No matter how absurd....
Remember the (literal!) witch-hunts of a few decades back, with tales of satanic ritual abuse of children at day-care centers? With all the secret goings-on in a room hidden from passersby on the sidewalk by giant glass windows? And the networks of tunnels so secret that they were never found?
Well, one front of the current many-pronged assault on due process is in the area of sexual misconduct, with no evidence required and unwelcome glances being conflated with forcible rape (remember: if you make a distinction between those things, you're minimizing).
This is scary stuff, and I'm having a flashback to a puzzling incident some time ago.
It began on a Saturday (?) night at a small local sci-fi convention, when I was in my early 40s. Making the rounds of the parties, I found myself increasingly in the company of a pleasant young woman, who was nice, and attractive, but (a) awfully young, and (b) rather drunk*, so I kept my hands off, and eventually we went our separate ways.
Next morning, she seemed to be Avoiding Me. Hm?
Next time we crossed paths at a con, same thing. Was she mad because nothing happened that night, or had she gotten too drunk to remember that nothing had happened? Or did she just Definitely Not Have a Thing For Older Men, except when she was drunk?
A year or so later, she turned up at another con with a boyfriend in tow... and he seemed to have a ready-made, powerful grudge against me. WTF? Is this a reaction to "I met that guy over there at a party once, and we had a nice time, but I was drunk and he kept his hands to himself"? Or had she been telling him some other tales?
If that went any further, it never got back to me, but: suppose she'd taken her irritation with me (whatever the heck it was) to someone in a position of authority, in today's climate? Given a chance to present my case, I could certainly have found witnesses as to what happened (or didn't) at the parties, but I would have had no evidence that she hadn't subsequently followed me home. Against a whispering (or shouting) campaign, with a strong presumption of guilt?
Guys: if there's any way whatsoever for the Social Justice Warriors to have power over you, you must pretend ISIS has won. Never associate with women other than close family members. Don't allow women in your workplace. Don't attend mixed parties. Never smile at a woman on the street. These things only attract trouble.
* The alert pick-up artist would realize that her ability to buy alcohol from the official bartender implied that she was technically legal, but I've never been very good at this stuff, and I still figure young + intoxicated = off limits.