December 29, 2017


Almost daily, another public figure is accused of sexual assault or harassment–Dustin Hoffman, Tavis Smiley, Larry King, Ryan Lizza, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer… The list goes on. The charges can go back decades, or at least precede the current statute of limitations, and often we lump together the accusers without much regard for the individual nature of the charges lodged against unique individuals.

Outrage can instantly give way to the outrageous. New York Times journalist Glenn Thrush condemned the predations of fellow journalist Mark Halperin–until he was likewise called out as a harasser a few days later. Actor Richard Dreyfuss grew furious after learning about Kevin Spacey’s groping of his son–and then old accusers stepped forward to make similar charges from his own distant past. Omar Ashmawy, staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, was revealed to be under investigation for verbally abusing and physically assaulting women, the sort of allegations he is supposed to be probing.

The victims of harassment and assault–many justifiably infuriated by efforts to suppress their voices and stories–have come forward because they feel safe and secure, in part thanks to the sheer number of cases that appear in the news. The targets of their allegations are usually marquee journalists, movie or television celebrities, or prominent politicians or officials, and thus bound to garner attention of the sort felt necessary to change the larger cultural landscape.

Read the whole thing.

Related: “A powerful person has been accused of misconduct at a rate of nearly once every 20 hours since Weinstein. Since Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assault on Oct. 5, nearly 100 powerful people have been accused of sexual harassment. Here’s where these accusations currently stand.”

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