A few days ago, amidst the revelation that Mario Batali was one of the latest in a long and growing list of public figures embroiled in sexual misconduct and abuse issues, I posited the following on Twitter regarding the revelation:
Not exactly surprised either. Again, an industry that develops hierarchies of power much like politics and media.
Mo (see this post for more info) – one of our fabulous friends online responded that I might be onto something. I thought about it for a while and had some additional thoughts.
Yes, I think industries where stricter hierarchies of power and decision-making exist are more susceptible to these kinds of corruptions. Politics, clearly. Hollywood, check. And yes, with the rise of the celebrity chef and the foodie craze, the restaurant and cooking scene as well. All have that organizational control model. When you hear the survivors (I think that’s the current preferred term) speak and use phrases like, “I thought I had to do X in order to keep my job or advance my career,” that’s a clear signal. And make no mistake, with the deviants that are out there, the survivors (while predominately so) aren’t limited to just women. Regardless, it’s a horrible situation that should be ended. Now. Having said that, keep in mind that everyone is afforded due process and shouldn’t be judged guilty out of the chute. It’s a tight line to walk and a troubling one.
I’d wager there are other industries that are prone to this kind of power structure. Maybe ones that we haven’t seen or heard from yet as these revelations are made.
Finally, I think this lends more support to the argument favoring term limits for politicians. Many will argue that institutional knowledge will suffer. Or that the careerists (staffers) that remain from administration to administration will rise in power and suffer from these same corruptions. But, I think that might be easier to address. If politicians can’t establish these power structures, imagine the reduction in both potential and actual corruption and abuse (sexual or otherwise) that we’d experience.