#MeToo: Retribution, Accountability, and Justice

Sunday, August 4, 2024
First Aired: 
Sunday, March 6, 2022

What Is It

The #MeToo movement exposed how pervasive sexual harassment and abuse are, and how rare it is for perpetrators to be held accountable. Although some recent high profile cases have resulted in convictions, more often punishment is meted out by public shaming. So why is it so difficult to hold sexual abusers legally responsible for their actions? Is social retribution a way to achieve some form of justice in lieu of criminal proceedings? And how do we strike the right balance between accountability for victims and due process for the accused? Josh and Ray tackle the issues with Janine Benedet from the UBC School of Law.



Josh Landy  
How do we achieve justice for victims of sexual assault?

Ray Briggs  
Can we change the legal system to make it more effective?

Josh Landy  
Or should we turn to social media instead?

Comments (6)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 -- 12:21 PM

There has been a war over

There has been a war over sexual harassment for a couple score of years at least. Powerful people do not care, because the harassment is in tandem with their power. Laws have little deterrent affect. As long as people with power see the harassment as a perk or privilege of their station, there can be no resolution of this egregious problem. Foucault was right. Power is infectious. And corrupting. The question is how far are we prepared to go to root out the evil? So far, not-so-good. Current examples are in your face.

cybersecuritylawsrc's picture


Monday, August 9, 2021 -- 12:39 PM

Better help survivors to feel

Better help survivors to feel safer and more supported will encourage more people to come forward and identify the perpetrators of sexual violence.

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Sunday, March 6, 2022 -- 9:10 AM

The fact of male-dominated

The fact of male-dominated society is old. Crimes such as sexual assault and harassment are, prima facie, crimes committed by men against women. We know what sexual assault is: rape, for the purpose of asserting power. Sexual harassment is considered a civil rights violation. This is wrong-headed, a priori. How do we make this right? Change the law. Lower the bar. Bring ALL such violations under criminal law.. No more velvet boxing gloves. No more aiding and abetting criminal activity.

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Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Sunday, March 6, 2022 -- 2:08 PM

Answers to the questions:

Answers to the questions:
1. There is no justice for victims of sexual assault. Just as there is none for murder victims. The notion of retribution is, uh, absurd.
2. Yes. We must. However, there will be no systemic change without commitment.
3. Social media is a cancer. The economic rewards obfuscate the disease. It is no more than a manifestation of the contextual reality, of which I have written.
Hope the show went well! I had more pressing matters to attend. I have great respect and admiration for Canadian institutions of learning. Also, congratulations to Sean Carroll for his appointment to Johns Hopkins....a furtherance, we hope, of the big picture.

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Daniel's picture


Wednesday, February 22, 2023 -- 12:45 PM

In the topic-description

In the topic-description above two questions are asked: Should public condemnation overtake penal function where the law doesn't reach but should? And the other question concerns the tension between victim's justice and rights of the accused. Although the answers which participant Neuman offers above are not to these questions specifically, in service to readers who may not be familiar with participant Neuman's doctrine of Contextual Reality raised in the third answer, a hypothetical reconstruction is offered below.

If one assumes that anything real must be determinable as such in relation to a given context, then when one removes the context of something by the operation of abstraction, one removes the thing from reality, or better, translates the real thing into a mere product of the imagination for purposes of orientation in one's life amongst a great many contexts. The doctrine therefore describes not a special section of reality, but the necessary condition for any of it. And since reality by definition refers to context-independence, this implies that reality can't be known because of what it is. Or rather, the concept of reality is incompatible with its truth.

Applied to the two topic-questions, the suggestion is made that
1) public condemnation is justified only where its context and that of the legal process are the same. The context is not the same. Therefore, public condemnation is never justified.
2) The rights of the accused and justice for crime-victims are understood according to the contexts of constitutional protections and justified penalties, respectively, which are different. Both are related however to the larger contexts of human rights and common decency, which are the same. Participant Neuman's model suggests therefore that there must be a latent form or "pre-established harmony" to which both justice and right belong. Might one deign to inquire as to the precise nature of this formal harmony? The reader would surely benefit by response in this case.

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Tim Smith's picture

Tim Smith

Friday, March 18, 2022 -- 7:01 AM

I keep commenting on this

I keep commenting on this only to have my comments removed.

Hmm....there is only so much time in life.

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