When the Access Hollywood tape came out last October and various women came forth with sexual harassment accusations, the Left jumped to denounce Donald Trump as anti- woman. Elizabeth Warren summed up this vitriolic mood by declaring; “Women have had it with guys like you (Trump)!” In response, the Right downplayed these allegations, and Trump raised Hillary Clinton’s own history as henchman against her husband’s accusers.
One year later, a deluge of sexual harassment/ assault claims emerged against long term Hollywood producer, and Democratic fundraiser Harvey Weinstein. While the Right correctly condemned these atrocities (of which there was clear evidence), some conservatives also seemed to virtue signal as self- appointed protectors of women. Ben Shapiro was among those to slam Harvey Weinstein, whilst Sean Hannity used it to bash Hillary Clinton for complicity as Weinstein’s friend. The Left then responded to minimise these wrongdoings, shifting the onus back onto the Republican Party for electing President Trump.
When sexual harassment and related crimes against women become so partisan, and mere accusations become rallying cries for both the Left and Right, we get into perilous waters. This is not to deny actual instances of sexual harassment/ assault are crimes that should be severely punished.
But when political goals drive one- sided, raucous retaliations, a predatory, witch- hunt atmosphere against those accused of sexual harassment, becomes the norm.
According to our national broadcaster, simply believing accusations made by women is the right approach. But believing sexual harassment accounts irrespective of evidence, is a dangerous method to take. For there is no other crime in which evidence is irrelevant and the accuser’s allegations are automatically accepted as true. To achieve conviction for criminal acts, the police must first reasonably suspect the accused has, is, or will commit a criminal offence before charges are brought. Then, the accused is tried in court, and can be convicted only when their guilt is proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’ While this process is derived from Western Australian legislation, likeminded principles are upheld across the Western world.
Many of us would like to think due process should also apply to alleged sexual crimes. But judging from hysterical reactions to Betty DeVos’ reintroduction of normal evidence rules for investigating rape on college campuses, not all agree.
The full consequences of this militantly upheld belief in women’s infallibility, and the consequent need to oppress men, was recently showcased by radical feminist Emily Lendlin. Lendlin tweeted; “Here’s an unpopular opinion. I’m actually not at all concerned about concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/ harassment allegations.”
Needless to say, this half- baked, unhinged approach would threaten half the human population. But more importantly, it would call into question the concept of equal rights before the law, with actual and/ or perceived stereotypes being enough to inflict acute retribution.
With this approach, we could similarly deploy police to detain all Muslims for their association with terrorism, or all blacks for their preponderance to violent crime. However, this doesn’t occur, because notions of individual rights and due process are a cornerstone of civilised society. Or at least they were, until 2017…
Not surprisingly, it was only when Lindlin considered how ‘innocent men of colour’ have been damaged by false allegations, that she backtracked on her vile remarks. In doing so, she demonstrated an unrelenting dedication to only promoting political views, when they fit the intersectionality Olympics paradigm.
Any mindless adherence to political ideology over sacred, time- honoured principles, tends towards troubling territory.
Likewise, if the quest to purge further alleged sexual harassers through attacking all males triumphs over facts, reason, and legal tradition, the West will take a mighty step back from the knowledge- based progress made since the Enlightenment.