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Baskerville on “Sexual Harassment”

November 20, 2017

SOME COMMENTARY from Stephen Baskerville at Crisis Magazine:

The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. [Hasn’t it always been?] Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with other revolutions, it is not because the revolutionaries enjoy broad popular support; it is because civic and religious leaders are confused, divided, and cowed into silence. Those whom one expects to impose some order on all this—conservative politicians, religious leaders, civil libertarians, journalists, scholars—are either hiding under the table or signaling their virtue by themselves fanning the flames of a hysteria that they show no interest in trying to understand.

Even as one hysteria—the campus “rape epidemic”—is finally exposed as a hoax by the common sense of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, another breaks out over Harvey Weinstein and others (and still others) emerge almost daily. The commentariat from the left to the right is either diffident or so intoxicated with sanctimony that they are unable to write about it critically. Yet once we strip away the obfuscating jargon and ideology, it becomes very clear what is going on.

For there is nothing new about the sordid behavior. All that is new—and all that makes it newsworthy—is that it has been politicized.

To begin with, there is not, and never has been, any epidemic of “sexual harassment,” “sexual assault,” “domestic violence,” or the rest. It is not that deeds associated with these terms do not happen; the terms themselves are ideological constructions designed to create hysteria and mean nothing. There are, and always have been, criminal statutes in place to protect women (along with everyone else) from violent crime. There have also long been civil provisions to protect them from sexual pressure from superiors in the workplace. Anyone experiencing either of these offenses can readily file charges or complaints. And no, there is certainly no longer any “stigma” against doing so, if there ever was.

What we do have—as many long ago warned we would have—is a highly sexualized culture controlled by men and women who have succeeded in changing the terms of sexuality because they have both ideological and pecuniary interests in using sex as a financial tool and a political weapon.Privileged men and women have thrown off virtually all controls on sexual indulgence, which they can use not only for personal self-gratification but also—and quite predictably—as the means to advance their careers, accumulate wealth, eliminate rivals, punish opponents, extort money, and generally acquire political power. These practices are especially rampant in the commanding heights of our culture: the media, universitiesHollywood, television, and the fashion industry, all of which by their nature are dedicated to profiteering off sexual appeal and which bestow high rewards on people who provide it. Because most of us are consumers of these industries, few of us can completely wash our hands of responsibility.

[cont.]

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