The sexual harassment reckoning

The sexual harassment reckoning, by USA Today.

Tolerance of sexual misconduct by powerful men in America has shifted with stunning swiftness, a change as healthy as it is long past due. The dizzying reversal leaves Americans wondering who might be next to fall — and why this is happening now. …

What are the guideposts going forward? Here are a few suggestions:

  • The punishment should fit the crime. All sexual misconduct is unacceptable, but not all of it is equal.
  • Allegations should be able to withstand thorough examination and interrogation. Anything less would be condescending, especially to women. The accused deserve due process.
  • This cultural sea change must trickle down to places such as restaurants and farms and small businesses, where sexual harassment can be endemic and allegations don’t make front-page news.
  • Where the ballot box serves as judge and jury of sexual misconduct, real change will never come as long as voters place political tribalism over basic decency.

Adds Glenn Reynolds:

As for where this came from all of a sudden, I think the deliberate effort to weaponize female anger — before, and especially after, the 2016 election — had a lot to do with it.

It was aimed at Trump, but since Trump seems immune, it discharged into whatever targets were available. And the targets around Democratic women are mostly Democratic men. …

My prediction: Not much change for powerful figures, but ordinary men will have to sit through HR presentations on why you can’t compliment someone’s sweater.