Morning Ed: Harvey’s Shadow {2017.10.25.W}

[HS01] China Daily declares that sexual harassment is a western problem.

[HS02] Anna David talks about omnipresent sexual harassment while trying to make her way through the Hollywood ranks. Molly Ringwold speaks of other Harveys. Lindsay Zoldadz shares her experiences and how she tried to dodge unwanted attention.

[HS03] According to Thomas Frank, Weinstein’s hard-charging liberal politics operated as a shield against accusations. Perhaps there was a reason he thought bringing up the NRA would help.

[HS04] Huffington Post about how Harvey Weinstein was protected for years, and Buzzfeed on how he held on. Quentin Tarantino has regrets.

[HS05] Brit Marling explains how the cost of saying no can be awfully high. And while actresses might have a platform to speak out down the road, crewmembers don’t.

[HS06] Louis CK and Woody Allen have bad timing. Though at least in Allen’s case, if you roll the dice enough.

[HS07] Claire Cain Miller writes of how sexual harassment allegations can hurt women generally in the workplace. It’s such a terrible lose-lose situation. It’s up to corporate America to fix.

[HS08] In a venue where people really needed to hear it, Amy Swearer shares her #MeToo. Also, Prepper Frog on Twitter.

[HS09] From Sam Wilkinson: Dvora Meyers writes a potent rebuke of Mayim Bialik’s proposal of modesty as a workaround for men’s sexual aggression. Meyers rightly observes that Bialik’s since-apologized-for idea asks nothing of men while implicitly blaming women for their own abuse, as if predatory men are simply incapable of anything beyond what they have always done.

[HS10] Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has gotten its subpoenas for its own sexual harassment case and 0other accusors want to know “What about us?”

[HS11] Conservatives have tried to tie Weinstein to the Democrats, but to be honest I don’t buy it. That said, the DNC’s handling of his donations is poppycock for which they should get no credit. The DCCC did better, though.

[HS12] The cascade of accusations reached Vox. Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly paid $32,000,000 for a non-disclosure. Really glad that didn’t pan out.

[HS13] And in addition to Hollywood and newsrooms, state capitols.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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154 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Harvey’s Shadow {2017.10.25.W}

  1. HS11: A Vote For Trump was a Vote For Women. Clintons have been covering up for Uncle Harvey since the mid 1990’s or so (I know someone on their team). Big big donor, and whatcha get for that money? Coverups all the way down. You’re quoting the stories on “Who Killed What” without seeing the root of the problem.

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  2. HS13: When I was on the permanent staff for the Colorado legislature, my perception was that it was a constant low-level sort of thing for the female staffers. From memory, at least one lobbyist lost their credentials and one member lost his committee positions over more egregious cases. The women who had some actual power seemed to get less of it. An example of staff power was the Joint Budget Committee staff — we wrote the documents that would be the starting point for any debate in the Appropriations committees, with minimal oversight and no review by the bills’ sponsors. A document slanted against a bill made things tough for the sponsor, and there’s no such thing as a bill that spends money that you can’t write something bad about.

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  3. H11: I am fascinated to see if the right-wing media strategy works. They are counting on their audience not noticing that the Weinstein blowup involves Weinstein being cast to the outer darkness. Compare this with O’Reilly, or for that matter Trump. The hypocrisy is impressive, but I expect they know their audience.

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    • O’Reilly was fired, as was Ailes. The difference isn’t between Fox and Hollywood, neither of which has behaved defensibly, but rather that Fox has a closer relationship with the relevant parties than dies Hollywood. Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to tolerate and keep quiet about rapists until the public finds out, but in this case and unlike Goldschmidt and Wu and others Harvey is a donor and fundraiser while with O’Reilly Fox is literally talking (or not talking) about itself. So the Democrats just don’t have the same sort of liability.

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            • It’s certainly not limited to specific industries, but it’s also not evenly distributed. I think it has to be worse in industries where there is a lot of competition for comparatively few prestige jobs, for example, because that maximizes the influence and leverage of Important People. That feeds into the important people being prestigious and therefore harder to get rid of and replace.

              So it makes sense that it would be really bad in Hollywood. Same with television media (though it seems especially bad at Fox, for a variety of reasons). Politics makes sense, too. I’m not sure if Silicon Valley’s problem is worse than elsewhere, or whether it just gets more attention.

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              • It seems to be worse where for one reason or another there are big power differentials, regardless of industry. Either because of job lines (eg doctors–> nurses or librarians–> staff), because someone is a “rockstar” in the industry, or because it’s (sigh) a male-dominated industry. I’d like to believe that just being male-dominated numerically isn’t enough to establish a power dynamic, but from what I’ve seen (in fields as diverse as civil engineering/construction, coding, political science, and ornithology) it is.

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                • I’ll throw this out there as a slightly different take. Power leads to abuses of many kinds and one of the ways powerful men express that abuse is sexual harassment. Power, and power differentials, seem to me the source of the problem. And since male culture in the US – or at least some important subsections of it – is dominated by a reverence of individual power and a desire for it, the cycle sorta keeps perpetuating itself like slowly grinding gears.

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                • there was a former admin here who, while I don’t know that he was lecherous in the particular way that Weinstein, O’Reilley, et al are alleged to have been, was a jerk and rude and a misogynist and said horrible things to people. And it shocked and maddened me because here we were, having to do online quizzes on “avoiding being a sexual harasser” (and if we didn’t, they’d hold our paycheck until we did)….and here this a-hole was doing it openly.

                  Really soured me on a lot of things.

                  granted, individual is now FORMER so I’m guessing he mouthed off at someone who actually had more power than he did, instead of just being abusive to the profs and staff people, but….after my first interaction with him I learned why a colleague once said (mostly but not entirely in jest), “If he was crossing the street as I was driving down it, I’d speed up.”

                  But I don’t know. I find the double-standard as maddening as the fact that some people think they can do it – that I have to sit in my office and click through a half-hour’s worth of powerpoint slides and answer a dumb quiz on not being a sexual harasser when there’s someone out there actually DOING IT and without consequences to them.

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                      • I’m working at a public university, albeit on the cleaning staff, but we have a creeper and general power-tripper on our administrative level. I sort of hoped it would be different too and am still a bit bewildered that they brought the back after his numerous sexual harassment complaints were detailed in the local media and they sent him on a vacation. Part of it, I assume, is simply that cleaners are a socially invisible caste. I think a bigger issue though is just the calculation of what he could win in a lawsuit versus what a handful of cleaning women might get.

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                  • I’d like to think that was not just A reason, but the main reason- but my reams of anecdata suggest it’s really no different that construction or ornithology in that regard. In which, to borrow an example from the cracked article that I’ve seen play out in real life once, objecting to rape jokes is not just taken as something to be “outvoted” about, but something to turn the rape joke ON the objector about, to further harass her about, and eventually, when she takes the sexually harassing bullying, to drive her out of the industry about. (that was ornithology, if anyone’s wondering.)

                    Or in other words, my experience / the stories of my friends suggest not just cluelessness, but active maintenance of existing power structures through ganging up on weaker objectors. (they were mostly tenured; she was staff.)

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                    • I agree, but part of how the power is maintained is through individuals refusing to believe that a small minority are actively doing that. The whole Evil wins because Good men do nothing bit. The Good men don’t have to be cowards, just clueless or naive.

                      PS That is not an excuse, just a reason. The naive men, if they really are ‘good guys’, need to wake up and be aware.

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                      • It was a *the whole team* – there were 10 people at the meeting with the rape joke being turned on her, they all worked closely together day to day. Everyone she worked for – was either actively complicit, or saw how completely out of line things were and did nothing, which is quite a bit different from being oblivious. Almost all of them continued the harassment afterward in one way or another, either by harassing her or by attacking her for not wanting to be harassed (to the point of bullying, IMO).

                        They weren’t clueless or naive. They were *involved*. If they “didn’t see” what was happening right in front of their faces, it wasn’t lack of information / suspiciousness, it was subconscious or conscious *compartmentalization* of what was going on.

                        I get that you think there’s a huge majority of people (in tech) who are clueless or naive because you are the sort of person who would NEVER allow such behavior unless you were clueless about it.

                        I’d like to believe it’s a tiny minority who actively support the true predators and contribute to the pack structure, but the evidence I have access to suggests otherwise.

                        Frankly, I would suggest that assuming it’s because most people are clueless is its own kind of meta-cluelessness. Which I don’t *blame* you for, actually. But I think you may want to keep an open mind for the possibility that I’m right.

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                          • The Hannah Arendt quote is both true and depressing. Many people seem to go through life without a go along, get along type of personality. They never really thought deeply or even shallowly about the ethics or morals of their action. They just act and do what they want if they think they could get away with it.

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                            • I think that characterizes most of us. Actually, I think that characterizes all of us, at least sometimes.

                              One of my problems with what little I’ve read by Arendt (and because I’ve read only a little, I admit I might be misdirecting or misinterpreting what she’s said) is that she likes to make distinctions between types of people, some of whom are more likely to do good or stand up for principles or whatever, and some of whom are bureaucratic yes-persons who act according to the quotation Maribou offered. There also seems to be an undertone of “the first kind of people are professionals or independent (even yeomanishly inedpendent)” and there is a Lumpen group of mere bureaucrats or petty wage earners.

                              I can’t point to anyplace where she’s actually said that. Again, I realize I might be misinterpreting her. Even her references to “bureaucrats” seem mostly directed at higher level bureaucrats and not the lower-level operatives. Even so, I still detect a certain snobbism in what I’ve read from her.

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                              • What seems to you like snobbism, I would suggest was actually her being (legitimately) angry and feeling betrayed and heartbroken by people like Heidegger (her lover, whom she provided cover for after the war) and Jaspers (her mentor) who chose to be loyal to their bureaucracies and institutions rather than to their personal affiliations with her, an assimilated Jew – or for that matter their professional obligations as teachers of Jews and other Holocaust victims, and as supposedly independent thinkers. As well as her own internal conflicts as an intensely self-loathing Jew who mostly rose above that grave moral error, politically, to make strong and impersonal arguments.

                                I mean, it’s damn complicated and she had flaws that leak through all over her writing and I change my mind about her on a personal level about every 5 years – but that’s how I read her, and that’s the context in which I think her apparent snobbishness best exists.

                                here’s an interesting article about related things:
                                https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/01/12/beware-of-pity

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                                • I finally read that New Yorker article, and it’s quite good. It mostly qualifies/refutes my view of her expressed above. However, the author of that piece, Adam Kirsch, seems to agree with me, at least in part:

                                  Too much of life and too many kinds of people are excluded from Arendt’s sympathy, which she could freely give only to those as strong as she was.

                                  I realize it’s inconsiderate to reduce Kirsch’s analysis to one sentence–and what he says in the piece is more than what’s represented only in that sentence. His observation there is part of what I was trying to get at above.

                                  Thanks for referring the article to me.

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                                  • Sure. I try to refer good articles more often than ones that completely agree with me and/or prove my points. Library worker vice, as I suspect you are familiar with :D.

                                    Seriously, as I said, I go back and forth, myself, on Arendt about once every five years. So it’s obviously complicated and there’s a lot of room for differing interpretations. I’ve just found, fairly often, that people form an idea of Arendt without considering what a weight of rejection and hurt she was feeling basically her whole life because of what happened to her professionally.

                                    As an aside, although I’m 100 percent certain she’d object, she’s one of my head-canon “it’s harmful to most grad students when their profs sleep with them” people, as well as being one of the reasons I have little desire whatsoever to “rehabilitate” Heidegger.

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                              • Many historian disagree strenuously with Arendt’s diagnosis of the Third Reich and Eichmann in particular. They like to point out that Eichmann and many other members of the Nazi Party were evil long before they joined that Nazi Party. They weren’t normal men with wives, kids, and pet dogs that did evil things to advance their careers. They hated Jews from the get go.

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                                • Not that I’m an expert on the 3d Reich, but I go back and forth. I do believe much of what is evil is in fact “banal” and not the result of a maniacally evil mindset. However, I think Eichmann was an exceptionally poor example. And again, some people do have a maniacally evil mindset.

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                        • Note in my original comment, I said that dynamic was at play a lot of times, not all the time. You can easily have a dynamic where the place is loaded with creeps.

                          But what I suspect is actually at play is you have one or two creeps, who, by their nature, are charismatic (successful harassers generally are, it’s a big part of how they get away with it for so long), and are very good at getting the clueless and naive to “go along to get along”. The power dynamic that incentivizes these guys to prey on women also works against men who speak up in support of the women. It’s not as effective, but it still has an effect to undermine potential support.

                          So the guys who could speak up in support of their female colleagues put themselves at risk as well, if there isn’t some kind of groundswell such that the creep can’t pick them off one-by-one. I’ve seen that play out.

                          Of course, sometimes we get lucky and the creep tries to go after a woman or man who is happy to throw down, and then things get interesting. But again, successful creeps know how to identify who will do that and they work hard to avoid or marginalize those people.

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                          • You can continue to explain to me how you think it works most of the time, and I’ll continue to tell you that my first-hand experience (did you know my first job was building web pages?) and 2nd hand experience suggests it works very differently most of the time.

                            I’m just saying, keep an open mind about my theory that you are meta-clueless, please.

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                            • Er, technically that was my 2nd job. My first job was as a receptionist. In theory. Really it was as a “do whatever you can including working on web stuff and also hosting concerts and also lifting boxes and also kitchen prep and also running sound systems and also nap time for the day care” job that led directly *to* the web page job.

                              But that’s an aside, I just have an undue need for precision.

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                            • I wasn’t saying you are wrong, only that there are multiple ways the dynamic can play out. Your anecdotal evidence is one way.

                              I’ve worked for 4 very large STEM organizations so far (1 government, 1 education, 2 private), and I don’t know how many smaller companies, and I’ve heard and seen harassment play out multiple ways; but in the end, it comes down to power, and who has it, and how they choose to exercise it. The ‘how’ sets up which dynamic is operational.

                              Finally, the reason this is such a nasty issue is that creeps are not stupid. Well, there are stupid creeps, but they get caught early. The Harvey’s of the world are smart, and patient, and they build multiple layers of protection around themselves so they can be creeps. It takes time, and firepower, to get through that protection. It takes a focused effort from multiple people and organizational support. In a way, it’s like taking down an organized crime boss. Some of that defense is built up from people who just can’t believe the person is a creep, because the creep has taken great pains to hide that part of themselves; more is built out of fear that the creep will destroy anyone who fails to back him up, and the rest is from other creeps who are happy to support their fellow and bolster his defense. Figuring out who forms which part is a tough nut, but of the 10 people in your story, I highly doubt all 10 were fellow creeps. That doesn’t make them any less culpable, but it is important when it comes time to take the creep down, because the clueless ones are the easiest to turn.

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                              • None of those 10 people were clueless. They were all *in a meeting where a woman was shamed for speaking up about a rape joke and the rape joke was turned against her*. *very blatantly*.

                                At *best* those people were compartmentalizing. Which does make them a lot more turnable but it’s a lot different from *being naive*. And is actually *more culpable* imo than being naive. I didn’t actually say they were creeps, I said they were actively involved in *maintaining pack structure* by enabling the harassment of the weak objector. Not passively ignorant and benefiting, like a naive person would, but *making a choice* (whether conscious or not).

                                I know you aren’t saying that dynamic is always there. I’ve been in (non-sexual-sphere) contexts where there were plenty of clueless people, and in one of those cases, I was among the bullied and the big boss was among the clueless (2 in a row actually) and I *fixed* it by finally getting up the courage to go to said big boss and be patient with his clueless attempts to explain to me what was actually happening until he heard reason and sought out confirmation (which was a ton of work, but only worked at all because he was clueless, not compartmentalizing). So I know your dynamic is *sometimes* there. I’ve lived that one too.

                                I’m saying I think that as a guy, you have the luxury of being clueless as to how common the dynamic I”m talking about actually is, as is perhaps demonstrated by you analyzing my example in a way that shows you weren’t actually listening to what I said, and are choosing to believe different things than what I already told you were true about *my example*.

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                                • I was listening. Compartmentalizing (which is a good way to put it) is often part of the fear defense. Those people aren’t clueless, they are probably afraid. That one person has enough power to come after them, so they do what they do to survive. The flip side of the fear motivation is dependence. They need to be in that persons good graces for some reason or another. Even if the guy doesn’t attack them, he can cut them off from a benefit/privilege they’ve come to enjoy.

                                  Sure, there are people who, even if they aren’t creeps themselves, will participate in the humiliation because they are sexist, and have an investment in maintaining the power structure, but you CAN NOT know what caused those 9 other people to act they way they did, which is my whole point. They are complicit, but not necessarily because they want to maintain the existing power structure. Hell, they might very well be quite disgusted with it, and would love to tear it down, but aren’t up to the task.

                                  This what makes creeps so dangerous, because they subvert people into their power plays and make the whole place toxic. They persist because they either have the support of sexists/creepers above them, or, as you demonstrate nicely, the people with the power are clueless.

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                                  • They want to maintain it badly enough that their own place in it, at least, is more important to them than other people not having rape jokes turned on them in meetings.

                                    I never said doing evil required actively enjoying the situation as it is. I quoted Arendt for a reason. I think it’s entirely plausible that most people performing evil in one sense or another are doing so out of fear. You didn’t originally say that, that’s not what I was arguing against.

                                    I said that all of those motivations are not the same as cluelessness. And I CAN in fact know that their motivation was not cluelessness because things were happening *in front of their very faces*. Which, until this very comment, you have been arguing I could not. Which was infinitely frustrating.

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                                    • I never said naivety is the only thing going on. I said it is probably more prevelant in tech based upon my experience in multiple tech companies (engineers and developers are not always the most aware of personal interactions that are not happening to them, sometimes intentionally so). You countered with a single anecdote and seem to be trying to club me over the head with it.

                                      Please stop doing that.

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                                      • I didn’t counter with a single anecdote. I said based upon my experience in multiple tech companies and that of my female friends in multiple tech companies, many of whom have careers similar to yours – mine is less than yours in part because I *saw the writing on the wall at an early age* and left for the more female-friendly information areas of bookstores and libraries, and have since refused job offers at multiple tech companies – I disagree that naivete is more prevalent in tech companies.

                                        I offered a single anecdote in contrast to your Cracked article about a single toxic person, not in response to your anecdata.

                                        Any repetitious reiteration of the anecdote was in response to you seeming like you were misinterpreting the single anecdote… and to be honest because you seemed to be clubbing me over the head with a version of “my summative anecdata is more meaningful than your summative anecdata to the point where I will re-explain the example you gave in my own terms”.

                                        If you feel like I’m attacking you, I suggest you reconsider my original comment on your comment.

                                        Such was not my intent, but your response to my comment on your comment, despite starting with “I agree,” felt to me *extremely* dismissive of what I was saying. If that wasn’t what you meant to convey, I think we misunderstood each other pretty deeply on both sides.

                                        Which isn’t the worst thing, it’s damn hard to talk about this, and there are only 3 male tech people I’ve *ever* had a good conversation about it with. (Not that it matters, but those 3 people are my husband, my best buddy Steve whose wife is a high placed defense-contracting engineer, and my buddy M whose long term (female) life partner is a 911 sys admin.) So you’re unfortunately stuck with someone who has a lot of baggage from about 50-100 conversations with well meaning tech guys (and maybe 20 with NOT well-meaning tech guys) who didn’t… really let me talk at all. They just wanted to explain to me how me and my female friends were completely mistaken about stuff we saw happen and why it happened.

                                        And that’s not fair to you.

                                        So I guess we give up for now?

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                                        • We have very different competing anecdata. I’ve never seen anything close to the aggressive harassment you describe in tech (I did in the military, but not since I got my BS).

                                          All my experiences have been very quiet, people who keep the creeping on the down low so it’s always he said she said.

                                          Note every place I have worked has had very aggressive harassment policies, which is probably a big part of why I have had the experiences I have had.

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                                          • Ok, well, “very different competing anecdata” is exactly why I was suggesting you *may* – not definitely are, but *may* – be suffering from a sort of meta-cluelessness, where you’re writing off people as clueless who are actually not. Which you may want to keep an eye out for, going forward.

                                            You can *feel free* to just write off my suggestion that other people’s contradictory anecdata could, perhaps, be more salient than your own on this particular topic, but I’m not sure how that makes you more clear-minded than the clueless people you’re framing as the most prevalent part of the problem.

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                                            • But it’s not meta-cluelessness, and I take offense to the implication, which is why I explained my awareness of other dynamics. I’m sorry of you felt I was trying to explain to you why you were wrong about what you witnessed, that was not my intent (although looking back, I can see how you got that). Rather I was defending myself against the idea that I am not aware of how else it plays out. My experiences, and the experiences I hear about from the women in tech that I know[1], correlates to naivety[2] being a driving factor.

                                              [1] Every one of them has a ‘me too’ story, so I’m not trying to say that it isn’t a problem in tech.

                                              [2] This is not some way to say tech is better. Naivety can very much be, and often is, willful. Especially in tech. A person who decides that they will ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ is not someone who gets a pass. This was something I thought the Cracked article made clear, that the ‘Good Guy’ in question was being rather willfully clueless, and that is just as big a part of the problem.

                                              Anyway, I have a deadline on Monday, so this is the last I will say about this. If we are still in a state of conflict about this, we’ll have to hash it out another time.

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                                    • To walk back a bit, yes, in your example, if everyone is participating in the harassment, they can’t claim naivety.

                                      But, as your anecdote with your manager suggests, naivety is a big part of the problem.

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                                      • My anecdote wasn’t with a naive manager, it was with a naive director about a toxic manager and specifically a non-sexual situation. It was also in *a numerically female-dominated* workplace and offered merely as acknowledgement that naivete exists.

                                        I just can’t translate knowing that naivete exists (in all workplaces) and can cause problems, as meaning that naivete is the most prevalent part of the problem of bullying, especially but not only sexual bullying in male-dominated contexts. You disagree with me, I disagree with you, whatever, I get that I just said we give up but *please* – stop explaining to me that my understanding of my own stories proves your point, and misrepresenting my stories and what I’ve said when you do it.

                                        I think is right on about this, in his initial comment, and I don’t think either of us even disagrees with him?

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                              • Oscar,
                                Well, yes. When half the country decides that Uncle Harvey’s got to pay…
                                Oh, wait, they voted for Trump for OTHER reasons?

                                Clintons’ money backed Harvey, pretty much from the mid-1990’s.

                                A vote for Women. A vote for Trump. ;-)

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              • Media and Entertainment have the problems of being careers where there is a high-demand of wanting to be involved and a relatively low supply of jobs that pay or pay a living wage.

                I don’t know if tech is the same in terms of demand and supply. But sexual harassment is a problem in all industries.

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                • Tech always needs more skilled people. It would benefit from replacing mediocre people with skilled people, but a skilled tech guy is someone who will be exceptionally stealable by another company (or, I suppose, a sufficiently motivated skilled tech guy could always find another company willing to take a risk on them).

                  The problem is that even a pretty good (even if not great) tech guy will be in pretty high demand because Tech always needs more skilled people.

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        • Weinstein kept his position after settlement after settlement after settlement. In both cases, they were tossed out only when the settlements made the papers and the PR got too bad. There is no important distinction to be made between how Hollywood handled Weinstein and how Fox handled O’Reilly. Both did nothing until they had to do something.

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          • How much of different handling has to do with ownership structure? Privately vs publicly held? What portions of a privately held company? If public, narrowly vs widely held? Eg, Fox is a corporate board dealing with employees (even Ailes). If the Weinstein brothers held 62% of the Weinstein Company instead of 42%, would things have been different? For practical purposes, Donald Trump is the Trump Organization, so if Trump doesn’t care the business doesn’t care.

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          • When I say O’Reilly got un-fired, I mean just recently. He was persona non grata for as short a time as Fox News thought they could get away with. It is possible that Weinstein will return to power. I doubt it, but I could be wrong. If so, that will be support for the equivalency claim.

            In the meantime do Democratic politicians come back from sex scandals? John Edwards and Anthony Wiener come to mind as examples to the contrary. Bill Clinton survived his sex scandal, but this is different from coming back from one. He isn’t going to ever be elected to anything again. Compare this with, say, Mark Sanford’s hiking of the Appalachian Trail. That proved barely a bump in the road for him. And of course again, Donald Trump, the walking sex scandal. Republicans whose self-image is too high to like Trump try to pretend that he is an aberration somehow apart from the Republican Party, but this is of course bullshit.

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            • O’Reilly wasn’t recently unfired. He was invited onto Hannity as a guest. I doubt Fox was thrilled at having someone currently suing them on the network, but Hannity’s contract gives him a lot of autonomy. As far as I know (though I don’t watch Fox closely), apart from ongoing litigation that’s the extent of their current relationship. O’Reilly seems likely to land in syndication through Sinclair – possibly with Hannity – at the moment.

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      • So the Democrats just don’t have the same sort of liability.

        As a point of fact you’re correct, but as a point of politics I think you’re way off base. A big part of conservatives critique of liberals and liberalism over the last 15 or so years is that its a hidden force of (neoMarxist!! totalitarian!!) evil, nefariously and conspiratorily operating at a level unseen to casual observation facilitated by the rich and powerful. That Weinstein’s tentacles touch all the big liberal players and institutions acts to confirm the conspiracy theory.

        So I think HW impacts Dems/liberals much more than Fox News impacts conservatives.

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    • H11: I am fascinated to see if the right-wing media strategy works. They are counting on their audience not noticing that the Weinstein blowup involves Weinstein being cast to the outer darkness. Compare this with O’Reilly, or for that matter Trump. The hypocrisy is impressive, but I expect they know their audience.

      Yeah, I don’t buy it. The problem for libs is that the Weinstein scandal illustrates far more than it expiates.

      For example, it has been reasonably commonplace among some libs since the election to lament the election of Donald Trump. And ancillary to that, to disparage the reasons why somebody might be motivated to vote against Hillary while not being as concerned about the issues surrounding Donald Trump. “But her emails” they say, intending to mock perhaps libertarians, Bernie dissidents, and the like who ended up voting or Trump, or at least not voting for Hillary.

      But that doesn’t hold up, and the Weinstein scandal is a useful illustration why. That is, it’s not just Hillary’s misconduct wrt email security that was at issue. It was prevention of her email from legitimate scrutiny. And it’s quite possible, even likely, to think that her emails contained important information regarding brokered payoffs like book deals or donations to the Clinton foundation, sexual misconduct, maneuvers to disparage the reputation of the innocent, favors to sycophants, etc (just like they would for her fellow lib Harvey Weinstein).

      And just like Weinstein, libs fully intended to close ranks against the truth for the benefit of the cause. (redacted – stop, .- maribou)

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      • What is really stands out in this comment is how you don’t really address the O’Reilly/Trump sex allegations. They don’t’ seem to exist. Only Weinstein’s deeds exist all the others don’t. Which pretty much proves Richard’s point.

        Oh and didn’t you hear the bit about a few in Trump’s family using private e-mail accounts after the election. Solid stuff. I’m still telling people before it’s all over not only will more current admin members will admit to using private email accounts but there will be thousands of deleted emails. And it won’t matter to some.

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        • What is really stands out in this comment is how you don’t really address the O’Reilly/Trump sex allegations. They don’t’ seem to exist. Only Weinstein’s deeds exist all the others don’t. Which pretty much proves Richard’s point.

          Hmm, I think you’re missing the point, or I’m not being explicit enough. What the Weinstein scandal is about is corrupt lib advocacy, that’s the point. I’m not intending to deny the existence of O’Reilly/Trump sex allegations, but for my purpose they are orthogonal matters. They don’t exist in the context of lib narrative maintenance.

          Oh and didn’t you hear the bit about a few in Trump’s family using private e-mail accounts after the election. Solid stuff. I’m still telling people before it’s all over not only will more current admin members will admit to using private email accounts but there will be thousands of deleted emails. And it won’t matter to some.

          I did address this part directly. The way it looks from here, there will never be anything related to private Trump family emails that ever have anything near the effect of the Hillary emails. Part of the scandal was about email security, but a much bigger deal was what was in the hidden emails, and the many parties that were complicit in hiding them.

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          • This reads as the things you don’t want to see don’t matter because they aren’t part of the Narrative. This doesn’t really say much more than you don’t consider them part of the story you want to tell. If Weinstein matters, and he does, then that he is an example of what men and especially men with power do. Not men in one party or in one group, but men and men with power. Full stop. Excluding certain men because they are one side is the kind of thing that helps men who do this kind of thing keep doing it. In fact in all the named cases here, Weinstein, Trump, O’Reilly, add in Clinton, B, protecting “one of our guys” has been part of the problem.

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            • This reads as the things you don’t want to see don’t matter because they aren’t part of the Narrative. This doesn’t really say much more than you don’t consider them part of the story you want to tell.

              Yeah, that’s about right (there’s an aspect where Ailes and O’Reilly are similar to Weinstein and Trump is not but I’ll put that aside for now).

              The point is, that my story is the important take on the matter. It addresses the essential corruption of libs as the key factor in the matter whereas others, especially libs, are likely to ignore that. That is, that there may be commonalities about “men and power” to support the idea that this is a non-ideological scandal but in a comprehensive sense that view is too narrow.

              Specifically, it is libs who are invested in the idea that the dominant cultural narrative is theirs to control or manipulate. That’s what Weinstein was about. The sex part is ancillary really, that happened to be the thing that could be given to a person with his wealth. If it were something else, that’s what the headlines would be “about”.

              It’s the other side of the quid pro quo that is the lib scandal. That’s how libs maintain the chokehold over our discourse. The Weinsteins of the world are out enforcing it.

              http://www.unz.com/isteve/how-the-narrative-cake-is-baked/

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            • There was a comment that was supposed to go here that didn’t post. I tried another one that did post but I deleted, it was just a test. Please restore the first one, for posterity if nothing else.

              I gotta say though, the whole thing is getting tedious beyond all belief.

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              • Restored. FWIW WordPress and whichever widgets we have are just cracking down on links today for no reason I know about, it has nothing but coincidence to do with anything else. The other part, I’m finding pretty tedious too.

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            • In fact in all the named cases here, Weinstein, Trump, O’Reilly, add in Clinton, B, protecting “one of our guys” has been part of the problem.

              Trump’s “protection” from the media is unique and his own invention. Trump exaggerates his faults to gain attention and never turns off his stage-personality. The big ticket things we hold against Trump come from his own mouth, whether it’s his “grab them by….” statement, or him explaining he let his wife know he was divorcing her by telling the media, or him talking about his daughter. The weird result is we’re spammed and can’t tell the difference between him-a-monster and false accusations (even his own) he’d get because he’s rich, famous, and a monster.

              No one wakes up some morning and decides to be Trump. I expect he’s always been a psychopathic narcissistic whatever. The various ways he’s abused his power don’t say anything about men-in-general, powerful-men-in-general, or the system-in-general.

              Excluding him I think you’re correct.

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            • greg,
              Clinton protected Weinstein. Mistaking “oh, you don’t want to go against the clintons” for anything else is … kinda a mistake.

              Twenty years of protection, twenty years of throwing money at the Clintons. He got what he paid for, no?

              And, man o daisies, EVERYONE knew about Unca Harvey.

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        • It’s neither the simplest nor the least incendiary way to put it. And I’m telling you that as someone who has talked to you about this in the past *a lot* and listened *a lot* and if you keep running that phrase into everything (protip: telling the moderator to buzz off when warned about it doesn’t help either), you will get suspended.

          Which would suck. But not as much as you just deciding you’re moderation-proof is sucking.

          So YOU cut the crap. Now.

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  4. [HS01] I didn’t even have to read the article (which I did do) to know that it was BS. That shit goes on everywhere, probably even more so in more repressive societies.

    [HS02] Re Anna David: “Where were all these people when Harvey was the most powerful man in Hollywood?” Exactly. “Does that mean I’m part of the problem?” Yes.

    [HS03] Well of course.

    [HS09] This is just a revision of the old argument that “it’s not a good idea to be drunk, alone, wearing sexy clothing, walking down a dark alley .” and “it’s not my fault I was assaulted”. Both are right, actually, but that doesn’t change the reality that opportunity can play a role in assault.

    [HS11] What do you mean “I don’t buy it.”? Your very link [HS03] says in each of the first 3 paragraphs his contributions to the left. “his generous patronage of liberal politicians and progressive causes.”, “This leading impresario of awful was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He was a strong critic of racism, sexism and censorship. He hosted sumptuous parties to raise money for the fight against Aids.” “In 2004 he was a prominent supporter of a women’s group called “Mothers Opposing Bush”” The dude sure as hell ain’t a supporter of the right/repubs.

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  5. HS01: Somehow I doubt that a country of 1.3 billion people and a strong male dominated, female subservient tradition of their own via Confucianism is entirely free of sexual harassment. Even assuming that China is magically free of this particular problem, Japan and the Koreas are non-Western countries with well-documented sexual harassment issues. This type of propaganda gets me broiling for some reason even though it should be expected.

    HS02: Omnipresent is right. Powerful and not so powerful men have used women in the entertainment industry as their playthings ever since women started appearing on stage after restoration of the Stewarts to the English throne or earlier. Charles II was an early adapter of this practice.

    HS03: I really doubt that a less liberal Weinstein would have exposed earlier. What protected Weinstein was the same thing that protected every other producer in Hollywood, the ability to break careers for women that did not go along and the general apathy towards sexual violence against “bad women” because how people perceive the morality of female actors since they first appeared.

    HS04: To paraphrase Burke say evil thrives when good people do nothing. Weinstein’s crimes were known by many powerful people besides the victims. I’m sure this is true for many other people in Hollywood. If people spoke, the abuse could have ended earlier.

    HS06: Woody Allen is more or less fire proof because he survived a potentially more destructive sex scandal and because of his artistic ability. He also has the advantage of being very old at this point and bringing him down seems pointless.

    HS09: I’m kind of glad the rebuke to Maya Bialik is coming from another Jewish woman. The Weinstein affair has been a field day for Jew-haters. Jewish men lusting after gentile woman has long been a fear stroked by the Jew haters. A lot of anti-Semitic propaganda revolved around this particular fear. Weinstein unfortunately looks like a real life version of the Jewish caricatures seen in anti-Semitic propaganda. He has a very Jewish face for thing and an unattractive body for another. A gentile critic of Maya Bialik would be more propaganda for the Jewish haters.

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    • He also has the advantage of being very old at this point and bringing him down seems pointless.

      I have Bill Cosby holding on the line for you, seems he’d like to talk about that spot of BS you posted up above.

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              • As mentioned at the article I linked, according to the prosecutor, there *was* enough evidence, but they didn’t want to put a fragile 7 year old victim through what a trial would require for a conviction at that time given that all parties were agreed he’d never go near the victim again. And that’s why they didn’t press criminal charges.

                The prosecutor could be lying and I certainly don’t think Allen should be put in jail for something he’s never been convicted for; but given the situation, he’s no more logically “in the clear” reputation-wise than someone like O’Reilly is. Considerably less so, given that there were multiple *decisions*, not just settlements, that undermined his claims about the truth of the matter.

                If you’re wondering why his reputation was, and remains, protected, I don’t think the investigation was the key. Given that the investigation led to many negative things coming to light *about him* both in and out of court.

                Allen lost several related cases that *he filed* against his ex-wife; and he also was held responsible by the family court judge who ruled on that case. Again from the link, the judge’s words about that situation were that Allen’s actions were “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her [Dylan].”

                I think his reputation was protected because he was already sufficiently wealthy and powerful to protect it; and because the victim was a child and her best interests didn’t seem to those who were protecting her, to be served by a lengthy criminal court case against someone who could afford top-notch defense lawyers.

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                  • It might be necessary as a social fiction. If somebody accused you of a heinous crime but the prosecutors declined to press charges, you wouldn’t really like it if everybody outside of court treated you as guilty and shunned you. For the presumption of innocence to be meaningful, there needs to be some correlation between the lack of conviction and actual innocence in how people act and treat the accused.

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                    • I agree. I also know that most of the time, I don’t know enough of the facts to make a decision. Before reading this thread, I either didn’t know or had forgotten that Allen was accused of molesting a 7-year old–and I certainly didn’t know that the investigation apparently uncovered credible evidence for a crime but that those concerned for the victim decided pursuing charges wouldn’t help the victim.

                      This will raise hackles, but I also don’t have an opinion on the OJ Simpson case. I really don’t. I ignored the trial (as much as doing so was possible) when it was going on, and I really don’t know if he did it.

                      Moving away from high profile cases…..there’s a lot I don’t even know about allegations, let alone ultimate convictions.

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                      • This will raise hackles, but I also don’t have an opinion on the OJ Simpson case. I really don’t. I ignored the trial (as much as doing so was possible) when it was going on, and I really don’t know if he did it.

                        OJ’s lack of conviction showcased the public’s ignorance of DNA evidence. His blood was found at the crime scene, both victims’ blood was found in his house, there’s a lot more evidence but whatever (wiki).

                        After that you have various process errors, junior prosecutors making rookie mistakes, everyone behaving differently in front of the camera, and a year of irrelevant side issues.

                        It’s possible to think the outcome was fine given the various issues/errors, but that’s a different issue. He was covered with their blood, his own, and left it all over the place.

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                        • Here’s one of those, “you’re probably right, but I’ll hold to my position” comments.

                          The part of me that kind of cares about the case (or else I wouldn’t have used it as an example) is willing to just stipulate that you’re correct. You’ve done more research into the case than I have, and though I only know you from occasional comments here, it’s clear you’re a smart and honest person.

                          If I’m ever in the unlikely position of caring about the case (and you’re right to distinguish between the question of actual guilt vs. the question of whether the verdict was “right” regardless of actual guilt)–in that case, I might very well come to the same conclusion as you.

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                        • It’s possible to think the outcome was fine given the various issues/errors, but that’s a different issue.

                          I don’t think there’s any way one can reasonably believe simultaneously that he’s guilty and that the outcome was fine. There are important reasons we have a system where you can’t fish for a conviction by repeatedly trying someone who’s been acquitted, and where you don’t convict where there’s a reasonable doubt regarding guilt, but at best you can say that having a system that occasionally allows murderers to walk free even when we know they’re guilty is the lesser evil, compared to what we’d have to do to make that less likely. It’s still a pretty terrible outcome.

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                          • I don’t think there’s any way one can reasonably believe simultaneously that he’s guilty and that the outcome was fine.

                            If you believe the police got caught trying to frame him then the case is dead right there, even if you also think he probably did it.

                            Having said that, mostly it was a showcase on what not to do in terms of handling money+fame. The police trying to frame him was just a random accusation by the defense the judge shouldn’t have allowed without a lot more proof, and that wasn’t the only trainwreck error.

                            Something showcasing how inexperienced the Prosecution was is Clark, based on an incorrect gut feel, packed the jury with people a jury picking expert would have told her would be hostile to the Prosecution. My belief is more serious/experienced Prosecutors didn’t want to be the Washington Generals matched up against the Dream Team on camera.

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                    • If somebody accused you of a heinous crime but the prosecutors declined to press charges, you wouldn’t really like it if everybody outside of court treated you as guilty and shunned you.

                      I wouldn’t like it, but relying on people pretending not to know what they know seems like a bad bet.

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                      • Well, and if there were *actual multiple judgments in multiple courts against me* (just not criminal court), I wouldn’t expect to be lauded as a fabulous wonderful person for whom the literati have seemingly endless tolerance of my glorying in what a good person I am.

                        I really *wouldn’t* expect that even a little bit.

                        Especially if that child who accused me is now grown, living under a pseudonym to escape the media and other negative attention in her day to day life, and consistently maintains that she was telling the truth when she was seven.

                        I’m not interested in hunting down every random parent who got accused of things that didn’t pan out and punishing them.

                        I honestly probably wouldn’t think that hard about Woody Allen if people weren’t constantly bringing him up, positively or negatively, he gets brought up all the time. Mostly positively.
                        His new movie has a relationship between a 14-year-old and an old man in it, that’s getting a lot of press and will no doubt be critically acclaimed. Working where I do, I’ve had people press Woody Allen on me, if I say I don’t like his movies they will push and push and push that I should be watching them and “Because of what he’s accused of doing, I don’t like watching them,” gets met with “Soon-Yi??? She *consented*!” most of the time, and further argument. “No, with his 7-year-old daughter. It doesn’t matter if he did it, I can’t deal with him because similar things happened to me.” ALSO gets met with that line of argument more often than not. Like his fanbois (to be clear, not @inmd) and fangirls are so into him that you literally cannot just tell them you aren’t interested and be left alone, even if they are confronted with you *literally telling them you were molested as a child*.

                        It’s all well and good to not participate in the fray – I do that myself with all kinds of people – but pretending to objectivity *while participating in it* is rather frustrating to those of us who really would rather never hear about someone at all. All I did with Allen was point out that there was further information than there was at the time, that rather than him never having been held accountable, he was held accountable by multiple judges, etc. That resulting in a big old soap box about the need for society to treat people as innocent until proven guilty (to be clear, again, while I disagree, InMD has every right to get up on said soap box) is annoying. Because we’ve gone from “his reputation didn’t suffer because he was investigated at the time” to “we shouldn’t be judging people based on insufficient evidence”. Those are some sliding goalposts, there.

                        Everybody judges everybody in society, that’s *how society works* (not legally, but socially). The way it works right now is that talented rich men get judged as being righteous, once their scandals blow over, and their child accusers have to find a pseudonym to live under. Given how much crap I get for just *not wanting to watch his movies*, I can only imagine the level of invasion of privacy she would suffer without the pseudonym.

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                • To be clear, I don’t really care about Woody Allen. Maybe his wealth protected him, maybe it didn’t. Maybe he’s a child molester who got away with it, or maybe the bizarre celebrity family life he was a part of resulted in bitter disputes in which all kinds of false or disputable allegations were made.

                  Just to give you my perspective,
                  I started my legal career as a defense attorney in a small practice that also handled divorces and other small time litigation. I’ve had plenty of experiences with prosecutors. They are just people doing what they percieve their job to be. That means they say what’s in their interest to say, especially in high profile pearl clutching cases where they need to manage public relations (remember, a lot of them want to run for office or judge one day). For that reason quotes like that just don’t mean anything to me when it comes to establishing guilt. I’ve heard it all before.

                  Now I believe Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were never married but they did have the bitter custody battle over the adopted kids right? I never handled the family law stuff (way too messy for me) but I was in close enough proximity to colleagues who did to tell you that the real nasty ones would frequently involve an allegation of physical or sexual abuse that was bitterly disputed but no one could substantiate (even some otherwise routine ones are like that). Some of these allegations were probably true, others probably the end result of extreme bitterness and score settling, still others something in between. Damned if I could tell the difference.

                  I’m well out of that type of practice now, but when it comes to these cases I’ve found its best not to pretend to know what I don’t know (much like ‘s comment) . I don’t waiver from that, be the accused a rich celebrity or a black guy from a crappy neighborhood.

                  For society at large, I take ‘s position that innocent until proven guilty is a necessary social fiction in addition to a constitutional protection. The fact that we’re constantly attacking it (conservatives for drug crimes, basically everyone including liberals who should know better for sex crimes) is part of how we’ve ended up with all kinds of failed public policy. All of this is to say, absent intimate familiarity with a case well beyond what the media is typically going to provide, I reserve judgment. I think we’d be much better off if more people took that approach but I’ve got no illusions. People will pick up the tabloids and think they know things they don’t or forget things they do to justify whatever their biases happen to be.

                  And with that I will now step off my soap box.

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  6. “The Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” O’Reilly’s spokesman Mark Fabiani said in a statement on Saturday.

    Because there’s clearly a good context for a $32 million dollar payout that we’re not hearing.

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  7. We need to look at how Harvey was protected for years and see what that looked like to the outside.

    Then we need to look at whether any of those same signals are being sent *RIGHT NOW* about other prominent players.

    Then investigate that sort of thing.

    On top of that, just look into stuff like: Who else was being joked about 10 years ago? Who else inspired good-looking actors to don a fat suit and bark into a phone in a dark comedy?

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      • His incompetence, in this case, looks a lot like “stuff that should have been done a while back but was prevented from being done is finally getting done”.

        Which, as incompetence goes, is incompetence with upsides.

        Better to say that this has nothing to do with Trump (apart from his obvious overlaps with Weinstein, Toback, Savino, Halperin, etc).

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  8. HS07: I can see how aggressive harassment policies can chill things. And it only takes one incident to make everyone super cautious. At the LazyB, mentoring and relationships are key to getting ahead. My wife was lucky that her mentor was a male executive who was gay. He was a hard charging executive, but zero sexual anything. Also, the two management levels above my wife were all women.

    It also helps that my wife was already well established with other organizations, such that she had a considerable amount of power of her own to wield. If someone had gotten inappropriate, she’d have no issue reporting them, and if management was unresponsive, she’d raise hell and/or walk (she enjoys the work, but is not without opportunity elsewhere).

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    • ” I can see how aggressive harassment policies can chill things. And it only takes one incident to make everyone super cautious.”

      True story. Back in 93 I was working in a “bullpen” with 3 other folks, one a woman. We all joked around. We had been talking about some weird cases of folks leaving all their money to their cats and such, then got on the topic of another weird case, and I said something about this woman leaving her money to her cats again. Resident female in the bullpen WENT OFF ON MY (i don’t even remember now).

      Related this to my step mom, who worked in HR later. She told me that to cover my ass, I had to go back and apologize, and to do it with witnesses.

      Even IF what I said was so objectionable, and it wasn’t, it put a chill on our professional relationship. I stopped talking to her specifically. We didn’t have to interact much. I did it through email if at all.

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    • Corporate culture makes all the difference. My first job as an engineer (back in the 90s) was at one of the Big 3 automakers. I had a boss who used to come up behind me and stroke my hair. When I asked him to stop, he said it was so pretty and soft he just couldn’t help it (complete you should take it as a compliment schtick). And of course, he didn’t stop.

      In talking to other women there I quickly found out that (a) I was far from the only woman he creeped on (in fact, since my husband worked in the same dept he was pretty restrained with me), and (b) reporting it would do no good in terms of the company taking any action against him, but it would certainly tank my career and possibly even be a black mark against me for getting hired elsewhere.

      I quietly put my resume out and fortunately found a new job in a different industry within a few months. Not courageous, but I was fresh out of college and needed a job.

      That said, I get the concerns about harassment policies. It’s a tough thing to get right. Either you get a chill on the side of men being afraid to be alone in a room with any woman (which in male-dominated workplaces hurts women’s advancement) or you get a chill, like the one I experienced, wrt reporting harassment (which also hurts women). I don’t know the answer there. But I sense there won’t be one until and unless culture in general finds harassment truly unacceptable instead of just brushing it off as a prerogative of power.

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      • I always come back to what I was taught in the military. If a person finds the language they hear, or the attention they are receiving, to be offensive or uncomfortable, they need to offer one, clear warning to the offender to stop that (preferably in front of witnesses), and if it continues, report it up the chain.

        That always struck me as smart. You get one warning, then shit gets real.

        Of course, a lot of the success of this method depends heavily upon the chain of command and how they respond to things. Same goes for corporate culture. If HR is not empowered to wield the million pound shit hammer, then things will be bad.

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        • Chain of Command is key. My bil testified in support of women in his unit who were being assaulted by a Lt Col. Guess what? Lt Col got called back to DC and promoted (apparently he had a general who liked him). Everyone who went on record against him was basically told “you’ll never be promoted again”

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          • Not the first time I’ve heard that tale, won’t be the last. But good on your BIL for standing up. And I hope he didn’t believe that he’ll never be promoted again. That is a recoverable state of affairs if you understand how to play military politics.

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        • That is how I would operate. If a colleague of mine said something I took offense to, I’d take him (or her) aside and go “you might not realize this but…” and explain the problem.

          If he (or she) kept doing it, I’d have to decide how bad it was whether to tell them, “Stop or I’m escalating.” (I have one colleague who makes a lot of anti-fat/food shaming cracks, and I am a fattish woman. But I figure I let it pass; this is someone recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes and it may be his reaction to it/his way of coping. it irks me but not enough to make a thing about it. I will roll my eyes or snark back at him if we’re in a group, but that’s about it)

          There are a few things that would be bad enough I’d go straight to HR, but they are very few and none of them have ever happened.

          I suspect based on past experience it would be a lot easier to get HR to come down on a colleague or staff member than an admin, though. There is a set of rules for the little people and a looser set for the “big” people :(

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      • I don’t understand that behavior. I don’t consider myself to be a particularly enlightened or woke or even feminist man but there is no way that coming up a stroking a woman’s hair without a very well established relationship and permission is ethical. It would never occur to me to do that or anything else. Yet, there are men older, my age, or younger who seem free to do things like that or more aggressive. It never occurs to them not to these things even though they have to be vaguely aware of sexual harassment as an abstract concept.

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        • It shocked the heck out of me when he first did it precisely for that reason. I could not imagine that someone would actually do that. But there seem to be guys who regard all females as fair game and seem somehow offended that wanting to touch doesn’t give them an indisputable right to touch.

          However, to be fair to most men, nearly all of the guys that I’ve ever told that story too considered it really creepy behavior too.

          …yet, we were in cube-ville. Plenty of guys around who had to know, but said nothing. That was the corporate culture and I’m sure they were aware that speaking up would hurt their careers just as I was warned it would kill mine.

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          • To be fair I don’t know how I would react if a male colleague or especially a male boss engaged in sexual harassment. My working career involved small law firms with offices for the lawyers and an open space for everybody else. You could theoretically still have harassment but it hasn’t happened.

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            • “but it hasn’t happened.”

              That you know of.

              (I realize you couldn’t have *acted* unless you knew it happened; but while I don’t think cluelessness is a main factor as per my wrangle with Oscar above, I do think part of the whole #metoo hashtag is about cluelessness being part of the problem. Hence my pointing out that it could have happened without you knowing.)

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        • I don’t understand that behavior….there is no way that coming up a stroking a woman’s hair without a very well established relationship and permission is ethical.

          Agreed.

          Here’s two true stories (or as true as you can trust my memory):

          1. I worked a temp job in 2000 at a newspaper local to my hometown. My supervisor, a woman, occasionally came to my workstation to look at the data entry I was doing, and she did that, she would “massage” my shoulders. It didn’t seem sexual or harassing and while in the abstract I thought it was weird, I didn’t feel bad or awkward about it.

          2. At a call center in a suburb of same city (ca. 2001-2003), one of my coworkers, who was male, very often rubbed/massaged the shoulders of another of his coworkers who was female (and married). I didn’t get the vibe that she disliked it, but in retrospect, I know it’s entirely possible, even probable. The guy was probably a creep, but as from Oscar’s argument above, the guy was very charismatic. He was eventually fired and while I don’t know the exact reason, I’m almost certain it wasn’t for harassment. (I think it was for coming in late and “making his own schedule“)

          Now, with story no. 1, it was technically inappropriate. I could have been offended. (In fact, I’m normally very, err, “touchy” about who touches me and when). I could have misinterpreted (?) the touching as sexual and been into it as an advance from someone and then endangered my temp job by reciprocating what may or may not have been an advance. I do think she shouldn’t have done it, but I don’t feel victimized. (I’m not saying this to deny harassment is a real thing. I’m just saying that in that particular situation, the power differentials, my own perspective, and whatever were just not candidates for calling that particular situation harassment.)

          With story no. 2, I was maybe one of those guys who should have said something but was also naive. And yet, I don’t know the backstory and at least to my observations, the woman in question hadn’t stated she felt uncomfortable, and if she did, she didn’t do it in front of me. So what was my culpability, if any?

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          • I think not knowing the backstory is one reason why guys don’t complain. If a person doesn’t look visibly disturbed or hurt or make verbal complaints to somebody than it can be really difficult for other people to know what is going on and do something about it.

            I was talking about a related subject with a female friend who is a dancer today. My observation was one reason why many men are confused on this issue is that too the naked eye a lot of behavior seen as harassment from one man can come across as flirty behavior in another. She agreed with me and said that a lot of it is about the type of feel or energy an individual guy gives off but if your only acting from a naked eye impression, its hard to tell the difference.

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              • This is a data point and may not agree with other data points you receive, and I *absolutely* don’t blame you for not asking –
                but fwiw I would rather someone ask me straight out if I’m ok in that situation – not in front of the potentially problem person – but in another place/time not too long after, than not ask (or ugh, worse yet, gossip with our officemates even if well-intentioned). Even if what the potentially problem person is doing is actually 100 percent fine and I have no problems with it.

                I have a sometimes-physically-affectionate friendship with someone at work (we’ve toned it down a lot purely b/c he got promoted to my supervisor and it needed to be equitable..) – but back when we were peers in different departments, people sometimes noticed that we touched each other fairly often – nothing at all sexual!
                the odd person would awkwardly ask “hey, you and X seem to be really close, but I just wanted to ask, are you actually ok with him hugging you and stuff?” and I would awkwardly explain that it was 100 percent ok, he was one of my favorite people, and it was both mutual and purely platonic. but i always felt vaguely grateful they were looking out for me, not like they were outside their lane. I felt safer knowing if the person *was* being skeezy (he never would be!), or more importantly if someone ELSE decided to be skeezy, I would have had an ally in the asker.
                I’ve been in other situations like that a few times in my life, not at work – I’m a pretty touch-positive person with my friends and so large men occasionally, say, run up to me in public spaces and pick me up in a bearhug (people of other sizes and genders do that too, but it never seems to worry people as much). Again, whether the questioner was male or female, I appreciated the question. I can tell the difference between a sincere check-in and someone being too nosy, you know?

                I’ve talked about this with woman friends before and most of us agreed… that said, given that not ALL of them feel that way, I can see why it’s anxious-making. I feel anxious asking too, and don’t always when I think I should.

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                • Thanks so much for your comment, and it’s good to have that perspective. In my case, I certainly wouldn’t have gossiped about it. If I had talked to her and if she had said yes, it bothered her, I’m not sure what I could have or should have done. While everyone involved (me, her, and the guy) were simply hourly workers, she and the guy had been there longer and while they weren’t supervisors, they had higher-ranking (for lack of a better word) positions than mine. That’s not a refutation of what you’re saying, but just another “data point” I didn’t mention in my original comments.

                  I do think that in my current job, I would feel more….not comfortable….but more “in my lane” to speak up. That’s because I rank somewhere in the middle of whatever hierarchy my institution has and that ranking there comes with responsibilities. (I also have two direct reports, and in those specific cases I have a positive duty to be alert and step in.)

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  9. HS13: I suspect the State Capitol culture depends on how corrupt the State is. The Sangamon examples are about a convention atmosphere where a bunch of people are staying away from home without much to do while they wait for other people to finalize bills. All they have is booze and a sense of entitlement, and with good-looking and attentive reporters and staffers about.

    I’m not happy to read this:

    ]Political fundraiser] Duncan said her harassers include some elected officials who are still in office. She did not want to name them so as not to distract from the effort to change the culture.

    Not naming allows her to maximize influence, and to what end we may never know. Meanwhile, young female journalist are warned:

    Even today, … before beginning a semester covering the Legislature, I try to remember to include some sort of warning to be careful about fraternizing with legislators.

    It’s an awkward discussion, especially coming from a guy, because I know that some of the best insights and story tips can emerge from those after-hours conversations in Springfield’s bars and restaurants. And women shouldn’t have to exclude themselves just because men fail to recognize appropriate boundaries.

    These are certainly not problems unique to politics, although I think there is something about the nature of politics that probably makes it more prevalent. I’ve always figured it was the combination of egos and power.

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    • Politicians have no accountability:

      The thing here is the power dynamics. If an elected official does something to me, there is no way it’s going to be beneficial to speak out,” said Kady McFadden, who runs Sierra Club Illinois’s political program.

      “I’ve had hands up my skirt. I’ve had my hair pulled,” McFadden said. “There’s just kind of nothing you can really do.” . . . “It’s probably hard to find a woman in Springfield who doesn’t have a story about what’s happened to them.”

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  10. [redacted] believe it or not, I’m happy to see you – but I’ve warned you before about one liners that don’t do anything except blame “libs” for something. In this case you didn’t even give reasons. C’mon, man. You can do infinitely better than that. – Maribou

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    • For some reason this one particularly bugged me. Probably because I always loathed O’Reilly, had no particular opinion of Weinstein, et c., but HW, party aside, is (was?) a dude I have quite a bit of respect for.

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      • Given that he’s 93 and apparently heading toward senility, what frustrates me the most is that everyone’s letting him do it, making excuses, etc.

        Like, I’ve known plenty of old men to lose their governors in this area – not just use it as an excuse but actually *lose* them – and their wives, junior male family members, etc., need to *keep them in check*, not make jokes to smooth things over.

        I would still *like* to believe that HW of 1998 would be utterly horrified by the behavior of HW 2017. But then again, maybe he wouldn’t.

        It definitely leaves a bad taste.

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        • I would still *like* to believe that HW of 1998 would be utterly horrified by the behavior of HW 2017. But then again, maybe he wouldn’t.

          When Harvey’s story came out, I thought the 20 A-list actresses making this claim were just the ones who became successful, and there should be hundreds more who didn’t become A-list actresses. Since we’ve now heard of hundreds I’m guessing there are thousands.

          For HW, the same logic applies. He was at the height of his power many decades ago, if this isn’t new then there should be a lot more. I’m fine with it being a “senility” thing. I’m also fine with it being “he’s always done it and we just didn’t hear about it“… but in that case more are going to show up.

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  11. Hey everybody including @pillsy @pdshaw – there are a lot of comments in the trash today. I don’t normally pay attention (seems invasive if you deleted something on purpose!) but there were enough that I actually *went and looked* and I’m betting some of you are having trouble getting (some of) your comments through.

    A general reminder that unless I’ve literally said “I’m suspending you” you aren’t suspended, and I don’t delete comments without saying so unless they are obvious spam or something. So if you are getting blocked from commenting something, please let me know here or just email me at marseillaise at the gmails … I’ll fix any accidentally-trashed-by-the-system comments. I just don’t want to accidentally undelete something you want to stay deleted.

    Also, – you aren’t actually unsuspended until tomorrow. I’ll unsuspend you early and bring your comments back today, since we’re apparently counting a month differently. But TRY not to cross the lines this time. I’m out of options for you that aren’t banning.

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  12. Anthony Rapp (who is an actor I’m not familiar with) has accused Kevin Spacey of trying to molest him when he was 14 (this was in the ’80s). Spacey says he was too drunk to remember, if it happened, which is already pretty awful, and then spent most of his statement coming out as gay, which has outraged pretty much everybody, for obvious reasons.

    A lot of outlets let themselves get spun in their initial reports, though, because of course they did.

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