The wave of sexual harassment charges against well-known or powerful men seems to get worse by the day. Is this the tip of the iceberg? Or, are these men being used as scapegoats or to further politically motivated schemes?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Everyone thought Bill Cosby was the only monster lurking behind a name and a feign smile. Maybe because he was black? Eh, that’s not important.

I don’t believe these occurrences are being unfurled to further political schemes nor are these men being used as mere scapegoats. What was done in secrecy was bound to come to light.

One woman was bolstered to come forward and now scores upon scores are coming out. This is just the tip of the iceberg if you should ask me.

Society lacks morals. The very society we strive to build is found lacking. This issue highlights how men use their influence and name to get what they want. These women coming out is just the tip of the iceberg of moral degradation, sexism, and male chauvinism.

It is highlighting how powerful men view women as sheer objects and pleasure candies.

Sadly, it also highlights how women remain silent just to get ahead and further their career. Most of these women held back the injustice and assault meted out to them, because they feared losing a career they’ve worked hard to build.

It is sad. These occurrences have only revealed how far gone the human race has become. God intervene and help us.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The current mass panic over sexual harassment claims began as the ripping off of a particularly ugly scab, especially in the entertainment, news and restaurant businesses. I have worked in two of those and have witnessed personally the conduct by both men and women that would be censured in any other workplace. In my experience in the restaurant business, however, it was an even-up game, with men and women giving as good (or bad) as they got. In a stressful environment like a restaurant kitchen, emotions are peeled raw and base instincts and actions that would be intolerable in polite society rule the day.

That said, any situation where a supervisor forces his or her attentions on a subordinate is bad business. From the near-rape allegedly committed by Harvey Weinstein to the unwanted slap-and-tickle by Mario Batali, this sort of conduct has lurked beneath the surface of American business for decades, and it’s about time it got aired. I do believe we’re seeing the crest of the wave right now, although I’m sure there will be more allegations to come.

However, the use of sexual harassment allegations for political or personal gain is inevitable, and has almost certainly already begun. A Democratic candidate for the U.S. House recently abruptly ended her campaign when an allegation from 2005 from a male staffer resurfaced. Despite the fact that a lawsuit at the time was thrown out of court, the mere fact of the existence of the allegation caused the Dems zero-tolerance policy to take effect. This will continue, and politicians on both sides are going to fall victim to the guilty until proven innocent temperament of the current ethos.

Cartwright-I think we will all agree that there is no place for sexual harassment in the workplace. The actions the men in these recent high profile cases is deplorable. They abused their power and position, and it’s quite disgusting. But let’s not act surprised. That would be hypocritical. For example, references to the casting couches have been made since the early days of Hollywood. It wasn’t a joke, and everyone really knew that but just didn’t want to admit it. People just put their heads in the sand. It’s a classic case of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Now, the light is being cast on that evil and exposing the perpetrators. Run the pigs out of Hollywood and out of the Congress and out of corporate America.

But let’s not go too far and get too frenzied about what constitutes sexual harassment. If a man tells a woman she looks nice, how is that sexual harassment? If he looks at her legs, how is that sexual harassment? Looking and thinking aren’t crimes and aren’t sexual harassment. Acting on the thoughts takes it too far. Suggesting an impropriety is unacceptable. Using a position of power to obtain sexual favors or gratification is unacceptable and wrong. And let’s remember that this knife cuts both ways. We haven’t heard from any of the men who have been sexually harassed. We can laugh and snicker at that, but it happens too. The EEOC’s statistics show about 16-17% of all sexual harassment claims are filed by men. Yes, the overwhelming majority of claims are filed by women, but let’s not act like it’s only women who are getting sexually harassed in the workplace.

Where I do have some concerns are in what many claim constitutes sexual harassment and allegations for which there is no evidence and the impact those claims have on the accused. Let’s use common sense when it comes to what constitutes sexual harassment. With regards to the allegations, it seems like the accused is guilty until proven innocent in many of these cases thanks to the media. Last time I checked, someone simply making an accusation doesn’t make the accused guilty. There is still a presumption of innocence, yet the media abandons this principal and conducts trials in the court of public opinion. I think this is a bit inappropriate. If you accuse someone publicly, you better have evidence and have your ducks in a row. If there’s evidence and the accused’s guilt can be proven, run them out of town on a rail. If not, leave it to a court of law and then let the court of public opinion decide based on the evidence.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-With the recent flood of sexual harassment claims and lawsuits against politicians and other men in positions of power such as Harvey Weinstein, it’s hard to know if this is an isolated flurry of activity that was sparked by Donald Trump’s election and the resulting power struggle between Democrats and Republicans. Alternatively, it may be an actual sea change in the greater power struggle that has simmered between men and women throughout history.

The knee-jerk reaction leans toward believing the theory of politically motivated harassment charges designed to either remove a politician from office or keep him from winning a seat in Congress. This is exemplified by the cases of Senator Al Franken and Senate candidate Roy Moore. Franken admitted his guilt to relatively minor claims and resigned, yet Moore is accused of statutory rape but adamantly denies the charges.

Because every case is unique, and the truth is often in the eye of the beholder based on his or her recollection of long ago events, we can’t always know for certain what happened and the severity of the misconduct. But with sexual harassment being such a hot-button issue, where the mere mention of misconduct can ruin someone’s career without proof of guilt, it’s plausible that one or more of these harassment claims are false and were fabricated by the opposing party.

Whether this recent spate of harassment charges is the tip of the iceberg remains to be seen, but judging by the long history of abuse heaped upon women by men in most societies, it very well may be only the start of a long and painful period of retribution by women against men.

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