Harvard's Bartholet: #MeToo Subverting Justice, Endangering Consensual Relationships

"Some argue that...innocent men must be sacrificed to the cause of larger justice...I find this deeply troubling."

A Harvard Law School professor is making the argument that Hollywood's #MeToo fad -- which has made its frenzied way across social media platforms -- disregards "the principles of basic fairness." 

According to Elizabeth Bartholet, who instructs students on civil liberties and family law, for all its virtue of exposing predators, the #MeToo movement presumes guilt in lieu of allowing due process.

In an article for the Harvard Crimson, Bartholet points out the failure of the hashtag war cry to adhere to the rule of justice:

“Some argue that women who speak out should simply always be believed. Others argue that if some innocent men must be sacrificed to the cause of larger justice, so be it. I find this deeply troubling.”

Bartholet asserts that, in any case of alleged sexual misconduct, efforts must be made to get both sides of the story:

“Efforts must be made to investigate what actually happened and how the different parties understood the events.”

She also laments the potential effect the trend may have on otherwise burgeoning romantic relationships:

"Men and women are put at risk for personal conduct that may be essential if they are to have the chance to develop future relationships.”

Indeed, the pendulum has now swung too far into the territory of the ridiculous: self-professed "feminist" actor Aziz Ansari was recently accused of sexual assault; however, details of the events revealed the accuser to be a victim of only her own choices. Calling herself "Grace" in an article detailing her experience, she could have applied that tenet of charity to her portrayal of Ansari. Her story, in actuality, is one of regret, not victimhood. Ashleigh Banfield of HLN called the account one of "a bad date." Similar comments have been made across social media. Unfortunately, as those like Grace use "assault" to label acts which are nothing of the sort, real cases of assault become diminished.

According to Campus Reform, Bartholet has attempted to temper the ill effects of #MeToo hysteria, going so far as to speak up against changing sexual harassment policies at Harvard Law School which “[ignored] fairness to the accused, and that went too far to shut down romantic and sexual conduct that was consensual.”

The professor sums up the problem with #MeToo thusly:

“In the current climate, men are called out for actions ranging from requests for dates and hugs on the one hand to rape and other forced sexual contact on the other, as if all are the same and all warrant termination...Women are not so weak as to need this kind of protection.”

 

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