The Warlock Hunt

Article here. Excerpt:

'Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity. Our debauched emperors, whether enthroned in Hollywood, media front offices, or the halls of Congress, truly imagined their victims had no choice but to shut up, take it, and stay silent forever. Many of these men are so physically disgusting, too—the thought of them forcing themselves on young women fills me with heaving disgust. Enough already.

All true; yet something is troubling me. Recently I saw a friend—a man—pilloried on Facebook for asking if #metoo is going too far. “No,” said his female interlocutors. “Women have endured far too many years of harassment, humiliation, and injustice. We’ll tell you when it’s gone too far.” But I’m part of that “we,” and I say it is going too far. Mass hysteria has set in. It has become a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.

If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, “Don’t tell anyone. I agree with you. But no.” Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn’t it, that I’ve been more hesitant to speak about this than I’ve been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?

But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.'

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I got a counter-hashtag

Simply: #EnoughAlreadyWithTheMeTooBit

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He's right

"The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort."

He's right. We do not have a clear definition. Almost any kind of doltish or boorish behavior can be considered "sexual harassment." And the punishment can be severe.

And it's a crime only men can commit. Oh, women might engage in the same behavior, but it's treated far differently. A man who receives any attention from a woman is considered "lucky." Even if he's 12 years old.

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The "Terror" is upon us

It was such a pleasure to read this article.

"Mine was the first generation of women allowed the privilege of unchaperoned tutorials with Balliol’s dons. Will mine also be the last?"

Yes - and I am glad you are beginning to realize it.

As I often think of the phases of the French Revolution I believe we have just begin the "Terror" Phase (Sept 1792) when the beheading began in earnest.

With purely chronological yardsticks it may take 2 years before the "Thermidor Reaction" (July 1794) and an uneasy peace descends upon gender relations.

"For historians of revolutionary movements, the term Thermidor has come to mean the phase in some revolutions when power slips from the hands of the original revolutionary leadership and a radical regime is replaced by a more conservative regime, sometimes to the point where the political pendulum may swing back towards something resembling a pre-revolutionary state."

Then by Sept 1795 the Feminist Revolution will break-down and impose strict revision to the Gender Contract bringing some order.

Unfortunately these will be unsatisfactory times. Social, political and economic disorder will be rampant. It will take another 5 years of gender turmoil before a "Napoleon" arrives with the bloodless "Coup de Brumiare".

At this point clear "Napoleonic dictats" will be established and any remaining radical elements imprisoned. Power will be centralized. Moderates will be courted, welcomed and accommodated. Organized religion will be re-instated.

It was then Marx's observation of this period to echo Hegel and add his own bon mot:

"History appears to repeat itself - the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

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History repeating itself varies

Yes, a similar timeline may unfold. Then again maybe not. For example, historians who think history cycles with certainty predicted WWIII by now. But nuclear deterrence and rapidly-expanding economic entanglement among the possible parties to it has made large-scale conventional war as close to impossible as it can be. Man's technical advances have inhibited or mitigated the classic historical forces that lead to regular large-scale wars. Humans aren't changing so much as influences on their decision-making are and have.

The smaller the scale of examination, the more likely that events will recur, just with diff. ppl and details. This is bc human nature over time changes little and it's human decisions that drive historical events. Predicting large-scale cycles is thus fraught with peril.

Persecuting maleness becomes easy when male attributes become unnecessary or at least much less necessary. Technology and natural resources (gas, coal, oil, nuclear) have mitigated the need for large-scale organized manual labor requiring physical strength. The necssity for male attributes made objecting to anything else coming from men (including men making passes at women when they didn't want them - but never said so even at the time) much easier. Civilization used to require huge amts. of heavy labor. Things men did or said that some women considered rude or inappropriate were tolerated bc the rest of the man was needed. Now that he isn't (at least in their judgment but as I've mentioned before, civilizations collapse rapidly when men are removed from them), women collectively are openly objecting to even relatively benign classic male behaviors, such as making passes at women. But rather than just saying they don't like how or how often men may make passes at women, they are seeking to criminalize it.

Considering modernity as we know it hasn't been around long, it's remarkable how fast this kind of thing has arisen. But the problem rests both in the hows and whats as well as the ex post facto judgments. Unwelcome advances (again, how's a man to know they're unwelcome?), sexualized flirtiness, discussing sexual things, all once provinces of interpersonal relations between the sexes, are being treated as criminal offenses. The common law right to inquire, the most fundamental of human rights in human society, is under attack, at least so far as it applies to male-female relations and as it applies to men.

I've never been a fan of behavior likely to make anyone feel uncomfortable from a sexual standpoint and avoid raising topics like that esp. when talking to women (though most times it comes up, I notice the topic-raiser is usu. female). But to promulgate a standard where doing so rises to a criminal offense or one worthy of serious social demotion, even absent proof/evidence, accepting that anonymity of accuser is justified? That is a classic Star Chamber scenario and it's currently being acted out in many places.

At this point, very realistic sex-bots are needed badly. I am willing to bet the forefront developers of sex-bots are being inundated with VC requests fairly begging them to let them buy into the business.

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