Burning Witches Once Again with #meetoo



I’ve been silent on the
Weinstein aftermath for a while because I needed to soak in the circumstances
over a period of time. Still not sure if I comprehend it all, the one thing I have become sure of is that it is a
conflagration well past time for ignition.
This is not current news. This is a revelation
of misdeeds and horrors as old as slavery and, as we once came to our senses
and outlawed slavery, its stink of racism still lingers in the air today, more
than a century and a half after its demise.

My
concern is that the Weinstein furor will halt the demeaning and sexual abuse of
women at the top of the (presently)
male pyramid, but do little at the bottom. Does anyone really believe that the
fire Harvey touched off will scorch the wolf-whistlers on our streets or the
likes of Playboy and Hooters?
Will it deter small-minded
bosses in small offices from leering at or propositioning their employees? Do
we really believe #metoo will affect
the hospitality industry or change our regard and respect for women working at
the bottom of our broad, male-dominated social platform?  One would hope so, but hope hasn’t stuck with
us for long if the past is any guide.
Having thought that over for
some time now and watched my heroes fall, I wonder if all witches are equal in this binding to the stake. A question each
of us must answer for himself, so I’ll merely offer my personal feelings—not judgements,
not alternatives, but feelings.

  • Weinstein is not in question. The man belongs in jail
    and will likely end up there.
  •  Kevin Spacey (whose work and intellect I adore) is
    over and through. His history is far too long and well verified.

  • Charlie Rose (the finest interviewer I’ve ever known)
    is gone for good as well, the charges both broad and egregious.

  • Senator Al Franken is, for me, a man of enormous
    dedication in the Senate, whose rather minor infractions (unwanted kisses) pale
    beside those of our sitting president and the present candidate from Alabama.
    All the same, he is gone for reasons more political than infamous.

  • Garrison Keillor gets a pass from me. The allegations
    as charged don’t pass my sniff-test for destroying a cultural icon.

This naturally brings us to
the subject of redemption and whether redemption is possible under any circumstances. Is Witch #1 the #metoo
equal of Witch #2? I think not, but may well be wrong and hence my hesitation
in writing. Yet there are times to take a stand.
If
one believes that the Weinstein horrors are meant to change a hundred years (or more) of the degradation of women for
the better, then perhaps it’s possible to bestow redemption in those cases
where change is both accepted by the
accused and immediately possible to
remedy. You can bet with some confidence that Al and Garrison have changed any of
their behavior a woman would find offensive. 
Garrison is retired and
suffers in silence the consequence of losing all credit for his 42 years
hosting and writing A Prairie Home
Companion
. The show will be renamed, a dark day for Lake Wobegone, “where all the women are strong, all the men
are good looking, and all the children are above average
.”
My advice to Al Franken is to
run again for the Senate when his
seat comes up for election, asking the people of Minnesota to forgive and
return him to where he belongs. 
It wouldn’t surprise me if
they chose to do so, but #metoo shouldn’t automatically remove that choice.

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