Author Topic: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness  (Read 61 times)

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Offline MH

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#MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:22:54 am »
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-for-hypocritical-metoo-movement-its-one-strike-and-youre-out

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The very sorts of people who claim to believe in rehabilitation in prison, who support halfway houses and needle exchanges and safe-injection sites who believe, in other words, in second and third chances and that the human animal can change himself for the better appear to have no compunction in throwing a man accused of sexual wrongdoing to the wolves, forever.

This is conservative moralizing of the old style, and she does it well: a general and indisputable morality of liberalism (forgiveness, and second chances) is not being used consistently.  While there are individuals who match the pattern she calls out, I don't agree with her.  I feel good about this piece, though: believe that her instinct to moralize is a good one, her questions are valid and are executed well.

You can't force another group to be moral, but you can play their morality back to them and ask for a response.  You can ask them to be better.  Moralizing and shaming is a unifying force, as it makes an enemy of hypocrisy.

And I do ask some people: what does it take to be forgiven ?  For sexual impropriety ?  For harassment ?  For assault ?  For murder even ?  Our public morality is only an aggregate of our common morality, so we have to pay attention or we'll end up excusing public figures who align with our politics.

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Offline kimmy

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 11:50:38 am »
The title says "One strike and you're out".

In large measure that's not the case.  For the most part the targets of #MeToo have not been guys who made one simple mistake. They have been predators who've knowingly exploited a position of power. The most odious examples, like Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby, have patterns of behavior that span many years and dozens of victims. These aren't good people who made a mistake, they're terrible people who carried on their behavior without a hint of remorse because they knew they had the power to do so.


Jian Ghomeshi may have been acquitted of the sexual assault related charges against him, but he has never been exonerated for treating his female underlings at CBC like garbage. Reminder that disregarding the charges he was acquitted of, he was also accused of repeated inappropriate touching and inappropriate talk to his female subordinates. After the CBC's internal investigation, two of the managers at CBC were fired for enabling Ghomeshi and silencing the women who complained about his behavior. They protected Ghomeshi because he was "the talent".   Like Weinstein and Cosby, Ghomeshi strikes me as a guy who felt that he could get away with it.  He's not a good guy who made a mistake, he's a bad guy who got caught.

So I don't share Mrs Blatchford's sympathy for him.

 -k
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Offline MH

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 12:19:26 pm »
I see what you are saying. 

You can't demand forgiveness either, so maybe the overall level of forgiveness is just how many Kimmys vs Blatchfords out there.

Offline the_squid

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 03:16:30 pm »
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The very sorts of people who claim to believe in rehabilitation in prison, who support halfway houses and needle exchanges and safe-injection sites who believe, in other words, in second and third chances and that the human animal can change himself for the better appear to have no compunction in throwing a man accused of sexual wrongdoing to the wolves, forever.

What Blatchford seems to miss is that sexually assaulting women is far worse than someone doing drugs, or some other petty crime.  Why haven't I ever seen Blatchford preach forgiveness about any other crimes?  Why does she have sympathy for sexual predators, but is all about "being tough on crime" in every other case I have ever heard of?

One thing that many people do miss in the "metoo" movement is the scale of atrociousness.  People who do make a mistake are often lumped in with Cosby.  That's unfair.  But Blatchford defending Gomeshi is beyond the pale...  Blatchford is a blatant hypocrite.

Offline Ghost of Graham

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 04:31:23 pm »
One thing that many people do miss in the "metoo" movement is the scale of atrociousness.  People who do make a mistake are often lumped in with Cosby.  That's unfair.


I agree.  It all depends on context.  People like Cosby and Weinstein are obviously monsters who literally prey on people and don't deserve forgiveness.  I support #metoo, but what bothers me is when people are fired on simply an allegation of , say, one incident by one or maybe 2 people.  That's not fair.  It should at least me investigated.  Innocent until proven guilty, so investigations should be done if it's not obvious.  Have a dozen accusers come out seems obvious enough to fire a person before a full investigation or trial is complete i would think, especially if some of them have evidence to back it up, like texts or whatever.

When you fire a person for one unproven accusation then it turns into a witch-hunt or ultra-PC territory.  The current US Supreme Court nominee was accused of some kind of sexual assault like 36 years ago when he was 17.  That needs to be put in context, you can't treat him like Cosby.  But they grill him and people like him, but then someone like Trudeau who had an alleged sexual assault incident people are willing to turn a blind eye.

Offline the_squid

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 04:51:22 pm »
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...was accused of some kind of sexual assault ...  but then someone like Trudeau who had an alleged sexual assault incident...

You are doing the exact thing that I was talking about.   One guy is accused of attempted ****...   in which the woman has mentioned this to a therapist and her husband over the decades since...   the other was some nebulous incident (a grope?  I don't even know) where he apologized to the person at the time and the victim (if you want to call her that) didn't bring it up further. 

Those are not the same thing, and yet you made them the same thing.  Why?

Offline Omni

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 04:56:13 pm »
You are doing the exact thing that I was talking about.   One guy is accused of attempted ****...   in which the woman has mentioned this to a therapist and her husband over the decades since...   the other was some nebulous incident (a grope?  I don't even know) where he apologized to the person at the time and the victim (if you want to call her that) didn't bring it up further. 

Those are not the same thing, and yet you made them the same thing.  Why?

Political bias would be my guess.

Offline wilber

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 04:56:18 pm »
Ultimately it is up to the victims to forgive, but what part should society play in it? How do you rate the crimes and their punishment. The Weinsteins and Cosby's are easy but there is a large range below that. The position a person plays in society also plays a part. When it comes to Kavanaugh, I made the case to my wife about how drunken 18 year olds were not known for good judgment and do some pretty cringe worthing things, not to mention a different set of standards 40 years ago. Her reply was, ya but this one wants to be a Supreme Court Justice.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC
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Offline MH

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 05:04:19 pm »
What Blatchford seems to miss is that sexually assaulting women is far worse than someone doing drugs, or some other petty crime.  Why haven't I ever seen Blatchford preach forgiveness about any other crimes?  Why does she have sympathy for sexual predators, but is all about "being tough on crime" in every other case I have ever heard of?

One thing that many people do miss in the "metoo" movement is the scale of atrociousness.  People who do make a mistake are often lumped in with Cosby.  That's unfair.  But Blatchford defending Gomeshi is beyond the pale...  Blatchford is a blatant hypocrite.

I was thinking of this too: the schism in 'law and order' response cuts across both politics.

Offline MH

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 05:09:13 pm »
Political bias would be my guess.

I think a chart would help.  I offer this

       ->  At the top is a list of incidents

Left Column
List of 4 Commenters: 2 centrist, 2 more extreme and 2 from right and 2 from left

Who's up for this ?

Offline kimmy

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 05:53:36 pm »
I see what you are saying. 

You can't demand forgiveness either, so maybe the overall level of forgiveness is just how many Kimmys vs Blatchfords out there.

I'm skeptical about Ms Blatchford's overall enthusiasm for the concept of forgiveness. As for me I'm not against forgiveness, but I feel that not everybody is equally deserving.


For starters, I feel that an essential element is sincere remorse.  For people like Weinstein and Cosby, who carried out their behavior over a span of many years and many victims, they don't regret what they did. If they felt any remorse, they wouldn't have kept doing it over and over and over. They aren't sorry for what they did, they're sorry they're facing consequences.  And both steadfastly deny any wrongdoing.  Can you forgive someone who doesn't feel they've done anything wrong? Personally I don't think so.


It's also easier for me to forgive somebody who was young and immature when they screwed up than someone who was already a fully formed adult.  Trump was 60 years old when he said the stuff on the Access Hollywood tape... it wasn't a youthful phase that he may have grown out of... it's who he is.   Roy Moore, ditto.  An established lawyer in his 30s hanging out at the mall trying to pick up girls in their mid teens is just a creep. 


And there's the question of what's to be forgiven.  It's a lot easier for me to rationalize something like an uninvited squeeze or smack on the ass as a simple error in judgment than it is to rationalize an attempted **** as anything other than an act of violence.


This isn't a yes/no type question, and I don't think that myself and Ms Blatchford are opposite sides of the coin on this.

 -k
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Offline MH

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 06:30:20 am »
I'm skeptical about Ms Blatchford's overall enthusiasm for the concept of forgiveness. As for me I'm not against forgiveness, but I feel that not everybody is equally deserving.

...and she's looking over the fence asking the other group about their moral stance also.  I understand it.

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For starters, I feel that an essential element is sincere remorse.

I have also read this in my friends' posts.  But you absolutely need trust to evaluate sincerity from a public figure so there is a chance that nothing they do will be assessed as adequate.  It may also be that someone is effectively forgiven, like Ansari say, but the media coverage of the negativity hides the fact that they are generally accepted.  I would like to see it happen once, though. 

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Can you forgive someone who doesn't feel they've done anything wrong? Personally I don't think so.

Of course not.


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It's also easier for me to forgive somebody who was young and immature when they screwed up than someone who was already a fully formed adult.  Trump was 60 years old when he said the stuff on the Access Hollywood tape... it wasn't a youthful phase that he may have grown out of... it's who he is.   Roy Moore, ditto.  An established lawyer in his 30s hanging out at the mall trying to pick up girls in their mid teens is just a creep. 

And there's the question of what's to be forgiven.  It's a lot easier for me to rationalize something like an uninvited squeeze or smack on the ass as a simple error in judgment than it is to rationalize an attempted **** as anything other than an act of violence.

Kavanaugh was in his teens for the attempted **** allegation.



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This isn't a yes/no type question, and I don't think that myself and Ms Blatchford are opposite sides of the coin on this.

 -k

I don't either.

Offline MH

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Re: #MeToo and The Morality of Forgiveness
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 06:55:51 am »
https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/25/us/bill-cosby-sentence-assault/index.html

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Bill Cosby will have a final opportunity to make his case to the court on Tuesday before a Pennsylvania judge sentences him on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Montgomery County prosecutors asked a judge on Monday to sentence Cosby to five to 10 years in prison for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand, saying he had shown "no remorse" for his actions.

America's dad gets sentenced today for drugging and raping women  >:(