What if only one woman had accused Harvey Weinstein? | Deborah Tuerkheimer

Enough women were together able to surmount the barrier of skepticism this time. But what if it had only been one woman?

In recent days, as fallout from the Weinstein sexual abuse allegations spreads beyond Hollywood, a decidedly optimistic narrative has taken hold. This is a watershed moment – a tipping point that will come to mark a dramatic change in society’s treatment of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the movie industry and beyond.
It is understandable that this moment has taken on a collectively self-congratulatory cast. The swift and nearly universal condemnation of Weinstein following revelations in the New York Times and the New Yorker is undoubtedly a sign of progress, mostly because the women who came forward were believed unlike countless others in the past.
I have a forthcoming paper on “credibility discounting” in sexual violence cases, which gives me a special appreciation for the reaction to Weinstein’s accusers. But this appreciation is tempered by the knowledge that credibility discounting – an undue failure to believe an account due to bias – will continue well after the dust settles on this appalling casting couch.

To be sure, allegations against Weinstein are terribly familiar to the many women who have experienced much the same. Even so, the Weinstein case is also unusual, primarily because of the sheer number of accusers. Until we grapple with this reality, the progress we are celebrating will remain incomplete.
As of this week, more than 40 women have alleged that they were sexually harassed or assaulted by the movie mogul. Originally, when the story first broke, fewer accounts had surfaced. Yet the fact that not just one woman, but many women, came forward to describe Weinstein’s abuse is hugely significant.

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Is atheism the reason for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ pessimism on race relations? | Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

In his latest book, Coates, one of America’s leading public intellectuals, suggests that not believing in God is the reason for his worldview devoid of redemption

In February 2007, Ta-Nehisi Coates had lost his third job in seven years and was scrambling to find work to support his family. A little more than a year later he published a well-received essay on the black conservatism of Bill Cosby, which launched his career at the Atlantic.

What followed was a number of widely read blogposts and essays, most notably The Case for Reparations, interviews with President Obama and eventual celebrity status with the publication in 2015 of Between the World and Me, a book about race in America. Coates is now a leading intellectual of his generation; second place might not even be close.

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