November 25, 2017


To Hell With the Witch-Hunt Debate : The post-Weinstein moment isn't a war on sex. It's a long-overdue revolution. (CAITLIN FLANAGAN, NOV 22, 2017, The Atlantic)

One reason the "witch hunt" argument falls flat is that the person advancing it, on behalf of Harvey Weinstein, was Woody Allen. Asked about Weinstein, he told a BBC reporter, "You ... don't want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That's not right either."

It seemed a pretty long way down the ladder from the violent rapes described by Weinstein's accusers to jail time for a winker, but Allen introduced early-on an important theme: scale.

Obviously there are terrible acts that God and man frown upon, but was every little unwanted bit of sexual energy directed at a woman--within the naturally romantic and flirtatious environment of an office--going to cost him his job? This led to the sex panic argument.

Advanced by the progressive, mainstream press--a notorious redoubt of mashers and grabbers--it started with The New Yorker asking the question, "When Does a Watershed Become a Sex Panic?" and fretting that we might be on the verge of a "war on sex." Two days later, the first of Al Franken's two accusers came forward and it was clear that if a man apparently forced a wet kiss on you and took a sexual gag-photo of the two of you while you were asleep, you were going to have to walk it off. "Is This a 'Sex Panic' or a National Moment of Reckoning?" asked Salon, deciding that it was actually both. Poor Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times could barely contain her anxiety over wanting to be on the right side of history about Al Franken. On November 16, the paper published her column saying that he should be drummed out of the Senate, but then she had a bad weekend, apparently--had she said the right thing? Or the wrong thing?--and ran a second column in which she worried she was "participating in a sex panic."

You know the culture wars are a rout when Progressives are worried they're being too puritanical.

Posted by at November 25, 2017 12:18 PM