IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Acknowledging Sexual Harassment and Identity Harassment
The sexual-harassment scandals are good news for women but bad news for men--not merely for the men who actually harassed women but for all men. All men are on trial, collectively, in the court of public opinion. And that court neither requires nor allows the presumption of innocence (let alone the presentation of evidence). At issue are two things: the absence of a voice for men in the public square, specifically as men, and the inability of boys and men to create a healthy collective identity in the face of societal indifference at best and implacable hostility at worst. This essay begins by discussing significant moral and intellectual problems in the fallout from these scandals. It continues by outlining a new way of thinking about harassment, one that not only holds men accountable for the sexual harassment of women (or other men) but also makes women accountable for the identity harassment of men.
Keywords: sexual harassment, identity harassment, gender, sex, misandry, male studies, men’s studies, feminism, ideological feminism, women, Me too, Believe Women