The story about former New Yorker legal writer Jeffrey Toobin’s problems reminds of of the Salem witch trials. We’re being assaulted with a series of pieces on masturbating at work and how awful it is, whether or not you know you are being watched.
Masturbation Doesn’t Require Termination
In Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley writes, “The issue at stake is whether Condé Nast employees should be terminated for masturbating during the workday in a way that at best involves taking on significant risk that their co-workers will see them doing so.”
No, please god, this is not the real issue. Only a maniac would masturbate at work if there were a “significant risk” he might be seen. But what if the risk is very, very marginal? Toobin thought the camera was off. Dummy. But he didn’t deserve the death penalty. He thought there was no risk at all.
Virtue-Signalling Helps No One
To carry on about a “significant risk” is so virtue-signalling. Any risk, in the eye of the Salem witch-hunters, is a “significant” one. “There is a significant chance you might be a witch.”
“We saw you trying out that broomstick between your legs. And we don’t buy the argument that it was just a big dust ball.”
“Significant,” in other words, is in the eye of the beholder, not the miscreant. “We decide what is significant. And I’m sorry, Mr. Toobin, but the risk that you took was significant, not infinitesimal, as you seem to have believed.”
Even worse: “He made me feel uncomfortable” or “We know you’re a witch because you give off satanic vibes.” Poor Al Franken; he went down because he gave someone satanic vibes.
The Sanctimony Gang
In their efforts to signal to everyone how virtuous they are, the sanctimony gang have shifted the goalposts way, way down the field. It is their subjectivity, and not evidence, that decides whether you need to be hounded from the workplace and your life wrecked.