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News Link • Sexuality: Sex and the Law

Sex, Power, and Consent: How to Interpret the Media Frenzy Around Sexual Assault

• http://www.thedailybell.com

The same media that covered for the rich and powerful is now delighting in throwing them one by one under the sexual assault bus.

I can't deny that it is a joy to watch liberal elites like Al Franken and Harvey Weinstein fall from grace.

But a chill goes down my spine when I think, but why now? Why has the media suddenly done a complete 180?

Don't get me wrong, it is great to hold sexual predators accountable. But the first thing that doesn't feel right is "convicting" people in the court of public opinion based only on an accusation.

Okay, so for people like Weinstein and Spacey, there are enough people coming forward with enough verifiable evidence that they are beyond a reasonable doubt sexual predators. Al Franken posed in a photo that confirms his harassment.

But could this be the media's angle? The first step is to accuse all the easy targets. Get the public whipped into a frenzy. Once everyone has the torches and pitchforks, all that will be required is an accusation, and the mob will burn the witches. And at that point, no one will wait to see if the evidence pans out. A simple accusation, true or false will condemn a man and destroy his career.

Unfortunately, these conditions will make liars and exploiters come out of the woodwork. It's now trendy to accuse someone, and a consensual one night stand might turn into borderline rape in decades-old retrospect. You will have some people who want attention and money. You will also have some people who simply want to ruin a famous person.

And you will have elites picking targets in their games of power. Just consider how Julian Assange and Dominique Strauss-Kahn were accused of rape at opportune times to ruin them. Both charges were later dropped. Perhaps today in the witch-hunt mindset, the charges would have been further pursued.

Is the Media Offering a Solution?

It is great that men and women who have been victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment can now come forward and expect mainstream support. It is a serious problem. And just because some will abuse the witch-hunt for their own ends does not mean it is fair to the real victims to ignore or marginalize anyone who comes forward.

In this sense, it seems like the reporting from the media is beneficial. Most of the cases focus on a disparity of power. It is rich and famous people taking advantage of young fans, their students, aspiring actors, interns, or employees.

Maybe people with power will think twice. They may think of their careers, their marriages, their future, and decide it's not worth it to be a creep.

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