Daphne Merkin's exercise in sophistry is instructive to why the Times never quite understood reality, meaning it was never the Paper of Record. The passage that show a clear case of blindness is this one in particular:
In private it’s a different story. “Grow up, this is real life,” I hear these same feminist friends say. “What ever happened to flirting?” and “What about the women who are the predators?” Some women, including random people I talk to in supermarket lines, have gone so far as to call it an outright witch hunt.
What happened to flirting?
Nothing happened to flirting. Flirting was never the problem. Harvey Weinstein wasn't flirting. Matt Lauer wasn't flirting. Al Franken wasn't flirting. Roy Moore wasn't flirting. Roger Ailes wasn't flirting.
These were men in power who intimidated underlings with strategic workplace abuse.
The fact that that Ms. Merkin cannot distinguish the difference between sexual chemistry and abuse is truly baffling.
A power structure is in place. That's the bottom line. You are on the job to work and being productive. Your supervisor terrorizes you to the point that you retreat as he climbs, removing the competition.
The article is the epitome of ignorant garbage. Many people find their future spouses at their place of work because that's where you spend most of your day. Flirting with a colleague who flirts back...it can still be a recipe for disaster, but it is not the same as the one in power pressing a button on his desk to lock you in his office.
How stupid can one author be?
Had this been a well-thought out piece, there would be more than mere, "Well, I talked to my faux-feminist fake friends and they confused flirting with sexual harassment or are worried the public figures they support might turn out to be trash and now they'll lose face in front of the little people..."
And as the vast majority of the men on the #MeToo Hitlist come from journalism and acting, there isn't exactly some witch hunt. This is putting a spotlight on very specific industries. Some vain rich white men in media got exposed. Some women were resigned to it.
And some said enough and spoke out.
Those egomaniacs got the shaft...and their places of work survived without them.
Let's not forget that far from being a witch hunt, many of those accusers confirmed their behaviour. They didn't deny or claim innocence in many cases, which makes me wonder what is defined as witch hunt to Ms. Merkin.
Do you mean going after people who admit to abusing underlings? That is a bad thing to do? Should we leave those predators to feasting on prey because calling them out is a mean thing to do?
Is the article some sort of manipulative and covert justification of why the Times kept Glenn Thrush?
It doesn't matter. What matters is we have people at this newspaper who still don't understand what sexual harassment actually means.
And you can't write about it unless you define your terms, and contrary to her assertions, the terms here are clear and unequivocal.
I did work in one newsroom where a senior writer started to target me with unwanted advances within moments of my arrival. His boss shut him down in two seconds, shouting at him in no uncertain terms to "stay away from her" in a tone of voice that made Darth Vader sound meek.
I never had trouble during my time there, or felt worried or scared. The person in charge knew what sexual harassment was -- and made certain it didn't happen on his watch, no matter who was on what spot on the pecking order.
But not every workplace has that kind of civility.
That's the problem, and was at heart of #MeToo.
How have these places of work changed since those who harassed underlings were fired?
Have these places changed the way they hire and operate? New training? New policies?
Or merely new crisis management teams to continue to cover up the rot?
We don't know because this author would rather declare a social movement passé.
With no proof, of course.
Just the way the Times rolls.