#MeToo and beyond: Addressing Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, Assault

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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I'm sure there must be an old thread but I can't find it. But it seems like time to discuss the broader issues again on this topic.

I just saw this article and it seems to the point of people being held accountable for how they treat those who make allegations of sexual misconduct or assault:

Sheila Jackson Lee Leaves 2 Posts After Aide Says She Was Fired for Reporting Sexual Assault (NY Times)

WASHINGTON — Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, facing fallout from a lawsuit claiming she fired an aide who said she was sexually assaulted by a supervisor at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, said on Wednesday she had decided to resign as the foundation’s chairwoman.

Ms. Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat in her 13th term, also stepped aside temporarily from an important House Judiciary subcommittee chairmanship, the committee said.

Ms. Jackson Lee made the decision to step aside from both roles as pressure was growing within her own party to account for the claims in a Jan. 11 lawsuit brought by a woman who worked in her congressional office and who said she was sexually assaulted by a Black Caucus Foundation supervisor. Ms. Jackson Lee has adamantly denied that she fired the woman for retribution after the woman indicated she wanted to pursue legal action, but she planned to say Wednesday that she would step aside nonetheless.
I find this painful to read as Sheila Jackson Lee is someone I have admired.
 

mag

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I find myself getting angrier and angrier about this topic. I think in order to make any head way at all, we (whoever “we” is) need to take a step back and do some serious educating around the concept of judging character. Many people, maybe even most people, seem to think they are great judges of character. I suspect there is an inverse relationship between how good one thinks they are are at it and good they truly are!

Anyway, it seems to me that because we like to think we are a good judge of character, we cannot get our heads around it when someone we have otherwise thought of as a good person, is accused of sexual harassment or misconduct. That is where the problem starts. This runs in parallel to the concept of character references. The “person X was always wonderful to me” as some sort of statement intended to infer that they could not have done what they are accused of. I have started responding to that sort of statement with “Every serial killer interacts with people they don’t kill.”

Not sure if any of that is helpful to this discussion.
 

attyfan

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Sexual assaulters will walk free, easily able to do it again, if people can retaliate against those who report the wrongs. The problem is the balance between protecting the reporters (even though a few reports will be willfully false and mistaken identity has been shown in other cases). I don't know if it is possible to protect the accuseds before a final decision is made any more, though, with the internet and social media and all.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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There is such a long way to go on this. If a woman calls it out she gets harassed, threatened and her integrity is questioned. I was watching a repeat of Amy Schumer last night. They had a sketch about the "I want to rape and kill you" button on Twitter. Very clever sketch but incredibly relevant because this is what happens. Why not have an emoji that saves men time (I am being sarcastic).

Trump is the worst example. Mocking Christine Blassey Ford was the lowest of the low but his supporters found it funny. And then he turns it into being a "Dangerous time to be a man" as if they are the victims. Things will never change with attitudes like that.

The latest Gillette campaign was brilliant. But men behaved appallingly about it and the poor little petals were very hurt over it.
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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20,909
Argghh this drives me nuts! Just read the entire, very long and very thorough article and the longer it went on all I could think is how few people will actually read it.

In today's world, yes there is a place for long read articles, but if you really want to communicate something important - and this is very important - then it needs to be shorter and easier to read with subheads, bullets, highlight boxes, related articles, whatever it takes to get the message across while still providing the deep-dive backup info to support the message and provide the details for those (likely few) who have the time or inclination or interest.

Sigh.
 

ballettmaus

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Argghh this drives me nuts! Just read the entire, very long and very thorough article and the longer it went on all I could think is how few people will actually read it.

In today's world, yes there is a place for long read articles, but if you really want to communicate something important - and this is very important - then it needs to be shorter and easier to read with subheads, bullets, highlight boxes, related articles, whatever it takes to get the message across while still providing the deep-dive backup info to support the message and provide the details for those (likely few) who have the time or inclination or interest.

Sigh.
I agree and in a way, it makes me sad. Yes, people have their jobs but I think they also had more time to read before the internet, cell phones and tablets. Lives somehow have gotten more packed and more hectic.
 

Japanfan

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There is such a long way to go on this. If a woman calls it out she gets harassed, threatened and her integrity is questioned.
And it has to stop some time.

There is no other reported crime for which alleged victims get treated this way.

For example, when people report a robbery, it isn't generally believed that they lied so to collect insurance money - which happens.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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I read the whole Al Franken article and thought it was well researched and reasonably addressed both sides of the issue. Ronan Farrow wrote articles of this length when he researched related issues.

These are the kinds of articles The New Yorker publishes. I understand if people don't have the time or attention span for it, but I don't agree the magazine needs to adapt what they've been doing for years since I like their format. When there isn't time for a lengthy article, people can always catch the synopsis in The Week instead and that is still valuable information.
 

antmanb

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I thought the article was interesting, well written and balanced. It addressed many different issues and went into great detail.

I'm not sure it would be the same if it was edited down for length 🤷
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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I never said the content should be cut - just presented in a more readable fashion. The exact same article with the addition of some summary bullets up front, some subheads, perhaps a pullout box that summarizes key dates and/or key names. It does have a handful of links, but for the sidestories that are more closely related to this one - the story of the bill Franken had initiated and what happened to it for example, or perhaps even a "what we know about" style on the key players as some news sites are now doing to provide a bullet summary.

The full article is worth the read - I did read it all - I'm just saying I think very few will and there are some relatively easy steps they could be taking to make it more readable and most importantly, get the information out to more people.
 

antmanb

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I never said the content should be cut - just presented in a more readable fashion. The exact same article with the addition of some summary bullets up front, some subheads, perhaps a pullout box that summarizes key dates and/or key names. It does have a handful of links, but for the sidestories that are more closely related to this one - the story of the bill Franken had initiated and what happened to it for example, or perhaps even a "what we know about" style on the key players as some news sites are now doing to provide a bullet summary.

The full article is worth the read - I did read it all - I'm just saying I think very few will and there are some relatively easy steps they could be taking to make it more readable and most importantly, get the information out to more people.
I see what you mean. Personally I get annoyed by bullet points, bolded quotes and such that appear in articles because I get annoyed re-reading things that already are stated in the article, often the highlights come before you read the relevant paragraph which just makes reading the article in full disjointed. I realise that it's just personal preference though.
 

ballettmaus

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For example, when people report a robbery, it isn't generally believed that they lied so to collect insurance money - which happens.
True. But investigators are not just going to take one's word that there was a robbery, either. They will investigate, look at evidence and reach a conclusion based on that. Granted, sexual assault is more often than not more difficult to investigate. Still, I think, that is how each allegation needs to be treated as well, like every other crime.
 

Japanfan

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True. But investigators are not just going to take one's word that there was a robbery, either. They will investigate, look at evidence and reach a conclusion based on that. Granted, sexual assault is more often than not more difficult to investigate. Still, I think, that is how each allegation needs to be treated as well, like every other crime.
There's a reason that sexual assaults/rapes are under-reported. And not only because the incidents were 'he says/she says' situations, with no evidence that an assault/rape occurred.

I don't think people would be afraid to report a robbery because they they expected to be shamed and/or disbelieved.

It's possible that Me Too has led or is leading to a shift in how the police and legal system treat alleged rape/sexual assault victims. I certainly do hope so.
 

ballettmaus

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I don't think people would be afraid to report a robbery because they they expected to be shamed and/or disbelieved.
No, they wouldn't be. I think, the difference is that if you call about a robbery, the police will take you seriously whereas if you call about a rape, you can't be sure that that's going to be the case. But they wouldn't just arrest your neighbor and/or think he's guilty of robbery just because you say so. Again, the difference is that they'd take the accusation seriously and investigate whereas you can't be so sure they're going to do that when it's about a rape.

When it comes to a crime, I don't think one should believe stranger A committed a crime simply because stranger B said so.
 
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Japanfan

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No, they wouldn't be. I think, the difference is that if you call about a robbery, the police will take you seriously whereas if you call about a rape, you can't be sure that that's going to be the case. But they wouldn't just arrest your neighbor and/or think he's guilty of robbery just because you say so. Again, the difference is that they'd take the accusation seriously and investigate whereas you can't be so sure they're going to do that when it's about a rape.
This article on why sexual predators don't get caught was recently posted on the interesting articles thread: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/08/an-epidemic-of-disbelief/592807/

Eventually 11,341 untested rape kits were found, some dating back more than 30 years—each one a hermetically sealed testament to the most terrifying minutes of a woman’s life, each one holding evidence that had been swabbed or plucked from the most private parts of her body. And in all likelihood, some microscopic part of her assailant—his DNA, his identity—sat in that kit as well.

When it comes to a crime, I don't think any stranger should believe something another stranger says without hearing both sides and seeing as many of the facts as possible.
Should be that way.

However, the 'Race Profiling and Related Crimes' thread indicates this is not always the case.
 
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Vagabond

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There's a reason that sexual assaults/rapes are under-reported. And not only because the incidents were 'he says/she says' situations, with no evidence that an assault/rape occurred.

I don't think people would be afraid to report a robbery because they they expected to be shamed and/or disbelieved.
And yet, the rate at which victims report rapes in the United States is, as of 2017, quite similar to the overall rate of reporting violent crime and higher than the rate for reporting property crimes.
Based on the 2017 survey, 45% of violent victimizations and 36% of property victimizations were reported to police. This was similar to the percentage of violent victimizations (44%) and property victimizations (35%) reported to police a year earlier. The percentage of rapes or sexual assaults that were reported to police rose from 23% in 2016 to 40% in 2017.
Again, the difference is that they'd take the accusation seriously and investigate whereas you can't be so sure they're going to do that when it's about a rape.
I would not be so sure about that.

Robbery victims seldom know the robber and often can barely describe, let alone identify the perpetrator.

Victims of sexual assault often know their attacker. For example,
About 85 to 90 percent of sexual assaults reported by college women are perpetrated by someone known to the victim; about half occur on a date.
It's a lot easier to investigate a crime when the victim knows the perpetrator.

And, indeed, #MeToo is almost entirely concerned with things done to people by people they knew.
 

Japanfan

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And yet, the rate at which victims report rapes in the United States is, as of 2017, quite similar to the overall rate of reporting violent crime and higher than the rate for reporting property crimes.
According to this article https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/sexual-assault-remains-dramatically-underreported.

80% of rapes are unreported. Different studies will generate different results, but the figure is usually high.

According to this article: https://wp.nyu.edu/dispatch/2018/08/31/why-do-so-many-crimes-go-by-unreported-in-the-states:

In 2016 a miserable 42 percent of violent crime and an even more miserable 36 percent of property crime was reported to US authorities.
Robbery victims seldom know the robber and often can barely describe, let alone identify the perpetrator. Victims of sexual assault often know their attacker. For example,

It's a lot easier to investigate a crime when the victim knows the perpetrator.

And, indeed, #MeToo is almost entirely concerned with things done to people by people they knew.
In the case of robbery, very often there is physical evidence, such as evidence of break-and-enter, or messed up/broken property.

When a victim knows the perpetrator in a rape or sexual assault case, finding evidence can be trickier if the alleged victim has not been harmed.

And when it is a sexual harassment case in which there was no intercourse or bodily harm, and it's he said/she said, with no witnesses, the case can be particularly difficult to investigate.
 
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Japanfan

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Looked more for recent data (this data is for Canada) - the URL won't link by itself for some reason.


In 2018, there were more than 28,700 police-reported sexual assaults, or 78 incidents per 100,000 population (Table 1).Note This marked the second consecutive notable increase in the rate of sexual assault, with an increase of 15% in 2018, following a 13% increase in 2017, and the fourth consecutive increase dating back to 2015 (Chart 1). These incidents represented 7% of violent crimes in 2018. Considerable public discussion of issues around sexual violence took place in 2017 and 2018, and this may have had an impact on the willingness of victims to report sexual assault incidents to police.
 

smurfy

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Long article in the New Yorker on the allegations against Al Franken. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/the-case-of-al-franken
I did read it, very interesting. I was a big fan of Frankens, seen him in person
-mid 2000s - an evening of conversation with Al Franken and Ann Coulter - and yes it was as crazy as it sounds
-couple of years ago with his latest book tour.
I initially was quite mad at him when the story broke - I guess I expected better - after reading about his wife - how they met and family. I sort of agreed with Gilibrand when she called for his resignation.
I did soften up, and after reading this - I do not like his behavior - but considering we have a pussy grabber as president - Franken's punishment seems quite unfair.
The ins and outs of who knew what from the victim and how it came out seems calculated.
Due process was not done by the senate and that is a shame.
But given the climate at the time it came out- I am not sure how things would of gone if he stayed and republicans did their crazy stuff. We will never know.

Back to evening of Al Franken and Ann Coulter. Steven Roberts moderated.
One of the questions was - If you could come back as a historical figure who and why?
-Coulter answered first- FDR - to stop the New Deal.
-Franken replied - oh if we are going there - I would come back as Hitler and stop the Holocaust.
 

Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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Cat's got fsuniverse's tongue? Is it because Lemon is gay and the alleged misbehavior was man-on-man? News Flash! #Metoo is not reserved for heterosexuals.
 

Tinami Amori

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Cat's got fsuniverse's tongue? Is it because Lemon is gay and the alleged misbehavior was man-on-man? News Flash! #Metoo is not reserved for heterosexuals.
I think this is a little bit "far fetched", given that Kevin Spacey's and Richard Callaghan's actions were under full scrutiny and discussed in great details. But in general, yes, people often react or don't react depending their leans and sympathies and "who is accused" instead of "what the crime is".. :lol:
 

Kasey

Fan of many, uber of none
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Cat's got fsuniverse's tongue? Is it because Lemon is gay and the alleged misbehavior was man-on-man? News Flash! #Metoo is not reserved for heterosexuals.
Maybe the majority of FSU has you on ignore, and hasn't read what you posted. Just a thought.
 

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