Regardless of what you think of this whole Kavanaugh circus, Ashe Snow makes a very good case that we're living in a moral panic right now.
Moral panics, or instances of mass hysteria, have occurred throughout history. Two of the most notorious are the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and '90s. The panics almost exclusively involve women and children and fears for their safety, especially from sexual abuse.
She notes five signs that we are "in the midst of a moral panic."
I could quote her on each point and it's well worth reading the article, but one quote really jumped out at me regarding the "believe the victim" mantra,
Multiple surveys were created during the Satanic Panic. One limited survey conducted by psychologist Richard Peterson, who worked with police during Paul Ingram’s investigation, found about 25% of therapists in Tacoma and Seattle had treated alleged victims of satanic abuse. A survey from the American Psychological Association conducted in 1991 found that 30% of respondents had treated someone alleging ritual abuse, and 93% of those said in a follow-up survey that they believed the claims.
Of course, the Satanic abuse daycare hysteria turned out to be a hoax.
Some of the recent revelations regarding high profile men such as Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer (and a couple women, such as #MeToo advocate Asia Argentino) are important. Sexual harassment and assault are important issues, but they are much more complicated than the media makes them out to be.
No, it's not just Men=Bad, Women=Good every time. And moral panics are never a wise way to deal with serious problems.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
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