A lot of the men I’ve heard talk about the #metoo movement in the past year take one of two stances:

  1. It’s an unfair, broad-sweeping witch hunt in which victims and innocent bystanders will be unfairly punished.
  2. It’s broadly-sweeping and that may suck for an entire generation of men, but men kinda had it coming to them and maybe it’ll be the reset we need in how this country defines and excuses “masculinity.”

I was listening to W. Kamau Bell on Fresh Air this week, and he was espousing the second point of view, saying there was a moment when it seemed liked all women were coming for an entire generation of men.

Seemed like is a crucial qualifier there. When predators are outed in one-off press stories, it can feel relentless, like the trend is larger than it actually is. But this week Bloomberg detailed the actual number of high-profile people caught up in the global #metoo scandal: 417 at Bloomberg’s count.

  1. That’s it.

Now, if I described 417 people I know to you, one after the other, in painstaking detail, that would feel like a huge number. But when you consider the global, multi-generational, cross-industry nature of the #metoo movement and how dominant men are in nearly every industry, 417 is a downright puny number. And we all know it’s nowhere near the total of men who have held women back in their careers, one way or another. Only 193 were fired or left their jobs. 122 were put on leave or are facing investigations. For some 69 people, there were no repercussions at all.

Only eight of these 417 people were called out for consensual relationships, like Intel’s CEO Brian Kraznich who had a relationship with an employee that broke corporate rules. All but seven were men.

And what that data doesn’t show is how many are already booking speaking gigs, appearing on conference stages, raising new funds, or are being forgiven.

Some witch hunt. 417 isn’t a generation of men, it’s barely even a company all-hands or a college lecture.

We had a question yesterday on Chairman Mom about what’s “fair” for those 417 men accused. Should they remain locked out of their prestigious jobs and industries forever? Weigh in here.

And here are our other questions of the day:

Sarah Lacy

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