Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Surprise: Misbehavior Gets Punished

I've talked about the #metoo stuff before. As a general rule, #metoo achieved nothing. And now the backlash is clear.

By way of background, the #metoo thing was an attempt by a bunch of actresses who slept their way to the top to create a national movement as a front for clearing their names by screaming rape. It morphed into a bitch session for hypersensitive women, almost all of whom worked in television or film. Their goals were to (1) change society to create "guilt upon accusation" for "crimes" against women, (2) an end to due process, in particular the allowing of any sort of defense, (3) instituting a social death penalty for these crimes, including permanent unemployment, (4) lowering what constituted such a crime from rape-rape to "he seemed creepy" and (5) eliminating any sort of time limit so that women could now raise allegations decades later.

In the heady days of the beginning, it seemed that they would get these things. A handful of famous well-known bastards were accused, a couple resigned, a couple were forced out by their boards and several actors were brought down. Harvey Weistein was charged criminally for a dozen rapes. Attempts to defend these men were shrilly shot down. Even those claiming innocence pleaded how double-plus-good it was that they had been accused.

But then it all went wrong. People (particularly foreign actresses) called this stupid and defended these men. The automatic resignations stopped as did the automatic firings. Due process not only came back, it came back MUCH stronger than it has been in lieu of the college rape lowering of standards. At that point, the resignations and firings stopped. According to some studies less than 400 men were ever officially endangered and only a handful ever actually punished. Soon, it became clear that all the goals of #metoo failed. Even Harvey Weinstein looks like he's going to get off. In fact, the man who has been hit the hardest (apart from Matt Lauer who went down because he's an ass no one liked) is Kevin Spacey and his crime was preying on young gay men... not women. And even he's coming back.

Then the women running the movement were exposed in big bad ways. One was selling drugs. Another was caught doing the same harassing she was screaming about. Yet another is defending a son accused of rape. Soon they were all in-fighting and making claims and demands that flew in the face of this movement. Add the fact that it barely left Hollywood and this thing was not only DOA, it was counter-productive. Indeed, if anything this movement strengthened the defenses men could raise and increased societal doubt (a natural consequence of any movement going too far). Then they did things like defend Joe Biden using each of the defenses they claimed was invalid. Hypocrisy never plays well.

Now comes word of an even bigger backlash, one that should have been entirely expected, but shocks them nevertheless. A poll last month found that 60% of male manager are "nervous" about interacting with women in the workplace and won't engage in one-on-one meetings with them, won't socialize with them and won't mentor them. That's a rise from 32% before the #metoo movement. Surprise.

Now, as a general rule, you need to take polls with a grain of salt. It's easy to answer "yes" when you wouldn't really do that in the real world. But I think what we can take from this is that men are twice as likely now to be cautious around women in the work place that they think are likely to take advantage of this or women who are hypersensitive. In that end, that's good and bad. It's good if it weeds these women out and keeps them from becoming managers where they can mess things up for everyone. It's bad for other women who are not like these women and still will get caught in the blowback. Unfortunately, this is was group movements cause: they make people view the entire group with suspicion. And lest you think this means nothing, consider what Sheryl Sandberg, Facebooks COO, said. She's a smart and insightful woman, and she worried:
"The vast majority of managers and senior leaders are men. If they are reluctant even to meet one-on-one with women, there’s no way women can get an equal shot at proving themselves. ... We’re in a bad place — no one’s ever gotten promoted without a one-on-one meeting, I feel confident in saying that. Senior men right now are nine times more hesitant to travel with a woman and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner."
That's the legacy of #metoo: (1) a strengthening of due process for men, (2) an increase in societal doubt in harassment claims, and (3) a wedge between male managers and female employees. Nice work, ladies.


LL said...

In light of #me too, why would any man meet one-on-one with a female employee? And if you could get away with it, why would you want a female employee?

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I think that's the obvious conclusion. And that's what these crazy movements don't get. When your movement paints an entire group -- women, blacks, a religious group, sports fans, etc. -- as a bunch of people who will be dangerous, either legally or physically etc., the natural response for people is to stop associating with those people.

#metoo painted women as ticking time bombs who were going to scream 20 years later that they felt a male manager acted creepy in some meeting no one even remembers and they want his head. That's a huge risk no one would want to face. So the answer is to avoid that risk.

Similar context, I can tell you that this huge law firm I used to work for (bunch of liberals) were SUPER careful about hiring blacks. They were worried about getting sued and how easy it would be to fire them. So hiring blacks always meant lots of vetting, compared to whites.

AndrewPrice said...

And don't get me wrong. We're only talking about a small percentage of troublemakers. The problem is that their actions spill over and affect the rest.

In this case, I think it means young women and liberal women will struggle.

tryanmax said...

In a crazy way, I think the phenomenon of doxxing people for bad opinions online is an (inadvertent) attempt to level the playing field. Lefties assume badthink only comes from racist rednecks, so outing them publicly to their companies should make whites just as toxic to hire as anybody else. Right?

Wrong. For starters, the latest public outing of a Trump supporter turned out to be an African-American. And there's some doubt that they even got the right guy. Furthermore, it's far easier for a company to dump a guy who draws negative press than it is to grapple with the lawsuits and investigations associated with a harassment claim. So white guys are still the safest bet when it comes to hiring.

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, I mentioned this in the other comments.

We just got back from Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Yellowstone was a little disappointing, but Grand Tetons was AMAZING! If you every get the chance, go to Jenny Lake. It's like a fantasy lake. It's the prettiest thing I've ever seen.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, White guys are the safest bet (unless they seem "shoot the play up" angry) because (1) they don't think to demand privilege, (2) they aren't generally protected by discrimination or harassment laws, and (3) they can be fired without fear of a discrimination lawsuit (until they get into the 50's).

tryanmax said...

I remember the big family Yellowstone trip from when I was a kid. Yellowstone is great for camping, but not so much the sights. We did Grand Tetons first, and I thought that was Yellowstone. Shoulda done it the other way 'round.

Anthony said...

As I said from the get-go only a small group of people (most of them high up the corporate ladder) were getting special treatment/leeway and that group dominates the ranks of people brought down by metoo.

As one might expect (and as I predicted a few years ago) the broad policy change brought on by metoo is in boardrooms rather than courts. Corporations which used to accept misconduct from favorites as part of the cost of doing business now (for the moment) hold those guys to the same rules they hold everybody else to. The formal legal system was never soft on rapists or what have you so it was not in need of reform.

I think you are using the wrong point of comparison. The movement is more akin to Black Lives Matter (whose fuel was cops walking away unscathed from squirrelly shootings) than the Pussyheads (whose fuel was Trump being in office).

As with BLM successfully dealing with the problem doesn't mean eradicating it or giving in to the fringe's demands it means making a reasonable effort. Zero tolerance of misconduct is impossible but less tolerance is certainly possible. In terms of sexual harassment there is a positive correlation between how high up someone is on the corporate ladder and how much wiggle room they get so tightening will only really impact the minority who enjoyed latitude in the past.


Sex abuse doesn't get less wrong because time has passed, though there is of course a statute of limitations for prosecution.

Like I said several weeks ago this raising of the bar is tripping up a lot of people that in a wide range of industries. Policies on the books have always been tough but a lot of exceptions were made for favorites. Old previously ignored evidence is now being used and (rather than new never before heard allegations) is driving a lot of these quick falls.

Critch said...

The Dims are going crazy. Trump won with Mexico and to top it off, he won't let some of the embassies fly the homosexual flag..and the economy is still doing well...and he keeps winning....

Anthony said...


That Mexico thing looks strange to me. The White House submitted a bill to Congress to lower tariffs, then Trump immediately announced he was going to raise tariffs to crushing heights unless Mexico cracked down on illegal immigration.

Then a few days later Trump tweeted out that a deal had been reached and the crushing tariffs were off the table and that additionally Mexico had promised to buy hundreds of millions in American products.

Neither Mexico nor the White House (?!) knows about the stuff Trump is boasting about so I predict that in the near future there will be another imbroglio.

The U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration released Friday mentions nothing about agriculture sales as part of the agreement.
Bloomberg News reported that three officials also said that increasing Mexico’s purchases from the U.S. wasn’t discussed during the talks in Washington that led up to Friday’s agreement. The White House declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

Anthony said...

California's Democrats keep getting crazier. I suspect there will be another Republican governor in California's near future.

In a stance to distance itself from President Trump’s administration, California is set to become the first state in the country to pay for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to have full health benefits.
Under an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats in the state legislature, low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. The deal emerged as part of a broader $213 billion budget.

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