Do Men Only Learn To Have A Conscience When They Have Daughters?

'I have 4 daughters which means I have... *counting aloud on fingers* 4 respect for women'

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The Harvey Weinstein scandal has been rolling on for an explosive and exhausting week.

Every new allegation seems to be a macabre mirror of the last (a hotel room, bathrobe, a massage?). Each time, readers are re-introduced to the horrid claims. The picture of a powerful, dominating man, versus a petite, vulnerable actress.

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Reactions to the allegations have ranged from incensed on behalf of the victims, to accusatory, to defensive.

But, there seems to be a trend emerging among the men who have commented on the scandal.

Many of the men condemning Weinstein have said some variation on the phrase; 'It's unconscionable to me because I have daughter[s]'

Weinstein and Ryan Gosling in 2011

Yes, before you say, not all men have referenced their daughters. Ryan Gosling released a statement devoid of mention of his own two infant girls, likewise, George Clooney managed to condemn Weinstein without referencing his own female baby.

But, it does sound familiar, no?

Here's Matt Damon speaking on the issue:

'Look, even before I was famous, I didn't abide this kind of behaviour. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night. This is the great fear for all of us. You have a daughter, you know…'

Though not as explicit as Damon, Ben Affleck said 'We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters.'

The Democratic party in the US is also under scrutiny, since Weinstein was a large contributor of funds.

Politicians such as Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have reacted to condemn Weinstein.

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Governor, Andrew Cuomo was quick to emphasise that he does not support Weinstein, because of his daughters. He said, 'That's what this is really about: It's bigger than Harvey Weinstein. I have three daughters — I want to make sure at the end of the day, this world is a safer, better world for my three daughters.'

And, we get it, we should be making the world better for our daughters, we should care about our daughters, heck we should care about our sons too.

But, as Hunter Harris so scathingly put it, 'Having a daughter shouldn't be a requirement for internalising the problems of working within a sexist industry. Your wives gave birth to a baby girl, not a moral compass.'

Long before you're old enough to have daughters, you should care about other women around you. On the grounds that they are also just as human as you and as entitled to safety and rights and a life free of pain and harassment.

Of course Twitter has something to say about this too, with many people sounding off on the frustrating reference to 'daughter' as a codename for 'conscience':

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Some people poked some fun at the ridiculousness of the statement:

And there is one big problem with referencing daughters too, the alleged attacker at the centre of all these allegations, Weinstein, has four daughters of his own:

Women are people.

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