The anti-anti-sexual-harassment movement has begun, and its poster boy is Woody Allen.

In the wake of Weinstein, and an outpouring of #MeToo stories from women who have been sexually harrassed, Allen said this:

"You ... don't want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That's not right either."

I understand the sentiment. And no-one wants false or malicious accusations.

But the reality is that the massive onslaught of #MeToo stories of sexual harassment has opened a very necessary window on a revolting but real part of our culture: the exploitation of women by older, more powerful men.

When no-one talks about it, for shame, for fear, for self-protection, this wave of assault doesn't penetrate the social consciousness. We (and I speak as a man) don't hear about it and don't think about it. That's both wrong and unhealthy.

In addition, the silence and subsequent invisibility perpetrates an additional violence on the lives and psyches of already-victimized women.

I don't want a witch hunt.

But more than that, I don't want a painted-tomb society, where the outside is shiny and happy and pretty, and the inside is ugly and violent and perverse. And I don't want a world in which women are used and abused as objects of fantasy and oppression. I do want my wife and my daughter to live in freedom and security and to have the ability to pursue their dreams without fear of a "Weinstein tax" in the workplace. And I do want all women to be safe and secure from abuse of power on their person.

In the hopes of achieving that, I'll risk a witch hunt -- perhaps more accurately called a warlock hunt.

Men need to know, if they have never learned before, two lessons:

Using influence, position, or power to force women into situations and actions they do not wish is wrong.

Evil will out. We now live in the global village, and everyone is going to see your dirty underwear.

Published on: Oct 23, 2017