The election of Trump depressed a lot of people–in many cases literally causing depression. One of the worst parts of Trump’s success was that he was a known sex-abuser, with many accusers and who was caught on tape talking about grabbing pussies.

It was clear what he was, and it wasn’t enough to stop him being elected.

Now, Presidents make decisions that affect billions of people, and if George W. never sexually abused anyone himself, who cares? His war led to a pile of rapes that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. The same is true of Clinton and Obama in Libya.

Still, Trump’s a sexual abuser and it didn’t matter.

So it’s nice to see that in Hollywood, at least, the culture has shifted. Weinstein appears to have been as big an abuser as one can imagine: straight up rape accusations, and they’re quite believable.

This was an open secret, as with Kevin Spacey’s predilection for young men and teenagers.

It didn’t matter in the past, and now it does. All the money and power these men have (especially Weinstein) isn’t enough to keep the lid on.

It needs to be said clearly that sex is one of the reasons that men pursue money and power. And having sex with people who don’t want it is clearly a buzz for many people.

Guys like Weinstein pursued power as much so they could abuse and rape as they did for the money.

Rape, in particular, ranks up with torture in the ranks of evil actions: It causes depression and PTSD like almost no other experience. People are truly traumatized by it for the rest of their life.

But sexual pressure to commit sexual acts to get a job or “otherwise you’ll never work in this industry again” is also pernicious. Not only is this sickeningly unjust, it impoverishes everyone, by making it so that capable people don’t get the chance to do the work they are best able to do.

Whenever we choose people for positions of influence and power based on anything but the candidate’s ability to do the job (a criteria which should consider character and what they intend to do as well as technical ability) all of us lose. The more important those positions are, the more of a tragedy it becomes for everyone when they are filled by people who do not deserve them–and positions in film and television are important, because they tell stories which lay down behavioral tracks for billions of people,

“Deserve” is a tricky word, we tend to to use it as if it means, “If you manage to get it, you deserve it.” But good societies know that it means “the person who will do the job best,” not “the person who can get the job by out-competing.”

There’s some overlap between the two, of course, top jobs often require assertiveness, but nowhere near the level at which we pretend it is.

Sexual abuse, casting couches, and rape all damage people terribly and, in so doing, do harm far beyond the damage to those individuals directly involved (though that is enough alone to condemn them).

We can expect this cultural change to redound for the good. Having more, less damaged people given a chance to contribute benefits most of us.

It doesn’t benefit all, of course. There is only so much room, and if you’re someone who isn’t sure if they’d make it in a space, well, more competitors may not be a good thing.

But we don’t need to make this into an entirely zero-sum game. One of the interesting things about female-centric films is that they do very well, AND they bring people to the theater who don’t necessarily go to films made for young males (this shouldn’t be a surprise, but apparently is.)

In a positive sum game, more people win. The only people who don’t are those who wanted power so they could rape and abuse, and those are the people we want to lose.

So, lots of bad stuff in the world, but the culture continues to shift, and some of those shifts are good.

This is one.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.