Are we in the throes of a great re-balancing of gender & sexual rights? No. Here’s why

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 3, 2017

Thursday, November 2, was the morning after UK defence secretary Michael Fallon resigned. It was the morning after the American news organization NPR’s editorial director Michael Oreskes resigned. It was the week after Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct.

November is the month after Harvey Weinstein’s sexually predatory behaviour became public.

With every week, there is some man somewhere in the world – from Hollywood to Bollywood, Florida to France – who is accused of sexual harassment and/or assault. Some of the accused are famous and very important; others not. Some of the alleged misbehavior constitutes serious crimes. But often enough it is relatively minor and from fairly long ago.

So are we in the throes of a great re-balancing of the gender equation, women’s rights, sexual rights and responsibilities?


And there are two words to explain why:

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is president of the United States and there is no sign that he will ever be held accountable for the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him.

Even though Mr Trump himself is on tape – the Billy Bush/ Access Hollywood tapes – acknowledging his licentious entitled misbehavior with many women, there is no indication he will suffer the consequences of his actions.

Or indeed suffer even a fraction of what has happened to Harvey Weinstein, Michael Fallon, Michael Oreskes and many others.

Remember when Candidate Trump defamed all the women who spoke out about his behaviour while on the campaign trail? Remember when he said every account was “lies” and “nonsense” and that the women were being put forward by his opponent Hillary Clinton’s campaign or were motivated by the thought of “ten minutes of fame”?

This is exactly what the post-Weinstein world is supposed to have moved beyond.

It hasn’t yet.