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To make a confession right at the beginning: I think that as compared to the real threads that mankind is faced with, wars, terror, environmental distruction etc, the #MeeTo campaign reflects a rather luxury conflict of some well-establish, adult representatives in the West, who I can imagine quite well  are in a dilemma between subordination in a competitive business (and obviously felt obligued to decline to sexual advances of bosses) and the wish to keep their personal dignity. It looks as if to often they remained silent for a long time about sexual harrasment, in order not to risk their next cast for a movie. At least one could argue that film or stage producers Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner or music conductors Charles Dutoit and James Levine, despite their obviously misogynic habbits, were somehow able to offer something in advance: career promotion in exchange for discretion about their slimy advances. It is o.k. that the cover is lifted now about such mechanisms and that people understand that the glamouros spheres of the film industry, the classical music and theater entertainment are anything else than a place where equally minded, respectful people of high moral standard meet and work together. In this respect, the entertainment sector is not much different than any other public place, and you find there people who wear the cover of creative business only to mask their unconfessed desires.

But it should not be regarded as a political issue. It should be made public, but better in the yellow press. If it starts to dominate the political debate now, it leaves the message that sexual harrasement among celebrities is more shocking than sexual harrasement of a guest in a pub towards the waitress, and that both are more of a societal problem than violence using lethal weapons. Whereas gun violence ends the life of thousands of innocent people every year, sexual harrasment does not kill. But the two are treated in the media with a quite different attention. Murder is not only considered an inevitable phenomenon of a liberal society of competing individuals, but since Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde and Pulp Fiction it even became an integral part of our cultural narrative. Sexual harrasment, however indecent and immoral it might be, it is quite different: the current #MeToo debate suggests that this can really undermine our society, that therefore special crime units should be set up to fight it at its earliest stage, and that nothing is of more urgent need on the political agenda than exterminate already the slightest attempts of an unequal physical approach between two person.

I remember how often I was forced with some insistence by someone to hug and kiss, being it at work to say goodby to a colleague or at various privat or semi-privat ocasions. Social convention sometimes requires to fake-play an intimacy that in fact is not existant. Even though I did not like this, I used to tolerate it, before I quickly forgot the moment. In contrast, however, if would dare to touch the forearm or the hair of a colleague at work in a sort of friendly cameraderie or to give some comfort in a stressful situation, I could easily be accused of trying an indecent approach. And in the academic area where I am working, where competition is high and scientific merrits decide about careers only in theory, but in reality are often enough masked by political (ethnic, gender, religious) criteria, it does not even has to be a non-consensual physical contact to bring someone on the verge of moral conviction. A humorous remark about the different habits of boys and girls in a research lab  –  if proclaimed on stage in a broadway musical would gain its director standing ovations – costed outstanding and loyal scientists such as Professor Tim Hunt (nobel prize winner in biochemistry) or Lawrence H. Summers (president of Harvard University) their jobs. This is clearly moral hypocracy, and reminds me of the catholic inquisition, where already the suspicion of heresy was sufficient to put someone on the autodafe. In academia as the last refuge of moral excellence and purity it is clear:  If a famous and respected scientist already has the courage to make a public comment stating that there are biological differences between males and females, and that these differences can have wanted or unwanted consequences in daily work, than this “shameless” scientist must in fact be a covert rapist and – if not arrested – at least should be sacked from his academic position. So better to fire some hundreds of innocents for their humorous remarks, rather than letting one more Harvey Weinberg exploit his influential position for doing unwanted physical advances to young actresses.

What Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or James Levine did will never be dealt with by the legal system. It was vulgar and offensive, and it casts serious doubts on their mental qualities and character strength. An integer man never needs an influential position to conquer a girl. Weinstein and Spacey should take some advice from James Bond, who always conquered the girls (and never in a consensual way), but simply by his intelligence, coolness, generousity and humor. These are the tools a real gentlemen should use.

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