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Looking at the stars in the gutter: 3 thoughts about the sex scandal epidemic

1.There seems to have been an awful lot of people in the entertainment industry and the media who were aware of who the famous gropers (and worse) were – an “open secret”, “everyone knew”, etc. – and yet no one did anything, for decades. No one complained, no one blew the whistle, no one brought charges. I know it’s very difficult for the victims, particularly when the perpetrators are powerful men who can make or break your career. But considering how endemic the abuse was, how many powerful people (of both genders) were aware of it, and how tacitly accepted it was, please stop lecturing the rest of the society about your moral superiority, the sense of compassion and your progressive credentials. Your industries are cesspits of abuse and exploitation, and you’re all complicit through action or inaction.

2. This is all bad news for the left, because so many of the institutions, particularly cultural and creative institutions, are completely dominated by the people who style themselves as very woke and socially aware, where women are women and men are feminists. Or are they? While it’s not much fun being bombarded by a story after story that seems to reinforce the feminist stereotype of men as animals, predators and rapists, it’s not the men that the left-dominated and shaped popular culture overwhelmingly portrays as such: businessmen, military, religious, conservative. And it’s going to get worse for our moral elites: first came Hollywood, now the media – what’s next? Perhaps the music industry. Or the academia. Expect some damage control attempts aiming to address the political/ideological imbalance amongst the accused, primarily through trying to dig out dirt on politicians, pundits, sportsmen and business leaders; professions where conservatives or at least non-progressives are better represented. This, however, will be a losing battle since celebrities and famous people generally tend to be overwhelmingly left of centre; the pool of prominent sleazebags is just so much deeper there.

3. As much as I enjoy watching the sanctimonious hypocrites eating themselves, we are now entering a dangerous territory where an accusation of a past misdeed is enough to cause people to lose their jobs and destroy their reputation. I don’t carry any water for Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin and all the others recently accused of inappropriate and/or criminal behaviour; for all I know it’s all true and then some, and they are guilty of the behaviour that has been alleged and then some. But you have to be concerned about what’s happening to the long established legal principles like the presumption of innocence and the right to defend (and possibly exonerate) oneself in court. The allegations now range from unwanted proposals and touching to rape and sexual advances on minors, with a stream of accusers coming out with stories ranging from recent to several decades old and the media, including social media, acting as judges and juries (execution remains in the hands of businesses and employers). Now, most of the accusations of sexual misconduct statistically turn out to be true (as tested in the court process), but we also know that somewhere between 2 to 10 per cent turn out to be false. This is not a witch-hunt as there are appear to be indeed witches everywhere, but even witches deserve a fair treatment and impartial justice, not an electronic lynch mob.

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