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Things are out of hand. Thirty two years ago Dustin Hoffman allegedly “sexually harassed” a seventeen year old intern. Only now are these accusations being made against people who might not actually have committed any offence. That is not to say they did not, but surely there must be some burden of proof. Something recorded,…
Things are out of hand. Thirty two years ago Dustin Hoffman allegedly “sexually harassed” a seventeen year old intern. Only now are these accusations being made against people who might not actually have committed any offence. That is not to say they did not, but surely there must be some burden of proof. Something recorded, something concrete?
This girl in question was seventeen. She has not made clear what the sexual harassment was, but today is not thirty two years ago. Cultural norms are different. That is not to say that any kind of harassment is even close to reasonable, but what does it actually mean? Why suddenly are these accusations coming out of the woodwork? And what exactly is sexual harassment? Is it asking a girl if she will sleep with you? Or is it putting your arms around a girl and blowing in her ear playfully? I don’t know.
What I do know is that whether true or not, these ancient accusations throw mud at anyone who cannot defend themselves in any way because today with such accusations one is guilty until proven innocent.
It’s really not on. Not on.
I admit personally that back in 1970 I pursued a girl. I would not take no for an answer when I asked her out. For coffee, for dinner, for a drink. Over a period of time we talked a lot. She was a bar manager and was used to being spoken to in a bit of risque manner by the customers. She gave as good as she got. She was flattered mostly that I might say that her hair was nice, that she had lovely perfume, that her skirt showed a lovely pair of legs. She was a strong woman with a mind of her own and an ability to say no. She was a feminist of the time but described herself as an equalist. She often gave me banter, saying that no man could be a feminist simply because they were not women. They could though, be equalists.
I pursued and pursued. Then one day she gave in and we went out on a date. Had I not pursued her I would not have been happily married to her for twenty seven years, and would not have a beautiful son. Sadly she died in her young fifties.
Today, if I were famous I can imagine being accused of some kind of harassment by someone who decided to make an accusation thirty or more years later. I always appreciated beautiful women. And told them so. Sometimes we flirted. In fact, quite often we flirted. That’s the way it was.
I plead guilty. As sin.
I am sorry if I offended someone thirty plus years ago. I am not aware of anyone. At least, not anyone who felt that they were harassed. Is it not time to call for a statute of limitations on these accusations? Surely it would be reasonable to put a limit of (say) ten years on such things.
IN MEMORY OF MY BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, FLIRTY, STRONG PARTNER WIFE. MARGARET.