1. What are appropriate consequences for sexual predation? Assuming a harasser isn’t famous, what form of justice can his victim expect? So far, the tacit consensus seems to be that they shouldn’t get to work in their chosen careers. For how long? If the victim is tasked with publicly judging an apology (or otherwise absolving her harasser), doesn’t that just open her up to being pressured behind the scenes? What do we as a society want from this process we’re being forced to collectively improvise? Punishment? Rehabilitation? Restitution?
2. What are the hierarchies of harm? This is tough; sexual assault and sexual harassment exist on a worryingly wide spectrum, and the damage is hard to objectively measure. But it must at least be attempted. As Michelle Goldberg says at The New York Times, “Weinstein’s sadistic serial predation isn’t comparable to Louis C.K.’s exhibitionism. The groping Franken has been accused of isn’t in the same moral universe as Moore’s alleged sexual abuse of minors.” The terms we have — sexual harassment, sexual misconduct — are such blunt instruments that they practically force false equivalences. If we’re going to take this seriously, let’s take it seriously. You know that old, semi-correct story about the Eskimos having 50 words for snow? A culture needs to develop a rich lexicon to properly describe its environment. We need to radically expand our glossary for sexual misbehavior so that we may precisely address the sheer range of sexualized abuse to which people are routinely subjected.