KANSAS: Female Democrat Drops Out Of US House Race After Sex Harassment Suit Against Her Surfaces

The Associated Press reports:

A female congressional candidate dropped out of the Kansas race Friday over a 12-year-old lawsuit accusing her of sexually harassing a male subordinate, an unusual case of a woman facing the sort of misconduct allegations that have forced numerous men out of their jobs in recent weeks.

Andrea Ramsey announced in a Facebook post that she was ending her campaign, calling allegations that she harassed her former employee and then retaliated against him “a lie.” The employee, Gary Funkhouser, filed the lawsuit against OneLab Inc., the Kansas City-area company where Ramsey worked as a vice president. The two parties agreed to dismiss the lawsuit after settlement talks.

Ramsey was seeking the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District in the Kansas City area, hoping to win the right to challenge four-term incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder next year. The district contains a mix of affluent, GOP-leaning suburbs and poorer, heavily Democratic city neighborhoods. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried it in last year’s presidential election.

  • bkmn

    Yes, women do it too. I hope another Dem is able to run in her place.

    • Romero

      A drunken dumb bitch has sexually harassed me…AT A GAY BAR!

      And people wonder why most gay men have abandoned gay bars!

      • gaycuckhubby

        To be fair, drunken old gay men have been harassing me for years to the point where I don’t go to gay bars very often

        • Christian1234567

          I am really sorry that happened to you, and I wish you hadn’t had to experience that. It really sucks.

          • gaycuckhubby

            Thank you. It happens to my friends too. They just shrug it of or laugh. They expect that at a gay bar strangers will come up and grab your crotch. I guess I’m just not wired that way I hate it and it makes me uncomfortable

          • Christian1234567

            It shouldn’t be an expectation, IMO. It’s awful that it happens, and of course it makes you uncomfortable.

      • Christian1234567

        I am really sorry that that happened to you. It really sucks. I wish you had not had to experience that.

        I was almost raped in the bathroom of a lesbian bar by an asshole hetero man who said he would “fuck [me] straight.” Someone else came in and stopped him before he got too far. He was way stronger than I. I never went to the bathroom in a bar alone after that.
        My gf at the time and I were often sexually harassed by hetero men, and sometimes one of us was grabbed (butt, boobs) while we were dancing. We stopped going out to dance. Hetero people sometimes have a hard time believe that lesbians exist; I have heard many times that there’s no way I can know if I’m a lesbian if I haven’t had sex with a man. I tell them that means that there is no way to know that they are hetero if they haven’t had sex with someone of the same sex. That usually shuts them up.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I haven’t seen a demonstrated pattern, here.

  • netxtown

    “The employee, Gary Funkhouser, filed the lawsuit against OneLab Inc.,
    the Kansas City-area company where Ramsey worked as a vice president.
    The two parties agreed to dismiss the lawsuit after settlement talks.”

    Sorta. She was NOT named in the lawsuit – she had no part in the settlement.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      In the age of hyper-media and the internet, the mere appearance of impropriety is enough to end careers.

      • Reality.Bites

        Her not being named in the lawsuit has nothing to do with innocence or guilt.

        If I was your boss at XYZ Company and sexually harassed you (or didn’t, for that matter) and you wanted to sue, it’s much better for you to go after XYZ and leave me out of it.


        1. They have lots more money than I do.
        2. They have a bigger public profile than I do.
        3. They don’t give a damn about my reputation and future employment prospects.

        In other words, they’ll settle to avoid a trial. Me? There’s a good chance I don’t have enough money to pay you off even if I want to. And if I’m innocent, I may defend myself with everything I’ve got. So better not to sue me in the first place when you can get your money more easily from the company.

      • clay

        See the texting FBI agents (re-assigned last summer) as PROOF! that Mueller’s on a witch hunt!

    • Homer Fogbottom

      Yes – what many lawyers do is sue the company AND personally sue key employees involved to conflate the suit for added leverage. Putting employees in personal financial jeopardy can push a company to settle – or increase the pool from which to draw damages. Shady af.

  • unsavedheathen

    One accuser in a twelve-year-old wrongful termination suit. And it makes no difference that the gender roles are reversed from what we have come to expect. This is exactly how easy it will be to torpedo Dem candidates in a year when they should take back both Houses. We gave them Al Franken in a pyrrhic, PR-motivated blunder and it emboldened them.

    • Ninja0980

      Another Democrat has been accused by a woman who has made similar accusations against others in her past when she has been fired.
      The Me Too Movement being used as a weapon has begun.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Sadly, we all knew it would be weaponized sooner rather than later…more’s the pity.

        • Ninja0980

          Indeed but in a way (and I hate to side with Republicans) but Democrats have set themselves up for this with the notion accusers NEVER lie.
          Don’t get me wrong, it’s rare but we in the LGBT Community, POC etc. know that false accusations can and have been used against our community with ease.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            Absolutely true. It’s the same overplaying that ultimately sank McCarthy. The charges became so cumbersome and suspect that inevitably, it collapsed on itself. That’s the danger when you have an absolutist view of accusations.

          • JT

            When the other side lies without compunction, it becomes even more dangerous.

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  • greenmanTN

    So I wonder which right-wing “think tank” dug this up?

    If it’s a lie she should fight it.

    • Ninja0980

      Damage has already been done though if she is innocent.
      If there is other stuff out there though…better it be found out now versus later.

    • GayOldLady

      Since she dropped out with one allegation, it makes me wonder what she fears. Women commit this sort of harassment too and perhaps she worries that others may come forward. As we’ve seen with the allegations against powerful men, when one comes forward they’re almost always followed by others because people who commit sexual assault and sexual harassment are usually not one off offenders. You can run from a lot of things, but not bad behavior that follows a pattern. She’s finished.

      • boatboy_srq

        What she fears is likely the Democratic Purity Police. Sexual Harasser AND a woman? That’s it right there.

        Women are never to be believed. Not when they accuse; not when they call the accusations against them untrue.


        • GayOldLady

          Well, I spent part of my career as a Manager. The employees I managed were primarily male although I did have about 6 female employees. We had training on what constituted sexual harassment. What sort of banter was and wasn’t acceptable. What sort of touching was and wasn’t appropriate and that was 20+ years ago. Anyone in management, especially senior management, needs to learn to separate their private lives from their work lives. Sexual commentary isn’t necessary in the workplace to keep the environment comfortable and enjoyable.

          • juanjo54

            Good response. The reality is that it is the company who resolved the case and truthfully, cases often settle because for many defendants it is cheaper to settle than to take a case to trial. In 35 years of law practice my experience is that corporate bean counters do not really care about right or wrong issues, they care about the financial bottom line this year. if it is cheaper to pay, they pay.

            So maybe this woman did something and maybe she did nothing.

          • GayOldLady

            If I were in her shoes and I hadn’t done anything untoward in the workplace, specifically concerning this employee, I would have stayed in the race. As you said, she may or may not have done anything, but jumping out of the race so quickly makes me believe that she was uncomfortable with this incident getting more press coverage. That makes me wonder, why and are there other incidents, perhaps incidents where no lawsuit was filed. I know nothing about this woman, but just because she was running as a Democrat I don’t automatically assume that she’s a good citizen. We have our share of not-so-nice people too.

          • Maybe she just sees the lynch mob out the window.

            ‘Can we actually shrink him’: Twitter is not happy with Matt Damon

            While appearing on Popcorn with Peter Travers on Wednesday, Damon suggested all sexual misconduct allegations shouldn’t be treated with the same ferocity. Damon made the statement while referencing the harassment and assault allegations that have recently been made against Hollywood heavy hitters like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K, as well as Senator Al Franken.

            “I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary,” Damon said. “I do believe there’s a spectrum of behavior… You know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

            “We see somebody like Al Franken, right? I personally would have preferred if they had an Ethics Committee investigation, you know what I mean?” he continued. “It’s like at what point—you know, we’re so energized to kind of get retribution, I think.”

            Damon had some thoughts on punishment, too. He said there’s a “continuum” of bad behavior, and there should be a range of penalities, too.

            “On this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen,” he said. “And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”

            Damon also suggested the public should consider sincerity of apologies—like the one released by Louis C.K.—when ostracizing those facing sexual misconduct allegations.

            “I don’t know Louis C.K. I’ve never met him. I’m a fan of his, but I don’t imagine he’s going to do those things again,” Damon said. “I imagine the price that he’s paid at this point is so beyond anything.”

            Whatever the actor hoped to accomplish with his comments, the internet wasn’t interested.

            The social media response to Damon’s comments was sheer outrage, with a number of people on Twitter requesting the actor refrain from sharing his opinions regarding sexual misconduct and the perpetrators.

          • Tread

            Never get in the way of liberal outrage. You’re a worthless inhuman fuck if you even attempt to address nuance.

          • Ninja0980

            Especially in Kansas.
            Trust me on this..we’ve gotten better since the days of Janice Pauls but still a way to go in some cases.

          • marshlc

            That’s sort of how I look at it, GOL. Dropping out immediately after one old allegation comes up makes me think she wants to avoid scrutiny. If you truly have nothing to hide, why not at least try to fight it?

          • GayOldLady

            🙂 True.

          • -M-

            True. Although to be fair it’s also possible that she just wants to avoid the mud slinging that would come and/or to make way for a candidate who doesn’t have these allegations hanging over them.

          • marshlc

            Anyone in public life these days – and it’s not like accusations of sexual harassment (or any accusation, really) are a new thing, for heaven’s sake – should have a game plan in place as part of deciding to run for office. If there is something shady in your past, assume it’s going to come out, and think about whether you can get in front of it. And if there is not, then steeling yourself for a certain amount of mud is part of the job. Anyone who feels that it is too stressful to have people say nasty and untrue things about you does not belong in elective office.

            We need to get away from judging these things on a political basis, but instead go with credibility of the accusers and accusations, seriousness of the offense, and whether an action is part of a pattern – especially if it is a pattern continuing to the present day. This will only start to happen when innocent people start defending themselves.

            It’s not a witch hunt if it’s true, so the onus is on finding out as best as is possible whether it’s true, not on decrying the fact that people are speaking out against someone we might like.

            And something is only a career ender if it actually ends a career. God knows we’ve seen, in the last several years, that things that would have been automatically assumed to be the end of the line for a politician can become just blips on the radar. Uncredible accusations will stop meaning the end of a career when innocent politicians stop resigning because of them.

          • boatboy_srq

            I’m actually surprised that training like that wasn’t more prevalent even “20+ years ago” – more surprised than I am that people are getting tripped up by policy violations like this now.

            But we’re only a year past an election where a measurable portion of the US electorate would not believe the one female candidate if she had told them the sky is blue and water is wet. Dodging an accusation like this as a woman is still far more difficult than the same for a man, and the fact that the case was settled and not immediately dismissed will incline people to assume guilt. This is not a winnable situation regardless of the facts precisely because the suspect is female.

          • GayOldLady

            I agree!

        • Treant

          At least in my experience, it’s the other way around. Women never harass and–well, let’s not go into who told me that again most recently!–when they do, it’s Not That Bad. You should be grateful she’s coming onto you.

          (Or why men don’t complain much about female sexual harassment. We’re taught to sit down, shut up, and stop complaining).

          So while I’d normally require more than one accusation to even consider guilt, in this case, I don’t need it. She already admitted guilt by quitting.

          Good fucking riddance.

          • You just spend all day endlessly ranting and bitching and moaning about your strawman idea of how feminists act. Goddamn, man, get the fuck off of reddit and tumblr and try interacting with real people who are actually trying to get shit done.

          • GayOldLady

            If you want to talk to me then quit hiding behind a block. No one told you that “women never harass”. And no one told you that when women commit sexual assault or sexual harassment “it’s not bad” or that you should be “grateful that” women are “coming onto you”. The comment I made to you was after your insinuation that women are as guilty as men of sexual harassment when reality, crime reports and statistics prove otherwise. Most sexual assaults are male on female, that’s just the truth of it. That doesn’t mean the Female on Male are less Evil, it only means that it isn’t as prevalent in our society. And no one has suggested that you weren’t abused by a woman or didn’t have a horrific experience at the hands of that woman, or that men should “sit down and be quiet”, those words were never written to you. As a sexual assault victim you were doing exactly what stops victims from coming out, not believing the victims because the victims just so happened to be coming out against someone you like, Al Franken. As an assault victim myself I want to be open minded, but when people run from an accusation or when multiple victims come forward against someone, it’s difficult not to believe them. Every person who steps forward will have their lives scrutinized, put under a microscope. That’s what lends credence to victims who are coming out against powerful men and women.

          • gaycuckhubby

            Thank you for your comments on this. It helps me to hear from your perspective. This is not an easy subject to wrestle with.

          • GayOldLady

            It’s difficult subject for all of us.

          • gaycuckhubby

            My husband is a survivor and it’s terribly triggering for him.

          • stuckinthewoods

            It lay completely beneath the surface for me until last year.

          • He seems to be blocking any woman who actually talks about feminism in any way and calling them “faux-feminists”, going on and on trying to insult and troll them in the process.

            Treant needs help.

  • Adam Stevens

    Funkhouser? Really??

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Could have been worse, it could have been Funkhoser. Oy!

    • KCMC

      Wonky local family, I believe
      Related to recently worst D mayor Kansas City (MO).

    • Reality.Bites
      • Andymac3

        lol, I knew I recognized that name somewhere. So i looked up the origin because that’s what the internet is for while it’s still free.

        The ancient and distinguished surname Funkhouser is of German origin. It is derived from the Middle High German “funke,” meaning “spark,” and was most likely originally used to denote a blacksmith. Alternatively, it may have originally been bestowed as a nickname to indicate a very lively person.

  • Friday’s_cat

    A lesson on the dangers of workplace banter if you are in management. Anything you say can and will be used against you should you discipline a subordinate.

    • Treant

      Actually, she’s accused of harassment. Which, on a case that had to be settled, probably went a hell of a lot further than “workplace banter.”

      • leastyebejudged

        She did not only harass, she got caught retaliating when he complained.

        She is guilty of this and frankly we dodged a bullet not having her as a Democrat.

        If she couldn’t handle this matter, how could she be expected to handle ANYTHING in the current climate ?

  • Friday’s_cat

    Having worked at a company accused of multiple unfair labor practices I’m disappointed that employees terminated for union organization activity were never given such swift redress.

  • Kevin Andrews

    Nothing new here.

  • Jeffrey

    Liberals are their own worst enemies. They helped this get started by going all in on destroying any career with even one allegation. There is now no difference between a serial child rapist and a dismissed sexual harrassment charge. Way to go. Because you didn’t highlight sexual harassment so much as you made talking about it fashionable and ultimately people will grow tired of hearing about it and go back to not caring.

    • leastyebejudged

      To be fair, they thought they could take a very old GOP tactic and apply it for themselves.

      And, as is usual, in the process proved, beyond ANY reasonable doubt, that they ARE the moral equivalent.

  • gaycuckhubby

    A problem I see is that #metoo is a huge umbrella term. It’s covering everything from a rude comment to felony sexual assaults.

    • Jeffrey

      Exactly what I said. “Child rapist runs for senate” and “Ben Affleck touched my butt at the Golden Globes” were goven equal weight.

      • JT

        I would be happy to have Ben Affleck touch my butt if I could handle his golden globes.

        • MBear


          • JT


        • Jeffrey

          He can touch anything of mine that wants at any time

    • leastyebejudged

      Oh, you mean like lumping in child abuse with sexual assault ?

      Matt Damon’s getting shit all over by people for that exact same remark just the other day.

      • gaycuckhubby

        I know. And I think it’s wrong.

        • leastyebejudged

          You think it’s wrong when it applies to Democrats, you don’t give a shit about GOP people accused.

          • gaycuckhubby

            Actually I’ve been called a trump supporter and a troll multiple times on this site for supporting Republicans, like the guy who was being attacked with revenge porn.
            And as a pointed out down below I think that if this happened to Michele Bachmann many on here with celebrate. And I think that’s wrong and tribalism

  • Lakeview Bob

    I’ve been wondering when this was going to happen.

    • leastyebejudged

      It’s about time, the longer it took the less legitimate I was viewing the whole issue.

  • Ninja0980

    As much as I hate to give some folks on the right credit and attack some folks on the left, not to mention the movement that is finally giving victims a voice and exposing predators, the fact is this movement is already being used as a weapon against Democrats.
    And the fact is in our rush to right wrongs that have been done to victims of sexual assault/harassment, we are going to go too far in the opposite direction at some point.
    Maybe we already have.
    No easy answers but the guilty until proven innocent lynch mob is not a road we want to go down on.

  • gaycuckhubby

    I’m so torn on these issues… I want the Democrats to take the lead against harassment and assault, I celebrated women having the courage to stand up, I hate Twitter lynch mobs, I hate umbrella terms, I hate that there’s no discussion about appropriate punishment.
    I hate all opposing voices being shut down. I hate groupthink.

    • iambu

      I’m mostly afraid the slope will get even slipperier before we find a way to straighten things out.

      • Hue-Man

        Things will not straighten out because there’s no public reputation “statute of limitations” on sexual harassment claims. Even if everyone behaved perfectly starting today, their bad actions over the last 30 or 40 years are fodder for these revelations.

        Like many, I have lived the cultural shift over the past 4 decades – the routine misogyny (and homophobia) of 1977 is not acceptable in 2017.

        • iambu

          Well, you do have a point there. I think, because these things rely on self-reported traumas, it’s difficult to draw a line in the sand and say: *this* counts as You Were Hurt, and *that* counts and You Were Not Hurt (severely or at all). I started crying out of shock the first time someone exposed himself to me on public transit when I was a teenager, even knowing that those things do happen, and even though it wasn’t exactly the first dick I ever saw. Someone else might’ve reacted differently – including my modern day self who would likely call the guy out. But there’s a difference between the kinds of traumas that ruin our day and maybe dim our view of humanity a little vs. traumas that ruin our lives and make it difficult or impossible to function. That line might always be blurry because, like I said, people react differently to this shit and there are myriad variables to account for that. I just worry about inadvertently building a system where something like an accidental bump in a crowded elevator is equated to a violent sexual assault, and it feels like we’re steering that way in the name of making space for victims to come foreword (also necessary). Sheesh, I wonder if I’ll ever be done pondering this…

          • Hue-Man

            I learned many years ago that there is no right answer; I had a tearful secretary come into my office, close the door, and tell me that her boss was harassing her. His crime? He invaded her personal space – there was no physical contact, no sexual overtones, just that she felt physically intimidated because he didn’t keep a “proper” distance. When I talked to him about him, he was totally unaware but did subsequently maintain an “appropriate” distance.

          • iambu

            I think if people were able to talk more openly about their personal boundaries without fear of judgment, that’d help a lot. My spouse really dislikes hugs (‘cept from me, obv). My friend group is very touchy-feely. It’s always been normal for us to hug, give a non-sexual kiss on the cheek or mouth, tousle each other’s hair, rest on each other’s shoulder, etc. Spouse made it very clear that he loves everybody, but he’s simply not a hugger, please don’t hug him in greeting nor get offended if he backs away if you forget and hug him out of habit. This is obviously somewhat different than the systemic abuse and harassment towards women (and men) we’re dealing with now, but I can see a parallel. Especially when a drunken friend says something like, “Oh, it’s Ok, you know I’m a hugger and we’ve been friends for years!” Nope, he still doesn’t want your physical affection. No specific reason, it’s just not his deal. Now, in the case of the secretary or any similar situation, like I noted before, there’re a lot of factors than can shape someone’s comfort level. Perhaps the secretary has been assaulted, perhaps her religion or cultural background decreed more space, or maybe she’s just like my spouse and simply prefers distance. Who knows. Ahh…sometimes I feel like we’ll never be done unpacking this shit, and I keep getting more and more verbose… 😛

          • stuckinthewoods

            You’ll never be done pondering this. Everyone else pondering it at the moment is sort of dragging you back through it right now but nothing holds America’s attention for long.

        • William

          How far back do we go? In the 7th grade, I did a ‘double doorbell’ on Rosa. She was an ample chested girl what hadn’t started wearing bras.

          Do I need to call the morality police?

        • leastyebejudged

          It’s perfectly acceptable in fully a third of the nation.

    • Treant

      I can’t say I’m all that torn. I (and I’m hardly unique as you have been too) warned against the witch hunts from day one. People here are more than willing to jump on board when a Republican is accused, so we shouldn’t be too surprised if the inverse is true. And we’ve set a bad precedent by not evaluating claims initially.

      This is one of those cases where we really need to check out our own image in the mirror and realize that the responsibility stops here. But that’s not exactly something most people will do, so forget that idea.

      What bothers me here is that she’s a woman and a Democrat, and so far the comments indicate that she’s got two free passes for that. Guilt is actually assumed in this instance; she quit without any fight whatsoever, and without claiming innocence. So it sounds like she’s guilty and probably trying to get ahead of the accusations she knows will be coming.

      • gaycuckhubby

        I agree in so much as I believe that if this was Michele Bachmann we would be screaming for joy today.
        Tribalism it’s a curse.

        • BobSF_94117

          With that hunk of a man Michelle has at home, there’s no way she would ever stray…

        • Treant

          Probably. Certainly the left would be cheering. And she’s conservative enough that the feminists wouldn’t bother to stand up for her regardless of what they think personally.

          Honestly, in the sense of actually appealing to reason? I’ll never give up, but I don’t expect jack shit in terms of a return on investment.

  • JWC

    Nawsty people caught being Nawsty

  • TheManicMechanic


  • boobert

    Either shut up, or apply the same standards to the moron !

  • Gerry Fisher

    She shouldn’t have dropped out

  • leastyebejudged

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    She abused her authority, and people here who pretend that women do NOT do this, and act like they DO NOT get away with it regularly, are worse than hypocrites.

    • Spongebob CrankyPants

      Women like to pretend they don’t do this.

  • I love dim sum

    Well, she’s a Democrat so I’m sure all of you will be defending her since she’s ‘on our side’, or accusing the guy that she harassed of being a Russian plant.

    • Gianni


      • I love dim sum

        I perused the comments below, and looks like I’m actually right.

        • Gianni

          Just ’cause some commenters fulfill your expectations does not mean you are correct in stating ‘all of you’. I, for one, believe she made a good decision. She’s obviously intelligent enough to realize that such a revelation from the past will sink her candidacy. She decided not to put herself through that.

  • JCF

    As I said here earlier, I’m just glad this story came out NOW, before any later in the election cycle.

    But we can we please not have any more of the misogyny (that I saw in an earlier thread) that said “Women don’t believe this can happen”? OF COURSE we know this can happen! Hell, *I* was sexually harrassed by a woman. Assholery knows NO boundaries: every gender, every race, every sexuality, every ability/disability, every belief-system, every national origin and/or language. Assholes, assholes, EVERYWHERE!


    • Spongebob CrankyPants

      I agree with you. However the current narrative is that women are ALWAYS the victim.

    • marshlc

      Interestingly, I don’t see many women saying “Women don’t believe this can happen” in my travels around the net. Some sure, but they tend to be from people who show other signs of being idiots. Posts from clearly intelligent and articulate women usually fully accept that this happens, and start talking about the reality that sexual harassment is a problem and has been a problem for a fuck of a long time, and it’s about goddam time we started really talking about it, even if it’s politically inconvenient. This isn’t a political issue, it’s a power abuse issue.

      What I do see, is men saying that women say this.

      Forty years ago, reading “The Hite Report” something one of the interviewees said really struck me then, and has stayed with me since then. “I never thought they would rape me, because they had long hair and smoked pot and so were clearly the good guys”. And I thought “hey, I’ve been operating on exactly that principle, and it looks like it might not be a good one. Hmmmm”.

  • Spongebob CrankyPants

    Fake News. Only men sexually harrass.

  • stuckinthewoods

    ~ O/T Anita Hill to chair Hollywood commission to combat sexual harassment.

  • JackNasty

    The absence of due process cuts both ways. Her company settled a claim that she said was nonsense. They settled after she left and she had no opportunity to respond.

    This “ME TOO” process means an accusation is all anyone needs to cut someone down. No hearing. No facing an accuser.

    Does anyone else not see “MeToo” has become a witch hunt?