Thanks Elle, I do believe this is the first conversation on Medium that I have had which has positively moved on the debate and managed to remain civil, there is the desperate need in public discourse for this (see here). I am sure you would be pleased to know, this has made me more open-minded about this issue.
I absolutely totally agree with the analysis of corporate culture, political culture and the workplace. I remember well Bill Clinton’s refrain “because I could” when asked about his misdemeanours. The problem is power without morality, Adam Smith is known as the architect of capitalism because of his book “The Wealth of Nations” but what is not so well known was he considered his previous work “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” as the foundation for that work, you could not have the latter without the former. Men (or women for that matter) with lots of money and power need a moral foundation if they are not to exploit or abuse other people because they can. I have been on the wrong end of powerful, manipulating women, it is a human problem I feel rather than a male problem though our history of patriarchy means, I freely admit, women have had the worst of it.
I personally feel very strongly about the issue after seeing my Mum go through years of abuse both psychological and physical — thankfully just last year at 75 after 20 years on her own she is now with a new man of 80 that really loves her and spends lots of money on her — a feel good story that we probably both could do with). I have also experienced substantial abuse myself and have committed substantial amounts of my own money and time to work with a charity that rescues people from bonded slavery (often where the landlord helps himself to the women as he chooses) and street living.
I defer to your analysis of trauma which I feel is cogent but do stand my ground that Dr Ford should not have it all her own way, the counsellor the Republicans hired (yes — a publicity stunt that did not go particularly well) was a bona fide advocate that did make the comment there was no way she could have defended Dr Ford successfully in court. That said, I think abusers unless they have a radical epiphany will sooner of later repeat their behaviour and probably get caught, let us hope that is not the case here.