It’s not uncommon for the powerful to abuse the weak. Physical and sexual abuse occurs against babies, girls, boys, women and even some men. It matters not a person’s economic status, country, race or religion. The ability to get away with abuse of others is directly correlated to power. And because in Canada and the United States there is a disproportioned number of men in powerful positions, the #MeToo campaign is chewing up primarily high-profile men.
With allegations, revelations, resignations and firings occurring daily, people are getting weary and are saying “enough is enough”, “what about their (male accuser’s) day in court” or “men aren’t safe anymore to be in the company of woman”.
There is a teeny, tiny bit of truth in these statements if looked at in isolation, but not when history and the law is considered.
No corporation would risk firing a powerful man, who has been enriching their bottom line, on a single sexual allegation. In all these high-profile firings there was a whole stable of enablers, both men and women, who allowed sexual misconduct to go unchecked for years.
Sexual harassment has been the unhidden secret in all sorts of organizations where powerful men control the fortunes of subordinate women. Just ask Calgary Conservative, MP, Michelle Rempel, who is adding her powerful words to the justified outrage women are expressing through the #MeToo campaign.
The legal system has never provided justice for sexual abuse victims because it’s one woman against the rich, powerful and famous. And in the criminal legal system, guilt has to be proven ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’.
High-priced defence lawyers, with a platoon of private investigators, can always find a character flaw or a past action to discredit the victim.
Then there are the judges! Calgary Judge Robin Camp repeatedly asked the victim why she ‘just didn’t keep her knees together’, or the Edmonton Judge, Terry Clackson, who acquitted a stepfather of sexual abuse because ‘the stepdaughter didn’t act like a stereotypical victim of sexual abuse.’
Sexual abuse trials, more often than not, end up as a character assassination of the victim and an exoneration of the accused.
I’m told all men are now fearful to have any physical contact with a woman, but why? The men who are in trouble are those, like the self-confessed President of the United States, who are powerful and believe it is their right to sexually exploit lesser beings.
They treat miscellaneous women as play things and their wives as fools. Most women know the difference between a gentleman’s hug or touch versus a Trump pussy grab!
Sure, there will be some women who falsely accuse an innocent man, but there is no perfect system and it’s been skewed in favour of men for a long time. There are also women who use sex to get a promotion, but again the exception.
Sexual abuse in the work place will never be eradicated, but the tip of the ice berg has been exposed through the #MeToo campaign. If the public gets bored with these stories, sexual abuse and harassment will likely return with a vengeance.
The only viable antidote to curtail the epidemic of sexual abuse in the workplace is when women are equally represented in the board room and in executive positions.
Unfortunately, that time is a long way away so in the meantime, don’t get bored with the voice of hurting women.
by B.P. Schimke