The New York Times’ reactionary sexual harassment campaign runs into opposition


About the Author
David Walsh is a senior arts, culture & film critic for 

Original comments from the NYTimes our editors think are deserving of note


If someone makes a pass which can be freely rejected without consequences and that’s the end of it then (to me) it’s not much of a problem even if maybe not terribly appropriate in a work environment. As soon as there are negative consequences for rejection then there’s very much a problem.


Great, insightful, thoughtful piece!
When men who pray on the vulnerable are called to account and the incidence of such behavior in the future is reduced, there is only one appropriate word, and that is hallelujah!

However, the way this “Me Too” zeitgeist is going, stripping away context and process and even human nature and even sometimes male innocence, makes women, once again, equivalent with children.
We don’t care about context when it comes to the molestation of children for a reason, and that reason is that children are incompetent to reason out what’s going on so as to take care of themselves.
The infantilization of women is a deep root (see, for example, the treatment of women in almost every religion) of how humanity came to have this problem in the first place.
If we want to increase respect for women in a lasting way, we, that is, men and women, need to do some things differently here.

Ken Morris

If someone makes a pass at a subordinate employee, how is the subordinate supposed to know whether or not it can be rejected with consequence? Down the road, how can he know whether or not he’s experiencing consequences from the rejection? People shouldn’t make passes at people over whom they exercise power in the workplace. Period.

beth reese

I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Merkin. There is an inquisitional whiff around-I have been calling it “sexual Mccarthyism.” Yes there are real, monstrous predators out there and they should be outed, but there also seems to be a whole lot of collateral damage happening too-careers and reputations are being destroyed on evidence that seems flimsy at best. There also seems to be a divide between young women and women my age (60+) in attitudes toward the accusations being leveled against men. Younger women seem to believe that any man charged with any level of sexual harassment and/or misconduct MUST be guilty, while most of the women my age say, wait, let’s hear the evidence before passing judgement. Possibly this view of the present situation comes from living through and reading about the age of Joe mcCarthy, where reputations, careers and lives could be destroyed with a sentence.

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