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Subject: sexual harrassment: were do we draw the line?

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Date Posted: 16:59:32 11/30/17 Thu

In the last several months in the US, we’ve seen all sorts of influential males accused of everything from sexual harassment to groping to rape. For longer than that, there’s been a standard way of isolating and minimizing the problem.

A public figure is accused, denies it, then in some mealy-mouthed way hedges on the denial. Then denies that he is going to step down from whatever, then he steps down.

In recent weeks, few men have copped to the truth of their accusations.

During the same period of time, we’ve seen many, and more destructive, mass shootings in the US.

What do these incidents have in common? All are done by men.
Violence against women, and violence in general are a health menace that is consistently ignored or minimized. It took decades for the population generally to recognize the health menace of cigarettes and drunk driving, but what was once casually accepted is now treated very differently. I think there needs to be a current protracted, decades-long effort to change the psychology and expectations of males in the US.

After decades of under reaction (if Bill Clinton raped anyone, he should go to jail same as anyone else.), There may be cases of overreaction. I’d like to use Al Franken as an example. A photo shows him grabbing the breasts of a sleeping woman. There’s no excuse for this and it’s a form of sexual assault. As a criminal act, it’s very low level compared to, say, rape. If there were no other charges against Franken, do you think he should be kicked out of the Senate? Whatever reprehensible actions he did, they were done before he entered political life.

I think public officials should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us and that the standard needs to be quite high at the top of social service. (Obviously what I like is not what’s happening — look at the top of the US political pyramid. Makes me sick.)

But what is the balance or tipping point? If a man groped women’s butts and breasts some years ago and stopped, if those actions came to light now, should the person be vilified? Held up to ridicule? Sent to mandatory counseling sent? Lose his job? About the biggest non-legal sanction we can give in our society is public rejection and loss of income. Do you think that less severe actions taken a long time ago warrant kicking someone out of a position of trust? Where do we draw the line?


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Re: sexual harrassment: were do we draw the line?JAN20:11:39 11/30/17 Thu

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