The Dispensability Of Most Sexual Harassers

Jennifer Wright touches on something I’ve never understood about the attempts by various institutions to protect the sexual harassers in their midsts (boldface mine):

Al Franken is considering a return to politics after being caught on camera groping a woman and being accused of harassment by half a dozen others. Matt Lauer is supposedly also aiming for a return to television and his co-workers believe that “a comeback is possible”. Charlie Rose is planning to host a show where he interviews men “brought down” by the #MeToo movement. I can only imagine this will be to indicate that you can sexually harass eight women and not be “brought down” to a point where you stop hosting TV shows.

Meanwhile, Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer who received an incredibly light sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, just appealed the conviction claiming that he only sought “outercourse.” His biggest punishment seemed to be that he lost a swimming scholarship and had to register as a sex offender which seems like a reasonable thing to do if you are, in fact, a sex offender. Mercifully, he did not actually win that appeal, but you would think that Brock Turner might want to stay out of the spotlight for at least a year.

I’m all for forgiveness, but it’s hard to believe that after six or so months any one of these men has really changed in a way that means they’ve made amends. There’s nothing to indicate that they’ve been through counseling, worked with women or done much of anything to show they’re a changed person. If they have comebacks now, we’re telling them that the only punishment for harassing women is that you have to take a time out and sit in your mansion for a while before returning.

Women who experience sexual harassment have careers that are derailed forever

That is not my personal opinion. Maybe if these guys were pioneering cancer doctors I’d say we have to overlook their transgressions and let them get back to work ASAP for the common good. But they’re not even the best entertainers we have. I really believe that we can find another elderly man who does not expose himself to people who will do about as good a job as Charlie Rose.

There’s an apocryphal story about a mâitre d’ who tells a regular customer as he’s leaving, “I won’t see you next week.” When asked why not, the mâitre d’ responds that he’s taking his first vacation in 21 years. Shocked, the customer blurts, “Why not?” The mâitre d’ leans over and says, “I didn’t want them to realize they didn’t need me.”

Most harassers–and this includes scientists–really are dispensable. Someone else could star in that movie, host that TV show, or use the grant money wisely. Yet too often, some act as if we couldn’t make it without them. Most of the time, that’s just not the case. I think this realization might scare some people into wrongly opposing #MeToo.

This entry was posted in Feminism. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Dispensability Of Most Sexual Harassers

  1. GM says:

    A very good reason to oppose #MeToo is that it is a witch hunt that dispenses with the most foundational principles of the judicial system, and is quite deeply and thoroughly anti-scientific by doing so. Another very good reason is that it is not a coincidence that evidence has been thrown out of the window as a value by the movement, as feminism in its modern incarnation is as much a rejection of science as Young Earth creationism, if not more so — the creationists reject scientific evidence that contradicts their claims, the feminists reject evidence-based reasoning as a concept and often the very existence of things like objective truth and objective reality altogether.

    Therefore the only possible position for a scientist to adopt is stringent anti-feminism, otherwise he is betraying the core foundational principles of his own discipline.

    Who got touched where by who is entirely trivial and irrelevant given what is at stake here.

    But what do I see? One after another, people are voluntarily marching towards the gas chambers, and are happy to do so too…

    • mr grumpy says:

      You’re an insecure little shit. I find that these guys’ diatribes are always just recitations of exactly what they themselves are doing.

  2. Bern says:

    Hmmm…The few instances (so far) that make up the metoo portfolio are such a small number as to be infinitesimal in the larger world of male domination over females. I don’t hear feminists rejecting science to claim that women have been assaulted, downgraded, overworked, underpaid and otherwise discriminated against. They assert their rights for protection under the law. Feminists’ claims are in the vast majority clearly true. What about the historical record, current misanthropy and attempts to woman-shame do you choose not to acknowledge?

    And conflating justice for women with mass murder is really dumb.

  3. harrync says:

    I must have missed the picture of Franken actually groping a woman. I’ve seen the photo of him jokingly pretending to grope a sleeping woman – a bad joke, to be sure – but that’s not the same thing as an actual grope.

  4. Anat says:

    It’s very simple: Women aren’t really people to the people running the system. Assaulting them doesn’t count for much. Just a quick time out, and you are back.

  5. Bern says:

    Back to the original post:
    I’m thinking of what a “dispenser” would actually look like, once we determine who all are dispensable…leaning toward something sort of Monty Python-esque…

Comments are closed.