Potiphar's wife large
© Unknown
Dante is, to my mind, fiction's most satisfying executioner. In the 30th canto, in the 8th circle of hell, we find Potiphar's wife consumed with a fever so fierce, her skin smokes.

Now Potiphar was the captain of the Pharoah's palace guard in the book of Genesis. When Joseph, the son of Jacob, was betrayed by his brothers, stashed in a cistern and sold to a caravan, he ended up being purchased by Potiphar. Joseph, who was young, handsome and, best of all, favored by God, quickly rose in Potiphar's esteem until he was made overseer of the guardsman's house.

Joseph soon caught the eye of Potiphar's wife, whose name among the Muslims is said to have been Zulaika, and she wanted to get freaky with Joseph, but he refused. Joseph did not want to betray the trust his master Potiphar had placed in him, so every day Zulaika would proposition him, and everyday he would refuse. One day she became enraged at his refusal and tore a bit of cloth from his cloak as he escaped her.

Scorned and affronted by his rejection, a wicked idea came to her, and using the bit of torn cloth as circumstantial evidence, Zulaika falsely accused Joseph of rape. Potiphar felt deeply betrayed and had Joseph imprisoned. While Joseph's ultimate end was not unhappy, Zulaika is never made to answer for her crime until, over 2,000 years later, Dante arrived to condemn her to the 8th circle of hell, and smoldering flesh.

Lord Blackstone
© Unknown
The false allegation is so common in human experience that it made it into the top ten of forbidden crimes. The very concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' is based on the understanding of the overwhelming prevalence of this crime. Blackstone, in his treatise on the common law, took pains to explain exactly why 'innocent until proven guilty' was so terribly essential. It is better that 10 guilty men should go free, he said, than 1 innocent man be wrongly punished.

He said this because virtue must be a protection in and of itself. Otherwise, if you are to be hung for a lamb as a sheep, you might as well reap the benefits of the crime. Overly repressive regimes and laws breed crime, and a willful population that makes membership in criminal enterprise a kind of right of passage. The 'war on drugs', which unfairly targets and punishes black men in the ghetto, has helped give rise to Gangsta Culture, where selling drugs, pimping women, and getting away with murder are seen as heroic and laudable achievements.

William Garrow Plaque
© Unknown
When William Garrow championed the concept of innocent until proven guilty, he did so as a barrister who saw the daily injustices committed against the lower and working classes. Innocent until proven guilty was not a privilege of higher classes, but a hard won protection of the vulnerable workers, tradesmen, and washerwomen who were often abused by their employers or competitors. It was a protection against psychopaths and the mentally ill but aristocratically positioned. It was a protection against the ubiquity of false accusation.

The Lawyers

Lisa Bloom is my kind of vile mercenary. I love it when prominent feminists prove that women can be as equally sleazy as men. I feel like it's a triumph for women's liberty; that we can finally free them from the presumption of decency.

It was recently revealed that Bloom, a California lawyer in good standing at the bar, offered to sell accusers' stories to tabloids and TV outlets for a 1/3 commission. She offered women six-figure payments to come forward with allegations against then 2016 presidential nominee Donald Trump, and offered to pay off the mortgage of another Trump accuser.

Lisa Bloom calls her defense of sexual assault accusers "pro-bono" but claims that part of her standard pro-bono contract is a commission for all media pay-offs, which calls into further question any published accusations in those outlets.

One woman, Jill Harth, who alleged in 1997 that Donald Trump had harassed her but quickly retracted the claim when people didn't believe her, was convinced by Bloom to re-accuse Trump in 2016 in return for having her mortgage (about $30,000) paid off.

Harth claims that "Having to retell my experiences of Donald Trump's harassment is the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

Apparently she is doing it a third time in the form of a memoir, which must make her some kind of masochist.

In a revealing exchange between Bloom and an anonymous accuser, who ultimately spoke to The Hill, Bloom made it clear that there was a deadline to bringing the accusation to the public, to which the anonymous accuser responded:
"What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury Trump, for what? Personal gain?..."
While the Hill article tries its best to make Bloom look like a political operative, in reality she's a true believer. This is what a feminist looks like.

Gasp! No true feminist would do that! Oh, you precious, naive little lamb. Lisa Bloom is about two things: her career and her power, her power to hurt men. What could be more feminist than that?

Lisa Bloom didn't fall far from the tree. Her mother is Gloria Allred, a kind of rape and sexual harassment ambulance chaser who has made a career out of persecuting famous and wealthy men and extracting money from them. She was instrumental in suing Aaron Spelling, who terminated his contract with Hunter Tylo, the Melrose Place actress, when she became pregnant. The jury awarded Tylo $4.8 million, and established the legal precedent that owners of a TV show had to continue the employment of actresses regardless of pregnancy.

People might not recall the recent Cosby false rape accusations, but it was Gloria Allred who represented 28 of the women who accused him. The first trial was a mistrial; the next one is scheduled to take place in April of 2018. It has mostly descended into civil suits and counter-suits.

The Girls


At the end of the day, generalizations are for policy and specifics for courtrooms. As human beings we are always searching for heuristics to help us decide in non-essential situations, and details that will help to guide us if we make a mistake and have to back up.

When looking at the current #MeToo situation, it's important for us to get a broad overview of the kinds of women who might accept money to falsely accuse someone of sexual harassment.

Sherry Romando
© Unknown
The unwilling participant in Bezan's 3 some joke.
On May 2nd, 2017, the Canadian conservative MP James Bezan posed for a photograph with his colleague Sherry Romanado. Before the snap he quipped, rather comically, that this was "not his idea of a threesome." This comment suggests that Bezan was not sexually attracted to Romanado, so it's reasonable to assume that there was absolutely nothing sexual in his mind when he interacted with her.

Bezan attempted to apologize the next day, but Romanado refused to accept it. Instead, she filed a complaint and refused mediation. Bezan was made to apologize both in private and in public. Romanado described the situation thusly:
"In May, the member publicly made inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted comments to me that were sexual in nature. These comments have caused me great stress and negatively affected my work. People are afraid to live what I have lived through."
This is an elected official, a parliamentary secretary to Canada's Veterans' Affairs Minister, and the Associate Minister of National Defence. It does make one wonder how many terrorists got by her while she was sobbing over a sophomoric comment? What can be said of the strength of such women if words, said in jest, could emotionally cripple them for months? Even if they weren't said in jest, it would be equally ridiculous. Perhaps, as a minister of National Defence, she has to be protected from what ISIS Imams might be saying about her?

In mid-November this year, an LA radio personality, Leeann Tweeden (as if she wasn't taking up enough vowels as it is), came forward with allegations and photographic evidence of "sexual harassment" from then-comedian Al Franken. While Tweeden was on a USO comedy tour with Franken, entertaining the men and women who fight and die (however unnecessarily) for our country, she was "victimized" by the future Senator when one of their companions snapped a photo of Franken grabbing her flak jacket suggestively while she slept.

Truly, a nightmare. The incident, as she recounted it, would bring her to tears. To the best of my knowledge, she was in fact wearing heels, so I guess Obama was right. Cause she can whinge way better than me.


The Atlantic would go on to publish an article by another accuser of Franken, Tina Dupuy (another vowel miscreant), who recounted a harrowing run-in with the handsy harasser. While attending a Media Matters party during Obama's first inauguration, she spotted Franken and approached him for a photo:
"We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice."
Clutching Pearls
© It's A Meme
The damage Franken's grasping fingers would do is presented in heart-wrenching language.
"It shrunk me. It's like I was no longer a person, only ornamental. It said, 'You don't matter - and I do.' He wanted to cop a feel and demonstrated he didn't need my permission."
According to Dupuy she had been married for two years at the time; "I don't let my husband touch me like that in public because I believe it diminishes me as a professional woman." I'm pretty sure you do that well enough on your own, Ms. Dupuy. I rarely bother to have respect for people I don't even know, but you're one of the few who would be starting at a deficit.

These are the women who feel deeply hurt, even though nothing out of the ordinary has happened to them. The fact that they compel us to pretend they are victims of anything more than a joke or a straying hand is an insult to every ounce of integrity we have.

When Andrea Dworkin wrote in Our Blood that, "Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman," she was not merely positing an intellectual theory, but was revealing the very nature of her mind.

Bindel Tweet
© Julie Bindel?
When Julie Bindel, a contemporary feminist journalist for The Guardian in a 2015 interview answered the question as to whether or not heterosexuality would survive women's liberation, she responded:
"It won't, not unless men get their act together, have their power taken from them and behave themselves. I mean, I would actually put them all in some kind of camp where they can all drive around in quad bikes, or bicycles, or white vans... give them no porn, they wouldn't be able to fight - we would have wardens, of course! Women who want to see their sons or male loved ones would be able to go and visit, or take them out like a library book, and then bring them back."
She was not really putting forward a serious theory; she was, in a way, joking, but even said in jest it reveals the nature of her mind, as much as Bezan's joke revealed the nature of his. As an aside, given Bezan's stance on the repatriation of Crimea and the situation in Ukraine, I'm glad this is the only insight into his inner working that we had to suffer.

Bindel continued:
"And I am sick of hearing from individual women that their men are all right. Those men have been shored up by the advantages of patriarchy and they are complacent, they are not stopping other men from being shit.

I would love to see a women's liberation that results in women turning away from men and saying: "when you come back as human beings, then we might look again."
No sane person could really take such women seriously. Could they?

The Money

I'll take shit that didn't happen
© It's A Meme
Earlier this month Roll Call uncovered that the US Treasury Department had paid $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against Democrat Rep. Alcee L. Hastings. The woman, Winsome Packer, alleged that Hastings had repeatedly asked her to stay at her apartment, or to visit her hotel room. Apparently, like Ms. Dupuy, Ms. Packer was the frequent victim of hugs, and was once even asked what kind of panties she wore.

What truly happened and how, is not known - nor does it matter. The allegations, while juvenile if true, certainly do not merit $220,000 in compensation. That doesn't even take into account the expense of lawyers' fees for investigation. Ms. Packer's frivolous lawsuit probably cost the taxpayer in excess of half a million dollars. Another woman was paid $84,000 for a complaint against Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, though no details were revealed. There better be some illegitimate children, bodily harm, or coercion, or I'll have a conniption.

One of the largest sexual harassment settlements in history was granted to Ani Chopourian, who was awarded $168 million dollars (later reduced to $84 million) for complaining that one of her fellow surgeons at Catholic Healthcare West would greet her in the morning with the phrase "I'm Horny." Those two words will go down in history as the most expensive I've ever heard.

Linda Gilbert made the mistake of entering the toxic masculine space of a Chrysler Assembly Plant. According to Gilbert, the low-class buffoons on the line would make sexually harassing comments to her, like suggesting they would like to look up her skirt. One vile predator even went so far as to put a lewd cartoon in her toolbox! Gilbert sued and was awarded $21 million. And you wonder why they started producing cars overseas. Where'd mah jobz go?

Just researching this article has convinced me I will never run a business or hire anyone, ever.

While the above cases were extreme, and some were later reduced, the basic truth is that damage award guidelines put the general amount a woman can make if she brings a convincing case to court in the range of about $18,000 to $100,000 - much more if it's against a government official, celebrity or large corporation.

The business of sexual harassment claims is not limited to the United States; there are similar cases of exorbitant awards throughout the Western world.

Conclusion

While there may be legitimate claims of sexual harassment, from my research they are few and far between. Only about 1 in 10 of the cases I looked into seemed remotely worth considering in a rational society. It is clear that motivated ideologues like Bloom and Allred meet at the intersection of the greedy and the mentally unstable to exploit society's histrionic obsession with protecting women from the vicissitudes of life while at the same time pretending they are "just as strong as any man."

The current #MeToo moral panic is a veritable gold rush for lawyers and news outlets. Places like Dr. Phil and Inside Edition pay handsomely for anything appearing remotely 'credible'. The problem with the term 'credible' is that it doesn't necessarily mean 'criminal'.

With #MeToo, men are being asked to give up their basic right to due process, and innocent until proven guilty, and to throw themselves on the mercy of women like Tina Dupuy, Julie Bindel, Lisa Bloom or Gloria Allred. It's your freedom guys.