As she contemplates entering the current field of Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton has to assess the changes in the critique of sexual harassers by American women.
There are always two parties to sexual harassment: the harasser and the harassed. In the past, the almost exclusive focus in public inquiries has been the male harasser. His female victims were mere pieces of evidence to his depredations.
But now, the Me Too movement has increased the attention paid to the torments of the harassed. Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Dolly Kyle, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broderick and the many of the victims of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein are having their turns in front of the camera and at the microphone.
The news media’s emphasis used to be on protecting their privacy. Now it is on airing their grievances.
Were Hillary to run in this environment, this issue could blow up in her face. Already, she is taking flack for saying that Monica was an adult who should have known better.
Sexual harassment was Bill’s crime. In that, Hillary was, at worst, an enabler. But now that the focus is on the victim, Hillary is the harasser of the victim.
That is her crime.
Now all the lengths to which she went to hire detectives to dig up dirt on women who were linked to her husband will come out and hobble her candidacy.
The threats, the intimidation, the outright violence they used will become fodder for negative attacks on her. She will finally have to own up to her own sins, rather than just appear dignified and admirable in her handling of Bill’s.
In this new era, what happened to the victim after she was confronted by her male harasser becomes key.
The attempts to cow them into silence, Hillary’s specialty, will now all come out in public.
Hillary’s “secret police” would now become her undoing were she to run in this environment.
What goes around is coming around.
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