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  #21  
Old 05 November 2017, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Die Capacitrix View Post
This. It seems that many people may have turned a blind eye to certain behavior due to the power of the predator. We've spent the last 15+ years saying, "see something, say something" for terrorism and we need to do this when we hear or see harassment.
Just jumping off from this. I've seen some criticism that seemed to be leveled at anyone who knew anything about what Weinstein was doing, for not saying anything. I think that issue can be complicated for some of the people who might have known something.

One issue is that there can be real repercussions for victims, regardless of who reports. There can be a lot of considerations, which can include legitimate, "it's not my story to tell" concerns. And, as mentioned above, people who don't go along with it can also catch a lot of flack--that goes for people who are not the direct victims of the assaults as well. In particular, women who see this stuff happening but are not direct victims of assaults or quid pro quo harassment are still getting a strong message, and can be victims of the hostile work environment that is created. And if you know that the organization itself is covering up, the highest levels know and don't take action, and there are public jokes about the whole system in which it is often the victims who are shamed (I.e., she got the part from her performance on the casting couch), I can understand people not thinking it would have any effect besides costing them their careers to report something.

I think the change that needs to happen involves changes at many levels, and the most important part is about how reports are received and what the response is. Creating an environment where victims feel safe is extremely important, and can mean that non victims don't report everything, every time they learn something.
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  #22  
Old 05 November 2017, 08:13 PM
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One thing that is coming out that those who think "why didn't he/she say anything" is how victims of Weinstein and Spacey are including the children of some pretty prominent people. If even the kid of someone like Richard Dreyfuss didn't feel they could say something that tells us a lot about how much harder, if not impossible it would have been for some young unknown to speak up.
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  #23  
Old 05 November 2017, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
The question posed by the OP is all wrong. The question, when you get right down to it, is 'Should people sometimes just put up with sexual assault?'. The short answer is 'no'. The longer answer is 'are you NBSKing kidding me?!'
This is exactly the point I was going to make. That, and being fired, ex-communicated, etc.* is not a "punishment" subject to proportionality but just a matter of course when it comes to conflict resolution.

ETA: *At least in this and other "politically correct" contexts.
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  #24  
Old 06 November 2017, 02:26 AM
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If people had a "me too" campaign for being falsely accused of sexual harassment or worse, my guess is we'd be just as surprised at who says they have but even more surprised at how few responses there'd be. And, if you think about it, the true accusations aren't in any way to blame for those false accusations. So the whole premise of this line of conversation is irrational. Let's talk about it but there's no need to bring it up in the same context; it's not a (very) related problem.

Does it make men and women more cautious that these stories come out? Make them a bit more concerned about their behaviour and worried about 'making the wrong move'? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. Still nowhere near what we know many women and a lot of men carry every day. And, did I mention, unrelated?
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  #25  
Old 06 November 2017, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
If people had a "me too" campaign for being falsely accused of sexual harassment or worse, my guess is we'd be just as surprised at who says they have but even more surprised at how few responses there'd be.
I'm afraid there'd be a whole lot of responses; but most of them would be along the lines of 'sure I always patted the secretaries on their asses, and/or yes I kept asking the clerk to go to bed with me even though she kept saying no and asked me to stop asking, and/or I told the waitress she ought to wear a shorter skirt so I could see her pretty legs better, and/or I called the defense attorney a little girl in court, but none of that is sexual harassment! It's all perfectly normal behavior!'

If people are worried that they'll be publicly accused of misbehavior for that sort of thing -- that is IMO a very good idea, and it's about time. Or, rather, long past time.
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  #26  
Old 06 November 2017, 08:25 AM
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I don't think a fraction of 5 million people in a few days would 'come out' as victims of false accusation but, yeah, of the few who did, a relatively large portion might be of that nature.

As is typical with these "what about the mens" and "all lives matter" and so forth, the vast and complex asymmetry is hard to comprehend - even for people who know it's there. So it's kind of a knee-jerk reaction (not always a bad one for many issues) to "look at the other side of the issue" when there really isn't any in some cases, IMHO.
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  #27  
Old 06 November 2017, 04:35 PM
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In my experience of dealing with harassment issues and investigations on behalf of the government, false allegations are very rare. Although, they do occur, they are rare*.

Similar to false allegations, though, are allegations whereby the complainant does not understand what is and what is not harassment. These are far more common**.

And even after resolution, oftentimes the complainant still cries harassment on the same issue, but not officially.

However, this pales in the numbers of legitimate harassment complaints. For sexual harassment, it is mostly, if not exclusively, the telling of poorly chosen jokes.

* My first run in with sexual harassment, before I was trained, was a false allegation. It was uncovered and the respondant was completely cleared.

** Examples of sexual harassment complaints that have not been validated I've come across:
- Sergeant Major enforcing a uniform dress standard was accused of harassment because one soldier thought that aspects of the dress manual should not apply to her (dress manual is for all soldiers. And as a bonus, it has now only one standard, regardless of gender)
- supervisor not providing sick leave for menstrual cramps (it is a doctor's prerogative to issue sick leave)
- a course had a weekly coffee run on Friday. The third Friday it fell to a female student. She reported that she felt harassed because the woman had to fetch coffee (every week a different student had coffee task)
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  #28  
Old 06 November 2017, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I think the change that needs to happen involves changes at many levels, and the most important part is about how reports are received and what the response is. Creating an environment where victims feel safe is extremely important, and can mean that non victims don't report everything, every time they learn something.
Having an environment where someone knows that they are not the only one can be helpful. There is also the fear of over-reacting, at least from my point of view.

When I was freshly graduated from college, I worked in a company where a man in his 50s liked to stand around the coffee pot and complain about the pictures of naked woman in Playboy. It was not comfortable to be around him and many women avoid the coffee pot if he was there. A female manager happened to be at the coffee pot when he started his spiel. She told him she didn't think his discussion was appropriate for the office. And he stopped. He had some other behavior that was rather annoying and after seeing her say something I finally got up the nerve to ask to stop. He did.

In this case it was easy. Not everyone is so cooperative.
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  #29  
Old 07 November 2017, 11:53 PM
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Kevin Spacey is Innocent

Quote:
Why does everyone believe Kevin Spacey’s accuser rather than Kevin Spacey himself? In a civilised society, it would be the other way round. In a civilised society we would doubt the accuser and maintain the innocence of the accused. But increasingly we do not live in a civilised society. As demonstrated by the hysteria of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the increasingly strange and narcissistic #metoo contagion, we live in a society where accusation is now proof. Where accusation alone can colour someone’s reputation beyond repair. I fear we haven’t yet registered how worrying, and terrifying, this state of affairs is.
Two points:

1) I debated posting this on the Kevin Spacey outrage thread instead, but it seemed to fit the discussion better here;

2) I'm posting this because I found it an interesting reaction, but not because I agree with all of it,, either in substance or, particularly, tone. Yes, we have to remember the "innocent until proven guilty" standard when it comes to criminal convictions, but I don't think that necessarily means we just shrug off these kind of accusations - particularly when they are backed up by similar accusations from others.
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  #30  
Old 08 November 2017, 01:52 AM
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That essay is a load of flaming trash.

The reason why it is said to "believe the victim" in sexual assault cases is that 1) so few are reported and out of those 2) the case rarely goes forward, and when it does go forward, 3) it rarely gets a conviction...

So for many women, this is their only method of protecting themselves from predators. The idea of innocent until proven guilty is only for those cases where people have a reasonable expectation of justice.

So if people want "innocent until proven guilty," how about we actually make sure that the guilty are found guilty on a regular basis first?

Also, it's really hard for me to take this article seriously when most of these people being accused have gone on for years with no consequences. Weinstein was sued repeatedly, wiretapped, and now only with this "metooing" do the police actually have the political backing to actually move cases forward...
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  #31  
Old 08 November 2017, 02:44 AM
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"Innocent until proven guilty" is for the Court of Law.

In the Court of Public Opinion, you're free to say he's guilty as NFBSK before the trial begins.
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  #32  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khisanth View Post
...So if people want "innocent until proven guilty," how about we actually make sure that the guilty are found guilty on a regular basis first?...
How will you ever know whether the truly guilty are found guilty if you assume anyone accused is guilty?

This neither assures that the guilty people will be found guilty nor that innocent people will not be found guilty.
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  #33  
Old 08 November 2017, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
[Quoted by, not written by, E.Q. Taft]
we live in a society where [ . . . ] accusation alone can colour someoneís reputation beyond repair.
Hey! Men!

Welcome to our world!

(I hope this is actually less so than it used to be. However, "slut-shaming" is now a word -- )
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  #34  
Old 08 November 2017, 04:03 AM
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My comments were replying specifically to a hyperbolic essay that pretty much indicated that we shouldn't believe accusers. That Spacey is "innocent" even though there is at least one person (and now many more) who says otherwise.
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  #35  
Old 08 November 2017, 04:57 AM
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I would have been more open to the article if it would have used the phrase, “presumed innocent,” rather than just “innocent.” The modifier, for me, gives the accused the protection of the law without immediately calling the accuser a liar. Screaming “he’s innocent!” before the facts are in isn't any more balanced than screaming “he’s guilty!” Ideally, “presumed” creates a sort of limbo where both parties are believed until the whole case has come to light.

And what exactly about the #metoo movement is narcissistic? I don’t think I understand that characterization at all.
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  #36  
Old 08 November 2017, 06:12 AM
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Presumption of innocence is a high standard and a very good one. Joe B. who used to participate here used to say that's the standard we should all follow. But it is a bit ridiculous if taken to the extreme. For example, if we have to wait for a conviction to even have any suggestion of guilt, no one could be arrested at all. Instead, an officer or the DA uses the info they have to make arrests or indictments, bring someone to court... Just that can ruin someone's life so it needs to be done with great care. The importance of protecting the innocent - including those only presumed so because they haven't been convicted yet - is very important but it has to be balanced with justice within a reasonable number of lifetimes, not to mention balanced with the other things society has to do to protect people from crime and non-crime bad stuff.

It's funny (in a terrifying way) that some people who don't mind people getting roughed up or even killed by the police if there is some chance they are guilty but who whine like lost puppies over someone (no one specific in this post), for whom there is ample evidence of abusive and predatory behaviour, simply being discussed in the papers.
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  #37  
Old 08 November 2017, 06:38 AM
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The presumption of innocence is a statement of the burden of proof for a criminal conviction. It doesn't even mean that the government has to treat the accused as actually innocent of the conduct--it just can't treat them as convicted of a crime until and unless that happens.

The government can briefly detain a person on reasonable suspicion, arrest a person, hold them in jail, and search their belongings on probable cause. A person can be acquitted of child abuse charges, but still have their kids in foster care, because the standards of proof are different, and protecting kids is different from punishing a person for a crime.

And private citizens are free to set their own standards of proof as they please for deciding what to believe and what actions to take. It's silly and really misunderstands our judicial system to think that it makes us uncivilized to not adhere to a very specific criminal justice concept in totally inapplicable contexts.

ETA: Also, that essay is indeed a flaming load of manure. It is so bad that I don't want to mention anything in particular, because it might suggest that some other NFBSKed up part of it is not as bad. But I will mention the most shockingly NFBSKed up bit. Emmet Till was a victim of the uncritical belief in sexual harassment accusations? I'm speechless with fury, disgust and disbelief. I didn't expect them to top referring to the "hysteria" of the Weinstein accusations, but boy, did they ever.

Last edited by erwins; 08 November 2017 at 07:00 AM.
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  #38  
Old 08 November 2017, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
And what exactly about the #metoo movement is narcissistic? I donít think I understand that characterization at all.
I think, possibly, that women are daring to say that our experience of harassment matters. We're making it about us! Nothing is supposed to be about us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
ETA: Also, that essay is indeed a flaming load of manure. It is so bad that I don't want to mention anything in particular, because it might suggest that some other NFBSKed up part of it is not as bad. But I will mention the most shockingly NFBSKed up bit. Emmet Till was a victim of the uncritical belief in sexual harassment accusations? I'm speechless with fury, disgust and disbelief. I didn't expect them to top referring to the "hysteria" of the Weinstein accusations, but boy, did they ever.
Yes, that. I couldn't even think what to say about the Emmet Till comparison.

And since when is complaining about somebody the equivalent of kidnapping them and torturing them to death?
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  #39  
Old 08 November 2017, 02:34 PM
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Don't know if this is true in all cases, but part of the immediate response in both Weinstein and Spacey's cases is that it seems that many people already knew about it but no one wanted to be the first one to say something.

These aren't cases of everyone believing that the emperor has no clothes simply because one child said he didn't, but of everyone finally acknowledging the fact once someone had the courage to publicly state it.

ETA: Or, more cynically, everyone ignoring the issue because they could make money from doing so, and then jumping on the condemnation bandwagon once it became too publicized to safely ignore.

Last edited by GenYus234; 08 November 2017 at 02:59 PM.
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  #40  
Old 08 November 2017, 02:37 PM
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It's pretty bizarre too that it begins by insisting that we should give credence to what Spacey says rather than the accusation against him. Initially, I thought the article must be referring to a later accusation that Spacey had actually denied. But, no. It is insisting that we are uncivilized for not assuming that Spacey is innocent based on his response to the accusation by Rapp, which was that he does not remember the encounter but has no reason to doubt that it happened, and if it did, he apologizes. (I don't remember Spacey's exact words, but I think that was the gist.)

I have no problem crediting Spacey's statement that he doesn't remember. I have no particular reason to doubt that it's true. Maybe the number of times he's been in those circumstances tends to blur together. Maybe he was extremely drunk. I'm not assuming that Spacey is necessarily lying in his response to Rapp, though.
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