for the divide - widening or otherwise.

I agree with this, btw, and just wanted to say I took the thread title from the title of the article not because I think the #metoo movement has somehow made patriarchy worse. I do still think false reporting is a potential problem that should not be overlooked, though (which I think is closer to the author's actual thesis than the headline writer's clickbaiting).

SocialJustice101

The problem is lack of clarity in law and in society.  If someone calls you sweetie or honey, is that sexual harassment?   To some people, probably.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Robbie Dee,

 I am going to get very personal with you. Your concern trolling for men's reputations is bullshit! 

I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. I have a brother who is three years older than me.  He was built like a football player or a Sherman tank on legs.   Every time we were alone he would abuse me starting when I was 12 years old. And I used to ask my parents to not leave me alone with him and they would get mad at me  accusing me of being a troublemaker. So they did not listen and they kept on leaving me alone with my brother. And over time the abuse escalated in severity. And he abused me in every way possible. Sometimes he would give me a choice. He would tell me that it was guaranteed that I was going to be abused but he would give me the choice of what kind of abuse I was going to have.

I graduated from high school and went to university and On my 19th birthday he assaulted me for the last time. I had a nervous breakdown.

 I was living in a dormitory on campus at the time. There was a girl in the dorm who told me at the beginning of the year that she was abused by her father. I had nothing to do with her but when my brother did that to me I knocked on her door and I asked her for help. I asked her what resources were available in the city and she told me where to go. I thanked her and gave her a thank you hug.  I was standing in the hallway of the dorm and she was standing at the door of her room.    I asked her to please keep my information confidential and she assured me that she would. 

And she told everybody in their dorm about my story and she accused me of sexually assaulting her. While she was doing this she was acting as my friend and wanted to know where I was going for help.

What I didn't know was that she has accused many people of sexual assault in the past.  On two occasions when she was a teenager she accused two men of sexual assault. she took them to court and in both cases the men were able to prove in court that they were not in town at the time she claimed these incidents were to have happened.  And I didn't know this but she accused one of the male residents of our dorm of sexual assault she fought with the dorm administration to get him kicked out 

 Then she would go to the same places that I was going to and she would accuse me of sexual abuse and I would then get kicked out of all my counselling sessions  without any explanation why I was being kicked out.

I was ostracized on campus for being a lesbian which I wasn't. I was spit on and  refused service  in certain places on campus. 

 I was kicked out of the dorm and I had to face My parents because the gossip hit my small town. my parents Were livid  and they smeared my reputation to protect my brother.  They told everybody in town that I got to emotionally involved with this girl who planted ideas in my mind and they basically outed me  as a lesbian to my small town where I had to fend for myself in order to protect the family honour.

this was back in the mid-80s when the United Church of Canada was embroiled in the organization of gay and lesbian ministers discourse within the church. our small town church needed somebody to be the focal point of their wrath  and I got the full brunt of it, and small prairie towns are no better in general.

 Things got so bad that I had to move to Toronto.

I thought that Toronto would be more progressive but here is the dilemma. whenever I tried to tell my story and I mentioned that another woman accused me of sexual assault then that means that  I did it and I was immediately kicked out of therapy every time.

and the real kicker in all this is that my mother was on the board of the status of women in our province. she used her position of power and influence  to discredit me.

every feminist organization slammed their door in my face.

So Rob, my take on this is that you have so much worry for mens reputations.  I've been in that situation but somehow I don't have a reputation that was worth salvaging. And from my experience, no one was interested in the truth. Only men  have reputations and even when they are perpetrators women have been told to keep silent about abuse because men have reputations that may get harmed by  women speaking up about abuse.

men are profoundly concerned about male  reputations. it has been a very powerful tool that many men have always used to silence women about the abuse that they suffer. And it is very important to emphasize that women do not have reputations and the concern for women's reputations is seldom if ever considered. 

What happened to me by that girl in university is not the rule. It can happen and it does happen but it is a very long shot that a story of abuse turns out to be untrue.

You're concerned about man's reputation is nothing more than concern trolling. you are so concerned about significantly smaller number of men who are wrongly accused  but you lose sight of the title wave stories that are all true. 

If a man is wrongly accused there are so many Out there who are eager to care for him and his precious reputation.

my concern is with the women who have to fight to have their accounts validated.

I also want to say that I am not a part of the #MeToo movement.  I strongly supported and I hope it gains a lot more traction. Unfortunately I don't belong there because I am seen by others as being a perpetrator and I try to stick to the side lines as much as possible.

robbie_dee

Misfit, I am really sorry to hear about your experiences. Obviously you've been through things I couldn't imagine. I don't want to take anything away from that. But I do take issue with you characterizing my post as "concern trolling". I wasn't just looking to provoke a reaction here. I have a background in the union movement and law and I spend a lot of time thinking about due process and how to defend people who are accused of things that are sometimes not true and sometimes are true but should be seen in a different context than that presented by the accuser. So you might not agree with me and that's totally cool. But please respect at least that what I am saying is from a genuine place, too. I am here because I want to talk to people who disagree with me and are willing to explain why so I can better reflect on these issues, too.

I am concerned about women's reputations as well as men's. I believe you should feel like you have a reputation worth salvaging and I am just so sorry to hear about these challenges you have faced. You also deserve the chance to speak to a therapist who can help you process this obvious trauma you've been through, assuming therapy is something you feel you need and want, so I am particularly appalled to hear you have been kicked out of therapy in addition to not having your story heard by anyone in authority. That's just terrible.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Robbie,

actually it is concern trolling.  But that is beside the point. 

And I have been very supportive of Erin Weir. The only information we have gotten so far on the sexual-harassment cases has come from Mr. Weir himself. and without medically diagnosing  people without the credentials to do so, his explanation sounded more like a medical condition he has   Which precludes him from picking up on non-verbal social cues. And if this is the case, then it seems to me that the NDP is picking on somebody with a disability without making allowance for reasonable accommodation. 

We also don't know if Mr. weir's actions were merely obnoxious or if they had more seriou repercussions on  the women that  came forward with harassment complaints against him.

 And if it is true at all he did was sit too close to people, stand too close to people, and talk longer than the people wanted him to talk,  The NDP had no business going public with the finding that they were for allegations of sexual harassment against him and that leaves the public open to speculate on anything that he may or may not have done. This is not right.

 And I don't  know if it's possible to break sexual-harassment into two categories the first one in being explicit sexual harassment versus inadvertent and non-intentional sexual harassment.

I also don't think that  Mr.Weir should  have lost his job for trying to clarify what happened and defend his reputation.

 If your job is with unions and the Law, then I'm glad that it's you who has to sort  this mess out and not me .

I want to say that the #MeToo movement is not to blame for this. All three political parties should've had these policies in place generations ago.

 

robbie_dee

Misfit wrote:

I have been very supportive of Erin Weir. The only information we have gotten so far on the sexual-harassment cases has come from Mr. Weir himself. and without medically diagnosing  people without the credentials to do so, his explanation sounded more like a medical condition he has   Which precludes him from picking up on non-verbal social cues. And if this is the case, then it seems to me that the NDP is picking on somebody with a disability without making allowance for reasonable accommodation. 

We also don't know if Mr. weir's actions were merely obnoxious or if they had more seriou repercussions on  the women that  came forward with harassment complaints against him.

 And if it is true at all he did was sit too close to people, stand too close to people, and talk longer than the people wanted him to talk,  The NDP had no business going public with the finding that they were for allegations of sexual harassment against him and that leaves the public open to speculate on anything that he may or may not have done. This is not right.

 And I don't  know if it's possible to break sexual-harassment into two categories the first one in being explicit sexual harassment versus inadvertent and non-intentional sexual harassment.

I also don't think that  Mr.Weir should  have lost his job for trying to clarify what happened and defend his reputation.

I agree with everything you just said here. Even the medical speculation - while obviously it is just speculation in Weir’s case think about the message this story (at least, as reported) sends to other people who have communication disorders. It’s hard enough dating already when you aren’t good at picking up nonverbal social cues, now you worry about getting clipped for harassment, too, even if you think you haven’t done anything other than stand too close or talk too long.

I disagree that the #MeToo movement had “nothing” to do with what happened to Weir. I think that a lot of what happened  was due to unique factors within the NDP but obviously #MeToo cast a huge shadow over everything.  The NDP had robust, collectively bargained harassment procedures in place all ready when Christine Moore made her attack on Weir. They were basically abandoned, to Weir’s detriment, because of the power that #MeToo gives to people like Christine Moore or FMSS. Power I think they abuse.

i understand the term “concern trolling” to mean to pretend to be concerned about an issue and to be offering helpful “suggestions,” while really you mean to undermine the whole thing. You may not believe me, but in addition to caring about both my friend Erin and about the NDP, I care about stopping sex abuse and holding sex abusers to account too. I think that #MeToo is a revolution that was sorely needed. I’m just worried, like as has happened in other revolutions, about entering into a “Reign of Terror” phase. Even if only 1% of accusations are false (and many studies suggest a higher figure), it’s pretty awful if you’re in that 1% of accused and you say this is something you’ve experienced directly so you would know. I don’t think you can balance that in some grand accounting against the many people who have benefitted from the movement. Either way it’s people’s lives at stake. And even 1% mistakes can have a discrediting effect on the good work that is being done the other 99% of the time. Particularly if it leads to unhelpful (rather than positive) changes in behavior by men who become fearful that they, too, could be wrongfully accused - which is basically what Kimmel was writing about in the article I linked in the OP. The “Mike Pence rule” is, I think, a bad one but I bet it is one Weir wished he had followed.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Why is the Mike Pence rule bad? It protects you from false accusations.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Rob,

first of all I missed Meg's post, and I'm sorry that I did because I would not have gotten personal in this thread to try to make a point. I think that Meg covered all the bases very concisely.

I still disagree with you that the Weir case is #MeToo motivated. Christine Moore went to Justin Trudeau in 2014 regarding the two Liberal MPs. The #MeToo movement  started in 2017.

Christine Moore did not send the email because of #MeToo.  She didn't want Erin Weir to get the job of caucus chair.  So she had him expunged.  And the investigation did uncover one count of harassment and four counts of sexual harassment.

 So this was not a false accusation in reality. I think that we both agree that without further details we can speculate that The findings although true could be blown out of proportion in context and that the dismissal of him was unjust.

Your "Reign of Terror"  comment is disgusting.  I am telling you as someone who was  accused of sexually assaulting a woman. I can assure you that there is no reign of terror and that there never will be. 

Please read again what MegB posted. and then read it 5000 more times over and over and over again. You are concern trolling statistically insignificant men's reputations. 

I honestly do not think that you get it. And I don't know if you ever will.

6079_Smith_W

progressive17 wrote:

Why is the Mike Pence rule bad? It protects you from false accusations.

It discriminates against women, both in a personal sense because it objectifies and punishes them for the potential faults of the politician, and in a professional sense because it means any woman is shut out from having the same private meeting that a male politician or other professional would be able to.

To be fair, a politician should refuse to meet with anyone privately, regardless of sex or gender. After all, I'm sure most of these guys insist they are straight so it doesn't apply to men, but it isn't like there aren't more than a few anti-gay crusaders who have wound up getting busted in bathrooms.

But of course they'd never do that because this boneheaded rule is based on nothing but religious prudery, that punishes the person being objectified. After all, he didn't invent it, Billy Graham did.

And it isn't being done for the perfectly valid reason that a lot of people want to have witnesses in meetings, something which is standard practice in a lot of cases. It was exactly what James Comey tried and was unable to do before his private meeting with Trump. It is just about prudery, the bullshit notion that women should be excluded or chaperoned because men presumably can't control themselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham_rule

Plus, if the biggest takeway of this is how to protect men, I think they might have it backwards, both in terms of who the victims are, and what needs to be learned to change things.

robbie_dee

Misfit, again I am sorry about your experiences. I definitely don’t want to argue with you about them. None of it should have happened to you. You should have been protected from your brother when you were a child. You should not have been falsely accused as an adult. I am sorry if my comments caused you any further pain and I wish you well. 

robbie_dee

progressive17 wrote:

Why is the Mike Pence rule bad? It protects you from false accusations.

Because ultimately it diminishes and excludes women from access to power and opportunities. It’s also just kind of insulting to everyone involved because of what it assumes about them.

ETA: also what 6079_Smith_W said.

Misfit Misfit's picture

And in that Globe and Mail article in post 1,  that high level boss  in the company who was accused of sexual harassment was acquitted. So he was wrongly accused of  Sexual-harassment. He was a victim.

 First of all since he was a high paid high level person in the company did he pay for an expensive lawyer to represent him? 

 Secondly if there is no physical evidence that anything happened then it becomes a he said she said scenario and the woman very seldom comes out on top. 

 The article said it turned out that nothing happened. That may be true but that is not necessarily true. Something very significant may have happened and we will never really know. But that' is not how the article portrays it.

I can see how that Globe and Mail  article appeals to some men but in reality it was nothing more than misogynistic garbage.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Robby Dee,

 You did not cause me any pain.  False accusations do happen. they are out there.  They are not as prominent or as common as you believe them to be. 

Take for instance that Globe and Mail  article with the writer's friend who was accused of sexual harassment. He was exonerated of any wrongdoing, but because he had the money and the tools at his disposal  was he sincerely acquitted of wrongdoing or did he have the power and the resources  to discredit a very legitimate claim of sexual harassment?

 The police and the courts are not good places for women who have been abused. Because the conviction rates are low in the court system  this does not mean that there are  high levels of false accusations. There are a lot of social dynamics at play  which can give the wrong impression about the incidence of false accusations. 

 I think it is wise to listen to the statistics exam from people who are trained and work with women who experienced violence in their lives.

Pondering

All men plead innocence. Why is Weir so different?  Do people believe that the lawyer, the expert in human rights and labor, thinks a man standing a little to close or talking too long is sexual harassment? You think three women came forward just because Weir was standing a little to close to them? Talked to them a little too long?

I think you have a pretty low opinion of NDP women.

"Believe women" means investigate not imprison and throw away the key because the history has been to disbelieve women and to do nothing.

Just because someone is socially awkward it doesn't mean they have a mental disability. People have strengths and weaknesses. Weir has not claimed to be on the autism spectrum. The notion that the NDP has the obligation to accommodate him is ridiculous.

As far as I know men on  the autism spectrum are no more likely to sexually harass women than other men. I find it offensive to men on the spectrum to suggest that they would be overly aggressive to women as adults. If anything they are  probably far more respectful of women not coming on strong.

People with austism do not need people excusing politicians of sexual harassment based on the possibility they are on the spectrum even though the politician has claimed no such thing.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I am not in a position to promote or demote a woman. I am not even working. I do not offer shelter or any kind of other retail services. I do not have a business. I don't want false accusations, which are many. I knew a person who died because of false sexual abuse allegations.

If I do have a false accusation, I do not have the money for a lawyer to defend myself. If there were a false accusation, I could be falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned in an atmosphere where I would not be able to face my accuser, and where I would not enjoy my civil rights. 

I could not affect any woman's well-being or anyone else's. I am not a bigtime minister, politician, or businessperson.

Even here, people are saying that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. Therefore all men are suspects according to people with this mentality. So how can I stop a woman from succeeding in this world? I can however stop them from bringing  a nuisance suit against me by having no contact with any of them.

Women can succeed as much as they want as far as I am concerned. I hope they all do very well. I am a zero, and I have no influence on anything. It is not sexist for me to want to protect myself from legal harassment. Even if I were not a zero, I would make sure I always had witnesses. You can't trust anyone these days.

MegB

progressive17 wrote:

I am not in a position to promote or demote a woman. I am not even working. I do not offer shelter or any kind of other retail services. I do not have a business. I don't want false accusations, which are many. I knew a person who died because of false sexual abuse allegations.

If I do have a false accusation, I do not have the money for a lawyer to defend myself. If there were a false accusation, I could be falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned in an atmosphere where I would not be able to face my accuser, and where I would not enjoy my civil rights. 

I could not affect any woman's well-being or anyone else's. I am not a bigtime minister, politician, or businessperson.

Even here, people are saying that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. Therefore all men are suspects according to people with this mentality. So how can I stop a woman from succeeding in this world? I can however stop them from bringing  a nuisance suit against me by having no contact with any of them.

Women can succeed as much as they want as far as I am concerned. I hope they all do very well. I am a zero, and I have no influence on anything. It is not sexist for me to want to protect myself from legal harassment. Even if I were not a zero, I would make sure I always had witnesses. You can't trust anyone these days.

Here are some things you don't seem to - or don't want to - understand. False accusations happen, but they are not many. They are the exception. This is a fact.

As a man you enjoy privilege, regardless of your socioeconomic status, because we live in a heteronormative patriarchal society. If you are also white and heterosexual your privilege expands exponentially. 

No one here is saying that "that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. " That is pure bullshit. What is being said, and if not explicitly said is understood, is that while not all men are rapists, most rapists are men. Not all men sexually harass, but most sexual harassers are men. Not all men are murderers, but most murderers are men. Facts.

Men target women because they are women, and women do not enjoy the privilege of men and are therefore vulnerable to the volatile anger and hatred of some. Women are being killed en masse because they dare to defy the patriarchy and seek the same professional opportunities as men (Marc Lepine - Montreal), or they are unwilling to submit to sex with them (Alek Minassian - Toronto, Elliot Rodger - California, school shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis - Texas). These examples barely scratch the surface of the dangers women face daily because they are women. 

So pardon fucking me if we stand together and fight for our rights and our physical safety. Check your privilege, and do something about it. 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Checking my privilege, I see that I have none. I am just as poor as anyone. I cannot walk into a place and insist they hire me because I am a man, or get any other benefits that everyone else could enjoy. I have to follow the laws that everybody else does. There is no special treatment for me.

Why should anyone complain? I am keeping to myself, and I am no threat to anyone. I have never raised a hand in anger to anyone, let alone a woman. Doesn't everyone want to be left alone? One less man you have to worry about.

Rev Pesky

MegB wrote:

No one here is saying that "that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. " That is pure bullshit. What is being said, and if not explicitly said is understood, is that while not all men are rapists, most rapists are men. Not all men sexually harass, but most sexual harassers are men. Not all men are murderers, but most murderers are men. Facts.

I'll just point out that this is almost word-for-word the argument that right-wingers make for profiling Muslims.

MegB

Rev Pesky wrote:

MegB wrote:

No one here is saying that "that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. " That is pure bullshit. What is being said, and if not explicitly said is understood, is that while not all men are rapists, most rapists are men. Not all men sexually harass, but most sexual harassers are men. Not all men are murderers, but most murderers are men. Facts.

I'll just point out that this is almost word-for-word the argument that right-wingers make for profiling Muslims.

Oh my. Are you suggesting that I'm not being factual, or that I'm a right-wing Muslim-baiting Islamophobe?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

 Women fighting back is not  causing the divide. The problem is our capitalist consumer society that uses sex to sell everything. Its hard to convince young men that they should be respectful to women when they are inundated by sexist, misogynist ads on MSM and in news print and billboards etc etc. We live in a rape culture and that has to change now. Its time to go after the corporations that spew this misogny.

 

Rev Pesky

MegB wrote:

Oh my. Are you suggesting that I'm not being factual, or that I'm a right-wing Muslim-baiting Islamophobe?

Nope. I'm merely pointing out that the argument you used was exactly the argument others use in another context.

Although it's true that if an argument is correct in principle, if it's correct in one case, it's correct in another.

Sean in Ottawa

So the question only of the aspect of this regarding relations between men and women I will say what I think -- I cannot see how the #metoo movement could do anything but help -- assuming it has effect.

It sends a message that this cannot remain a secret. It makes clear to men that they cannot do this without potentially serious consequences. It helps make it easier for women to speak about this. It rejects men who do this. It may modify the behaviour of men who if they cannot respect women they can at least fear what happens.

From this could come reduced numbers of men behaving aggressively or inappropriately and reduced numbers of women experiencing this. Of course this would improve relations between men and women.

It also addresses hypocrisy. This is not something only men of a certain age, ideology or any other grouping. The #metoo movement exposes this.

I really do not know if there are still men who really think it is okay but if there are still any who are ignorant, it clarifies that beyond doubt or excuse.

Getting this in the open when it comes to relations between men and women can only be positive -- negative is having nobody speak about it.

Women speak about not being able to be safe. I am sure all men have observed not having trust. It is not a nice feeling to be suspected when you know you are not a threat. Exposing and reducing threat has to be a positive thing for men. Some men speak about not knowing boundaries of right and wrong -- if this is really a question rather than an excuse, this is valuable information.

Notalib

robbie-dee writes:

I disagree that the #MeToo movement had “nothing” to do with what happened to Weir. I think that a lot of what happened  was due to unique factors within the NDP but obviously #MeToo cast a huge shadow over everything. Here on this board it’s certainly what Notalib was focused on.

Notalib responds:

One of the more amusing aspects of this board is the bizarre effort to police threads and control the flow of the conversation by moving the discussion around the board to various threads. I guess this is a "tactic" of committed Babblers.

Which is fine, carry on. But when you do so by also completely mischaracterizing, or outright lying, about the content of posters, especially infrequent ones who have little time to chase threads down, to me that constitutes a bizarre ettiquete probably better reserved for teenage chat boards.

That said, with respect to dee's notion that I was entirely focused on the #Metoo movement, I would simply say I do not recall even once mentioning the movement in my handful of posts. And to be clear, it had little if anything to do with my commentary, however I do support the movement.

In the future if this board wishes to engage new Babblers, I would advise refraining from undermining them with such indefensible tactics, if only to ensure your own reputation on the board as a straight shooter or someone who can be taken seriously.

MegB

Rev Pesky wrote:

MegB wrote:

Oh my. Are you suggesting that I'm not being factual, or that I'm a right-wing Muslim-baiting Islamophobe?

Nope. I'm merely pointing out that the argument you used was exactly the argument others use in another context.

Although it's true that if an argument is correct in principle, if it's correct in one case, it's correct in another.

Um no. My argument is fact-based. The alt-right argument is based in racist hysteria and pointed Islamophobia. Any other bombs you'd like to toss my way in a feeble attempt to shut me down? Because, frankly, I see no other reason for your irrelevant and fundamentally dishonest point. Here's a thought. Try contributing some analysis and insight into the actual topic.

Unionist

You seem incapable of discussing Erin Weir just in the thread dedicated to that conversation. So be it.

Pondering wrote:
All men plead innocence.

Generalize much?

Pondering wrote:
Why is Weir so different?

Because he never pleaded innocence - he never denied what he was accused of doing:

Quote:

"I believe that I shouldn't be trying to make anyone uncomfortable and I didn't realize that I had done anything unwelcomed, but when I had a chance to read the summary of complaints it became clear to me that sometimes I had been slow to pick up on social cues," Weir told CBC's Power & Politics in an interview airing at 5 p.m. ET.

"I'm sorry about that and I resolve to be more attentive."

Not one single person has challenged that statement. But you, of course, know better.

Pondering wrote:
Do people believe that the lawyer, the expert in human rights and labor, thinks a man standing a little to close or talking too long is sexual harassment? You think three women came forward just because Weir was standing a little to close to them? Talked to them a little too long?

The "expert" (how many times have you lauded this person to the skies?) agreed, for money, to hold an investigation in violation of fundamental principles - such as refusing to show the accused a copy of the written complaints.

And yes - when the party issues a public invitation (following Christine Moore's toxic email) to women to come forward if they have been harassed by Erin Weir, I do definitely believe that a woman who has been subject to the kind of behaviour that Weir describes (and that no one has challenged in any way whatsoever) - sitting too close, standing too close, etc. - might well come forward and relate such incident(s). Why not - you would prefer that they remain silent?

Why don't you carry on your speculation and tell us what you think happened between these three women and Erin Weir. You seem to know what didn't happen. Tell us. Please.

Pondering wrote:
Just because someone is socially awkward it doesn't mean they have a mental disability. People have strengths and weaknesses. Weir has not claimed to be on the autism spectrum. The notion that the NDP has the obligation to accommodate him is ridiculous.

I have no idea about Erin Weir's disabilities, if any. But neither do you (or maybe it's that omniscience kicking in again?). So your conclusion that claiming a duty to accomodate is "ridiculous" is incredibly offensive. There either is a duty (if there's a disability), or there isn't. Your speculative rantings about whether he is autistic or not stem only from the fact that you really really don't like him - not from any desire to learn the truth. If you cared whether he was autistic or not, you'd just keep quiet about that pending information from someone (unlike you) who actually knows something about the issue.

 

Cody87

MegB wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

MegB wrote:

Oh my. Are you suggesting that I'm not being factual, or that I'm a right-wing Muslim-baiting Islamophobe?

Nope. I'm merely pointing out that the argument you used was exactly the argument others use in another context.

Although it's true that if an argument is correct in principle, if it's correct in one case, it's correct in another.

Um no. My argument is fact-based. The alt-right argument is based in racist hysteria and pointed Islamophobia. Any other bombs you'd like to toss my way in a feeble attempt to shut me down? Because, frankly, I see no other reason for your irrelevant and fundamentally dishonest point. Here's a thought. Try contributing some analysis and insight into the actual topic.

Your argument is fact based. That doesn't mean it isn't also based on sexism. The only unknown is which came first. Did you come to hold sexist beliefs based on the facts, or did your sexism cause you to seek out facts to justify your beliefs? And if the former, is that justified?

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

MegB wrote:

No one here is saying that "that no man is capable of acting in a decent manner and treating women with respect. " That is pure bullshit. What is being said, and if not explicitly said is understood, is that while not all men are rapists, most rapists are men. Not all men sexually harass, but most sexual harassers are men. Not all men are murderers, but most murderers are men. Facts.

I'll just point out that this is almost word-for-word the argument that right-wingers make for profiling Muslims.

No it isn't because it isn't being used to suggest that all men are guilty or suspect or should be treated differently because of their sex.

What is being suggested is that it is misogynistic to assume one man is telling the truth and four women are lying with no apparent motivation, and an expert in the field mistook talking a little too long and standing a little to close as sexual harassment. A man must be given every benefit of the doubt no matter how small unless theres a video and even then maybe he's just autistic or maybe he's depressed because he has cancer, or maybe his mother was mean. Anything to undermine the four women who felt harassed by Erin Weir.

Anything but the obvious conclusion, he is sexually aggressive towards female staff because he wants sex. Coming to that conclusion is deemed the equivalent of throwing a man in prison without a trial.

This was not a criminal trial or a criminal investigation.  This is more along the lines of  people saw someone stealing office supplies on separate occasions and management hired an investigator who found out the employee was indeed stealing and dismissed them without bringing it to court. The employee does not have a right to know or confront their accusers.

The employee now has the right to sue for wrongful dismissal but it is probably not to their advantage if they are guilty.

Sean in Ottawa

Without speaking to a specific case -- even if we assume knowledge of someone accused who is innocent, that does not mean that it is better that you stop holding people to account. Fairness is always a requirement in seeking justice so that the perhaps 1/1000 who are falsely accused get a chance to show their innocence.

The big problem remains the millions of women who are traumatized by sexually aggressive men and not the handful of men traumatized by false accusations. Both are a problem but there is a question of scale here unless someone wants to equate the value of men to women as 1-1000.

Sure it is better to never make a mistake and that is a worthy objective. But if you fail to act instead of making a mistake once in maybe 1000 cases you will make a mistake closer to 999 in 1000.

This is why the answer to the opening post is that things are better for both men and women when you raise the standard of what is accepted from men which is what the #MeToo movement does do.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

This is why the answer to the opening post is that things are better for both men and women when you raise the standard of what is accepted from men which is what the #MeToo movement does do.

Agreed! And letting victims know that they are not alone - and giving women the courage to tell their story who might not otherwise do so - all that is good. 

"Due process" is important. But #BreakingTheSilence is vital. There is no inherent contradiction between the two. 

robbie_dee

Notalib wrote:

Which is fine, carry on. But when you do so by also completely mischaracterizing, or outright lying, about the content of posters, especially infrequent ones who have little time to chase threads down, to me that constitutes a bizarre ettiquete probably better reserved for teenage chat boards.

That said, with respect to dee's notion that I was entirely focused on the #Metoo movement, I would simply say I do not recall even once mentioning the movement in my handful of posts. And to be clear, it had little if anything to do with my commentary, however I do support the movement.

I have more to say on this general topic but simply haven't had the time to come back to it do to some unexpected commitments. However just to address this, I had assumed that when you wrote on the other threads about all the work that the NDP leadership did to pass a new harassment policy at the last convention, that this was something young activists in the party were pushing for and that (in addition to being the right thing to do, of course) this effort was being made a "political priority" in order "to appeal to a broad and important voting constituency" - what you were really referring to, specifically was the NDP's effort to both respond to and position itself in solidarity with the broad and significant #MeToo social movement that has had such an impact over the last year or so. That's what I thought the NDP was doing anyways. I certainly think it makes sense to do that. By in large I am in favor of it, too. I'm just trying to work out some misgivings I have about some tactical and directional issues.

Did I totally misunderstand you? I would be happy to withdraw my earlier reference to you if that's the case.

I also apologize for my role in bringing Erin Weir/Christine Moore back to the centre of this thread, I intended to respond to Misfit's comments about Weir but - at least as I see it - Weir's and Moore's cases are examples of much bigger things going on. I said at the top of the thread that I didn't want to focus on their cases here but I broke my own rule. Sorry.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
Generalize much? 

Okay, most men plead innocence when accused of sexual misconduct. Most people plead innocent when accused of anything. Men are no exception.

Unionist wrote:
Because he never pleaded innocent - he never denied what he was accused of doing: 

He minimized it to the point of denial claiming that there would be complaints about any man if they were solicited by an investigation. Either he thinks his behavior is common or he thinks women are eager to accuse men of misconduct if given the chance. Coming forward is not a pleasant experience for the grand majority of women. We are reticent to come forward. We personally give men every benefit of the doubt. Moore, as foolish as her accounting was against the Liberal MPs, really didn't want them to lose their jobs or to hurt their families.

"I believe that I shouldn't be trying to make anyone uncomfortable and I didn't realize that I had done anything unwelcomed, but when I had a chance to read the summary of complaints it became clear to me that sometimes I had been slow to pick up on social cues," Weir told CBC's Power & Politics in an interview airing at 5 p.m. ET.

"I'm sorry about that and I resolve to be more attentive."

Unionist wrote:
Not one single person has challenged that statement. But you, of course, know better. 

In my opinion it has been challenged and he didn't leave it at that. He also stated the accusations were trumped up, all of them. The one due to a desire for revenge, the others because they were solicited.

Unionist wrote:
 The "expert" (how many times have you lauded this unknown person to the skies?) agreed, for money, to hold an investigation in violation of fundamental principles - such as refusing to show the accused a copy of the written complaints.

I haven't lauded them at all. I think any lawyer in the field has a firm grip on the definition of sexual harassment. It's 101 level. There is no violation of fundamental principles. He isn't entitled to information that was shared with the investigator confidencially. There is no need to know their names to deny the accusations.

Unionist wrote:
And yes - when the party issues a public invitation (following Christine Moore's toxic email) to women to come forward if they have been harassed by Erin Weir, I do definitely believe that a woman who has been subject to the kind of behaviour that Weir describes (and that no one has challenged in any way whatsoever) - sitting too close, standing too close, etc. - might well come forward and relate such incident(s). Why not - you would prefer that they remain silent? 

Erin Weir equated his behavior to that of any man saying that any man would have the same complaints against them were they subject to the same investigation. That is, there would be women who would complain about you or any other man on this board.

I do not believe that women came forward to complain about Weir's behavior if it was typical of most men as Weir claims it was.

Unionist wrote:
Why don't you carry on your speculation and tell us what you think happened between these three women and Erin Weir. You seem to know what didn't happen. Tell us. Please. 

I think what happened rose to the definition of sexual harassment and that Weir sealed his fate when he started denying and minimizing to the point of accusing ALL the women of either acting out of revenge or came forward because he talked to them a little too long or stood a little too close.

Unionist wrote:

 

I have no idea about Erin Weir's disabilities, if any. But neither do you (or maybe it's that omnisicience kicking in again?). So your conclusion that claiming a duty to accomodate is "ridiculous" is incredibly offensive. There either is a duty (if there's a disability), or there isn't. Your speculative rantings about whether he is autistic or not stem only from the fact that you really really don't like him - not from any desire to learn the truth. If you cared whether he was autistic or not, you'd just keep quiet about that pending information from someone (unlike you) who actually knows something about the issue.

He hasn't even had a Dr. Phil diagnosis. Should we also wait and see if he has brain cancer to see if that's  the cause? 

I have no reason to dislike Weir. I'm just not twisting myself into a pretzel trying to excuse him because he is progressive. If it were Jagmeet Singh himself I would be sorely disillusioned and I would say the same things I am saying now.

What would you be saying if Trudeau were the accused? He seems a bit socially awkward too. He stands way close to people. Hugs indescriminately.

If Erin Weir claims to be autistic then the NDP would have a duty to accomodate but I still don't think it would be to accomodate accusations of political revenge. The NDP had agreed to reinstatement if he took anti-harassment training.

Mobo2000

Unionist said:

""Due process" is important. But #BreakingTheSilence is vital. There is no inherent contradiction between the two. "

I agree there is no inherent contradiction between the two, but there is a perceived contradiction in mainstream culture, as the article at the top of this thread says.   Curious if you agree and for your thoughts (or any other babbler's thought) on the source of this perception, and the best way to mitigate it.

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 Women fighting back is not  causing the divide. The problem is our capitalist consumer society that uses sex to sell everything. Its hard to convince young men that they should be respectful to women when they are inundated by sexist, misogynist ads on MSM and in news print and billboards etc etc. We live in a rape culture and that has to change now. Its time to go after the corporations that spew this misogny.

Yes, but men have to reject it. Some  are. MRAs are not. Women also play into it equating the freedom to pornify themselves to empowerment. Spike heels have never been so popular as everyday normal footwear for many women. Teenage top models get plastic surgery.

Somehow women's liberation and the sexual revolution became twisted but I think the longterm trend is good. It just happens over decades not years.

Mobo2000

Pondering and Kropotkin:   Do you see Hollywood as contributing to this capitalist consumer society that uses sex to sell everything, fostering misogyny?   If so, does Hollywood's leadership role in #MeToo raise any concerns for you?  

Notalib

robbie-dee writes:

I have more to say on this general topic but simply haven't had the time to come back to it do to some unexpected commitments. However just to address this, I had assumed that when you wrote on the other threads about all the work that the NDP leadership did to pass a new harassment policy at the last convention, that this was something young activists in the party were pushing for and that (in addition to being the right thing to do, of course) this effort was being made a "political priority" in order "to appeal to a broad and important voting constituency" - what you were really referring to, specifically was the NDP's effort to both respond to and position itself in solidarity with the broad and significant #MeToo social movement that has had such an impact over the last year or so. That's what I thought the NDP was doing anyways. I certainly think it makes sense to do that. By in large I am in favor of it, too. I'm just trying to work out some misgivings I have about some tactical and directional issues.

Notalib responds:

Thank you for attempting to clarify your comments. But in the future please just read my comments for what they say vs your notion of "what I was really saying." I mean everyone likes a good strawman right, but mostly just to keep scarecows away from your garden rather than you giving yourself something to kick over.

That said, I cannot speak to what exactly motivated the NDP as I am not involved, but view this heart felt apology from the President of the Party when she opened the convention: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1163670595685

It seems clear to me she is speaking specifically to the culture of the party and its incapacity to deal with these issues based on both historic precedent and more recent examples.

There was no "#Metoo" made me do this or anything like that in her opening address.

That said, without a doubt the effective and widely spread movement hit the entire political scene in Canada as it did in the US and around the world. So no doubt the "climate" in MSM was driven by aspects of the movement and therefor could have been relevant in prioritizing the issue, however the decades old NDP policy was clearly ineffective and broken and even if the #Metoo movement was not as prominent at the time  (its quite an old hashtag) there clearly was a need for this work.

The real loss is that there was great appeal and political potential in taking these steps and leading on establishing these policies, which events like Weir's have really worked to undermine. So while posters here feign acceptance and recognize the importance of the movement, their actions here are devastating its potential. Or as someone else said here "concern trolling," which I think puts it mildly.

It seems those pushing the issue here would like to see the issue hurt the NDP, when in fact it could have been the catalyst for great gains, not only for women and their safe passage through occupational life and specifically within the party, but also for the political prospects of all progressives within the party. I do understand there are a good many within the NDP that are not progressive, so that is a factor as well, and it seems many of them seem to like post here apparently.

robbie_dee

I don't have time to respond to all of your comments but I've deleted the reference to you in my earlier post. My apologies for any mischaracterization of your position. Thank you for explaining it.

Pogo Pogo's picture

robbie_dee wrote:
I’m just worried, like as has happened in other revolutions, about entering into a “Reign of Terror” phase. Even if only 1% of accusations are false (and many studies suggest a higher figure), it’s pretty awful if you’re in that 1% of accused and you say this is something you’ve experienced directly so you would know. I don’t think you can balance that in some grand accounting against the many people who have benefitted from the movement. 
 

I think we need more evidence of a "reign of terror" before we start pushing back on the pendelum swing.

Unionist

Pondering wrote:
He also stated the accusations were trumped up, all of them.  [...]

[...] Weir sealed his fate when he started denying and minimizing to the point of accusing ALL the women of either acting out of revenge or came forward because he talked to them a little too long or stood a little too close.

You repeat over and over and over that he said all the accusations were trumped up. It's another of your concoctions. I suppose if I asked you for evidence, a source, a quote, anything, you'd say... you're not got to waste your time hunting it down? Pondering, unless you can find a single credible quote or description saying Weir said all 4 accusations were "trumped up", then you should be concerned about your habit of making things up. Like the "Weir harassed Moore" hallucination that you finally at long last abandoned.

Source, please.

In fact, he came to realize what he was doing in those 3 cases when reading the "summary" in the report (because he wasn't allowed to know who the complainants were) - he never denied it - he never accused them of a damn thing - he accepted that he was wrong, and pledged to try to change. I quoted that. His actual words. And Singh had already said publicly that whenever Weir was told he was making someone uncomfortable, he stopped. Weir did that long before any investigation or report. Because you have this unexplained bias against Weir, you think all that means nothing.

Speaking of Weir's words which I quoted above, I continued:

Pondering wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Not one single person has challenged that statement. But you, of course, know better. 

 

In my opinion it has been challenged and he didn't leave it at that.

It has been challenged, in your opinion. How about showing us where it has been challenged in real life? Who challenged what Weir said in the passage in which he was quoted? Who? Where? When? What?

Take your time.

 

Unionist

Mobo2000 wrote:

Unionist said:

""Due process" is important. But #BreakingTheSilence is vital. There is no inherent contradiction between the two. "

I agree there is no inherent contradiction between the two, but there is a perceived contradiction in mainstream culture, as the article at the top of this thread says.   Curious if you agree and for your thoughts (or any other babbler's thought) on the source of this perception, and the best way to mitigate it.

That's a great question. I'll have to think and listen to others' thoughts about that.

But here's one thing that struck me. Jian Ghomeshi - women came forward and said "me too". He was dealt with in two ways - by the CBC, clumsily, tardily, but ultimately they dumped him because there was enough evidence of misconduct in a non-criminal sense. Then, the crown charged him with sexual assault. He was acquitted - for reasons that we know (won't revisit that here). That acquittal was seen by many as a cold shower: a contradiction between women finally having the courage to speak out publicly, and a perp getting off scot free, because "due process" produced that result.

I regretted that impression, because in our system of law, you're innocent of criminal charges unless proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". That's a weighty burden, and I agree with it. But what many people didn't notice is that in the non-criminal proceedings (CBC's internal process), however poorly it was handled, there were huge consequences for Ghomeshi. He didn't end up behind bars, but he was found liable for his actions.

Just trying to answer your question and looking for comments.

Notalib

robbie_dee writes:

I don't have time to respond to all of your comments but I've deleted the reference to you in my earlier post. My apologies for any mischaracterization of your position. Thank you for explaining it.

Notalib responds:

Thank you for your recognition and correction of your error.

Also let me note. I appreciate that you are interested in defending your friend and such an effort, in priniciple, is admirable. However, I think it's probably best you just put down the shovel.

If it is the process you have concerns with, there are ways and means of improving it. If you are active in the party, you would recognize and understand that.

Personally I am willing to cut the party some slack as they were simultaneously dealing with complaints at the same time the policy was being established. Which means, by no ones fault, there will be some wrinkles in how the process was carried out. Further, if any of these concerns were held outside this board's few commenters, I presume either the party or the investigator would make themselves available to address the shortcomings, explain what occurred and help those concerned better understand the outcome.

Finally, I honestly do not think your efforts are helping your friend, the movement or the party. Besides Weir seems more than capable of defending himself.

robbie_dee

Notalib, with all due respect I don't require your advice on when and how to choose the issues I choose to speak on. For the moment I think I've said all I have to, in this forum at least, with respect to Weir's specific case. With respect to Christine Moore I guess that depends on when and if the next shoe drops. But I don't intend to let this go and I will be using both my voice and my checkbook accordingly in the future. Whether that will make any difference, I don't know, probably not as I don't have any particular illusions about my personal power and influence. But I am still pretty pissed off about the whole thing. 

I have other things I'd like to say, too, but I would like to put some time and thought into it before I speak so I will come back to it when I can.

Pondering

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4180566/investigation-results-for-harassment-...

“It’s certainly the case that if you solicit complaints from hundreds of staff people, you will get some complaints. Particularly in a political context where there are disagreements, there are rivalries, there are axes to grind,” Weir countered.

That is minimizing and casting  aspirations on the motivations of the women involved. After saying that there is no point to anti-harassment training.

Weir, meanwhile, now alleges that "the complainant" is an individual who he claims blocked him from speaking on a resolution on carbon pricing at the 2016 Saskatchewan NDP convention.

He suggested the harassment complaint was payback for his decision to engage in a debate the party leadership considered "contentious." In the release, he said that "Caucus Chair Charlie Angus ... and Federal Leader Tom Mulcair ... banned (him) from Question Period for several months as punishment for having tried to raise the issue."

"I was and am eager to discuss the merits of carbon border adjustments," said Weir in the release. "But I object to the use of backroom procedural tactics – and now a trumped-up harassment complaint – to shut down democratic debate in the New Democratic Party."

So, he is claiming that the staffer wanted revenge against him because he wanted to debate carbon taxes and she felt so strongly about not debating carbon taxes that she made a false accusation of harassment against him.

That isn't credible to me.

So men reading this. Do you agree with Weir that if you were investigated there would be complaints of sexual harassment against all of you too if a couple of hundred people were asked?

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

I regretted that impression, because in our system of law, you're innocent of criminal charges unless proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". That's a weighty burden, and I agree with it. But what many people didn't notice is that in the non-criminal proceedings (CBC's internal process), however poorly it was handled, there were huge consequences for Ghomeshi. He didn't end up behind bars, but he was found liable for his actions.

Just trying to answer your question and looking for comments.

I agree, and even less happened to all 3 MPs that were investigated. No criminal charges. They weren't even fired. They were expelled from caucus. This is a turning point. Whether or not the behavior reaches the level of criminality misconduct will still result in negative outcomes because as a society we are rejecting that sort of behavior from men in power. They are no longer safe because women can't individually prove their cases.

Pondering

This case has been ignored:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/tvo-host-steve-paikin-cleared-by-i...

An independent investigation has cleared a veteran journalist with Ontario's public broadcaster of sexual harassment allegations, saying Steve Paikin was more credible than the Toronto woman who made the accusations against him.

In a report released Friday, investigator Rachel Turnpenney said while there is no doubt Sarah Thomson genuinely believes Paikin propositioned her, the evidence brought forward by Thomson and others does not support her account of what happened.

"The investigator had doubts surrounding Thomson's ability to accurately observe and recount the events in question," the report said.

"She tended to make leaps without sufficient evidence to do so and she linked evidence together without factual foundation. Thomson's evidence also veered toward being exaggerated and untrue."

Paikin, meanwhile, "was consistent in his evidence that he believes nothing of a sexual nature was said (or implied)," the report said.

The investigation was commissioned by Ontario's public broadcaster in February after Thomson, a former Toronto mayoral candidate, made a series of allegations on her website Women's Post.

She alleged Paikin, host of TVOntario's flagship current events program The Agenda, made a sexual advance toward her over lunch in 2010 and that she "politely" declined the offer. She then suggested that she was barred from appearing on his show as a result of her refusal.

Women are being believed to the extent that investigations are held when in the past none would have been. I accept the conclusion of this investigator as well. I accept Paikin is 100% innocent. In my opinion if he had a habit of being sexually inappropriate more women would have come forward. Particularly with mature men this type of behavior is habitual not a one off. It remains possible that he is guilty but it's very improbable.

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