Friday 21 September 2018

Sex abuse allegations cannot be used as a weapon in culture wars

Good can come from the rising tide of sexual harassment claims, but only if everyone treads carefully

Accused: Harvey Weinstein and Kate Beckinsale at a party in Santa Monica, California, in 2004. Beckinsale has claimed Weinsten sexually harassed her when she was 17. Photo: BEI/REX/Shutterstock
Accused: Harvey Weinstein and Kate Beckinsale at a party in Santa Monica, California, in 2004. Beckinsale has claimed Weinsten sexually harassed her when she was 17. Photo: BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Eilis O'Hanlon

The last thing the current furore over sexual harassment needed was to become a weapon in the culture wars between progressives and conservatives.

Or faux progressives, who are prepared to toss a few men on to the fire on the basis of unproven allegations alone "pour encourager les autres", as they used to say about summary executions, and faux conservatives, who are so blinded by their own rival dogma that they're prepared to dismiss all legitimate outrage at the pervasiveness of sexual harassment as "political correctness gone mad".

That, though, is what has happened. Sexual harassment has been weaponised, and the armies on either side have loaded up on ammunition and dug down into their respective trenches, ready for the long battle ahead.

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