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Whether it’s Oxfam or Hollywood, here’s what philosophy can teach us about tackling abuse

If we really want to address sexual harassment, we must acknowledge that it's culture, not policy, that affects how people behave

By Julian Baggini  

Scandals follow a set trajectory. After the hysteria and the opportunistic attacks on anyone associated with the guilty parties—in the case of Oxfam, which has been accused of allowing widespread exploitation of women, that means “neo-colonialist” NGOs and bleeding heart liberals—there will be more sober discussions of how we can make sure this will never happen again. Recommendations will be made for changes in policies and procedures.

But already it seems clear that inadequate processes were not the source of the problem, although they were part of it. The word that…

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