Tuesday Talk*: Is Innocence Just Himpathy?

Today’s new word is “himpathy.”

an excessive sympathy for privileged male perpetrators with ostensibly bright futures.

What distinguishes these “privileged male perpetrators” is that they have neither been accused nor convicted, and so they just get away with it.

It’s very easy to condemn the likes of Harvey Weinstein now. A few months ago, it wasn’t—and, with regard to many serial sexual predators and other perpetrators, it still isn’t and never will be.

So consider how you think about the Harvey Weinsteins of the world whose reputation is still intact, or who’s your boss, or your colleague, or friend, or family member, or favorite sport star, or a public figure you admire—or just somebody you currently think of as a “good guy.”

That their “reputations are still intact” would seem to suggest to some that it could be because they haven’t done anything to taint their reputations, but then “moral philosopher” Kate Manne would disagree. She argues that we pick and choose which victims to believe because we like some “perpetrators” more than others. But built into her argument is this:

So we are not in the dark simply because his victims are silent.

The same “spurious” arguments that rationalize why “victims” fail to accuse, fear of disbelief, nefarious motives, retaliation “or erase her from the discourse altogether,” whatever that means, result in proof by silence. If no one accuses you, that doesn’t mean you did nothing wrong, but that your victim was too oppressed to overcome her fears. So silence makes you guilty too?

In the wake of the #MeToo campaign, we must ask ourselves the question: “How have we contributed to the silence surrounding sexual assault and harassment?” And, often, the answer is that we only believe the victims we want to: and, conversely, we only heed the evidence against those men we’re not invested in believing in.

Is questioning proof of guilt by silence, to only heed the evidence you believe in, “himpathy”? Will this be the next slide down the slope, where accusation means guilt and silence means guilt too?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.

48 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: Is Innocence Just Himpathy?

  1. Dan

    I think penis means guilt, but I haven’t yet figured out how they square that with their position that genitalia do not define one’s gender.

      1. the other rob

        Speaking of the penis, yesterday I exposed mine to three different women, none of whom was my wife.

        The doctor, nurse practitioner and nurse all agreed that I had a hernia and I’m now waiting for the referral to the surgeon to work its way through the system.

            1. the other rob

              I may have added bribery to the charge sheet detailing my misogynistic crimes.

              I got the referral – the appointment was for four weeks from now. This is just for the initial consultation, not the surgery. So, I called the surgeon’s office, to ask if they could bring it forward. They could, a little, but it was still three weeks away.

              I was in town anyway, this morning and thought “Well, I’ve got nothing to lose…”, so I stopped at a store and bought a nice box of chocolates. Then I went to the surgeon’s office and asked “Which of you ladies handles Dr $surgeon’s appointments?” One identified herself and I handed her the chocs, saying “Then these are for you”.

              My new appointment is next week.

            2. Billy Bob

              Now we know why they call you The Other Rob [Roy]. A normal Rob would never employ such a a nefarious tactic in order to jump the line.
              And it was Valentine’s Day? Inquiring Minds!

            3. the other rob

              I shan’t ask whether Dr SJ endorses that tactic.

              Incidentally. there’s a book on that theme – it’s titled “I’ll go home then. It’s warm and it has chairs.”

              I probably hated the underlying thesis, but it was a fun read, as best I recall.

    1. delurking

      If you dress female, wear your hair female, wear female makeup, you are female.
      If you dress male, wear your hair male, you are male.

      Has anyone seen any evidence that this is not how it works in the real world?

          1. John Barleycorn

            “That was then”, WTF delurk?

            Snap out of it man and get with the program!

            Just because you didn’t get an invite to one of tonight’s underground raves remixing and sampling some of William F Buckley’s best prose in honor of his six feet under10th anniversary celebration is no reason to get all perplexed.

            1. John Barleycorn

              Damn…. of all people I would have been nearly certain you would have gotten an invite for the shenanigans tonight.

              P.S. No worries, “Bricking Out Navigation” is becoming more and more of a thing these days, ya know…

      1. Jake

        “Has anyone seen any evidence that this is not how it works in the real world?”

        Yep: Transgender boy wins Texas girls wrestling championship for the second year in a row [Ed. Note: Link deleted. WTF is going on this morning?]

        1. SHG Post author

          No doubt all the girls who worked hard, trained, wrestled their butts off, were happy about it. Not that it mattered, since sex is merely a social construct and he wasn’t just a lot stronger than they were.

          1. Jake

            You should do a Google Image search and look a little more closely at the business area of his wrestling unitard. There’s no there-there.

            1. SHG Post author

              I prefer not to look more closely at anyone’s business area. But she still suffers from the realities of earlier biology. Or all the girl wrestlers suck.

          2. LocoYokel

            I looked up the story, it’s a female to male switch. Wanted to compete as male but Texas rules say a person must compete as gender on birth certificate.

            Still the hormone shots probably helped.

        2. delurking

          Dresses like a boy, wears his hair like a boy, everybody calls him a boy, including the article’s author, the other competitors, his parents, etc.

  2. Patrick Maupin

    This is not really a further slide down the slope; rather, it’s a logical consequence of where we already are on the slope. If we railroad kids out of college based on the say-so of third-party witnesses to supposed assault; if someone is guilty even when his “victim” defends him, imagine how heinous his conduct must have been for her to say nothing when the public pillorying begins.

  3. Frank

    If you’re not investing in sexbots now, you’ll be like the people who sold Apple stock in the 90’s.

  4. John Barleycorn

    Hey now!

    Just because Garrison Keillor refuses to give you a copy of his love letters, that I am sure only fellow writers could really understand, to spice things up around here a bit, it is no reason to go all melancholy on us…

  5. B. McLeod

    When the absence of evidence is considered evidence, it is only right that we should be able to choose which “evidence” to heed. This is tinfoil hat, space alien-conspiracy stuff of the highest order.

    1. SHG Post author

      Isn’t that already the case with the litany of excuses for why the ability to provide accurate details proves guilt, while the inability to provide accurate details proves guilt?

      1. B. McLeod

        Only if it’s the “victim’s” inability to provide accurate details. But we already know that they’re the “victim,” and that’s the important detail that insures no innocent will suffer.

  6. JAV

    I had a very nice statement written up about standing up for oneself when harassed and letting due process take its course, but then I clicked on the link:
    – Last name = Manne
    – Person of pale complexion
    Ipso Facto, so much internalized misogyny her statements cannot be relied on.

  7. Jake

    With Hope Hicks in the news, it’s so vexing
    Your obsession with Title IX is perplexing
    When I’d like to hear
    What you could make clear
    Should Don Cheetohee be stressing?

    1. SHG Post author

      You know how all those terrible unjust crim laws you hate happened? This is how. The problem is that you’re seeing it ahead of the curve rather than after it’s too late to realize what a terrible mistake it was.

      1. Casual Lurker

        “It’s a gas, gas, gas”.

        An 80mg generic Simethicone tablet should take care of that.

        (I’ll spare you my recent adventure at City Hall. But a commissioner, who shall remain nameless, that was testifying before the committee on Mental Health, informed the Chair-person that “Dealing with toxic masculinity would be a priority”. #MeToo has us in some deep Poo, so we can expect some fun times in the near future).

  8. James L. Smith

    The great French novelist, Emile Zola (J’Accuse!), penned a series of novels about families of innate criminals. It was in their DNA. And you know what, being a white male I feel so guilty it is depressing. I suspect I must have done something so despicable, so detestable, so heinous that I should be locked away. And yet I have never been convicted, although it has been tried so many times by the eager SJW’s who have felt victimized by me. And every time I pled NG I felt guilty for entering the plea, even felt guilty after having won in court.

    1. SHG Post author

      There are a few studies going on to test that thesis at present, that crime is due to DNA. But yours is just that evil Y chromosome. Toxic.

  9. Eliot J CLingman

    If one desires collective revenge against all members of an identity group such as penis bearers, personal innocence is irrelevant. Of course justice is irrelevant too.

    So let’s get some whisky and marshmallows, take a seat and enjoy the auto de fe!

  10. John Barleycorn

    Could have just been me and my invites…?

    Buckley was!

    the last of which just, less one in the spare bedroom, left.

    it was as if neighbors need an excuse… oddly “serious” this year.

    p.s. if you don’t party with your neighbors, we are all fucked. I ain’t lucky, I make it happen. everyone has such “busy” lives.

    me too.

    happy William day/morning. he be dead.



    p.s. fuck the aggregation esteemed one. buy a tractor. “exercise” is that the “word”? might be!

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