The sexual harassment deluge in Congress and elsewhere begs the question: Where are the feminists? The once high and mighty pillars of power are tumbling like building blocks and being swept out of their high-powered jobs.
A fascinating trend into the macabre began with a slow drip. It started with the uncovering of the lecherous TV dad, Bill Cosby. Then the river of allegations began in earnest. There was Fox News Chief Roger Ailes and his protégée Bill O’Reilly.
Then came the lynch pin to beat all lynch pins; Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The river became a waterfall that became unstoppable. The sources, although liberal in nature, began to eat their own. None other than The New York Times and The New Yorker reported on Weinstein and his monstrous indiscretions.
The avalanche of contempt and decades-long animosity exploded. Every day sees another headline screaming for the head of a noted personality. The list has grown to include such notables as 36 members of British Parliament, Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, NBC’s Mark Halperin and Matt Lauer, New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish, actors Kevin Spacey, James Toback and Louis C.K.
Part of the beginning of this outing was Donald Trump in a 2005 audio recording, bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy.” It seemed that if you were a celebrity, you could do anything. That statement could have infuriated all the Trump-haters, but Pandora’s Box was open and its contents revealed so much more to the liberals themselves. It appears that evil is not a label for any group, denomination, race, creed or political party.
The stage was set for truth-telling and accountability-demanding. But it all seemed eerily quiet without a feminist uprising. Something was finally being done about sexual harassment that clearly would advance feminist idealists. The consciousness of the country was awakening without a whimper from the usual suspects.
It is not unusual in times of national hysteria to see innocent lives at stake. That usually means a feeding ground for the most boisterous amongst us. But the most notable sound from feminists is that of crickets and sagebrush in the wind.
Is it because this is a shuffling of the social order? Are many of the accused now collateral damage in order to make things right? The lawyers in waiting appear more prepared for this onslaught than those who have been waiting decades for such a dramatic change among the sexes.
For example, in Alabama, candidate Judge Roy Moore’s supporters have quickly closed ranks. The judge himself has threatened a lawsuit against the mighty Washington Post. Fundraising messages have been sent calling the allegations of sexual impropriety “the forces of evil.”
Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are bursting with stories of women’s harassment and assault. Perhaps the left has been stunned that “their own kind” proliferate the headlines through the resignations of “dignified” Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Progressive individuals and institutions are now taking sexual allegations more seriously, but both sides of the political spectrum walk lightly out of fear of being branded hypocrites.
The present thinking among feminist organizations is pragmatic. If just one of these accusations is proven false or slightly exaggerated, the real threat could be directed at their cause. The victim could end up being every woman who speaks out against a powerful man.
Times are changing and that is a given. But men clearly dominate every U.S. industry in society. It is safe to say that some sexual predators are taking the fall because men have decided the unthinkable cost of ignoring it is simply too high.
This doesn’t mean women should sit idly on the sidelines. There now needs to be more than mere firings or public castigation. The foundation has been readied for construction and the movement to formalize the structure is under way.
Workplaces need a system of clear reporting. The need to situate women in the top echelons of American power may do more than anything else to minimalize the current spate of charges. This will not be done with Teleprompters and clever talking points. The calm approach is the right approach. It won’t prevent all abuse, but it certainly could lessen it.
Men on both sides of the political aisle need to be held accountable. That will lessen the chance to enable or ignore infractions. Is it a turning point in the conduct of American society? Feminists may be holding their emotions in check to avoid alienation of their cause. There are still many in this country that may not be prepared to listen.
One more point needs to be made. Hillary Clinton was at the top of the corridors of power for a very long time. It must be remembered that Hillary lead the charge to bash and sideline Bill Clinton’s accusers.