One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh over this story. One of the most egregious legal ambulance chasers of recent times, The New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, has been hoist on his own petard. Any time there’s been any whisper of anything at all he’s been there filing suit to insist that he, he alone, can protect not just the people of the Great State of New York, but those of the entire nation. And now he’s been found out by the #MeToo crowd. Even as he’s been filing suit against Weinstein he’s been found to be having – well, let us say – sexual relationships which are considered less than proper in this modern age.
And so he’s resigned with immediate effect:
A.G. Schneiderman Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against The Weinstein Companies, Harvey Weinstein, And Robert Weinstein
Four Month Investigation Reveals New and Egregious Examples of Sexual Misconduct By Harvey Weinstein and Repeated Violations of New York Law By Company Officials That Endangered Employees
AG’s Lawsuit Alleges Company Executives and Board Repeatedly Failed to Protect Employees From Then-CEO Harvey Weinstein’s Unrelenting Sexual Harassment, Intimidation, and Discrimination
AG Files Lawsuit to Ensure Victims Will Be Compensated, Employees Will Be Protected Moving Forward, and Parties Responsible For Egregious Misconduct Will Not Be Newly Empowered As Part of Any Future Sale
So there’s a naughty boy he decided to chase. And then comes:
Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own. As his prominence as a voice against sexual misconduct has risen, so, too, has the distress of four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters. They accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence.
The suggestion is that there’s been rather more slap than tickle there. The result is that:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned following allegations of assault by four women.
The New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women, two of them ex-girlfriends, who accused Mr Schneiderman, 63, of hitting them.
Mr Schneiderman has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump.
Which is a lesson in that old truth, that the revolution always eats its own children. Ancient wisdom proven once again and that could be the end of it of course.
Except, of course, that it isn’t, we need to dwell on ancient wisdom being proven once again. For that, at heart, is what is going on here.
We used to have a system which at least constrained, even if not entirely tamed, male sexual demands, violence and or oppression. Not perfectly perhaps, not even correctly is a possibility. But we had a general set of rules which all understood and which we societally conformed to. And societally ensured conformity to as well.
No, this isn’t to defend those rules, not at all. You can do so or not as you wish. It is though to insist that there was that set of generally agreed rules.
We’ve done many things since then. The economic freedom of women is something to be cherished, one of the great achievements of the past century. Similarly the control over fertility. These are both vast leaps in human freedom and liberty. Yet we’ve not got that generally agreed set of rules to govern it all.
Again, this isn’t to try to insist upon what the rules should be. It is though to insist that at least part of the current problem is that we’ve not got that same general acceptance of what behaviour should be. In one sense this is great, we’re a more liberal – in the true meaning – world. Chacun a son gout and all that. But it does cause a certain problem when we interact, for what might be chacun ain’t so gout for another.
I’d also insist that the ructions are going to continue until we do have a new and agreed set of social rules to cover the subject.
Another way to put this is, OK, we’ve got rid of the idea of the gentleman, what do we do now?