Rehire the harassers

    and assist * their victims to sue them , if they want. If they don't want , end of story.

    The proper response to a claim of  harassment-or anything - is an orderly legal process. Not a do-it-yourself trial convened in the board room  by the CEO or the head of HR.

    We've been down this path before of course. Many times . Most prominently  in  the 1950's blacklist a gratefully welcomed gift to Hollywood which got a lot excellent scripts at bargain prices from blacklisted writers using assumed names.

    The employers have skin in the game  and if they want they could also sue the possible harasser on theiir own behalf.  He might actually be guilty. Or not. 


    * (added later)  train an HR woman to handle initial contact with the victim and assign an attorney from Legal to handle the paperwork.and filings. Share any other legal costs with the major % borne by the company but the victim should also have some skin in the game.




    I might agree but for that in the entertainment and media industries, your brand is everything and waiting for a long legal process can be a killer.  People in those industries get fired all the time for "unfair" reasons, i.e., blond bimbos aren't what we need in the anchor chair, we've tested it.

    Edit to add: here, the audience is the one who gets to decide. Unless you're like, the Sulzberger family who has a mission, audience be damned, we've got the money to tide us over until this or that vox populi mania subsides.

    That said, you're right that the Hollywood blacklist was the same thing. People didn't want "commies" providing their entertainment, but that mania was totally stoked directly by politicians. This is from the ground up; populism/vox populi, not always what it's cracked up to be. We are a democracy reigned in by a republic structure and rule of law, but we also have some special emphasis on freedom of speech, press, media, arts, letting that go wherever it goes. You and I and others speaking of our discomfort with what's going on is part of that process?

    offered without comment except to note that culture change isn't always a pretty process:

    Yes, in entertainment the accusation itself can be  the punishment.  Whether the accused is actually guilty.

    All the more reason the penalty for harassment should be devised  "judiciously ". 


    That's a simplistic analysis of the situation. It might work for rapists like Weinstein but most sexual harassment is much more nuanced and minor. I read an article recently that described sexual harassment as a pyramid. At the top are a relatively small number of severe sexual abusers and rapists like Weinstein or Matt Lauer. At the bottom of the pyramid are large numbers of touchy feely groupers or butt patters like Franken. I'm not really sure that butt patting is even a crime or if it is it's at most a misdemeanor. What is the legal recourse for creating a hostile work environment with minor sexual harassment? I just read an interesting article of a boss engaging in a slowly escalating series of touching that finally culminated in slipping his hand down a woman's blouse and grabbing her breasts. There is likely little legal recourse until that moment. Must a woman endure the daily sexual harassment until there is actual grouping of sexual parts? An investigation within the company is the only way to handle such minor sexual harassment.

    I'd like to use this opportunity to address hypothetically the Travis Smiley issue. We don't know the details of Smiley's behavior so this is not directly pointed at him, but consensual sexual activity with multiple women who are subordinates is not without problems. Not all sexual harassment needs to involve coercion or punishment. A boss can set up a system that rewards women who are willing to endure sexual touching or have sex with him. Women who don't respond to sexual advances don't get employment advances and might be slowly eased out. Women who are willing trade sex for advancement. The boss need not ever punish women to force compliance. The two tiered system for advancement would be clear to all. This would be sexual abuse of power even though all the women engaged in "consensual" sex. What is the legal recourse for that especially in the early stages? It's extremely difficult to prove one didn't get a promotion because they didn't agree to sex or that another got the promotion because she did.

    I defer to psychologists and ethicists on the underlying issue of sexual harassment. Not deprecating its' importance,  just my competence to deal with it.

    Conversely I defer to no one on the vital importance  of due process. From lynching to McCarthy to "Stand your ground" a particularly  unfortunate US distinction  is our unadmitted  admiration for rough justice  only too frequently injustice.

    "To kill a mockingbird"  does a good job on this. The hero laconically  defends due process, opposing his normally reasonable neighbors inflamed against  an unpopular but untried  suspect.

    . All of us get things wrong some times. Mobs get them wrong all the time. Even when right about  guilt in a particular case , overriding  due process insures  the likelihood of  some future  innocent target being punished.

    Joint protesting is heady stuff.Macho.  I enjoyed marching against the Iraq war . But I could get a similar high if I joined a protest against the  local  mosque . Or "Planned Parenthood" office . Feeling good isn't any guarantee of  being right. Acting without due process guarantees  being wrong.

    I think you overestimate "due process". Most accused don't go to trial - they plea bargain, typically based on heavy 1-sided advantage the state has, often piling up charges to make sure a quick plea is less risky.
    On the other hand, the "due process" for a female charging rape and similar is frequently a joke, or more of an indictment of her than the guy (like the Stanford swimmer who mounted a comatose girl & then got to grill her on the stand - see below - to then get 3 months in jail - remember,she's one of the "lucky" 3% whose rapes are even referred to a prosecutor, much less make it to trial. Punch line - he's seeking a retrial to get his conviction overturned - alsoe below). Or this guy from Kentucky who just killed himself - he was a bootlegger, an arsonist, a scam pretend preacher and finally a rapist of a minor. But neither he nor the girl who reported it were interviewed before the police closed the case after a year, and then when they reopened it 2-3 years later, the same thing happened, and only recently did it got brought up again. Tell me the "due process" that Donald Trump got in his dealings with accusers. I get why this myth of a lovely level playing field in American courts is soothing, much like "we're all equal" and "we have freedom of speech". It's just that I'm over 11 now, so those images with billowing flag just don't grab me as much as back then. Though until 2000 I largely believed in fair elections.

    I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.

    I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.

    When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. That’s so damaging. His attorney constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.

    Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his attorney saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right? This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering question like:

    How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

    I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who didn’t even take the time to ask me for my name, who had me naked a handful of minutes after seeing me. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.

    And then it came time for him to testify. This is where I became revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.

    So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.

    He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, Can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the clear.

    Even in this story, there’s barely any dialogue; I only said a total of three words before he had me half naked on the ground. I have never been penetrated after three words. He didn’t claim to hear me speak one full sentence that night, so in the news when it says we “met”, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that. Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence....

    But yes, now this jerkoff is seeking a new trial because the court did not allow enough testimony from glowing fans about his academic and athletic achievements, which have fuckall to do with raping or seriously trying to/intending to rape a comatose girl by a dumpster - which somehow was also unfair of the prosecution to mention. 

    The former swimmer is now appealing his conviction and asking for a new trial. In a 172-page brief filed on Friday, Turner’s lawyers objected to the prosecutor’s description of the the assault as happening “behind the dumpster”, which mischaracterized Turner’s behavior and “implied moral depravity, callousness and culpability,” CNN reports. The brief also argued that the trial excluded character witnesses who could have testified about Turner’s academic and athletic accomplishments, according to the New York Times.

    Yeah, Roman Polanski's made great movies, but he still gave a 13-year-old a quaalude and raped her in the ass.

    Except office politics and promotions are almost always about personal relationships - sexual or otherwise. I remember an unqualfied guy getting my position because he basically had a  bromance with the President - they liked traveling together, and so he got perks the rest of us didn't get. I got along with my boss but tried to make it based on performance. But I'm sure others thought it solely "not who you know, it's who you blow..."

    Probably "corporate procedures" is a contradiction in terms. Except in my case where my occasional promotions were deeply deserved and therefore justified my helping them along with the occasional word in the right ear.

    Added later:

    As to your examples of the failures of due process ,  sure "the law is an ass" but the only thing definitely worse than the failure of due process is its absence.. 

    It's not binary, nor black & white my friend - Perry Mason isn't the only path to judicial truth either. Welcome to Technicolor, ir "revenge of the Munchkins".

    Actually, I think that the work of the EEOC has made things pretty black or white as to whether you have capability for a lawsuit or not. For those afflicted, though, it is a question of whether it is worth it to go through the hell of that for several years of your life, whether the possible return is worth it. Easier to accuse after the fact, after you have left and gotten another job. It's obvious to me why those with painful memories want to speak up to try to change the culture. If the workplace is changing, it's the right time to do it. It's just that it's also playing with fire on the sexual relationship front. And all kinds of other fronts.

    This New Yorker story really hit the complexity of it for me: The Dark Side of Zentropa’s Provocative Workplace Culture.It even plugs into nationalist pride with this one. I think it would be sad if some of the type of snarky sexual workplace interplay there was lost, but then there's some real nasty power play games therein too. I'm all for trying avant garde approaches to work hierarchy, but a nude swimming pool test is, to say the least, not nice, even if it's not sexual. I can only imagine what kind of nasty politics go on in all those play rooms at high tech cos. like Google?

    Ha, I once showed up 5 mins late for a screening of The Idiots, which was enough to lose the "context" of the harrowing antics that followed until I finally remembered what the mivie was supposed to be about. Lars von Trier started out great with Zentropa/Europa (a classic mindfuck thriller) and The Kingdom, but with Breaking the Waves things started diving more and more into misogyny and sadism as art, with undercurrents of mysteriousness in retardation/Downe's or other (used in The Kingdom as well, but more careful). Dogville's still mild as an artsy veneer over rape and captivity. Antichrist isn't. Didn't bother with the last porn extravaganza. See The Idiots to reflect on this article - interesting but at same time abusive and self-challenging. And "European". Though after Almodovar's The Skin I'm In, I've largely had enough of this run I's seen since Dušan's Sweet Movie and Saló.

    "not who you know, it's who you blow..."

    Sigh hard working Catholic girls know this one so well when in the bigger companies.. Where the schmoozers and suck-ups get all glory. The thing is, they are often just as charming to those they are crushing as they climb. Nothing like being in competition with charisma, you feel like you're trying to fight your way out of a straight jacket.

    The big picture, though: big corporate employers going the way of the dinosaur? So is HR a dying field? Or will it morph into something else, like advice dealing with clients, advice dealing with robotized Amazonian giants? How to find a human to communicate with in a corporation or institution?....


    The charm offensive is offensive?

    Im nit sure how much the bloom is off the rose re: HR - how much value do they add typically, vs gum up the works (or fail to speed up the works). I guess I'm blessed knowing groups who can take 6 months to make a (bad) decision, or give candidates the BS runaround - a gatekeeper more than facilitator, and in the end, online appsa and testing and a quickie interview likely says all HR managed earlier.

    Sure the game is hardly ever a pure meritocracy. But it's surely worse when women have the additional hurdle of having to endure a touchy feely boss or occasionally fuck him to keep her job or get ahead.

    Agreed, just pointing out another angle to the discussion.


    Received today from an UK  acquaintance. 


    I don't know if you have the same thing over there, but we have a number of women and men coming out of the woodwork alleging rape or sexual harassment, sometimes years ago. 

    When the evidence (often having been partly hidden by the police) is fully examined, it's seen to be nonsense.  The women or men were lying, and the cases dismissed.

    Three different, and very public,  "rape" cases have been dismissed. Another case is  of a teacher accused of being a gym teacher and fondling young boys. In fact he wasn't a gym teacher and had no contact with the accusers.

    The problem with this is that the accused may have been dreadful people, but the evidence produced was false, so they get off. 

    So we're back to the old days where no one believes so-called "victims" any more.


    Except you're telling me the system seems to be working for the accused before gets to charges and court, aside from whatever PR damage. Any victims actually helped by this, or still silenced? We're likely talking hundreds of thousands (millions?) here, not 2 or 3.

    I agree with your numbers but not with deprecating the damage done to the falsely accused . And to everyone else when the rule of law is undermined. In my 17th century example Giles Corey was just one person compared to the dozen  young women who testified to his witchcraft. For which he was "pressed to death"


    Yes, and there was a cop in my town who went around raping girls he found out after dark, went on for a few years. And we of course know that cops can be caught on body cam lying and planting a weapon or shooting 29 holes in a guy who was holding a menacing cell phone and still walk free. I didn't deprecate people wrongly accused, and it's used a number of times to quit unwanted jobs etc - I'm sure some of those congressional cases are bullshit made up stuff paid out just to make it go away. But those others that get swept under the carpet so easily...

    I mean, what is it about our system that would make a swimmer think he could go back to a case where he'd molested  a comatose girl and got a slap on the wrist, and think he could get it all dropped based on his grades and sports skills? "Sorry I raped and killed her, but wanna see my forehand and freestyling moves? Tottally awesome"

    For a partial answer check out my annual Auden bit which appears today. Merrry Chsristmas or any other holiday that you'd like to substitute. Or add.

    Mary Perry Helion & Winter Saul Stiss.

    Read this yesterday, liked it. Didn't have anything to do with the law. Has to do with judging behavior:

    What Makes Someone a ‘Predator’?

    By MICHELLE DEAN DEC. 19, 2017 @ NYTimes Magazine.

    A reminder that people get fired "for cause" all the time and other reasons like: just not a good fit. What does "not a good fit" mean? Don't like your behavior, in many cases.

    The culture determines behavior in a lot of instances and when there's a cultural revolution much less culture change, sometimes things can get quite tough.

    I am least sympathetic to those whose job depends upon popularity with an audience fail to live up to the behavioral standards of that audience. Or, by virtue of their persona that they have projected, cannot easily defend against an unfair or untrue smear. That would include people like politicians and TV personalities. The opposite of "tenured," where popularity with "constituents" is the goal of the job. The judge and jury is your "public", your constituents or audience. No one is preventing you from going into another line of work (often quite lucrative in these type of cases of national figures.)

    Take it outside of sex, if Ellen DeGeneres was accused of being a nasty bullying shrew to everyone she works with, would it affect her audience? No, because she makes sure to project and protect her brand. They wouldn't believe it, wouldn't stop watching.

    Yes, in this category of job, one hazard of the job is that you can be a victim of "witch hunts". If your actual persona is not the one that you sold (for megabucks or mega power) you risk this every day. Rail against abortion and tell a mistress to have one? Rail against homosexuals and get caught playing footsie with same in public bathrooms? You're fired! No court involved, just that it was clear that too many of your constituents who believed your public opinions now believed the accusers.



    I'm not sure. It's often "feed the animals". They're ravenous for a certain worldview, and if that's not quite you, you can always "fake it before you make it". What do we think of a woman who carefully shielded her right-to-choose views from a conservative crowd but finally had the strength & disgust to say something, at which point the audience turns on her with a vengeance. Maybe we get some Schadenfreude from it, but it's kind of balmy. Try on a liberal site saying, "hey, maybe we shouldn't attack all White Southerners as greedy exploitive racist fucks", and you draw a ton of derision (I used to step into it regularly at OpenLeft with David Sirota and Paul Rosenberg. "Fail to live up to the behavioral standards of that audience" is rather a multi-prong beast.

    BTW, glad I googled that up - ran across a dustup between Sirota, Rosenberg & Nate Silver I hadn't seen, clarifying some things re: populism vs progressivism that might help explain a few people around here and last year's election (Hal, are you listening?). Note 1 line - Reagan was bad for the working poor, but 60% of non-college graduates voted for him for re-election.

    Another googled ref wasn't too great, though contained this gem of an insight related to a discussion the other day:

    ...[F]or sixteen months, denied the media honeymoon  that every other president always had in his first year in office,The  President has been one hundred percent unflappable. He has not lost his  cool or blown his temper in public, not even once. Instead, Obama set to  work cueing up his legislative priorities and shepherding them, one at a  time, through a difficult Congress, especially hard in the Senate where  40 Republicans plus any one or two conservative Democrats could, as a  minority, block the 100-member chamber from voting on any proposed law.  And on every single law he proposed or backed, he won passage. Let me  repeat that: Every single one. In baseball terms, Obama has batted  1.000. He hasn’t struck out once. Not yet. In a funny way, that  infuriates his naysayers even more.

    Whether one agrees with Obama’s positions or not,  one has to give credit that is due: He walks to his own drumbeat and  step by step has gotten big things accomplished.

    While I imagine I might argue about some of these "big things accomplished", Obama went into office methodical during a heavy crisis, and faced a helluva lot more pushback than Trump's received, but was wholely unflappable - a great attribute in the face of expected adversity.

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