Has the #MeToo movement become a witch-hunt to a significant degree?


#831

True, it makes things a lot easier now. My sister doesn’t own a smartphone, unfortunately.


#832

I think that’s a separate issue, unless there’s some reason to believe he used his position to influence her into sexual activity. Not that he should be violating his vows (assuming he did), but that it’s separate from the aims of the #metoo movement.


#833

I don’t think he did. I don’t recall anyone saying he used force or coercion or anything to that effect.

He should have probably not been permitted to live outside of community.

Hopefully he comes back to his vocation. Irrespective of anything, he still is a priest.


#834

A few years back, we got a warning from school that we literally had a sex offender with a dog lurking around near the kids’ school.


#835

I don’t know who that is.


#836

That’s a common ruse. They use the dog to attract kids.

Terrible.

And my daughter wonders why she can’t walk home alone.


#837

He’s in Pamplona, Spain.


#838

And one can’t of course expect children to be standing up for themselves the way we would want from adults. They’re not adults. Preteen me certainly put up with a few things where I would now promptly instruct the guy to go jump in the nearest body of water.


#839

Do you know him?


#840

The last time I checked, there were five registered sex offenders living at the nearby homeless shelter.

I realize that some sex offender registrations are bogus (because the offences weren’t predatory) but still…


#841

My personal opinion, if someone should be on a sex offender list, then maybe they shouldn’t be paroled.


#842

The sex offender list is for life in a lot of cases.


#843

Well, then you need to produce a clear definition or description of consent rather than pointing back to a previous consensus that doesn’t really exist.

No, it decreases it–if we believe that “no” is the default and “yes” is the exception. In the case of ambiguity, you seek clarity before proceeding.

(I’m speaking in the social and romantic rather than legal context–but sticking to this standard will produce fewer legal repercussions.)

There was a situation a few years ago in which a young driver on the way to school made a left turn at a 4-way stop with the early morning sun in his eyes and hit one of my kids (and brushed another) in a crosswalk as we were on the way to school. He was so blinded by the sun that he couldn’t see that there were three of us in the crosswalk, but he was in a hurry and he made the turn anyway. Nobody was permanently injured, but it was a terrifying experience and it’s an analogous case of where when there’s incomplete information, it’s important not to proceed as confidently as if you had full information. You need to wait until you are certain and then and only then proceed, rather than take the risk of harming an innocent human being. (The physical injuries cleared up within a couple of weeks, but my kid was terrified of crosswalks, parking lots and moving cars for another year.)

Being willing to be verbal, clear and wait for consent is even more important for people who don’t know each other well. People who know each other well can get away with shortcuts, but people who don’t, can’t. (For example, if you have a hairdresser who always does your hair, you can just say, “the usual,” but you have to be a lot more communicative with a new hairdresser–and likewise, a new hairdresser ought to ask more questions about what you want.)

I agree that being willing to wait for a clear yes (or accept that the absence of a clear yes is likely a no) would be a vast improvement.


#844

Al Franken wasn’t innocent. He forced a kiss on the same woman he “grabbed” in the picture on a different occasion.


#845

Single women can adopt, you know.


#846

Aaaaaaaaaaand you haven’t actually been reading what we’ve been writing, have you?


#847

The onus shouldn’t be on women to tell men to leave us alone. Men need to be conscientious about their behavior, and regulate it themselves.


#848

Rude. Are supermodels the only people who get harassed/molested?


#849

I am talking about going for clarity.

Part of the point of encouraging enthusiastic consent is to avoid situations where a guy has his way with a woman who is petrified with fear. You may have heard of the fight-or-flight response to danger or stress. Interestingly, there’s a third response: freezing

The significance of this is that the fact that a woman is not fighting or not fleeing does not necessarily imply consent–she may be so frightened that she freezes.

“Almost everyone is familiar with the fight-flight response—your reaction to a stimulus perceived as an imminent threat to your survival. However, less well-known is the fight-flight-freeze response, which adds a crucial dimension to how you’re likely to react when the situation confronting you overwhelms your coping capacities and leaves you paralyzed in fear.”

This is particularly likely if there has been past trauma:

“Though it’s almost always entirely unconscious, some circumstance in the here-and-now can remind you of a trauma suffered years (sometimes, many, many years) ago. Never fully “discharged,” the original fear or panic linked to that memory compels you to react to the current-day trigger as though what happened in the past is—right now—happening all over again. And so your original reaction of self-paralysis—however mystifying it may be to you, and to those around you—can’t help but repeat itself. Your mind goes completely blank, your rational faculties missing in action.”

Enthusiastic consent demonstrates that the woman is not frozen with fear.

Another argument in favor of enthusiastic consent as a standard is to avoid situations where somebody is being bullied into sex. People who are being bullied into sex aren’t enthusiastic.

Again, I’m not talking about a legal standard but a social standard. The legal standard and college disciplinary issues are above my pay grade, but this is the sort of advice that I will give my kids as they get bigger, and I think it’s a good standard. And as we’ve been discussing, enthusiastic consent isn’t just about sex, but about every form of physical contact.


#850

The default shouldn’t be, “I get to paw, grope, kiss, and otherwise molest every woman I see unless she manages to say no first.”


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