It feels a bit like the Jimmy Savile scandal all over again – this time it is women and not children that have been the victims.
This saga, which began with all sorts of lurid allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the famed Hollywood film mogul,has gathered pace so quickly that it is hard to believe it was only on October 5th that the New York Times first printed the allegations in an article. Not even a month later and, like Japanese knotweed, the story and subsequent allegations have spread so quickly that they have now arrived at both Westminster and Holyrood. Michael Fallon MP has fallen on his sword. Kevin Spacey made a very strange statement last week and , well, you just know that this is the tip of the iceberg.
However, is this really about sex and sexual deviance? I doubt it. It is all about power. Historically, claims like those we have witnessed ( and, like a hurricane weather warning you had better be braced for more – a lot more) are nothing new. Of course, I must immediately qualify that by saying that just because they are not new does not, of course mean that they are somehow ok and acceptable. This deviant and morally reprehensible behaviour ( overwhelmingly, though not exclusively, acts committed by males against females) is not acceptable and all organisations and institutions will hopefully over the last few weeks have received a rude and loud alarm call and are, as we speak, weeding out any such behaviour and dealing with it accordingly.
If the latter comment seems a little vague and ambiguous it is not because I am afraid to be more specific. It is because the law is clearly ambiguous and vague and consistently, in this area, fails to be specific.
There can be no dubiety about serious overt sexual acts such as rape – if a woman does not give consent to intercourse any subsequent act is unwarranted and constitutes the crime of rape. Proving this is notoriously problematic but those criminological observations are best kept for another blog.
No I am referring to situations whereby a man may very well genuinely exhibit an action with intention entirely different to that which the woman concerned is thinking.
Surely, even in cynical and litigious old 2017, we are not yet at the stage whereby the best advice we could offer any man, in any situation, ever is simply NEVER touch a woman, even by placing your hand on any part of her, never show anything overt affection of any nature. There has been, or certainly should never have been any doubt that one could never put your hand on certain obvious intimate parts of the female body without the recipient easily and understandably mis-construing it. For certain people that have been accused recently, they have gone much much further. Allegations of sexual molestation and rape are at the highest possible end of the criminal scale and, if proved, those responsible should feel the full force of the law.
No, I am referring to placing your hand on a shoulder or arm, not, like an MP earlier this week, a knee. It may have been meant in the spirit of ‘affection’ but he probably should have known better.
I am not sure if this is something that we shouldn’t actually blame ourselves for anyhow. Women have, and I am utterly ashamed to say this , historically been treated abysmally by men. Ridiculed for doing certain jobs which should be, in the eyes of the misogynists ‘men-only’ professions, told to ‘stay at home in the kitchen’ and paid considerably less than their male counterparts, often for performing an identical role.
Women are fighting back. Good on them . I am with them every step of the way and the sooner these lecherous types are eradicated from society the better.
I hope this sleazy and very unpalatable episode resolves itself soon, but it will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better.
Thanks for stopping by folks. Have a nice day.