Stream of revelations of abuse of power and women

The floodgates may not have opened fully on revelations of sexual harassment and misconduct of prominent men in the US, but a trickle seems to have become a stream.

On the current RealClear Politics front page there are numerous stories about men abusing power and abusing women.

The trickle started with Harvey Weinstein: After Weinstein, a Cultural Revolution (National Review):

It’s been nearly two months, and a geologic age, since the New York Times ran its initial report on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation.

It’s difficult to think of any piece of journalism that has ever wrought such an instant change in American life.

First, more allegations against Weinstein flooded in, and then against other Hollywood, media, and political figures, many of them rapidly defenestrated upon credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

A heightened awareness around sexual harassment is roiling multiple industries in what is a low-grade cultural revolution.

But the stage was set last year: Congress Should Investigate Trump’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct (RCP):

Powerful men with long histories of alleged sexual harassment or assault are finally being held accountable — except one. That would be President Trump.

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said on the “Access Hollywood” tape, referring to a woman he had just spotted. “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the [vagina]. You can do anything.”

Thirteen women have gone on the record to say that is how Trump operated, according to a tally by The Washington Post. Eight of them — who say that Trump kissed them, groped them or both, without invitation or permission — have corroboration, meaning they told other people about the incidents before going public. Similar stories told by the other five accusers are not corroborated.

Trump won election despite the allegations, but his victory did not erase his history. Now, virtually overnight, the paradigm for thinking about and dealing with sexual harassment has changed. A kind of Judgment Day has arrived for men who thought they had gotten away with their misdeeds.

And there’s ample history: Al Gore’s dark past is an inconvenient truth (The OCR):

It seems like every time you open the morning paper, more powerful men are being accused of groping, raping and generally treating their female colleagues in inappropriate and degrading ways.

You don’t have to look any farther than the pages of the New York Times or the airwaves of MSNBC to hear liberal voices openly opining that they blew it in the 1990s by not calling on former President Bill Clinton to step down after he admitted to an ongoing sexual relationship with a much younger intern.

However, one prominent name has managed to stay off of our radar, and I don’t know why. I am, of course, speaking of former Vice President Al Gore.

Back in October of 2006, a Portland, Ore. masseuse accused the former vice president of “unwanted sexual contact” while performing a massage on him in a hotel room.

Students: There Are No Safe Spaces (NewRepublic):

If we have learned anything from the ongoing, seemingly endless tide of sexual harassment allegations against famous, powerful men, it is that there is no space that is truly safe.

It is not a coincidence that this flood has come now, not just with Donald “grab ‘em by the pussy” Trump in the White House, but after years of public denunciations of the very idea of safe spaces. Liberal and conservative commentators alike have written reams of nearly identical columns lamenting the desire, on the part of today’s young people, for a place they might be safe from sexism, racism, and harassment.

A journalist: Charlie Rose, before and after the fall (News Observer):

North Carolina was proud of Charlie Rose. A native, a graduate of Duke University and the Duke law school, and someone who for a substantial two decades conducted perhaps the most thoughtful interview show on television through his own company.

Now, of course, Rose’s career has ended in flames after sexual harassment allegations from several women. It’s hard to imagine the 75-year-old New York-based media and social star will be able to restore his public image.

A Senator:  Al Franken vows to regain Minnesota’s trust after harassment allegations (Star Tribune):

Another politician: Capitol Police investigating whether nude photo of House Republican was a crime (The Hill):

The Capitol Police are investigating whether the unauthorized release of a nude photo of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) online was a crime.

A nude photo of Barton appeared on social media anonymously earlier in the week. Barton on Wednesday acknowledged that the photo was of him but said he did not release the photo and the person who did not only violated his privacy but may have committed “a potential crime against me.”

Barton emphasized that the women he was involved with in the past, one of whom may have shared the photo, were above the age of consent and willing participants.

“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton said in a statement.

That may be just embarrassing rather than criminal.

And a candidate:  U.S. Senate candidate Moore’s spokesman resigns as allegations roil campaign (Reuters):

The communications director for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has resigned amid the Alabama Republican’s efforts to combat allegations of sexual misconduct that have roiled his campaign.
News of the departure of John Rogers came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump defended Moore from accusations by multiple women that Moore pursued them as teenagers when he was in his 30s, including one who has said he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14.

Moore has denied any wrongdoing and has accused the women of conspiring with Democrats, media outlets and establishment Republicans in an effort to tarnish his reputation. Reuters has not independently confirmed any of the accusations.

Trump told reporters on Tuesday, however, that he might yet campaign for Moore, who he said “totally denies” the misconduct allegations, and that Democratic nominee Doug Jones was a liberal who should not be elected.

The president’s stance stood in contrast to the reactions from most Republicans in Washington, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have called on Moore to step aside.

Blaming the media and their opponents may be wearing a bit thin, especially when allegations of abuses are spread across the spectrum.

When the rot is defended from the top, and the top may be rotten as well, there is some way to go but the stream may become a floodgate that can’t be held back, even by Trump.

Back to Rich Lowry at National Review:

Now, it is the predators — no matter how entrenched and successful — who are in a precarious position. They can fall from grace within hours of credible accounts of wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter how abjectly they apologize or promise to get therapy and engage in self-reflection. They are powerless before their accusers.

This dynamic can go too far. It is important that accusations always are evaluated for credibility, and the accused get their hearing.

But the model, a disgraceful abuse of power too long tolerated, is ending. Good riddance.

The abuse of power bubble may at last be bursting.

While there are a growing number of accusations those in the firing line are only a small minority of politicians, journalists and movie moguls. The majority, possibly the vast majority, are innocent of abusing their power or abusing women.

But there must be a few others who are waiting, wondering if they will become the next headline.

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56 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  November 25, 2017

    It is not just the rich and famous Peter
    As any woman and she will give you examples of this having happened to her.
    OK, it’s not “allmen ” but it is all women
    Time for a change, a real change !

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  November 25, 2017

      Ask any woman.

      Reply
    • Yes, the rich and famous are the tip of a dirty iceberg. But they set the standards, especially with modern media – if they are seen to abuse with impunity it sends signals down the ranks that it’s ok. And it’s clearly not ok.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 25, 2017

        Again, the pony tail puller.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  November 25, 2017

          What do you mean?

          Reply
            • Well, anyone who thinks that ponytail pulling is a sexual assault must have lived a very sheltered life.

            • Blazer

               /  November 25, 2017

              what do you class it as…common assault?

            • With a side order of fetish, I would say.

            • Corky

               /  November 25, 2017

              There’s no comparison. Everyone’s allowed a fetish. Some of us know Labour was saved by Aunty the last time they were in office. Things went way beyond some chap stroking girls hair. Ah, the feral left, eh, Robert.
              Sanctimonious hypocrites.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 25, 2017

              So Corky, to re-ask Blazer’s question; was it sexual assault or common assault, in your opinion? Bear in mind that Key’s “pony-tail pulling” was repeated regularly, against the stated wishes of the victim and against the advice of Key’s wife. It beggars belief, really.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 25, 2017

              “Everyone’s allowed a fetish.”
              Do you understand the word “consensual”, Corky?
              I suppose a sweaty concrete-laying bloke ought to be “allowed” say, a foot fetish, but I bet you’d want him to ask your permission before he licked your toes – yes?

            • No assault at all, just what was seen to be harmless teasing. What a precious wee petal that waitress came across as. I wish that that was the worst thing that I have ever had happen to me.

            • Gezza

               /  November 25, 2017

              It wasn’t just a waitress. He even did it to some girls, one of them in a vid clip looks about 10. Even if he just meant it in fun it’s not something a grown man nomally does to some comparative stranger. I think it was offensive & inappropriate. If any other man just suddenly did that they’d likely be rounded on by friends or relatives, possibly even reported to police.

            • Corky

               /  November 25, 2017

              ”So Corky, to re-ask Blazer’s question; was it sexual assault or common assault, in your opinion?”

              It was nuisance value. A case may have been made to charge him with being a nuisance, but he was the PM- he had too much power for such trivial things. Same with Helen, when she was PM. Police left her well alone.

          • Corky

             /  November 25, 2017

            ”Everyone’s allowed a fetish.”
            Do you understand the word “consensual”, Corky?”

            Do you understand the word ”hypocrisy”, Robert?

            There’s a YouTube video of a man and his son ordering ice-creams from an Ice-Cream van. A stranger rocks up, stands next to the boy and starts patting him on the head. The stranger continues patting the boy on the head, so the father asks the stranger to stop. The stranger continues, where upon he’s’ dealt to’ by the dad.

            Simple rememdy for simple nuisance value actions. It ain’t sexual assault or common assault, in intent. That doesn’t mean it’s right

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  November 25, 2017

              You’re suggesting that someone should have thumped Key for his pony-tail pulling: “simple remedy for simple nuisance value actions”???
              Wow!
              He’d have to thump the ex-PM repeatedly, as Key pulled the waitresses hair on a number of occasions: I wasn’t expecting such a suggestion from you, Corky – whomping Key! Wow! You surprise me!

            • Corky

               /  November 25, 2017

              Nothing ‘wow’ about it. The dad didn’t cry rape, sexual abuse or child abuse. He recognised someone being a prick. And took action. He also didn’t go to the media.

              ”You’re suggesting that someone should have thumped Key for his pony-tail pulling:’

              No, I’m suggesting something in a similar vain…like pouring his order over him. I’m sure the fuss would have been minimal. And there was no way she would be losing her job.

            • robertguyton

               /  November 26, 2017

              Headline: PRIME MINISTER SCALDED BY HOT COFFEE – WAITRESS DARLING OF THE NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC!
              Prime Minister John Key suffered burns to his pate today, after receiving a well-deserved dumping of scalding-hot coffee from the waitress he had repeatedly tormented with tugs to her pony-tail, cafe sources revealed. Key’s wife, Bronough, said: “About time; I’d asked and asked John not to be such a tugger”. Key’s security team, having ignored the behaviour of the Prime Minister on previous occasions, looked sheepish and remained tight-lipped about their role in the harassment of the young woman by the Prime Minister. Key himself laughed goofily and horsed around, despite the peeling skin beneath his thinning hair.

            • Corky

               /  November 26, 2017

              Good work, Robert. Spot on.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  November 26, 2017

              Don’t forget all of this took place in a busy cafe full of diners inevitably ogling the PM and his group without any of them complaining about it then or afterwards. Really???

            • Blazer

               /  November 26, 2017

              what Guyton has said is on the record,Key was told to desist numerous times,his wife told him,and still he persisted…lopsided power game worthy of Idi Amin and his bodyguards.The poor woman was then subjected to the usual smear campaign to deflect the obvious..Key is a tricophilliac.

  2. Tipene

     /  November 25, 2017

    Allegations without proof – the new evidence threshold for 4th wave feminism.

    Reply
    • Maureen is

       /  November 25, 2017

      I’m pretty sure you are a male Tipene. Men have long groped women uninvited. They have used both their physical advantage and power in the workplace advantage to do this. Time for this shitty behaviour to disappear.
      If this wasn’t about abuse of power, they would be free to grope their peers – but I have yet to see any revelations where Managing Director of company A, randomly starts groping Managing Director of company B, have you?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 25, 2017

        There are women in positions of power, too, and have been for a very long time.

        Reply
        • Maureen is

           /  November 25, 2017

          This isn’t only about men and women. Men on men as well. It’s about abuse of power, the sexual misconduct factor is just one symptom being discussed here.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 26, 2017

            Well, if you think that women don’t abuse their power, you are very naive indeed.

            Reply
            • MaureenW

               /  November 26, 2017

              You said that, not me. You enjoy making up a narrative, assigning it to another person, then bagging that person for your own ideas. Pfft!!!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 26, 2017

              Nonsense, Please do not put your own sloppy thinking onto someone else.You really are talking nonsense here. Why would anyone behave in the absurd manner that you imagine ? Nobody would, it makes no sense at all.

              Do you know what a ‘narrative’ is ?

              Abuse of power is unisex and universal.

              Of course I said that about women being in positions of power. It sounded as if you didn’t realise that women were in positions of power, and that some people abuse their power.

            • MaureenW

               /  November 26, 2017

              No, this is what you do, and what you did. Save your grammar lessons for someone else .. they are tedious and give the impression that you have nothing better to do with your time. Grammar troll.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  November 26, 2017

              Grammar ?

              I suspect that you don’t know what that means, either. Word definitions are nothing to do with grammar.

        • MaureenW

           /  November 26, 2017

          Don’t you have some curtains to peep through?

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  November 27, 2017

            What a very odd question. Why, do you want to come and peep through my curtains ? The answer is no, I don’t have curtains, so if anyone wants to peep through curtains, they can’t do it here. I would urge caution, though; make sure that you are not caught doing it.

            Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  November 25, 2017

    Clergymen win the gold medal for sexual abuse…hands down.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  November 25, 2017

      Catholics in particular.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  November 25, 2017

      Dunno. My father’s old man was a policeman. He never allowed dad or his two brothers to join the Scouts because he reckoned too many scoutmasters were pedophiles.

      Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  November 25, 2017

    Hope the pony-tail waitress stays mum!

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 25, 2017

    Power plays come from both sides here and both can get seriously hurt as well. When you play with fire it’s easy to get burnt.

    Reply
    • David

       /  November 25, 2017

      Exactly, this has nothing to do with women, it’s entirely a weaponised issue for political gain.

      It also makes Mike Pence look the wisest man in Washington for his policy of never being alone with a women other than his wife.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 25, 2017

        He will be having the last laugh.

        When my mother began teaching, they were told to observe the ‘three foot rule’-never be closer to a pupil than three feet if you happen to be alone with one. Also, never keep one pupil in after school-someone else will do something, so be prepared to nab them, too.

        Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  November 25, 2017

    All this makes women seem like helpless victims, stupid pawns and people who are not in any sort of position of power….how insulting.

    Reply
    • David

       /  November 25, 2017

      Isn;t that the whole point of the social justice movement? Everyone is a victim, otherwise your an oppressor.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 25, 2017

        Uma Thurman wasn’t too traumatised to go on and make seven films with Harvey W. Nor do she or any of the others seem to have spared the sisterhood by warning them.

        Nobody is forced at gunpoint to be a Hollywood film star making many millions-it must have been worth it.

        Reply
  7. PDB

     /  November 25, 2017

    Men have always been subject to sexual advances from the opposite sex, women disrobing in front of them, being sexually suggestive or aggressive – only difference is 99% of men take them up on the offer.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  November 25, 2017

      just ask…Len!

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  November 25, 2017

        I worked in a place where a middle-aged woman behaved in a way that was really sexual harassment; heavy-handed flirting, unwanted touching, sitting on knees (!) The men heartily disliked this, but she never seemed to get the message. I suspect that had a man behaved half as crassly, he would have, at the very least, been warned. The men in my office voiced their opinions of this woman freely and unflatteringly.

        I suspect that Mrs X thought that she was being funny, but the men didn’t find it funny at all.

        Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 25, 2017

    One person’s fun is another person’s harrassment. And when you go fishing you might catch the wrong fish and have to deal with it. C’est la vie.

    Reply
  9. phantom snowflake

     /  November 25, 2017

    Simple and sensible article by Lizzie Marvelly on sexual harassment and sexuality. (Yeah; haters gonna hate…)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11947102

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  November 25, 2017

      How very dare she … !!!

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  November 25, 2017

      She is decades too late & suffers from some very old fashioned thinking – the female orgasm is hardly news today nor is female sexuality and the open expression of it.

      Reply
  10. Missy

     /  November 25, 2017

    Having watched the reporting on the allegations regarding Westminster – and other politicians in the UK – I am very wary in taking all of this at face value, and make the following points:

    1. There has been no separation of incidences, minor flirting or a drunken pass has been conflated with more serious issues. Also, in the case of Westminster, perfectly legal and consensual incidences have been reported as if they are cases of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. This takes the investigative reporting away from serious cases, but also makes the public less likely to believe the genuine – and serious – cases of abuse and assault.

    2. There is a belief that some (not all) of the allegations are (as mentioned above) a power play, women are using this as a form of power over men, making erroneous or tenuous allegations against political opponents, or to further their own careers or ruin the man’s career. This is something that women have done for generations, cases of false allegations are used to get revenge on men for any number of things.

    3. There has been a rush from alleged victims and the media (and to an extent the Political parties themselves) to ‘name and shame’ with no investigation, and allegations that in the cold light of day may not stand up. In one case in the UK a journalist wrote a whole opinion piece on how she was ‘groped’ by an MP, but when reading the piece it was obvious that there was a strong likelihood she was over-exaggerating the whole incident, as even she admitted she wasn’t sure and she thought she may have imagined him touching her as it was so brief – really? Trust me, a woman will know if they have been groped, and what is in all likelihood an accidental brush is not groping, nor is it sexual assault. In another case in the UK the Party suspended an MP based on an allegation and despite being requested several times by the MP and his lawyers did not give him any details of what the allegation was, let alone who was accusing him, the MP committed suicide due to the stress of dealing with it all.

    This culture of name and shame has serious and sometimes tragic consequences for all, the genuine victims that get overlooked by the #metoo lot who want to have their 2 minutes in the spotlight, the men who are falsely accused, and the families of the men who are falsely accused.

    A few days ago an American writer for a teen magazine tweeted that she was not concerned if some men innocent men lost their jobs and their livelihoods over false sexual harassment / assault allegations, it was a price she was willing to pay. This is the attitude of many young ‘feminists’ today, they are happy for the innocent to lose everything – even take their own lives – in order to be able to say they are stopping the behaviour. This is where we are with social media, a world where an allegation equals guilt.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  November 25, 2017

      Well said Missy – sexual abuse/harassment should never be tolerated but nor should an attitude that a person is guilty based on the word of another with no evidence of wrongdoing.

      Over-exaggeration, settling of old scores and widening the scope of sexual harassment to include things that may seem to most people to be innocuous or subjective in nature will only serve to make a mockery of what is at it’s core an important issue worthy of serious and open discussion.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  November 26, 2017

        Cheers PDB.

        I agree sexual abuse / harassment / assault should not be tolerated – whoever the offender is, but also we should also retain the integrity of the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

        What gets me about the modern day feminists and their campaign against sexual assault / harassment / abuse is that they tend to see it as a man on woman crime, when the reality is that sexual crimes can be man on man, woman on man, woman on woman as well, so much for the idea of equality. As a comment I saw ages ago on this said, today’s feminists don’t want equality, they want to become the new oppressors. And that opinion apparently makes me a misogynist in this new world of feminism, just wanting equality of opportunity and treatment is not enough to be considered a ‘true’ woman.

        Also, the idea of automatically believing woman fell apart for Lena Dunham earlier this week. She tweeted a few weeks ago that we should always believe the woman in allegations of sexual assault, apparently last week one of her very good (male) friends was accused of sexual assault so her reaction was to call the woman a liar. These women are hypocrites, it is a case of believe the woman always & vilify the man, until it is a man close to them, then they turn on the woman.

        Reply
  1. Stream of revelations of abuse of power and women — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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