When a person’s right to due process of law:
- is not made accessible to them;
- is sidestepped for political gain, corporate profit, or expediency: can it be said that justice has been served?
When a person is punished without having received the benefit of due process of law:
- to placate the angry masses;
- to make politicians appear to be doing something;
- to make politicians and corporate heads appear sensitive to a certain group of individuals: can it be said that justice has been served?
There can be no equality, or fairness of justice if there is no due process of law. Sadly, this is the situation that all men find themselves in, as politicians, women’s activists and angry women from all walks of life struggle with how best to put an end to the sexual harassment and sexual assault women have had to endure, at the hands of some men, in the workplace.
Anyone accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, physical abuse, and or mental abuse of another human being, should always be:
- tried in a court of law;
- if convicted in a court of law, punished to fullest extent of the law.
This is due process.
Unfortunately, what is going on in today’s world, are men being:
- accused of crimes by women who claim they have been abused in their past. These women come forward often after many years of silence, often with no evidence demanding justice. These women always state that their only intention and sole motivation for doing so is to stop the abuser from doing what happened to them to someone else, or offer their experience with sexual abuse as a form of support to other victims.
The only due process of law that the men accused in this manner are going to get might come year down the road after they are exonerated in a court of law.
What will unfortunately happen first is the total destruction of the man accused. Despite the fact that the accused is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, he will be based solely on the words of his accuser:
- charged by police based on the information given by their accusers;
- vilified by the press and tried in the court of public opinion;
- fired or suspended from his job;
- his reputation will be ruined and all to often family life destroyed;
Being pronounced guilty, sentenced, and punished, on the word of the accusing women alone often before going to court is not representative of justice in any democratic, law abiding country that I know of, but here we are. One person’s constitutional rights pushed aside and ignored to make government officials look like they are doing something. Politicians sacrificing the rights of men to a fair trial and due process to garner favor with women voters and translate the favor into votes at election time.
Interestingly, the ‘#Me Too’ movement and the women who claim to have been violated, seem unwilling to take on the institutions, businesses, owners, managers, that have supported their abusers. The, ‘#Me Too’ movement and its supporters, seem content to allow the people and companies that:
- hired these men;
- allowed them to continue working even after they knew of their wrong doing;
- even went as far as made pay offs to victim to keep them quiet, to get a free pass, when it comes criminal, ethical and moral responsibility.
If nothing else these companies and their upper management are guilty of looking the other way while the crimes were being committed and often duplicitous. Could it be that the reason that only the men are under attack, is that the women are afraid that if they attack the institutions and businesses that they could cause harm to their careers?
Is what we are seeing really a push for change for all women, or is this a push for a long anticipated and up until now denied revenge by women in the entertainment industry? How will any of this benefit the secretary, waitress and all the ordinary women who do not have star status? I do not think at the end of the day that it will have any positive impact.
Honest, respecting men, in positions of authority are now vulnerable to disgruntled female employees. A disgruntled female employee in the present climate, need only suggest that there was inappropriate behaviour by their male boss, to put them in trouble and get revenge for justifiable critic, or dismissal.
When the dust begins to settle, and the news media loses its interest in this cause, as it does with every cause after 2 weeks, when no new fresh accusations are brought against those deemed to be news worthy, life is going to get tougher on the average women looking for work.
The work place is still dominated by males, especially in upper management. Men in high positions could just quietly stop hiring women and avoid the problem all together. The excuse for not hiring women in the first place, were the consequences of mixing men and women in the work place. Unfortunately, for many employers this will be seen as proof, that having men and women sharing the same work space poses too much of a risk, to workplace productivity, safety, and moral.
There can be no doubt that the powers that be, will do what they think is best for their financial bottom line. I will suggest that they will not remove most of their top male management and start over with women at the top. They will simply remove the minority of women workers from the work place to remove all possibility of male, female interaction in the work place.
I understand and believe in the need to make women feel they can feel safe and secure coming forward with complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I have two daughters and two granddaughters.
I do not believe that justice is served, when a man accused of sexual misconduct, does not have access to due process of law, or that right is sidestepped for the sake of expediency, or the profit sheet?
What we have now it seems, are some men who admit that they indeed were guilty of what they have been accused of, and have been rightfully fired from their positions…I have no problem with that and those who deny the charges against them.
I have a problem with:
- how it is a crime in the publics eye to even question a women’s version of accounts, raising women to a level of saint hood; above lying for revenge, or other reasons;
- men who have denied the allegations of sexual harassment, and sexual assault having their careers, personal lives and reputations ruined, before they are proved guilty in a court of law.
- Companies firing people to minimize public relations fallout, rather than on actual proved guilt;
- news agencies reporting allegations as though they were proved facts, and when the man is found not to be guilty of anything, acting like a retraction gives him back all that he has lost;
- innocent men falsely accused, tried, sentenced and punished in the court of public opinion, considered acceptable collateral damage.
Movements like the online movement using the hashtag, ‘#Me Too’ may encourage silenced women to come forward with their stories, but they have a down side. They give a forum and a licence to women who are looking to pile on for revenge. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
I find it disturbing that:
- the minute anyone attempts to question the motivation of women only coming forward after the group using the hash tag, ‘#Me Too’ , was created by someone else, (some over 40 years after the alleged crime took place), that they are shamed and automatically considered as being part of the problem.
- no one wants to consider that some women’s motivation could be satisfying a need to feel a part of something, to connect and tat they have created a plausible story, using a false narrative to become part of a spotlighted group that requires no proof before posting a women’s story of alleged sexual abuse.
Of course all of the women’s stories could be true, with all of the men guilty of what they are being accused of. That is why we have due process of law. No one is guilty simply because they have been accused of something. Only a court of law should be determining who is telling the truth, between accuser and the accused. It is only through the courts that both parties can hope to be heard without prejudice, by an impartial judge and in some cases jury. This ensures that the case will be heard on its merits and judged by the evidence. If people are not content with the way the law is being interrupted by judges, then they must fight to have the politicians who represent them, change the law.
I have always maintained that it is not enough to just punish people, to quiet the crowd, or appease those that feel they are victims. I truly believe that laws need to be enacted to protect people, to make lasting, meaningful changes. I am heartened that sexual offenders who preyed on the stars and would be stars are being prosecuted and they can feel better and safer about coming out and outing their abusers. However, for the average woman these actions will get them nothing. What the average woman needs before she will see change, or feel safe to out her abuser, is a change in law and the prosecution of these crimes done within the confines of the law, affording and making assessable, due process of law, to everyone.