by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Lisa Borders, the CEO of Time’s Up, an “organization born of the #MeToo movement that advocates for safe and harassment-free workplaces,” has resigned. Why? Because her son was accused of sexual assault. But that’s not what makes the story truly notable. Family troubles can cause people to press pause on their careers all the time. What’s notable is that the CEO resigned in part to advocate for her son’s innocence:
“Borders made it clear to Time’s Up leadership that she planned to proactively defend her son, someone close to the situation who was not authorized to discuss it publicly, and so spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Washington Post. This created a difficult tension within the organization, whose mission revolves around believing survivors of sexual abuse.” …
… [A]s the Time’s Up story shows, due process just might be enjoying a cultural revival right alongside its legal revival.
It turns out that when accusations are leveled at people you love, “#BelieveWomen” or “believe survivors” becomes not just a slogan but a millstone around the neck of a son or spouse — a son or spouse who you may believe to the bottom of your heart is innocent of any wrongdoing. In that case, due process transforms in an instant from a tool of the patriarchy to your loved one’s last and only hope.
I don’t believe for a second that pure partisans will adjust their behavior. They’ll still cling to due process for their friends and reject it for their enemies. Hypocrisy will continue to abound, but in the battle for American hearts and minds, it seems that for now those who are defending the centuries-old principles of western jurisprudence have the upper hand.