Saturday, February 23, 2019

Unintended #MeToo Consequnces

The #MeToo movement has certainly brought to light many crimes and unethical practices that have been too long tolerated in our society. Which is good. Very good. But we should also recognize that like anything else bad people use it as just another way to commit crimes and unethical actions. Even if only 2% of accusations are false that means that 1 our 50 people accused have their life unjustly ruined.

But there are more subtle downsides to the movement or more accurately the subversion of the movement as Bloomberg journalists Gillian Tan and Katia Porzecanski highlight in, Wall Street Rule for the #MeToo Era: Avoid Women at All Cost.

Because an accusation alone can ruin a career and destroy a family and the reality is that there are false accusations, men often go to extraordinary lengths to avoid any situation which could lead to a false accusation. Things like going to dinner with a female co-worker on a business trip or socializing after hours. The very things that often help advance one's career.

The reality is that many good men are paranoid about false accusations which leads them to exclude women more. This has the effect of making it harder for women to achieve equality in the workplace. And men are right to be paranoid. No one knows the rate of false #MeToo accusations is; however, we do know that the rate of false accusations in divorce court is high, anywhere from 70 to 95%. Nearly everyone has either gone through divorce or knows someone who has. In just my own case, all the people who I have talked to about it understand that false accusations in divorce court are common and devastating. I suspect that even Spring's family and friends understand the reality of what she did. Avoiding any situation that might place you a position to be falsely accused is a rational reaction.

If we want equality for all then we need justice for all. At one time in our country just an accusation of a rape against a white women by a black man would result in a lynching. We are repeating that with false #MeToo accusations and false abuse claims in divorce cases.

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