Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Should celebrities accused of sexual misconduct still be innocent until proven guilty?

Asked by Demosthenes (5220points) November 29th, 2017

Because to me it seems like it’s the other way around.

A female friend of mine observed this:

A lot of women throw themselves at rich men. They get their attention in order to get what they want from them. The men get used to this kind of attention so they just start acting this way with most, if not all, women they find attractive. Then something like this happens and all the women, both the ones who did not want the attention and the ones who did, get on the bandwagon.

To me, it seems unfair. I’m not saying that the women are lying, but I think maybe there’s more than just “patriarchy” at work in creating the system where men who are in a position of power or influence feel like they’re “entitled” to certain women.

Also notice how if the men accused are in the media, they are swiftly punished, but if they are in politics, nothing happens.

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40 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

1. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a legal concept. It does not apply in your scenario.

2. Probably some women are bandwaggoning, but relatively few. Believe it or not, most women don’t like putting themselves in a position where they will be disbelieved and vilified by so many.

3. As far as the celebrities go, the accusations make the brand look bad. They probably have clauses in their contracts stipulating that their conduct be above reproach.

And as to your last sentence, it’s a major disgrace that politicians (and, BTW, abusive athletes) get away with this stuff.

Yes, it’s unfair. Gender wage gaps and the Brock Turner sentence are also unfair. And if a system that is so unbalanced in the favor of men isn’t “patriarchy”, then what, exactly, is?

zenvelo's avatar

…men get used to this kind of attention so they just start acting this way with most, if not all, women they find attractive

That is a combination of two myths: that women are throwing themselves at rich men, and that the men get “used to using women” this way.

If you really read what is happening on situations coming to light, it is inappropriate behavior by men in a power dynamic. And men don’t get to say “women are asking for it. You are excusing in appropriate behavior and blaming it on women.

The difference in treatment between men in business and men in politics is a matter of liability. Corporations know they risk much more if they fail to act, while politicians hope it will just fade away.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t think a single accusation should be enough to ruin a career, but it should be taken seriously. More than one accusation would need to be addressed.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Should? YES.

But in this hyper-sensitive atmosphere (of the last month or two), facts and proof don’t seem to be relevant.

Allegations are the new proof.

josie's avatar

See above
Innocent until proven guilty is a legal principle.
Which makes logical sense.
Innocence leaves no evidence. Guilt may leave evidence. Therefore, one is innocent until evidence of guilt is presented, examined and subjected to judgement.
It would be nice if the same principle applied in social interactions, but it doesn’t.

canidmajor's avatar

Unfortunately, @josie, historically and statistically, with “he said, she said” scenarios, the verbal evidence is immediately tainted by gender, the “he said” carrying much greater weight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No one goes to jail based on simple accusations. Actual proof is required. That’s what “Innocent until proven guilty” is. What the public thinks is not important. How the legal system responds is.

It used to be OK to defend a rapist by implying the woman was loose, not a virgin anyway or whatever. Then she’d be reviled in public for having been raped. It was her fault. She shouldn’t have dressed like that, she shouldn’t have been drinking. Whatever.

It’s about damn time we have this “hyper-sensitive atmosphere.” We women deserve it after all these centuries.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And wealthy men start “acting that way” because they’re rich and can buy their way out of trouble.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is another siuation where the “rules” have shifted. Behavior that has always been unacceptable but never talked about is now much more susceptible to open revelation. For women the former unspoken “price of doin business” is no longer to be tolerated. I think we can expect a rather abrupt decline in the numbers of these transgressions.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have hope for the next generation! In my days of sexual harassment, if I’d said anything to a bouncer about a guy pinching my butt or copping a feel I’d be laughed at. “What’s the big deal?! It’s not like you got raped!” Never crossed my mind to call the police, for the same reason.

LornaLove's avatar

This is not really a male or female scenario, nor a rich or poor man outcome. Money does not make people behave in vile ways, however, it does give them power to be who they are naturally, good or bad.
A lot of males have also been abused in this situation too. Did these men some gay, some straight also throw themselves at a rich man?
I think like any profession, regardless, there is abuse simply because people want to get ahead. A lot of the people who were abused did not understand their own boundaries yet. Not many mature older people fell into his traps?

kritiper's avatar

If it’s deemed to be a criminal act, yes.

flo's avatar

They make it sound like they know that every single detail is a fact. There is no “alleged” ...

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s the media just trying to get attention. Again, not important except as a way to sell papers.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I kind of wish that someone had to be found guilty, before accusations are publicized. People absolutely need to be able to report to law enforcement, if they feel that a criminal act has occurred. But being falsely accused of rape, or sexual misconduct, is almost as bad as rape.

An old woman once told my female roommate “aren’t you afraid he’s going to rape you?”(Referring to me.) I’ve never been so offended. Worst of all, she thought this, based solely on my appearance.

There must be some kind of middle ground. Men deserve protection from false allegations, just as much as others deserve to be protected from rape.

filmfann's avatar

Now Garrison Keillor has been accused.
At this point, no guy should go on a date without having the girl fill out release forms.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That’s where we are now.

canidmajor's avatar

@MrGrimm888 and @filmfann, the cases you are hearing about are of very high-profile, multi-millionaires that worked for corporations, who will not appreciably suffer as a result of losing their jobs. The news sources investigated before reporting the allegations. This is not one angry woman pointing a finger.
@MrGrimm888, I can only assume that your statement: “But being falsely accused of rape, or sexual misconduct, is almost as bad as rape.” indicates that you have experienced rape, I am so sorry you had to go through that. Otherwise, it’s a specious statement that is offensive.
It is extremely telling that the politicians have not been fired.

I’m not ging to link to statistics about false reporting of rape and harassment, you can look up those statistics yourselves.

In the real world, however, these behaviors will likely continue, as the men who commit them will go unchallenged by a system that favors men. The bar and restaurant managers will continue to cut the hours of waitstaff that don’t put out. The lawyer in a small firm will still threaten to fire the secretary who has a family to support. The judges who give the Brock-Turner-type sentences will still be on the bench.

Rest easy, boys, normal guys can continue to harass and assault without consequence.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Your statement ”normal guys can continue to harass, and assault without consequence” is pretty insulting. You basically infer that all men are sexual predators.

Is that really your opinion?

By the way. I’ve literally been a waiter, who was repeatedly groped, and sexually harassed by a female bar manager. I reported her, but was laughed out of my manager’s office. It’s my experience, that women can “rest easy.” I work the next three nights, and the chances are good that a female/females, will grope me. It has happened almost weekly, if not multiple times a night, for as long as I can remember. I don’t have any press coverage, or money to show for it, and never will. The women who molest me, will never receive the slightest punishment. Never.

This, as I have said before, is a problem with society, not just men.

canidmajor's avatar

Yes, @MrGrimm888, I am familiar with your “not all men” mentality. And I honestly meant that statement up there that if you were raped, I am truly sorry you had to go through that.

If you could not infer from my phrase “normal men” that I meant not-famous, not-wealthy men, then more fool you.
And if you do not realize that the vast majority of abuses of this kind are perpetrated by men against women, and that the balance of power in this country still lies with white men, then more fool you again.

And I can see that continuing in this vein is pointless, as long as you are more outraged by what was done to you as a waiter than empathetic.
I’m out.

Demosthenes's avatar

While I agree with @MrGrimm888‘s sentiment that the problem is not limited to men (that women who assault or abuse are sometimes ignored as society tends to assume that men can’t be victims or that only men abuse), I’m also fairly certain that @canidmajor was not trying to claim that “all men are sexual predators” as that is not at all what I read from her statement, but only that men who are not in some kind of public light will not be punished or noticed the way these famous men are. And related to the statement at the end of my question, even among famous men, the politicians, while receiving the negative spotlight, are not necessarily being punished further at all (due to the fact that media corporation, by contrast, have something to lose if they do not can them). And I certainly agree that false allegations are incredibly destructive and evil, which is part of the reason I’m not so keen on the “court of public opinion” being judge, jury, and execution for those accused. I should also say that many of these accused are apologizing for and acknowledging what they did, so the idea that many of these allegations are false doesn’t seem to “jive”.

I also think there are some overreactions to what’s been happening. I don’t believe this “November of Justice” (which I’m sure will continue into the months to come) means that now men can’t try to kiss a woman on a date or anything without being called a rapist (that was something implied on another discussion forum I’m on). But it certainly means that those who go too far can’t be expected to get away with it as they may have been used to doing in the past.

flo's avatar

Is it true that all the high profile people in the building have the button under the desk not just Matt Lauer, in case of shooter in the building kind of thing, (whether he misused the button or not.)? Was that info released immediately,by NBC? And are the accuser the journalist/ newspaper or whatever put it out there going to apologize or something? It makes it sound like Lauer asked for it and he got it no questions asked.

flo's avatar

By the way it’s not just about celerities that innocent until proven guilty, but I’m sure you don’t mean that.

But then if everyone has to go to court every time, nothing would get exposed. So, I don’t know what the solution is.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@canidmajor . I am not “more” outraged, about my experiences. But they are constant, and for females, there is clearly a double standard. They are also abusing their power. In most cases, they know that there will be no ramifications for their actions, because they are female. This is a constant issue, but men just put up with it. If I can’t bring up this issue, at this time, when can I?

It just pisses me off, that all these men are being held accountable, when the women are not. Apparently, if I’m not a female, and I wasn’t full on raped, my rights are different.

As far as falsely accusing someone of such behavior, it is the equivalent of reputation rape. And the crying wolf, doesn’t help the real victims trying to get people to believe their stories.

Take offense if you like. I don’t care. And your statement is written exactly how I took it. Normal means normal. Your thinking and rhetoric here is divisive, and unhelpful. Vilifying all men is a problem Fluther was improving with. I will not allow that type of thing to go unchecked. No matter how many jellies I piss off.

Shame on you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, have you reported any of those women @MrGrimm888? How can they be held accountable if the men don’t speak up?

Demosthenes's avatar

Again, it seems pretty clear to me that by “normal men”, @canidmajor meant non-famous non-celebrity men. But since she’s “out”, I guess we’ll never know for sure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Demosthenes She clarified that a couple of posts up, in her usual genteel way: “If you could not infer from my phrase “normal men” that I meant not-famous, not-wealthy men, then more fool you.”

I still don’t understand why more men aren’t coming forward about the sexual abuses they’ve suffered, such as you @MrGrimm888. It’s obviously very traumatic for you, and on going, so why don’t you do something about it? Tell them to stop, or back off, or something. Twist their fingers or something. I’ve done that several times in my life.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^ I reported the head bartender 18 years ago. I was laughed out of the office, literally. I do push women’s hands away. They usually just laugh, and try again later. I can’t even imagine mentioning any of it to my superiors. It’s just the way things are…

Some of the women who grab me, are married to powerful people. I’m just a poor, homeless, nobody. I’ll be getting a home soon, but it won’t change anything in society…

I don’t know that traumatized, is the right word, I’m just sick and tired of it. Watching all these men get punished, for identical or similar acts, and seeing their lives ruined, is frustrating. I don’t want all these women to face the same fate, I just want the behavior to stop.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III No men coming forward?? Generally speaking, men like that shit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You’re a bouncer in a bar, aren’t you @MrGrimm888?

kritiper's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Like I said, “Generally speaking.”

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I am ,kind of a bouncer, yes. Not at bars,usually, although I do bars this time of year. Bouncers get molested, for whatever reason. I’m thinking that it’s the proximity to alcohol, and other drugs. Sometimes, it’s the location. I wasn’t touched Thursday, or Friday. But a lady grabbed me twice last night…

“Generally speaking,” I am tired of it.

I don’t disrespect you for your opinion though.

I have been thinking about how to articulate my feelings about it. I think my main problem with it, is I feel “sub-human,” or something. Like a slave, or their property. Or, like I have no rights…

I don’t know.

I think that I’ve learned that females, and males, feel offended (rightfully,) but for different reasons, by sexual misconduct…

kritiper's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “Generally speaking” is something I say to cover all possibilities since some here call me out if I don’t make it clear. It may or may not include you, so don’t take it personally.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I didn’t take it personally. Yeah. You have to be pretty specific here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “I have been thinking about how to articulate my feelings about it. I think my main problem with it, is I feel “sub-human,” or something. Like a slave, or their property. Or, like I have no rights…” Exactly. But the women have the added feelings of feeling threatened. It can frighten us very badly, depending on the situation.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I eluded to that in the last paragraph, of the same response, that quote is from.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Ah. Yes… Thanks.

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