In fact, both reactions ring true. The criminal justice system should function efficiently and swiftly, apprehending and punishing any and all sexual predators, whatever their social status and power quotient. And in this moment, in this era, that a powerful man who thrived and flourished in a culture of impunity was arrested and charged is resoundingly significant. It is a watershed event, an irreversible pivot away from tacit and explicit license to exploit to a ground of firmer boundaries and clarity about intolerable behavior no longer being tolerated.
I was hopeful Harvey would plead guilty, that his surrender was volitional, so that in addition to carving out a singular position of disgrace, he could come forward as the predator who walks out of shame onto a new path of humility, introspection, accountability and amends, thereby leading our men and country in the necessary and inexorable of trajectory of restorative justice. It seems that Harvey, though, will not be the person to do that, as he is pleading not guilty and still maintains, in the face of so many accusations that all sex was consensual. Denial can stand for “I don’t even know I am lying,” and it appears that is where Harvey still lives.