Jake Tapper versus Emily Lindin: Should we worry about men falsely accused of sexual misconduct?

November 25, 2017 • 1:15 pm

AJC News, an Atlanta, Georgia news site, reports on a kerfuffle that occurred when Emily Lindin, an author and columnist for Teen Vogue, emitted a series of tweets this week asserting that she couldn’t be bothered about men damaged by false accusations about sexual harassment and assault since the benefit of making allegations public clearly overrides any damage from false allegations.

Of course there’s a benefit to making these allegations public, as it’s a good way to end sexual predation on women and, in the present situation, has prompted a lot of women to come forth saying they were damaged by men who practiced sexual harassment or assault. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, for example, I have little doubt that he’s guilty of gross sexual misconduct and perhaps rape (I don’t want to say he’s definitely guilty of a crime as that’s for the courts to determine). The issue is whether all allegations are to be believed, that those accused are certainly guilty, and if some innocent men are collateral damage, well, the ends justify the means.

This is in opposition to the generally approved view that it’s better to let several guilty people walk free than convict someone who’s innocent. (That’s one reason why the presumption in court is innocence.)

Now this situation isn’t quite the same as that, for many men accused of sexual misconduct aren’t “walking free” since their reputations are ruined, they’ve been fired, will be apostates forever, and their legal guilt will be determined by the courts. What Lindin is talking about isn’t really legal guilt, but guilt in the court of public opinion. And even here, I maintain, one has to have sufficient evidence beyond mere allegations before agitating to get someone fired or declaring that they’re guilty. (Multiple coincident accusations, as in the case of Weinstein, are of course a form of evidence.)

Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for CNN, responded with an apposite tweet mentioning a fictional tale we know well, about a man falsely accused of rape (in that case, of course, it was a legal issue and the man was convicted in court):

Tapper responded again, saying Lindin’s tweet was “immoral”. A woman named Emma Erbach then accused Jake of not standing up for women:

. . .  and Tapper argues for his credibility:

I’m not sure which article Tapper’s referring to, but it may be this one from the Washington City Paper in which he says he went out on a date with Lewinsky, things didn’t work out, but then he stands up for her as a victim of the media, Clinton, and public opinion. You may argue that the fact that he dated Lewinsky may detract from his objectivity, but then again their short relationship never went anywhere.

Overall, I tend to take Tapper’s side on the morality issue. Nobody should defend the real sexual predators and harassers, but we need to remember that we need evidence, that an accusation is not tantamount to a conviction, and that we have to be careful about throwing out such accusations. I tend to believe nearly all the women who have made these accusations, but again, sometimes the evidence is thin, as in the case of Neil deGrasse Tyson (yes, he too was accused of rape). And there are well known accusations of rape that nearly everyone believed, like those against the Duke Lacrosse team and the fraternity at the University of Virginia—cases that fell apart under inspection.

The lesson is that whatever our ideological leanings, we shouldn’t participate in ruining the lives of others unless and until we have credible evidence. Tapper is bucking a Left-wing trend, and I have to admire him for that.

(Note: AJC.com reports that Lindin locked down her Twitter account, but it looks open to me now, and she may have reinstated it. The tweets above are taken directly from her site.)

157 thoughts on “Jake Tapper versus Emily Lindin: Should we worry about men falsely accused of sexual misconduct?

  1. Emma Erbach could use her argument just as strongly — in fact, more strongly — about child abuse, and in particular ritual child abuse in daycare centers. Look where that got us. It’s an argument that follows from moral panic.

  2. In an age where people can spend 39 years in prison only to be freed when DNA evidence exonerates him, we must insist on proof before conviction and punishment on all crimes, not just sexual harassment. Society is currently in the midst of correcting the bad behavior of some men which is a good thing but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Yes, Jake Tapper’s position is courageous at this point in time. (Somehow “point in time” sounds better than just “time” here.)

  3. I think what bothers me the most about this exchange is that they all get away with flawed logic. Lindin clearly makes an immoral, Machiavellian statement (yes, I’m aware sometimes Machiavellian behaviour is justified) that drives away people who are already on the side of victimized women. How are victims best served by creating more victims? And Tapper – he shouldn’t have to defend himself at all. Did Erbach do enough for women? Did any of us? What’s enough? It’s just diverting from the argument with whataboutism and it wreaks of people wanting to pile and get in on something.

    1. +1
      I saw Lindin’s tweet and thought to myself (after wondering who she was) ‘not helping!’. Knowing she’s a Teen Vogue columnist makes her commentary more concerning, imo. Taken as twitter hyperbole I could write it off, but if her audience is teens… that is more troubling.

      1. I noticed that too, but felt I was in no position to mention it, being an inveterate homophone-phobe myself. 🙂

        1. Welcome, brother. 🙂 I do have a homophone problem. I know the difference but inevitably make the mistake anyway.

          1. Happens to me when my brain and fingertips desynchronize, especially if I feel a punchline a-comin’ and rush to get to it.

          2. You bigots! Discriminating against helpless homophones just because of a little difference in a couple of letters. They can’t help how they’re spelt.

            Equal rights for homophones! Spelling equality for all!


      1. Yeah, I wonder if she bravely pays the price of a new car by allowing someone else to buy it for her as well.

      2. Logic so outrageously twisted that it makes you want to scream:

        “If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

        Aspiring trolls take notice, this is how the pros do it.

      3. All she does is assert that a second injustice somehow compensates an earlier one. Most of us learned that two wrongs don’t make a right when we were small, so I’d suspect this woman’s moral compass is faulty. “Let’s correct systemic injustice by throwing even more injustice around” does not sound like a thoughtful fix to me.

        It is also true that the use of accusations (historically more accurate to call them denunciations) to silence enemies is a tactic of many an authoritarian regime, and it worries me. We see accusations fly out from a certain blog with no evidence, and generally timed to assist the blogger’s waning reputation. Has any major male atheist/skeptic avoided an open or insinuated accusation from that site by this point?

    2. Well said, Diana.

      I’m firmly in the ‘beyond-reasonable-doubt’ camp (for any crime) – I think falsely condemning an innocent person is a crime in itself. (And if done by the law, it’s the worst offence the justice system can commit since it completely negates the whole principal of justice).


  4. There is nothing more damaging to a man’s reputation than false sexual assault allegations, and it’s a really difficult thing to defend yourself against too.

    We recently had a case in NZ where a man who basically dedicated his life to turning around the lives of young people in his community was on trial following an accusation of sexual harassment of a 15 year old. He lost his job as soon as the allegations occurred and had been a pariah ever since.

    The trial made it clear he was innocent. However, because of suspicion he probably won’t get his job back because it involved working with young people. It’s all he really knows too, because it’s what he trained for.

    He helped countless young people, but his skills are lost to his community because of one false accusation from a very damaged young woman he was helping.

    I’m really glad more women are speaking up. It’s about bloody time the epidemic of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence against us was taken seriously. However, the last thing I want is for good men to be swept up in the clean out. It’s wrong, and shouldn’t happen.

    Further, because despite the change, there are still plenty of people who don’t take the issue seriously (cue supporters of Moore and Trump). For those people, every unfounded accusation gives them another excuse not to believe victims.

    Research shows that a proportion of ALL crime reports are false. That is likely to be no different here. Some people don’t always automatically disbelieve someone when they say they’ve been robbed because a %age of reports are false, but they do when it comes to sex crimes.

    1. The reason is because sex crimes are necessarily much more of a grey area than “I was robbed”. Yet, we still do see people probe for more information for these other more-but-not-entirely-black-and-white crimes:

      If someone claims their car was broken into or stolen, we feel compelled to ask “was the door locked?”, “Was something valuable in sight?”. When someone gets a virus on their computer we ask “What websites were you visiting? Did you have an antivirus?”

      1. I don’t think property crimes work as an analogy. Assault would be better. If someone assaulted, I certainly don’t ask them what they were wearing, or what they did to cause it or why they didn’t have a body guard.

        1. My point is that “victim blaming” is claimed to be something we do only in regards to sexual assault (and implied to only be when it is women) but the truth is that we “victim blame” for much more black-and-white crimes than sexual assault.

          1. Yeah, a lot of people are jerks and will victim blame, which is unfortunate. I had a couple of elderly clients who were taken in by an IRS scam in the last few years, and I felt nothing but pity and compassion. Predators are crafty, clever and target those they think will not be believed, be blamed themselves, etc.

          2. I like the way Jamey Ian Swiss (?) said it a few years ago: Don’t blame the victim, credit the conman.

          3. You really think asking the victim of a car burglary if his doors were locked is in any way analogous to asking a rape victim if, say, she was wearing underwear or a short skirt?

          4. No, but I think that “what were you wearing” is an incredibly rare form of victim blaming. Most of the time, people ask if others were being responsible with regards to alcohol intake ie proper risk aversion.

          5. You think the ‘what was she wearing’ line is ‘incredibly rare’? It isn’t. It is incredibly common place. Probably the first blamey thing that people think about an alleged sexual-assault victim. Followed by ‘she was wearing X and drinking’ or ‘she was wearing X and went to his house/party/car’ or ‘she was wearing X and had been sexually active recently’ etc, etc, etc.

      2. It’s no defense to a car burglary that the owner left the doors unlocked or valuables in sight — and nobody claims they were “asking for it” if they did.

        1. The insurance company may.

          In fact, Ken, I think that statement – “nobody claims they were “asking for it” if they did” is just incorrect. Or an overstatement.

          In fact the posters we have up in popular tourist spots in NZ – “lock your doors and hide your valuables” – clearly imply that you’re ‘asking for it’ if you don’t.

          None of this exonerates the thieves, of course.


        2. I agree, and I’ve never said someone is “asking for it”. In fact, I’ve never seen ANYONE say that someone was “asking for it” when it came to assault or theft or anything** like that.

          The thing about “victim blaming” in the context of sexual assaults is that usually people will say things like “drink responsibly” or “were you sober?” because whether or not someone was sober (or even if their assailant was sober) plays a huge role in how a crime should be treated. That said, I think we should still empathize with victims, even if we don’t find the assailant criminally responsible.

          **I’ve only ever heard statements or implications like that when it came to self-defense or extreme negligence.

          1. because whether or not someone was sober (or even if their assailant was sober) plays a huge role in how a crime should be treated.

            How so?

          2. mens rea.

            When one or more parties are drunk the lines are very blurred when it comes to consent. No one likes to be rejected so we rely visual cues a lot. This leads to an over-confirmation of consent by men in general due to women not properly signalling consent/non-consent. Not only can the line be blurred for the perpetrator but inebriation can leads to the victim being less able or willing to revoke or make clear they are no longer consenting. Carol Tavris has a great talk on the subject from TAM 2014

          3. I remember watching that talk, it had many interesting points. However,

            due to women not properly signalling consent/non-consent.

            I don’t know if you meant to word it this way, but perhaps it isn’t due to women not ‘properly signaling’ and has more to do with some men not properly obtaining affirmative consent. Predators know that people think the way your statement is phrased, and deliberately target women who might be drinking so as to take advantage of this public bias.

          4. @yazikus

            You’re right that I should have worded that better.
            What I mean is that women and men don’t properly signal consent/non-consent and neither party does a good job seeking “affirmative consent”, for most definitions of affirmative consent. This is in part due to our desire to get what we want and our desire to not be rejected.

    2. Well said, Heather.

      “Some people don’t always automatically disbelieve someone when they say they’ve been robbed because a %age of reports are false, but they do when it comes to sex crimes.”

      This probably reflects the availability of corroborating evidence in various types of crimes. i.e. “I’ve been burgled” or “my car was stolen” is – usually – genuine and supported by evidence. I’d suggest the % of false reports is quite low. “I was mugged” is usually similarly supported. “I was molested” in its various degrees is far more often a case of the complainant’s unsupported word, with no forensics possible.


  5. The few studies that have done on the topic, and the experience of many law enforcement official involved in the area all converge on a false accusation rate of about 40%.

    That’s not rare.

    1. Could you send more information about these studies?

      I think it highly likely that false accusations are rare, but only know of anecdotal information.

      1. I don’t know about the 40% figure Carey is claiming but I know the usual figure cited by feminists is “only 2%” which is actually a half-truth which should be stated instead as “2-10% are PROVEN false”. Not, just like it’s hard to prove guilt it is also extremely difficult to prove innocence, especially for sexual assault claims. This makes me suspect that the real rate of lies vs truths is much much higher than 2 and probably even higher than 10%.
        IIRC the figure is using cases that go to court… which means we’re already ignoring all the cases that are so blatantly indefensible legally that police don’t even bring charges forward.
        Now where does that leave us with accusations in the public sphere?

        1. The assumption that the only reason cases don’t make it to court is because they are ‘blatantly indefensible’ is… naive, I think. Here is an article from this summer re: a deputy who routinely didn’t investigate the sex-crimes reported to him.
          You may have seen the news in the past few weeks of officers raping women in their custody (and then threatening them not to report).
          So- not making it to court does not a false rape claim make, necessarily.

          1. oh yes I didn’t mean to imply they all were. I should clarify what I was thinking.. I now realize I wrote half my post wrong. HOWEVER, I do think it is reasonable to assume a larger proportion of claims that don’t make it to court are false than those that do.

            The context is usually framed as “98% of rapists get away with it” and I mean to only point out that it’s more important to defend innocents (or not sufficiently proven guilty individuals) than it is to presume guilty based on some intuition or assumption that the vast majority of claims are true.

            So I agree that most claims are probably true than false BUT I still maintain that a fair trial should not be skipped because “false accusations are very rare”. 2+% is not “very rare” by any means, and when it comes to “public trials” (ie not in court) it is extremely dangerous to just “believe the victims” unconditionally, and throw (almost always) men under the bus as a result, like Lindin would.

          2. Thanks for the clarification, I think I get where you’re at now.

            BUT I still maintain that a fair trial should not be skipped because “false accusations are very rare”

            Yes, I don’t think anyone (or I should hope not) wants to skip the whole trial bit. Throwing all men under the bus does no one any good. It is a shame Lindin had to express her thought in that way. The only similar thing I’ve said (that I can think of) is that I’m okay with some people fraudulently accessing welfare as long as most needy people are still helped. But that is a different boat indeed.

          3. I’d agree with you on the ‘fraudulently accessing welfare’ on the pragmatic grounds that it’s impossible to absolutely prevent any welfare fraud and being too zealous in that regard would result in arbitrarily denying help to some people (probably mostly women, be it noted) who genuinely need it.

            But that fraud, if not ‘victimless’ – because it does cost society as a whole – at least does not have a single innocent victim as false rape accusations do. And for that reason I’d agree that it’s a quite separate boat.


        2. “Now where does that leave us with accusations in the public sphere?”

          Looking for corroboration and third-party witnesses who can shed light on the events and/or relationship of the people involved. You have another solution in mind?

        3. Just to clarify, it was Thanny who made the 40% claim. I was just asking for more information about the studies he or she referred to.

        4. FYI, the 2-10% or 2-8% range figures are a fiction. A figure of 2% was invented out of thin air some time ago by a feminist in some gathering, and they haven’t been able to give the figure up.

          So when the FBI puts out reports that 8% or 10% of accusations were determined to be unfounded (recanted or proven impossible), that’s a floor value. The remaining 90-92% of cases are a mix of true and false accusations.

      2. @Carey – Thanny didn’t reply despite us both asking & it’s probably because he [almost certainly a he] doesn’t want his feet held to the fire, but I do know what “studies” he’s referring to, because they’re famously flawed in various ways. Quite well known for being such.

        It’s all compiled in a table in the “False accusation of rape” Wiki article, thus when Thanny writes:

        “The few studies that have (been) done on the topic […] ALL converge on a false accusation rate of about 40%”

        he is being extremely partial with the truth OR he has irrationally absorbed the stats casually parroted on MRA & MGTOW blogs, 4Chan & etc. What Thanny should have written if he was more honest [or if he’d investigated his MGTOW-type sources more deeply] is this:

        “[b]OF[/b] The few studies that have (been) done on the topic […] MY SOURCE HAS CHOSEN 3 OR 4 WORST CASES THAT ALL converge on a false accusation rate of about 40%”

        Here are the “studies”:
        Kanin [1994], 45 out of 109, 41%
        Gregory & Lees [1996], 49 out of 109, 45%
        Maclean [1979], 16 out of 34, 47%
        Stewart [1981], 16 out of 18, 90%

        Those are the worst 4 “studies” at the bottom of a table of 20 studies where the other end of the table – the top typically gives a figure around say 5% with generally [not always] much larger samples sizes of 500 to 3,000 ish

        I took the time to look up the Kanin “study” [41%] & there’s holes in it I could drive a semi through – nay – a fleet of WWII-era battleships, being sailed sideways.

        Here is my quick characterisation – which could be better if I’d time to take care with my language, but I ain’t in court so…

        The gist is it’s one small police department that will not let anyone else look at the original data to check Kanin’s conclusions. Thus one strong-minded, bullying cop could easily persuade a high number of the raped to withdraw their complaints using the usual shaming tactics & dropping little comments about how she’ll be treated in future in such a small town when the word gets out…

      3. There’s a study by Kanin in 1994 that covers a number of years in some unidentified town. It reports that 41% of the rape accusations over the study period (9 years?) were false. I believe it required that the accusation be recanted to count as false. It certainly wasn’t the case that failed convictions were called false.

        There was a study done by the military which concluded over 60% of accusations for false. In that one, a unanimous decision by a panel of three reviewers that the accusation was false beyond a reasonable doubt (or some similar standard) was used in addition to recantations. The high rate is no doubt partially attributable to the fact that adultery is a criminal offense in the military, so women caught in the act had a stronger than background incentive to falsely cry rape.

        Those are the only two I recall off the top of my head. I have seen statements by police and prosecutors who work rape cases (including some women) that all provide estimates in the neighborhood of 40%.

        It’s certainly not enough to say “this is the actual false accusation rate”, but it’s not nothing, and it comports with what you see in the news if you pay attention.

    2. @Thanny: “…a false accusation rate of about 40%.” That’s smells like a pile of rotten fish.

      ** What is an accusation – a reported crime? A statistic in a survey?
      ** Accusations of what? Rape? Sexual abuse? Sexual coercion?

      Please define your terms & list your “studies” with links to them please.

      1. An accusation of rape made to the police.

        Your emotional dislike of the entirely plausible 40% figure is quite irrelevant to how accurate it is.

        I’m not defending the 40% figure as solid, because it isn’t. There’s a stigma attached to anyone doing proper research on the topic (emphasis on proper), so there aren’t many studies, and fewer still that aren’t ideologically tainted.

        What I am absolutely confident of is that the real rate is double digits, and that it is entirely unreasonable to claim that false rape accusations are rare.

    3. If the accuser is always truthful and the accused is always guilty, by definition, the false accusation rate plummets to 0%. /s

    4. Thanny. You originally claimed that “the few studies done on the topic, and the experience of many law enforcement ALL CONVERGE on a false accusation rate of about 40%” – that statement is incorrect, as I’ve already shown, for any reasonable definition of “all converge.” Nonsense pseud-maths or something ‘mathy’ sounding, but full of air.

      Now you’ve shifted to the “I’m not defending the 40% figure as solid” while at the same time saying it’s an “entirely plausible figure” & also saying you’re absolutely confident “it’s double digits” – that sir is having your cake & eating it.

      KANIN, E.J. [1994]

      Regarding your ONLY named study: False rape allegations, Eugene J Kanin, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. [1994]

      ** Kanin has kept secret what police force he was studying

      ** Thus nobody else has had the chance to verify Kanin’s findings

      ** Kanin didn’t interview any of the 45 alleged false rape accusers

      ** Kanin appears not to have verified what the police told him

      ** Kanin said the recanters were told they’d be charged with filing false reports, but Kanin does not report the outcome of those charges.


      In summary: Kanin uncritically reporting the claims of a single police force in a small, unidentified city, without those claims having been checked or verified in any way whatsoever.

      From the Wiki link I provided: Philip N.S. Rumney questions the reliability of Kanin’s study stating that it “must be approached with caution”. He argues that the study’s most significant problem is Kanin’s assumption “that police officers abided by departmental policy in only labelling as false those cases where the complainant admitted to fabrication. He does not consider that actual police practice, as other studies have shown, might have departed from guidelines”

      A researcher taking the word of a police department without cross checking even a sample of the cases? It’s a joke surely.

  6. Sorry. If some sheep has to die for a meal, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay. — Emily, a wolf

    I bet!

    The atheist blogger and movement conference speaker Stefanie Zvan was pioneering this approach a few years ago. She sums up:

    It’s an unpalatable thing to say, yes, but I’ll say it. Creating a system in which schools explicitly put accusers and accused on equal footing with regard to sexual harassment and rape will result in more innocent people being found guilty. I am willing to accept that, because the alternative is even less acceptable. — Stephanie Zvan, Source (archived)

    In her warped universe, the burden on the accuser is not “equal footing”. This argument, in variation, was promoted by the intersectional atheist faction, and is one of the many fundamental differences between these types and normal people (including atheists). I bring it up, because it’s a fairly typical view in US atheism.

    I associate this with pioneering witchfinder Konrad of Marburg, who has consigned to flames between 100—1000 accused “witches” from 1230 onwards. This quote is attributed to him or his troupe:

    “We want to burn a hundred innocents, if there is only one culprit”

    I found a good article on him earlier today (auto translation is pretty good, too).

    1. The way to put the accuser and accused on an equal footing is to legislate that, if the accusation is found false (by whatever standards of evidence are prescribed for a conviction, whether ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ or ‘balance of probabilities’ or whatever), the accuser will serve the same sentence that the accused was potentially facing.


      1. all too often false accusers aren’t punished at all, including when they were proven to have lied to police and wasted their time and money (the name of this crime varies but I’m pretty sure it’s almost always a crime in the western world).

        Often, there is feminist backlash at the IDEA of punishing liars, because somehow this will lead to “discouraging victims from seeking help/justice” but this crime would have a burden of proof similar to that of rape. If anything, by letting demonstrably false rape accusations go unpunished we encourage more of them to happen, and lead to people believing TRUE victims less often.
        Not to mention that the falsely accused is also a victim often ignored (another TRUE victim when the accusation is false)

        1. I do think a jail sentence would be an appropriate punishment for false accusations of rape unless the accuser is found to be delusional. The damage done to the accused would be immense for false accusations of sexual assault.

  7. In the case of the guy repeating an accusation “I have absolutely no idea if any of this is true” about Tyson, it was repeated by PZ Meyers. PZ should wait until he has an idea before repeating gossip even the poster could not stand behind.

    1. I’ve seen that one pop up in multiple places, though none of those was Pharyngula (not saying he didn’t repeat it, but was not the only one).

      Whatever Lindin’s intent was, I’m quite sure she didn’t intend this conversation to now be about falsely accused men. My favorite rule, before acting (or speaking publicly) is to ask myself: For what purpose? To what end?
      I find it very helpful.

      1. It’s Myers.

        Having defended his name (or its spelling, at any rate), I have to say I do not agree with your characterisation of the story.

        This was a story whose overt purpose was to show how horrible the people known as the “slymepitters” are, how they were prepared to “weaponise” a rape allegation to get atheism (PZ Myers).

        Notice, however, that he names both the accused and the accuser. Why did he do that? He didn’t name Shermer’s accuser. Perhaps his comment after somebody argues the accused could have known the accuser: “OK, so that’s confirmation that there was opportunity” gives us a clue.

        1. I can understand the reasoning against PZ Myers and his merry commentariat, or more generally, the “Intersectional Atheism” faction.

          It goes as follows:

          Step 1 — Through their behaviour and writing, they establish certain rules. For example, a person accused as sexually predatory is to be regarded “unsafe” and to be made a pariah. “Always believe the victims” already assumes it happened. Another rule, if someone wrote something questionable, they should be made a pariah, too, and the questionable writing should stick to their name at all times. Such rules were explicitly written down by many of them, especially Greta Christina, or Ed Brayton. Also, none of this ever gets old. Whether someone wrote it eight years ago and apologized doesn’t matter.

          Here, these people have set themselves up to be better—than—thou, often in a fire—and—brimstone preachy kind of way. Keep in mind that they weren’t just random commenters, but people from the US movement atheist scene frequently invited as speakers, with big audiences. Some have penned atheist books.

          Step 2 — Their critics then find comical instances where such rules can be fired back on these intersectional clerics and their followers. I often found it hilarious how easily instances could be found that call them all into question — by their own rules. Sexualized insults and death wishes were commonplace, and so on. You find “rape jokes”; and transphobic language; you’ll find blackballing of female skeptics, call to harassment, and workplace doxing. Again, not by random people, but on tightly moderated blogs, from their regulars, with apparent approval. Or from the blog article directly. Psychologists call that projection. Two of the bloggers there themselves where accused of sexual misconduct, as they admitted themselves earlier in blog posts. A third one was accused by others. That alone is amazing!

          Step 3 — the ugly and predictable response has been blocking, banning, propaganda, mental gymnastics how their intersectional atheist gang is different, better—than—thou, somehow. As they increasingly lost connection to critics, and surrounded themselves with echoes of their own wokeness bouncing off the walls, the whole thing began to look more like a sitcom fictional universe with groteque charicatures, often aided by pointed satire by critics.

          Occasionally, a weak tu quoque was attempted, but it cannot hold under such circumstances. They had the stage, the mainstream, and they botched it in a big way.

    1. Oooh! She only meant white men! Now it makes sense.😲
      Lindin shows here to be a rape enabler . The fear of being called a racist lead to the Rotherhams of this world, not to mention dystopic Sweden, the first ‘feminist-governed’ state in the world, where women are weary to go out for fear of being assaulted or raped.
      I don’t know if she is just a poor misguided & indoctrinated soul, or more of an evil McCarthian inquisitor.
      One thing is sure, basically shown to be true, her attitude will not lead to less, but to more rape. An enabler.

    2. The important thing to point out is this is just PR spin. Campus hysteria was free to claim as many scalps as possible with no regard to what percentage of those scalps belonged to young black men, and no white feminist ever lost sleep over it. They’ll only pretend like it upsets them when they realize it’s bad optics.

  8. I am sure it is far more entertaining to judge and discuss the subject of sexual harassment from the news, from the internet, on twitter and face book and simply opinions of others. But if you actually want to know what it is, how it is defined, where it comes from, what your firm can do about sexual harassment in the work place and maybe know how to take action, well that is also easy. Just look it up, Sexual Harassment in the work place and what the EEOC says about it. There is plenty of information for people and their companies who are serious about it. It is particularly obnoxious to see Congress floundering around with this issue when part of the government, the EEOC has had the answers for many years. It just shows what fools we send to Washington and how clueless they are.

  9. “That’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

    Of course, Emily, and so many activists like her, are willing to “pay this price.” They don’t actually have to pay it, or worry about ever paying it. She’s talking about men being falsely accused. Her position is, “I’m willing to pay the price of other people’s lives being ruined.” I imagine her stance would be different when it comes to her own sex. Like war with a foreign country, it’s so much easier to be at peace with collateral damage when there’s no threat to yourself or your ingroup.

    1. Exactly. Many people pointed this out to her, as well. People in her position see men as a negligible sacrifice to whatever goal they want to achieve.

    2. “That’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

      …and if the mounting numbers of falsely accused campaigned to have Emily Lindin’s twitters judged as ‘hate speech’ and she lost her job would she accept the cost? No trials, just public emotion, opens up society to the risks of vendetta and retribution, and the true victims of sexual abuse get sidelined.

  10. Do you think Lindin would care if it were her father, husband, son or even that of a friend if they were collateral damage to the wider cause of women’s rights?. yes well, how tweet would that be for her?
    I know little of the women or her circumstances to be clear.
    I get her point about women, effectively deprived of rights for centuries and yes there will always be victims to fanatical, fanciful distortions by individuals and mob rules.
    But we don’t have to tolerate it and society should pay the cost when allowing it to happen.
    Lindin did not go anywhere far enough for women’s rights are a subset of a fair and equal society where we all live.
    We should not except any less but she reminds us, we are not there yet.

    1. I think this is partly where the “mothers against feminism” groups come from. There are a few that I’ve heard of.

  11. Again someone willing to sacrifice someone else for a greater good. True, it’s only their reputation (and probably their livelihood and possibly their family), but how much more important would the cause have to be for it to be someone’s freedom and life?

  12. There’s a tectonic cultural shift underway here. We don’t know yet whether it’s a minor shock or a major temblor. But the pressure between plates — in the form of uncensured sexual harassment and misconduct, primarily by men against women — has been building for ages.

    As happens following any such major cultural reckoning, some innocent people will be harmed during the realignment. Some men will be the subject of false accusations; others will be punished more harshly than is commensurate to their crime. We should make every effort to curtail this. It is callous in the extreme not to care.

  13. Two words: Woody Allen

    The arguments for his defense are all based on evidence-based thinking. (Woody Allen’s claustrophobia would prohibit him from being in an attic crawlspace for half an hour- the train was never in the attic- one babysitter resigned after being strong-armed by Mia Farrow to back stories she could not corrobate, etc. etc.)

    The arguments for his guilt are heavily character-based judgments. (off-color jokes in his films, frequent adult-youth romances in his films, etc.)

    3 biographers, Moses Farrow, Dory Previn, and one police investigator have all argued strenuously for his innocence, and no one is listening.

    1. have all argued strenuously for his innocence, and no one is listening.

      Last I checked, Allen wasn’t in jail, he’s still making movies and richer than sin. Clearly, some people think he’s innocent.

      1. “Clearly, some people think he’s innocent.”

        Or, more accurately, the Hollywood money men haven’t yet concluded that his “brand” has been so “damaged” in the public eye as to make him box-office poison. Which has very little indeed to do with guilt or innocence.


          1. Frankly, I doubt it. It is entirely possible for someone’s reputation to be ruined without any charges being proved in court. That’s the situation, I think, in the current moral panic. At one time in the past, being accused of being a communist (or just a ‘fellow-traveller’) was enough to ruin people.

            In other eras, even a conviction for sex-related crimes might have been written off by the public as ‘just Hollywood’.


          2. Tinseltown has a lot of tolerance for private sexual peccadilloes. But a sex-crime offense has long been a deal-breaker. See “Fatty” Arbuckle.

            The international film community is more forgiving in this regard. See Roman Polanski and Gérard Depardieu.

        1. It has been widely reported that for many years “the Hollywood money men” have not funded Woody Allen’s movies. Instead, their budgets have come from independent sources in Europe and, here in the US, from such non-studio entities as Amazon.

          The amounts of money that his movies supposedly earn, those of them that turn profits, are mere pocket change to “the Hollywood money men,” who are obsessed with nine-figure shooting and marketing costs and care only about worldwide theatrical grosses of at least $1 billion per picture.

          This may not matter to those who insist on lumping Woody Allen in with Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, and the numerous others whom dozens (in Toback’s case, hundreds) of women have recently accused of sexual abuse, in several cases all the way to rape (in Weinstein’s case, several rapes.

          Without question, all acts of sexual abuse of any kind, regardless of whether those who committed these acts were or were not inevitably driven to commit them, are indefensible. It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out (although to many, apparently it is).

          Nonetheless, I think it is questionable simply to lump Allen’s case in with those of Weinstein and the others.

          Weinstein and the rest have been accused of molesting numerous women with whom they had no non-professional or family ties.

          Allen has been accused of molesting one person, his daughter, when she was just seven years old.

          If he is guilty as charged, his alleged offense (which he has denied) is as heinous as any of the other sexual offenses now being widely and properly publicized. If he is guilty as charged, what he did is all the more despicable because his victim was a small child.

          However, did Allen molest his daughter? I don’t know. And regardless of what the court of popular opinion keeps asserting, I am equally sure that it does not know.

          One may recall that years ago the McMartin Child Abuse case in Los Angeles, which was based on allegations of sexual abuse by many children. This case wrecked the lives of several teachers, even though the accusations were eventually disproven on the basis of coaching of the children by adults.

          Allegations of this kind have been made in the Allen case, bolstered by his involvement with his eventual wife, who apparently was not but is often said to have been his stepdaughter. The whole family dynamic in which this dismaying situation is embedded appears to have been supremely dismal in numerous ways.

          Perhaps the rancor that this case has aroused even among people who have never known Woody Allen except from his movies, writings, and comedy performances will never be extinguished.

          But I think it is careless simply to treat it as identical to those of the Hollywood-linked celebrities who have been under fire lately.

          This is not to say that any case involving only one allegation of sexual abuse should simply be dismissed or ignored because of only one allegation is involved.

          Should the murk of the Allen case, as it has been disclosed to the public thus far, ever be cleared and he proves to be guilty as charged, he will deserve the hatred that he would receive and already has received from many.

          However, the weight of numbers certainly appears to be a factor in the widespread instant credibility of the cases against Weinstein et al. To believe otherwise would be to believe that dozens or hundreds of women colluded to create a wave of mass false accusations against innocent people for malicious motives. As the Bill Cosby case, with its fifty-plus accusers, has shown, this is not remotely believable.

          Whatever the ultimate truth of it and whether or not this truth will ultimately be known if it is not known already, the Woody Allen case seems to be a different kind of situation.

          I believe it should be treated accordingly. No matter what “accordingly” entails.

          And no matter what the Emily Lindins of this world say.

      2. I don’t have the impression that Allen in overwhelmingly wealthy.
        For decades (long before any scandal), his films have done much better in the European market than the American market, while winning a lot of accolades.
        For several years, Annie Hall was the lowest-earning Oscar for best picture- although the film got a lot more popular about a decade after its initial release.

        Quite recently, there has been a huge attempt to stigmatize actors who work with Allen (most recently Kate Winslet), and at least two actors have publicly apologized for working in an Allen movie. Se his Teflon is getting scratched in the wake of Weinstein, Louis CK, et al.

        1. Perhaps you are wealthier than I, but a net-worth of 70-80 millions isn’t doing too badly. But the argument was being made that accusations against him had ruined him. They haven’t.

  14. One of the biggest potential issues here with this left wing trend of blackballing people based on hearsay (whether it is misidentifying white supremacists or the presumption of guilt when any man is accused of harrassment) is it provides motivation to level false accusations out of revenge or malice. The notion that you can ruin someone based on an allegation will inevitably be too tempting for some.

  15. The court of public opinion seems to have always been this way; too quick to take accusations as fact. And, they don’t seem to care about innocent lives being ruined. I personally know of a case where a male’s profession was ended and his life ruined due to false accusations. His extended family and friends suffered also. I don’t want innocent men to be accused, or to suffer. The punishment should fall on the accused/proven perpetrator.

    But, sexual harassment and rape of women is a worldwide problem and, has been forever it seems. It should have been stopped long ago. Women should be able to report the situation, expect action, without blame devolving back on them for being in public, dressing too attractively, or for any other specious reason. Anything considered by males to be enticing.

    These men aren’t always in the film industry, politics, corporations, etc. Sometimes they are regular guys and, perhaps without your knowledge, in your family and in your home.

    I have no doubt that there may be women who verbally harass and grope men. I’m not at all certain how it might be possible to rape them. But, not all women are immune to committing sexual harassment. If women fear talking about such events happening to them, just imagine the reticence of the abused male.

    Blaming it all on “patriarchy” doesn’t change anything unless we continue to strive even harder for equal rights for all humanity. As
    we sometimes can see, if the shoe were on the other foot in re political and religious control, some women would want to return the sexual attacks and demeaning behaviors to men.

    Earlier today I read an NPR article (I think) on the percentage of women worldwide who have been sexually harassed, or raped. I couldn’t find it, but found reference to the following article:


    1. “I have no doubt that there may be women who verbally harass and grope men. I’m not at all certain how it might be possible to rape them.”

      Then you’ve not really thought about it, don’t have a penis, or have fallen for the mistaken popular belief that erection = consenting. Erections are mostly a physiological response and frankly happen at random for teens (and even some adults).

      Or perhaps you think women can’t possibly take control of men but 1) not ALL men are stronger than ALL women, and 2) weapons can be used or other threats of violence (or even threats of false rape accusation).

      I believe it is the NCVIS report which shows that men are “made to penetrate” (ie raped) just as often women are “penetrated without consent”. The problem is that rape of males is ignored worldwide due to inequalities of the law (not counting “made to penetrate” as rape), lobbying efforts that paint men as rapists and women as victims, or general apathy. Time and time again females (in position of power, or not) rape males and male children and get a slap on the wrist in response. This all ties to the same issues of the empathy gap.

      1. When you say “NCVIS report” perhaps you’re referring to the Justice Department’s voluminous National Crime Victimization Statistics (NCVS)? Do you have a citation handy for the particular “report” you’re referring to when you say “men are ‘made to penetrate’ (ie raped) just as often women [sic] are ‘penetrated without consent'”?

          1. According to that table, 4.8% of men have been the victims of made-to-penetrate rape over the course of their lifetime. As to women, over the course of their lifetimes, 12.3% have been the victims of forced penetration and 5.2% of attempted forced penetration. (The rates for “other sexual violence” for women are just over double that for men, 44.6% to 22.2%.)

            As Margie said to her partner in Fargo, I’m not sure I agree with you 100% on your police work there, when you say the rates of rape are the same for men and women.

          2. ah you’re right. I misremembered and was thinking about general domestic violence not sexual violence, which are in the later tables 4.x and show equal victimhood.

            So I will correct my claim to ~30% of rape victims (4.8:12.3) and ~30% of “other sexual violence” victims. The point is that this isn’t negligible, even though most people are unaware of male victims.
            Though it should be noted that men give much higher results for the 12-month period than they do in the lifetime period. Not sure what the explanation for that is.


  16. All of the comments here are addressed to situations where there are possibilities of proof.

    What do you think women should do who are victims of unprovable touching, genital exposure, etc.?

    What about children? I was molested when I was ten or eleven, but there would have been no way I could prove anything, except for the fact that my best friend and I were together, so we might have corroborated each other. But, we agreed to say nothing because I, at least, thought I would get blamed or disbelieved. It occurred to me as an adult that the guy might have eventually escalated to more dangerous behavior, and should have been stopped then and there, if possible, before he really hurt or even killed someone.



    1. Give everyone an 360-degree, always-on body cam from birth?

      I vaguely recall a sci-fi short story in which that was a key element. And, of course, the cameras streamed their data to the cloud so destroying the camera would not let a crime go unsolved.

      1. Thank you for not taking me seriously and proving my point.

        I don’t agree with the woman who said that innocent men being sacrificed is OK, but I can understand her anger.

        Innocent women and girls have ALREADY paid a price.

        Your insensitivity to that is so common as to be unnoticed by other men, but believe me, it’s not unnoticed by us.


    2. Sadly this is one of those complicated scenarios that doesn’t have a clear answer. Reports to police ASAP (even if there is little to no evidence) are best so they at least have a paper trail for possible future victims. Seeking help (therapy if needed) is best, and confiding in close friends/family and telling others of your story. What I have mixed feelings about is going public (to mainstream media outlets or blasting away on twitter) to make accusations against people, branding them a rapist for life regardless of evidence or even proven false accusations in the future (see Ghomeshi in Canada).

    3. This topic is a minefield of grey areas and unknowns.

      First, I don’t think you can (or should) feel any responsibility for what the guy might subsequently have done. He might – or might not – have gone on to worse behaviour. Suppose you reported him and suppose he got prosecuted, lost his job and his family, that might have actually propelled him into far worse crimes. Or not. It could have been a one-off opportunistic impulse and the guy – on reflection – could have realised what he was risking and never done it again. It’s quite unforeseeable.

      Your decision was probably the right one for you at the time and that’s as far, I think, as it should go. Evidently (and you’ll correct me if I’m wrong) you weren’t so outraged that you wanted to report him come hell or high water. If you were, then reporting him would have been the right thing for you (in which case, report it immmediately so that any circumstantial evidence like who-was-where isn’t faded by the passage of time).

      There are always going to be unprovable situations that occur. The law can’t do anything about that.


      1. “Your decision was probably the right one for you at the time…”

        Yes, it was, and looking back on it, still is.

        But, the price I paid for silence was the knowledge that there was nobody in my life who would have stuck up for a ten year old girl.

        If you had a daughter, would you want her to have to face that fact?


        1. You have my sympathy if your family was so unsupportive, it sounds as if being molested was not the only problem you had. But everyone’s circumstances are different.

          On the other hand, there have been instances of false complaints being laid by reluctant complainants as a result of pressure from over-protective families.

          What it really amounts to is that ‘unprovable’ is a can of worms in legal and social aspects.


    4. That’s a complicated question, Lynn, but a good one.

      I don’t want to see anyone sexually abused or harassed. I’d like to think that we could use technology to better prevent these crimes in the workplace, on campus, etc. And as a taxpayer and worker, I’d gladly pitch in to play my part.

      But in a world where we are trying to achieve equal rights, we can’t create a situation in which the word of one gender should be believed over the word of the other gender. That’s completely counter to the concept of equality.

      So in my view, the only way to go is with technology, both in terms of prevention and prosecution.

      1. I have recently had to research, and purchase, a small body camera, for a totally unrelated situation.

        But, that shopping expedition made me realize that one possible solution to the sexual predation question would be to lift the “entrapment” definition of unconsented recordation without a warrant. The technology has advanced to the point where cameras and voice recorders can be easily hidden on one’s body, so men (and yeah, it’s men) who do that stuff could be exposed (great word) to the world for who they really are.

        I think that’s a whole lot better than basically telling girls and women to suck it up and live with it.


        1. Well, most cellphones – which most kids carry these days – have a ‘record’ function, if the kids know how to operate it (and how to do it unobtrusively, which may be a whole lot more difficult).

          It’s far from a complete solution though – it does require the complainant to have been expecting ‘trouble’ or otherwise have it on through some fortuitous circumstance.

          The drawback with deliberately setting out to record someone in that way is that ‘entrapment’ then becomes an immediate and genuine possibility – that is, the suspicion that the complainant may have been deliberately leading the offender on in order to get the evidence. (And it’s probably not a sex offence anyway if the complainant deliberately invited or acquiesced in the behaviour). Somehow one has to get the offender to offend without actually encouraging him.


          1. Please don’t take that personally. I wasn’t responding to your personal account in any way. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that you were, or that you initiated the event.

            I was pointing out the practical obstacle (not insurmountable) to your suggestion of carrying a recorder in order to get evidence against some offender. Something that any defence attorney would immediately raise in court.


          2. Linda Calhoun: it would be a video of someone using entrapment. The use of video or audio recording indicates a intention before the fact.
            The defence could argue that the accused was being setup. They could claim that the intention was extortion, blackmail or some other illegal advantage (in the case of a politician, to have him/her publicly shamed, lose votes during an election, suspended, impeached).
            Recording the event could also imply consent.

          3. You’re absolutely right, Linda! A child is legally incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with an adult — that’s the whole purpose behind age-of-consent laws.

            And an act can constitute “entrapment” only if the act is undertaken at the behest of law enforcement. A 10-year-old acting on his or her own (or at the behest of a private citizen, such as a parent or guardian) is legally incapable of entrapping a child abuser.

            You did what was right for you. The best we can do is try to prepare our children on how to deal with these situations.

          4. Here is a case dismissed as entrapment on the Internet:
            (there was no actual minor involved in this one)

            Unscrupulous non governmental entities (criminals, private detectives, journalists, political or professional rivals etc) can use similar techniques or trickery.
            An underage girl, who looks much older, can be used as bait.

            If the law is made to tend against the accused, this will also encourage false accusation for unscrupulous motives.

          5. That case is completely consistent with what I wrote. A defendant can be entrapped only by a governmental agent, or someone acting under the direction of a government agent — not by a private person or persons acting on their own initiative. The entrapment defense’s raison d’être is to act as a check on governmental overreach.

            Sex with an underage person is statutory rape, by definition; it is no defense that the minor consented, or initiated, or hounded the offender into engaging in the sexual act (though that might be a factor a judge could considering in sentencing the offender).

          6. @Ken
            You’re quoting the legal definition of ‘entrapment’. In that way it’s a bit like the ‘only governments can practice censorship’ trope.

            Regardless what you call it, if a jury considered that the situation had been set up by the complainant or persons acting with him/her, with the intent of persuading the offender to commit the offence (and the presence of recording equipment could be a pointer to that) they could certainly vote ‘not guilty’.

            To clarify, I’m talking about the snag with recording in general here, not specifically underage kids.


        2. You’re part of the problem if you are claiming that this is an issue with men alone. You would be erasing most male victims and all female perpetrators ie “telling boys and men to suck it up and live with it”

        3. I definitely would never tell any fellow human being to suck it up and live with any form of abuse.

          I think one thing we could do to greatly improve workplace harassment would be to implement complete 24/7 video and audio surveillance in our work environments.

          Give the keys to HR, where it takes, say, two persons to unlock any segment of tape, and then use it like casinos use their surveillance tapes, i.e. mostly to resolve disputes. In other words, no one looks at the tapes unless there is a complaint (hence the two-person unlocking rule), and when there is a complaint, just go to the place and time index in question and see what the evidence says.

          I bet that would stop all workplace sexual harassment in a heartbeat.

  17. It’s a microscopic risk in comparison to the issue at hand (worldwide, systemic oppression of half the population).

    Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t buy the claim that all women in the world are oppressed.

    1. That’s the feminist lens: Patriarchy is a system created for and by men to empower men and enslave women. Some feminists will acknowledge that “patriarchy hurts men too”, but really they’re saying “men hurt men, too”, and they know it. Feminists never place any blame on women unless they are simultaneously blaming men in some abstract way.

      Personally, I’d rather blame “gender roles” which society at large is responsible for, not just men and not just women.

      One might argue that women play an even bigger role in this enforcement (they are the gatekeepers for reproduction, after all) since stay-at-home parents (mostly mothers) and teachers (mostly women) do most of the raising of kids. There’s an argument there, but even still I don’t want to blame women because I think that is unproductive and missing half of the picture.

      Even brushing away their definition of patriarchy, their definition of oppressed is absurd. If women are oppressed in the western world, then so are men. But feminists and other SJW types are only capable of seeing oppression as a characteristic of one’s identity group. So men are always oppressors and women are always oppressed. Whites and blacks follow the same rule, and so on. It’s a model of reality that fosters hatred and doesn’t lead to actionable solutions.

      1. The feminists you seem to know sound far less reasonable than the ones I know, Travis! That said, I’ve appreciated our dialogue, and I hope I didn’t come of as nitpicking the language use above in the thread. It has been an interesting conversation, for sure.

        1. I’m speaking about the feminists in power, and those that have a voice. I’m not talking about “coffee shop feminists” who are feminists merely because they “believe in equality”. Almost all feminists (remember feminists are a minority of the population despite the vast majority of people being pro-equality) hold onto beliefs of patriarchy, rape culture and/or the wage gap as systemic oppression of women by men.

          What good is the coffee shop feminist if they can’t keep their representatives with power in check? I’m speaking of politicians, White Ribbon, NOW, and almost any activist group that isn’t a single-issue group.

          Just because most muslims aren’t violent and misanthropic doesn’t mean that the ideology is not violent and misanthropic, and this is represented by opinion polls on the average muslim’s beliefs. I argue that the same is true for “feminism” as an ideology and that this goes back decades, not just 5-10 years like most people seem to think.

          You didn’t come off as nitpicking and nitpicking is ok either way :p
          At this point I’m just happy to be able to chat with others and not be branded a misogynist because I reject the feminist label and ideology.

          1. You seem reasonable enough, but throughout this thread it seems like you’ve been getting your information from flawed sources. For example, designating White Ribbon as some sort of feminist powerhouse? I hadn’t heard of it until I just had to google it, and I’m not sure what the issue is there. How is NOW extremist? Which politicians are we referring to? You seem to be taking the assertions of MRAs regarding the state of female supremacy and male oppression without a grain of salt. The feminist-boogey person is far more rare than people who just want to advocate for equality, whether or not they don the label.

  18. The death penalty was removed in the UK (1965)strongly influenced by the execution of a completely innocent man (Timothy Evans).

  19. Ms Lindin’s bogeyman appears to be ‘patriarchy’ (whatever she means by that, it is a flag covering many loads). Most, nay virtually all, societies are ‘patriarchal’ to some extent.
    It occurred to me there actually are some situations where there is no patriarchy whatsoever. It is found in some inner cities and townships, where males impregnate women, and abscond as soon as there are signs of pregnancy, leaving the females to fend for themselves and the offspring. No patriarchy. To be fair, I doubt whether that is a situation that Ms Lindin would advocate.

    The greatest bondage of women occurs in highly stratified societies, where women are ‘upwardly mobile’. Societies where a young woman is an asset to the family as a wife for a wealthy male, allowing him to have some (more) offspring . Of course, in those situations the ‘modesty’ or ‘virginity’ of the young woman in question becomes of primordial importance (fatherhood certainty).

    I also cannot fail to note that Western societies are not particularly bad there, compared to many others such as say Islamic societies and indeed (pace Ms Mead) the Samoan one.

  20. As our host said, “What Lindin is talking about isn’t really legal guilt, but guilt in the court of public opinion.” And one particularly important member of the public whose opinion matters, is your employer (or for students, your university).

    So, if you were an employer, and one of your employees alleges that another assaulted her, and no longer feels safe, what would you do? Obviously, if there is additional evidence, you use that to decide, but what if there isn’t?

    Here is what I would do: I would transfer the alleged perpetrator to another location, make a note in their record, and if another similar accusation occurred, they’d be fired. If no such other location is available, they’d just lose their job right away.

    Now, does that risk harming an innocent person? Of course it does. But so does any other alternative, only the risk is greater, as far as I can see.


    1. But your solution only really works where the alleged victim & alleged perpetrator are on similar steps of the company employment pyramid under different line managers & it also presupposes a benign boss to adjudicate matters.

      A more likely scenario is a line manager abuses an underling & if the underling reports it s/he will be lucky if THEY THEMSELVES are moved to another line [if one is available]. Then there’s the extreme examples where the abuser is also actually or effectively the boss or very high up in the pyramid – then the underling is ill advised to report abuse where evidence is lacking – the underling who breaks the code of silence will be marginalised & pushed out. Even sent to Coventry by co-workers to curry favour with the abuser. The latter happens a lot – one is obliged to take sides or become a target for abuse yourself. It’s like army boot camp in that respect where units are made to cohere by picking on the weakest in the unit. Still SOP within most armed services today – that’s where the Hells Angels picked up the idea after WWII & it’s SOP in all gangs & I assume in many police units too. Team building…

      1. All fair points, but I was trying to get readers to think about the (U.S.) Title IX university cases again, among others. I think the golden mean lies in between the “innocent until proven guilty, even in non legal contexts” attitude widely endorsed around here, versus Lindin’s “no sympathy for the accused” stance.

    2. So you would fire someone on the unsupported word of another employee who may be motivated by malice?

      Suppose the complainant is a lazy worker who just received a justified rocket from the person complained about?

      I don’t think I’d do anything on a first complaint, other than putting a note on file. I’d also put a note on the file of the complainant. It’s quite possible that s/he may be a serial complainer who uses it as a revenge / protection mechanism – ‘discipline me and I’ll complain about harassment’.

      But IMO the most important thing is to gather any supporting evidence – if not about that complaint, there should be background information.


  21. I would just like to add an anecdote that I hope pertains to the discussion.
    A few years ago, my wife and I figured out that the new tenant above us (a young attractive woman) wasn’t actually living in the apartment she’d rented, but had turned it into an Airbnb. We discovered this gradually, as strangers kept parking in our spot, knocking on our door mistakenly looking fresh from the airport laden with luggage, and by a few loud parties.
    The last straw was when a new young lady parked in our spot, knocked on my door, and asked me to help find H (the renter) because she hadn’t left the keys. That night we contacted the landlord, and the next day there was H at my door in a fury. She claimed to not be renting the apartment on Airbnb (though we had already found the listing) but to be hosting a study group from college. Then she said her “friends” had accused me of harassing her and that she was going to report me to the landlord for sexual harassment.
    Of course I was terrified (as was my wife) because we both have jobs/careers/ reputations, and we knew that even the allegation itself, however false and outlandish, could permanently injure us. But luckily we’d lived in our building many years, were friendly with the landlord, and had text and email proof that H was lying. But the few days that passed until this was resolved were terrifying.
    My point is that if you give anyone (of any sex or race) the ability to gain some advantage by making an accusation, some people will find this irresistible. Having the power and ability to injure another person is a thrill that some people cannot pass up…

  22. “Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

    This reverses about 500 years of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence built to ensure that a person’s reputation, livelihood and liberty would be protected unless there existed evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I agree completely with Ms Lindin that sexist behavior and discrimination has no place in modern society. My mother taught me that over 70 years ago.

    What we do not need and should never accept is that a person, man or woman, should be punished on the basis of uncorroborated accusations. And this is especially true of claims that refer to alleged incidents 20 or more years in the past.

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