Vogue Columnist Under Fire After Dismissing Concerns Over The Innocence of Men In Sexual Harassment Cases

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 9.23.05 AM.pngTeen Vogue columnist Emily Lindin is under fire this week after writing how she is “not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs” over false allegations of sexual assault or harassment.  Lindin dismissed the dangers of false claims as low in joining other feminist writers in arguing that women must be believed in such cases. Indeed, Lindin wrote that even raising false claims could be a sign of hostility to women. I wrote recently how this standard was not used during the Clinton presidency where leading feminists not only supported Bill Clinton but continue to flock to events featuring the alleged  sexual harasser and assaulter.

Lindin insisted that “false allegations VERY rarely happen, so even bringing it up borders on a derailment tactic. It’s a microscopic risk in comparison to the issue at hand (worldwide, systemic oppression of half the population).”

In her best Madame Thérèse Defarge imitation, Lindin declared “The benefit of all of us getting to finally tell the truth + the impact on victims FAR outweigh the loss of any one man’s reputation.  If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

Of course, she will not have to pay that price because she is a woman and therefore always to be believed under her approach.  Nevertheless, she goes on to justify the disinterest in the innocence of men by focusing on how women have been historically abused: “How many of our reputations have suffered unfairly? How many of our lives have ALREADY BEEN destroyed because of physical violence against us? Why was that acceptable, but now one man’s (potentially) unfair loss of a career opportunity is not?” Thus, because women have been abused, Lindin insisted they are entitled to abuse a certain percentage of men.

 

 

While the actual rate of false claims is subject to great debate, feminist writers often cite the figure of a three percent false reporting rate to justify rule changes (particularly on college campuses) that reduce due process protections for the accused.  The source for the figure is rarely cited but may be a study published in 2010 in a symposium on violence against women.  That study however found a rate of between 2% and 10%. However, this report focused on reported criminal sexual assaults and rapes.  There is a vast difference in the type of cases involving sexual harassment and criminal assault.  The step of reporting a crime to police is a significant one, including the added risk of being charged with filing a false police report.  Allegations of sexual harassment or civil assault are generally protected at workplaces or schools.  I expect that the rate of false claims is still quite low and there continues to be a serious problem in encouraging women to come forward when subjected to this type of abuse.  However, the basis for the statistic cited by Lindin is unclear.

Of course, even if the three percent figure is accurate, it does not justify the dismissive approach of people like Lindin toward due process and innocence.  The touchstone of a nation committed to the rule of law is that we do not change our approach based on general presumptions of guilt of any class of suspects.  More importantly, respecting due process does not mean a lack of commitment to enforcement. This the same canard that led the Obama Administration to force schools to strip their students of due process rights in sexual harassment cases.  It is also the same argument used by many people to sent terrorism suspects to military tribunals rather than our federal courts.  We have a system of criminal and civil adjudication that can deter such conduct and crimes without tossing aside our core values.

Conversely, I have also been critical of those who say that when public figures like Roy Moore or Bill Clinton deny sexual assaults, we should accept those denials pending unlikely criminal or civil cases.  For public figures, we have to make a judgment about the credibility of allegations. I found the allegations against both Clinton and Moore credible and have noted that people continue to adopt equally questionable bias in who (and when) they choose to believe victims in such cases.

 

Lindin, who writes on feminist topics like “slut shaming'”, sexist dress codes, and other how to send nude photos of oneself, responded to the criticism by taking her social media postings private.   Like many columnists who write solely from one perspective and topic, Lindin sees most everything in gender terms.  Thus, in listing how not to “slut shame,” she notes “I wasn’t allowed to dance by myself in the middle of a dance floor. And it was only because I was a girl.” Well, boys likely feel the same pressure not to dance alone in the middle of a dance floor. Indeed, in my experience, girls feel more comfortable dancing with other girls than boys do with other boys.  However, this type of low-grade analysis is pushed by Conde Nast to capture an insulated audience for writers like Lindin.  Her pieces have titles like “Why You Should Stop ‘Playing Hard to Get’ and Start Masturbating” (discussing her own experiences at aged 10).  In some columns, she makes rather surprising representations like her insistence that  growing up she heard the term “slut” used to her “as often as I heard my own name.”

In the meantime, Teen Vogue’s parent company, Conde Nast, simply did not respond to journalists who asked for a response (It is not clear if Conde Nast still considers itself part of a journalistic enterprise and, if it does, how it squares with refusing to answer questions from the media.

 

98 thoughts on “Vogue Columnist Under Fire After Dismissing Concerns Over The Innocence of Men In Sexual Harassment Cases

  1. The idea that accusations against some classes of people are presumably true has put thousands, if not millions, of innocent black men in prison. President Obama, of all people, ought to have known better.

    We should not withdraw due process from new groups of people who are presumed not to deserve due process, but rather we should extend due process to everyone accused of wrongdoing.

      • I don’t have their names, but there is a National Registry of Exonerations. Here is an article about wrongfully convicted black men: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/politics/blacks-wrongful-convictions-study/index.html.

        These wrongful convictions occurred in a system that SUPPOSEDLY provides due process and a need for proof beyond any reasonable doubt for conviction. Imagine the false conviction rate in a system that has been ordered to abandon due process in favor of “preponderance of the evidence.”

        Obviously, men who had been legally exonerated would probably have been freed from prison by now, but many wrongfully convicted men lost years or decades.

        • George Politico – and yet there is no list of wrongfully convicted white men or Asian men. Still, you made a blanket statement and now need to take it back.

            • George Politico – thanks for the article. It just confirms a NOVA program on Forensic Science that was an eye-opener. If I remember correctly the FBI DNA lab was in trouble for contaminating evidence. It can happen to the best (assuming you think the FBI lab is the best), personally, my money is on Abby at NCIS and she is leaving the show, now where will we go for good forensic science?

                • andrewworkshop – and no white people rioted over the verdict. Sanctuary city, Sanctuary state. What should we expect? Had he killed a seal he would be in prison for life.

        • UC Irvine, U of Mich, and Mich University of Law produce your “review”. Frankly, I don’t seen how that justifies suspension of our principles as suggested by the Vogue columnist.

          I wil observe however, that as these black men rot in jail cells, Kate Steinle’s killer walked free last night. Something to think about.

    • George Politico, this is your claim “if not millions, of innocent black men in prison.”

      When one looks at your article one finds that over all these years less than 1,000 were exonerated and many exonerations were due to DNA testing. That makes your argument specious. I can believe that a higher number of blacks than whites have been wrongfully incarcerated, but painful as such an occurrence can be the numbers are very small and in recent years becoming a lot smaller due to DNA and very aggressive defenses. It shouldn’t, but likely it did and might still occur. The problem is that you seem to make this a racial issue when more likely it is a socioeconomic issue. We might see the numbers approach equality when we compare poor blacks with poor whites. Additionally, with DNA testing we might find all differences declining dramatically. It is disheartening for even one person to be jailed and not guilty, but we cannot possibly maintain a lawful society without that possibility occurring.

      What is more disturbing is the emphasis on a small number of people injured rather than the large numbers of black children being killed in major cities. I find such an emphasis disgraceful.

      • A higher number of blacks are rotting in prison today than the one Jose Zarate who walked away from court a free man last night. And those black men did far less than Zarate did?

          • My question is, why is BLM and the left wholesale cool with Zarate as a free hombre when so many black hermanos are rotting away in prison. Way I see it, with the left women can’t catch a break. Get a job and go to work and then get raped or harassed by the Lauer or Franken lurking about. Go for a walk on a pier and get gunned down by someone with a second grade education who’s dream in life is to wash dishes at a diner and thinks shooting sea lions and seals is funny but must be allowed uninhibited access to these United States. Weird how of the 63 or so genders out there and available for choice these days the one that’s catching all the abuse is the one we all emerge from the womb.

            So Zarate killed a girl and is a free man and according to the left that’s cool.

            In prisons coast to coast there are young black me rotting away for offenses that didn’t remove a life from this world.

            It’s unjust.

            • OK, it’s unjust, but everything is back to normal. How much violence and destruction would have occurred if Kate had killed Zarate and the jury let her go free?

              • What is back to normal? Black men are still rotting in jails. Zarate is, at this point, probably surfing the internet at Starbucks, and Kate Steinle is dead. You call this normal? What sort of heathen are you my friend? Would you be happier had Steinle taken a job at NBC and been raped by Matt Lauer in his corner office?

                Why don’t women have any worth in society anymore!??!?!???!

                  • I agree. I lived in CA from 2005 until 2016. Physically, it’s one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Sadly, the state is a basketcase. I’ll bet had Zarate shot and killed a seal or sea lion – that’s what he said he was doing when out of the blue a gun magically appeared in his hands – he’d be doing hard time at Pelican Bay right now.

                • andrewworkshop – he was convicted of the gun possession which is three years. However, with time served, he will be out soon even if ICE puts a hold on him.

                    • Allan – other than he was found not guilty of murdering the girl and found guilty of possession I am not sure exactly what he was charged with. It is a sanctuary city in a sanctuary state, I am surprised they didn’t charge her with running into the bullet and let him off the hook completely.

                    • Paul my point was that it is a felony for him to have the gun and there was a claim of accidental discharge then why wasn’t the lesser charge of felony murder included in the charges brought to court.

                    • Allan – I haven’t been following the case. You might pull up the SF Examiner and get all the details.

                    • Good question Allen or why wasn’t he charged with felony murder because he was felonious,t in the country having already been deported? You’re obvuously smarter than the SF DAs.

      • It is very difficult to exonerate someone who has been convicted years ago. Witnesses die or move away, memories fade, and evidence deteriorates. Unless there is someone willing to do the work and spend the money, an innocent person convicted of a crime will remain a convicted criminal indefinitely. Most convictions are never seriously challenged. Moreover, most exonerations involve DNA evidence. However, most criminal convictions do not involve DNA evidence, and before 1986, none did. This means that most criminal convictions historically have been beyond any possibility of exoneration. So the few hundred official exonerations probably represent a tiny fraction of the wrongly convicted.

        It appears that innocent people often do plead guilty:
        https://www.innocenceproject.org/when-the-innocent-plead-guilty/

        Furthermore, there is no type of criminal evidence that is really reliable, including even DNA:
        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/a-reasonable-doubt/480747/

        And as crime writer Judith Coburn has pointed out, the legal world that poor people inhabit is in reality a ghastly joke:
        commondreams.org/views/2016/08/16/americas-criminal-injustice-system

        It is also true that black men are disproportionately wrongly convicted. Whether this results from deliberate racism or is just a consequence of being poor, I cannot say. However, the results are the same.

        Accordingly, I stand by my main point, that we should not strip our judicial processes of the few protections it has to protect the wrongly accused, but rather we should extend due process to every defendant. And Obama, of all people, ought to have known better.

  2. To take a page from the Founding Fathers, that goes something like “if all men were angels we wouldn’t need laws or justice system”.

    “If all women were angels, we wouldn’t need womens’ prisons”. I fully support equal rights for women, but that also means the “accused” has a right to face his or her “accuser” and evidence against him or her in a speedy process.

    Today we are delivering a guilty verdict without trial – on television – years or even decades later tainting a fair trial. While it may seem legitimate in these cases it may also harm and defame many innocent Americans as well.

    • I don’t think it’s accidental. There’s a narrative to push and an agenda to advance after all. Consider the ease with which monuments to our founder’s were stricken from public view – or Civil War statues that were taken down in the dead of night by municipal governments that supposedly can’t fund their school systems. When the first Civil War monuments were targeted, I predicted it would be Halloween before we saw the likes of Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington similarly targeted. I was wrong. Those were on the chopping block within a week. (It is worth noting that five statues to Lenin stand on American soil, one is in Manhattan, and none have been targeted for removal). What we’re seeing is a soft version of Mao’s Cultural Revolution – maybe a last ditch attempt by the radical left to grab what they can after eight years of fundamental transformation gave way to the Trump Presidency.

    • Your post is irrelevant to the topic. Kate Steinle was minding her own business with her family on a public pier in a public place. Zarate killed her. Period.

  3. Isn’t it how rape trials were run in the Jim Crow South and more generally justice in such paradises as North Korea, the U.S.S.R. and Revolutionary France under Robespierre? It sure look like a great exemple to emulate.

  4. “If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”

    ***********************
    Folks are always ready to pay for their principles with other people’s assets. Emily is beautifully stupid here.

  5. How similar left and right are in today’s world. ” If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.” Then we have: If a child or children were abused by the guy, why should I care? I’m getting a break on my taxes! (concerning Roy Moore)

    Each of these show truly depraved indifference to others. This indifference must stop. What will stop it is caring about others. It is critical to seek truth and justice. These will not be found by lying or supporting liars. It will not be found by harming the innocent. Harming the innocent is exactly the problem. One harm is not resolved by committing another harm. It is only solved through seeking truth and justice.

    Sacrificing any group to the supposed “greater good” is exactly how we have ended up where we are now. To undo this, no one should be sacrificed. Lindin is giving an accurate depiction of how women and children are treated in this society. She is offering the heinous “solution” that this society has offered women and children all along. This will not solve the problem, it simply repeats the problem with a different set of victims.

    We have to start caring about the lives of others and it really doesn’t matter what gender, color, religion, sexual orientation etc. and so on that the other person is. Until we do so, we do not proceed with justice in this nation.

    • Jill:
      Truth and justice are always laudable goals. It is defining them in context that gets people off the rails. Emily thinks she’s a justice warrior out for truth. The problem is that she’s under-educated in the basics likely due to the eradication of classical studies in the curriculum. For her, Plato is a closet not a philosophical guide. She’s entitled to her inanity and she’s perfected employed for it at Teen Vogue.

      The best advice I ever got on the topic of advice was “Don’t take it from just anyone.”

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