November 9, 2017
I almost made the mistake of posting this on Facebook. The trolling and short responses there: supportive or not, tend to be antithetical to any real discussion. Tempers are flying. This current explosion of accusations by 'victims' of sexual harassment, abuse, assault and battery must be taken on a case by case basis. This is NOT to defend any of the accused nor to vet any of the accusers. It just seems to me that the wave of 'victims' coming forward, some after tens of years past, has the air of panic and hysteria that colors the whole issue.
Intelligent people follow the law and it troubles me that the finger pointing and tears we now see daily on TV and in the news, should be mitigated by perspective and wondering if any of the accusers take any responsibility for putting themselves in harm's way?
Children are not responsible. Ever. But, who is a child? Under eighteen? Legally, probably, but there are gray areas. There must be.
What is the age of sexual consent? A woman or a man under the age of 21 consenting if he/she says 'yes' or doesn't say 'no?' Is the age of consent Eighteen? State to state? Twelve years old in the deep South? Are consenting sexually active sixteen year olds engaging in mutual sexual assault? Are the consenting fifteen year old unwed mother and consenting eighteen year old father guilty of anything?
Is the seduction by say, a nineteen or twenty year old woman of a fortysix or fortyseven year old man something? These are not frivolous questions. Every case is unique. Who are actual victims of a predator and who are people who just made a bad decision? We are quick to judge. What is that often quoted Bible passage? "Let he who is without sin.. etc?"
When alcohol and drugs are on the scene that makes a huge difference. Being star struck as I was by a famous TV actress who invited me to her home and wanted me but I didn't want her.. is that something? After one glass of wine, I excused myself politely. Could I make an accusation? Would I? Never.. but.. each case is unique.
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery.. Responsibility. These are all factors in this current issue and until charges are filed and a court trial.. as in the horrible case of Bill Cosby.. until that happens and there's a verdict.. it's all accusations.
This is NOT to doubt any of the accusers.
Each of us has a perception of 'what happened.' (Roshomon?) In court, one has the burden of proving that something really did happen. In my case, the actress in question would never have thought that she was sexually harassing me. In fact, it was the 'pre' harassing vibe that got me politely out the door.
A lesson learned in Hollywood. No hard feelings.